Unfortunately, some fans take it a little over the edge. In an obsessive craze, they will stick to their viewpoint like a lifeline and won't be afraid to attack those who oppose their opinion as a defense mechanism. I'm not talking constructive cricism here, I'm talking about flagerant flaming, bashing, insulting, and in the worst cases even threatening. Even when dA has a no-tolerance policy for such behavior, it still exists, here and elsewhere, and it's not pretty to be in that sort of conflict.
See, on the Internet, it's EASY to bash others because no one knows who you are. Everyone is free to express their opinion, be it respectful or not. The point I make often is that it takes a truly mature person to be respectful on the Internet.
I would like to present to you a conversation posted on my yaoi picture entitled "29. Happiness," a series of messages between a concerned member and I. Be warned, it's long.
Here's what he said:
Y'know, I know you may not take this well, and may very well hide this comment, but I'm just going to say it. I hold nothing against homosexuals as people, and I agree that it isn't right to call names, or be hateful. However, as a Christian, I don't think the idea of homosexuality as right, or pleasant, or beautiful. I'm not going to berate them for being what they are, but I'm not gonna say stuff like, "Way to go!", or "Gay pride all the way!". I don't support homosexuality, simply put. But more or less, there's more to this situation than the black and white. Not all people that don't support homosexuality are insensitive monsters or jerks. The Christian population in general is greatly misrepresented as being hateful and monstrous, but we AREN'T. All I'd really like to know is, what's so wrong with pairing Link with Zelda, or someone else, or Ed with a girl, or Edd with a girl, or Roy with a girl? Straight pairings aren't THAT bad for these characters. The reason people get outraged by this kind of stuff is usually because they see it as a misrepresentation of that character. I mean, let's face it, neither Link, nor Roy, nor Ed and Edd, or just about any character in a fan-yaoi pairing has really shown signs of homosexuality. I mean, ZADR? Ugh............But anywho.........I'm not trying to offend, so please don't take it that way.
A few very valid points made. And here's how I replied:
Nah, man, you have an opinion and you're entitled to it.
I'm not saying Christians are horrible people. It's the hardcore ones that won't leave other people alone that ruin their reputation as a whole, and I'm well aware of that. I never said Christians are horrid people (technically, I AM one XD). Just because you're religious doesn't mean you have to hate eveything your religion's against. My boyfriend's Catholic, and he's totally fine with gays, accepts that I am bisexual, and enjoys my work all the same.
There's nothing wrong with hetero pairings, not at all. To me, however... they seem... exhausted. I'm the kind of person that likes to explore unexpected aspects of characters and how they relate to each other. As for misinterpretation, I believe is all based on opinion and preference. Link, however, has no defined character; that leaves him open for all possibilities. I've seen him characterized as a big sweetheart and a cold-hearted bastard. With Link, there IS no misinterpretation, at least, that's what I believe. Others can interpret him however they please, I don't care, as long as they don't bash my interpretation. I'd never do that to them.
When you make characters do things or make decisions that is unexpected based on the character they've presented, that makes them three-dimensional. People are complex by nature; putting a character a little out of whack makes them seem more real. For example, let's take a popular pairing, like Edd and Eddy; you don't expect Eddy to be soft enough for a relationship, but he'll break out of that mold if his feelings for Edd are that strong. If the author/artist pulls it off well, it's truly a fascinating thing to look at and think about. I never look at EEnE the same now. XD
I'm not hiding this, because I want people to know my reasoning on this subject is.
So, I hear him out and give him my side of the argument, which I was only more than happy to. And how did he reply?
Hmmmm..........you make a very fine point. Nothing wrong with getting along and agreeing to disagree about some things, right? Friends?
Absolutely. This is what happens when someone is intelligant enough to ask "why?", listen in, and come to an understanding and, as he said, agree to disagree.
I posted this in a journal, trying to show this point, and everyone was surprised. No bashing, no flaming, no antagonism, nothing! And I don't blame their shock. Conversations such as these are seldom found on the Internet, which unfortunately reflects the overall intelligant quota of the fanbase population.
This is a message to all fans. Everyone says it, and it's the honest truth: if you don't like it, don't look at it. You can't please everybody with your opinion, but you should be able to express it without being harassed by ignorance. THAT is my main point. Conversations like the one above are not impossible. If we can all learn to respect each other, the fanbase will seem a lot less intimidating. Let's all love our games, shows, comics, and movies collectively, the way we wish.