On being a silent, moderate voice in the Sherlock fandom
It’s so freaking hard to talk about anything on Tumblr, isn’t it? It’s frustrating because those conversations were always one of my favorite parts of fandom. But in the last eight months, I’ve found myself staying silent in the face of the vigorous debates that rose in the aftermath of series 3. I so often felt like my ideas didn’t align with those of any of the people having these conversations. I wasn’t interested in getting drawn into wank over topics that were so polarizing when my opinions were comparably… dull.
But then I started having discussions with people off of Tumblr about the same issues that everyone was so riled up about here, and I was pleasantly surprised that it was still possible to do that. But more importantly, I found that many, many people feel like just I do. The extreme positions that get pointed out and wanked about and mocked around these parts are the ones that very few people in the fandom actually hold. If you spend much time around here, it’s easy to start to think that most people in fandom are on the extremes, because that is what gets attention. That’s what gets reblogged. That’s what gets a pithy gifset and a lot of notes. But there’s absolutely no evidence that any of that is representative of the fandom as a whole.
I realized that I was contributing to this problem of polarization by not speaking up when I see an opportunity to express a moderate opinion about Mary, or about Johnlock, or TJLC, or whatever the current issue is. So here I am, considering dipping a toe in the water to see if it gets snapped off.
Can one express moderate opinions about those issues around here? It’s not sexy to reblog that sort of thing, so it remains to be seen whether that is something the current culture of this fandom on this platform will accept. But it’s either that or I just continue to reblog pretty pictures and say nothing of substance, ever.
And that would be okay, but… I’m tired of not saying anything of substance out of fear of getting hate. I’m tired of this culture in which it’s acceptable to attack a fellow fan and bully them with anon hate and death threats for their opinions about fictional characters. I’m sure I’m not the only one who looks around and wonders where the hell it all went wrong. I’m sure I’m not the only one who is feeling estranged from the fandom, who has pulled away a bit in an effort to avoid being consumed by the avalanche of negativity.
And hey, maybe it’s not possible. Maybe it’s not worth the effort. I have no idea. But I feel like I have to give it one more try before I give up on this place. There are, after all, many other places to enjoy fandom.
And if you happen to feel the same way, know that it’s not just you. :-)