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TheFangirl

The Fangirl

Long time geek, fangirl, mother, and reader. I've got a lot to say, you might not like it all, but it will be honest and hopefully helpful.

Understanding the nature of wank and fandoms

Fic: Why Fanfiction is Taking Over the World - Lev Grossman, Tiffany Reisz, Rachel Caine, Jen Zern, Heidi Tandy, Rukmini Pande, Samira Nadkarni, Wendy C. Fries, Jolie Fontenot, Randi Flanagan, Tish Beaty, Cyndy Aleo, Christina Lauren, V. Arrow, Brad Bell, Andrew Shaffer, Darren Wershler, Anne Jamison, Jules Wilkinson, R

"Wank Matters"

 

This blurb on wank, ship wars and general conflict in fandoms demonstrates not only a lack of objectivity and understand of the nature of fan communities (or of human social interactions in general), but it's clear that this perspective is only on the "wanks" in the what the author considers "megafandoms."

 

"Shipper wars—which long seemed incomprehensible to me, because I didn’t see how people could get so angry at other people for liking to read about the sex lives of different imaginary people—function in much the same way. For many fans, who you ship, and how you tell that story, stands for what kind of relationship you think is right, what fits."

The dismissive tone seems inappropriate for an objective observer. This explanation of the root of "ship wars" is the most basic, and inaccurate one I've ever read.

 

The truth is that conflicts over ships, canon, or any other topic in fandom that sparks wide scale controversy has less to do with the topic of disagreement than the individuals themselves, and the nature of the social groups. The things being described here exist, and have existed, in communities of every shape and size through out human history, not just fandoms.

 

To understand the nature of wank in fandoms, specifically, takes understanding not only the major players in the controversy, but each individual within the fandom personal point of view the circumstances surrounding the controversy. 

 

As we will see in an upcoming part of the book, the difference between victim and victimizer is a matter of perspective.