In the past weeks, I’ve encountered so much fandom drama on tumblr and twitter that I feel like typing down my thoughts on multishipping so please bear with me.
It’s a bit weird when you think about it: you ship because you enjoy a romantic bond of two (or more) characters, you want to see them be lovey-dovey, you want to surround yourself with that ship’s content when you’re online. And still, shipping causes a lot of conflicts in online communities and many people (shippers and non-shippers) leave fandoms because sometimes arguments and drama take up their entire dashboard and the tags they follow.
Personally speaking, I’m part of so many fandoms that I learnt one thing: drama is always going to happen. Every fandom starts out as more or less unproblematic – often called “shipping heaven” in shipping communities – but at some point in time, even the nicest, most positive fandoms turn into a battlefield. People start taking things personally which shouldn’t be taken personally, they start crosstagging (deliberately tagging posts wrong just to anger other users), they don’t let others have fun, and so forth. There’s also the anonymous hate that people send other users just to hurt their feelings… I think we all have seen something along those lines on the internet before.
I for myself consider myself a multishipper, i.e., I can enjoy many ships of one series that cannot exist in canon at the same time. An example that can illustrate multishipping could be this: A person ships Hermione Granger with Harry Potter, and Ron Weasley, and Draco Malfoy. These ships cannot coexist in the same universe (unless you are into polyamory, that is), but a shipper can still enjoy all those ship at the same time. This is why people write and fanfiction after all – we want to play with the possibilities that a series is offering us. There are no rules and no restrictions when it comes to shipping. Well, at least that’s how it feels at the beginning.
As soon as drama happens (fondly called “fandom bullshit” or “fandom bs” in online communities), the fronts harden and shipping suddenly feels less fun, depressing even. Multishipping is great in a sense that you often see potential which others don’t. If you write or read fanfiction, you always have to adjust to a ship that is completely new to you. You have to test the waters, look at the canon material to understand their dynamics, give fanfics a try that you would have ignored otherwise. Multishipping is a lot of fun because every ship is unique and exciting, every ship makes you see different sides of your favorite characters.
The fun is gone when, all of the sudden, people start pointing with their fingers just because they don’t enjoy certain ships. For multishippers, that’s an unfortunate situation to be in. Shippers start picking sides, the tags get flooded with hate directed at other ships or shipping fandoms… And in the middle of it all, there are the multishippers who cannot turn left nor right because no shipping fandom is truly safe for them anymore.
I guess I didn’t have even have a real goal with this post but the quintessence would be this: it’s sad to see shippers stop having fun with everything a series offers them. I hope all (multi-)shippers continue enjoying their ships. Don’t let others get to you, write and read what makes you happy. Whenever you forget about this because the fandom bs is weighting you down, look at this cute tumblr post and continue to do your own thing.
In the end, you ship for the fun and not to please others.