Hey, Mom! The Explanation.

Here's the permanent dedicated link to my first Hey, Mom! post and the explanation of the feature it contains.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Hey, Mom! Talking to My Mother #204 - Slash shippers & fandom

Hey, Mom! Talking to My Mother #204 - Slash shippers

Hi Mom,

I am back again after slogging through the Java Code Mines of Khazad-dûm also known as Moria.

Though I try to continue or conversations as best I can, writing a blog is different than calling you every day on the phone, Mom, or our visits when I would share in person. Certainly, this is not something I would have talked about on the phone. But I may have shared this in person over dinner or a snack of chocolate, which you enjoyed every afternoon.

And I remember, Mom, how much you liked ice cream, which was one of your last communications with us.

But on to today's subject which is SLASH SHIPPING for Finn and Poe in the new Star Wars film The Force Awakens. These images above and below came across Twitter, and I saved them as potential subject for a blog entry.


I am glad you asked.  Basically, it's something that happens in fandom in which fans "ship" for (read as "wish for) relationships among characters in a story. It comes from the idea of classic love triangles, in which a reader would favor one pairing, say Guinevere-Arthur versus another, say, Guinevere-Lancelot. The reader prefers to see the heroine (in this case, though sometimes love triangles involve one male and two women, though not the old time classic ones) with the reader-favored partner.

The word comes from "relationship" and has evolved in fandom as a verb, IE. "to ship" for something and thus "shipping" as the act of promoting the favored relationship. All of this is explained in the links below.

As long as there has been stories, there has been fandom. People want stories. And once people have stories, they will have feelings about the stories. And once the stories involve characters partnering with other characters, then readers, listeners, FANS will want something there, too. After all, isn't shipping for Penelope and Odysseus one of the original ships?

I found fandom in the 1960s when I started reading comic books and watching science fiction, like Lost in Space and Star Trek. In the 1970s, I began to hear about conventions and fanzines, but it wasn't until the 1980s that I found APAs, Amateur Press Associations, in which fans would write fan fiction, collected into books and mailed to other fans on a regular schedule. I was very active for many years in TitanTalk (through which I met some great people who may actually be reading these words) , and I was a shipper for Richard Grayon (Robin/Nightwing) and Donna Troy (Wonder Girl/Troia) to "hook up" as they were best suited for each other and truly in love (though unaware of it themselves).

Fandom has really taken off since the Internet, and shipping has become a big deal, especially with stories like Twilight in which shippers divided into camps named as Teams: Team Edward or Team Jacob.

Slash shipping is differentiated because people feel the need to separate it because of discomfort caused by homophobia (whether they wish to admit this or not) as same-sex shipping. Slash shipping is ALL about reading SUBTEXT as the creators of Star Trek never had in mind any romantic relationship between Kirk and Spock, and yet the men love each other and are close, like brothers, or is it more?

There are many ways slash shipping is further defined but read SHIPPING - FANLORE for more on those ideas.

Here's some links about shipping.



Slashing versus 'Shipping, or Why it's Easier to be a Slasher by T'Mar


The first link, LET'S TALK ABOUT SLASH SHIPPING, is really the best read if you want to go farther in this subject dear reader (Mom, I know you are just listening patiently; plus, do spirits read?). Mostly the article deals with shipping involving the show Supernatural and an incident at a recent con that blew up the Internet. But it has a great explanation of shipping and the issues involved. It's a good read if you have never heard of shipping and are curious.

Today's post has to do with shipping for Finn and Poe Dameron from the new Star Wars film, The Force Awakens and some Twitter activity I have saved. Up top is a post from John Scalzi, a favorite author of mine who maintains a very active blog. Below are post re-shared by author Alyssa Wong, who I have recently begun to follow closely. Her stories are VERY COOL.

I was struck by Alyssa's observation (or re-sharing someone else's observation) that the current most popular Internet shipping is NOT about any white people, as both Finn and Dameron are people of color.

This may be a first time ever that fandom activity at this level of intense frenzy is focused on people of color (the shipping for Storm and Black Panther in Marvel Comics does not even come close to this level of shipping currently for Finn-Dameron).

It's just another sign of the progress of our culture being comfortable with and revering characters and people of all colors, heritages, and aspects just because they're COOL.

I agree with Alyssa, even though I am just regular old ultra-privileged caucasian, THIS ISSUE is really important to me, too.

Good job, fandom, good job.



Reflect and connect.

Have someone give you a kiss, and tell you that I love you.

Talk to you tomorrow, Mom.


- Days ago = 206 days ago

- Bloggery committed by chris tower - 1601.27 - 10:10
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