Friday, November 4, 2011

The Vampire Diaries: Don't Hurt My Brother! + Why I Hate Shipper Wars

(Very mild spoilers through last night's episode...)

Last night's Vampire Diaries episode made the essential truth of the show all the more clear: It's all about family, and especially love between siblings. Some people seem surprised by the idea that Stefan's love for Damon might be stronger than his love for Elena, and to these people I can only say, "What the heck show have you been watching for two and a half years?" Last night brought us some great sibling moments between the Salvatores and between the Originals, and geez, Elena, go hug your brother! Um, anyway.

After that episode all about sibling love, I woke up to this post from YA author Cassie Clare about love triangles and women in fiction, and though her examples all reference her characters, a lot of what she says is applicable to fiction in general and TVD in particular. Here, she gets at my main issue with 'shipper wars:
I think character love is a wonderful thing — where would we all be without the fictional characters we adore? — but it needn’t require that the character you love be flawless and/or blameless. I actually think trying to lay blame in this situation is a mistake. When you have three people all of whom would die for each other, they wouldn’t thank you for taking their part if it meant cutting the other ones down to do it.
YES, YES, A THOUSAND TIMES YES. This is what gets me about Stefan or Damon fans hating the other one, or anyone hating Elena for her interactions with one or both of the boys. They all love each other. They trip over themselves to try to die for each other, on a regular basis. And yet fans feel so . . . what, defensive? insecure? . . . that they have to tear one or two members of the triangle down instead of recognizing that they are all complex characters who need and love each other.

And I wish the Elena haters would think about this too:
Why is Tessa seen as responsible for the boys’ feelings, and indeed, their actions? She can’t help what either boy feels for her, and isn’t responsible for their emotions. If she acts in a way intended to protect herself from harm, acts as if she deserves and wants love, acts as her heart tells her — acts in any way at all as long as she doesn’t maliciously intend either boy harm — and it hurts either of the boys, that isn’t Tessa’s fault.
And this is something I just think everyone who complains about female characters needs to ask themselves:
But next time you find yourself deciding that such and such female character is a bitch because her actions, even when reasonable or inadvertent, have caused a boy character pain, pause to consider if you’d feel the same way if she were the boy.
But whatever you do, don't mess with my brother.

1 comment:

  1. You can't see me but I am applauding you......