Private Members Area – What Are Shippers and Why Are They A Problem?

We have discussed “shippers” many times on this site and Courtney had talked about doing a post about them. I responded that I would take the “anti-shipper” view.  Considering the two people who are at the top of the leaderboard this season, I figured it was a good time to post it.

What is a shipper? Well, a shipper is someone who is invested in the romantic relationship of two people who are on TV.  More carefully defined, it is a person who wants two characters to get together and/or shows support for two characters already together. This started in the X-Files fandom and was originally limited to fictional programs. Of course, back then there wasn’t “reality” TV like there is now. I was heavily involved in the X-Files fandom and that, I must say, was back when shippers were fun. At first. But I digress.

I have no real problem with the casual observation that two people look hot together. Or the observation that it seems OBVIOUS that they’re knocking boots outside the dance studio. Or even the observation that the babies would be so pretty. Especially when there seems to be some evidence that it is true. I think this is relatively normal behavior. But I also don’t think this is really “shipping” as it is defined nowadays. I think it’s speculation, and usually harmless. I would even go so far as saying, when limited to FICTIONAL characters, it can be fun, in its light hearted, romance novel, fan fiction form.  We’ll talk about slash another time.  I don’t want to make John’s delicate sensibilities catch on fire or anything. :-D But as long as it stays just for fun and an OCCASIONAL past time, no harm no foul.  Read more..