Why Fans Are Upset about the Supernatural Nerd HQ Panel
As someone who was present at the Nerd HQ panel for Supernatural at San Diego Comic Con, I heard first-hand the comments that have very clearly sparked outrage in the fandom. I knew the moment those words were said that there would be upset fans, but I assumed people would get angry on Twitter and Tumblr and things would move forward as they usually do. It’s not the first time these types of sentiments have been expressed in this fandom, by the creators or actors, or even in other fandoms with other people. These comments are a systemic issue that’s not just related to this one specific show or these specific actors. So as troublesome as I knew these comments would be, there were far more pressing matters at the time for me to focus on (I was attending as press and had several videos and articles to work on), so I let it go for the time being. However, now that Aisha Tyler, the moderator of the panel, has chimed in on Facebook things have been propelled to another level fandom-wide. It’s no longer another bump in the road of Supernatural fandom, but a direct engagement from those involved. Aisha is 100% in the right to want to express her opinions as a person who was involved in the incident, but fans also have the right to express why these things are problematic. Right now those fans are feeling as though their opinions are not being entirely understood and are feeling ‘crit shamed’ for finding elements of the media they enjoy worthy of deeper discussion.
I feel like I’m being scolded for wanting the show I love to be better.
-Anonymous Twitter user.
Aisha is an incredibly intelligent woman, and by pointing out that her comments have upset people I have no doubt that I’ll receive accusations that I actually hate Aisha or something equally ridiculous, when that’s the exact opposite of how I feel. I admire her greatly, but addressing her comments will most likely be interpreted as hatred or an attack on her as a person. This is exactly part of the problem.
If you criticize something, you are shamed into being told that you clearly don’t love it or enjoy it. Criticism and hatred are entirely different things. Criticism is recognizing problematic elements in something (a piece of media, comments from a person, etc) while hatred is less critical and more focused on viciousness. For example: name calling, social media harassment, consistent verbal abuse towards those that disagree with you – all of those things are hatred. Recognizing something that bothers you and verbalizing those concerns in a rational way is not hatred. The terms “misogynistic” and “homophobic” have been thrown around and that falls into a gray area when it comes to name calling. While I have no personally used those terms to describe the people involved, I will acknowledge that the words used during the panel can be interpreted as such. Those words should, however, be used with caution when being applied to a person. It’s also extremely frustrating that the bigger issue that arises from these incidents is whether or not you are calling someone homophobic or misogynistic, as opposed to the wider issues involving why people are hurt enough to use those terms to begin with. It once again turns the argument away from what it’s really about and perpetuates the idea of being either 100% for or 100% against something with no room in the middle for valid criticism.
This “crit shaming” was also strongly felt in Aisha’s letter to fans. The implication is that if you feel the show has problematic elements, that you should stop watching. Many fans have done exactly that, but those that stick around usually still find elements in it that they enjoy. As long as the elements that you enjoy outweigh the elements that bother you, you have every right to stick around and enjoy that show while also rationally criticizing the pieces of it that you do not like. Once the balance tips, she is right, it is probably best to walk away from that piece of media and go enjoy other things. It’s better for your own peace of mind. I’ve done this before. It happens. But as long as you still enjoy the show for whatever reason, there is absolutely no need for your criticism to be shamed or ridiculed. Rational discussion should always be welcomed. There are entire industries built up around analysis and interpretation of media. Academia and editorial journalism rely on this type of discussion. Even for those who don’t do it professionally, these discussions can be enjoyable and enlightening.
The show is a show about men. If you don’t like that, watch another show. If you are a fan, you are a fan, and you enjoy the elements of the show you find satisfying. If the show is not creatively satisfying to you, watch another show. If you think it’s misogynistic, WATCH ANOTHER SHOW. If you are pissed at Supernatural or its writers or it’s actors, WATCH ANOTHER FREAKING SHOW. The idea that women don’t watch the show because they are drawn in by these male characters and their interplay is bullish*t. That is why you’re watching, or at least part of it. If it wasn’t, YOU WOULD BE WATCHING ANOTHER FREAKING SHOW.
-Aisha Tyler, “About That Supernatural Panel…”
Once you get past the crit shaming, the actual content of what was said is definitely worthy of the discussion it’s sparked. A fan question about strong female characters got turned around into a response about how great the show is specifically because its lack of female characters.
I don’t think it makes it too different. I think it’s easy in a male-dominated cast to not have to. . . there are so many shows that deal with romance that there needs to be a show that doesn’t deal with romance. That’s why we have “Supernatural,” to deal with all the other parts of . . .to deal with the many other facets of human nature and existence, even in a bizarre way. But we don’t have to worry about, ‘Oh, there’s a scene where this–‘ We just kind of make a show about something else.
– Jared Padalecki, Supernatural at NerdHQ 2014 regarding why women do not play a larger role in Supernatural
Of everyone who responded to that question, Aisha’s were the most insightful and spot on. It focuses on the relationships between men, which is unique in many regards, particularly when focusing so heavily on brotherly love and other male familial relationships.
The thing I feel is so great about Supernatural, despite monsters and everything, is that it’s a show about the interior relationships of men, the interior lives of men, and it’s very rare that the relationships are emotional, they’re complex, they’re dynamic. And when you’re looking at a show where it’s all about male/female relationships, that’s the focus, but to see these guys that are struggling with their filial relationships and their intermasculine relationships is really unusual on TV, and I think the show does that very, very well. And if you guys, you’re curious about men, or you have a guy in your life, it’s a great show to watch to understand not all men, but these men. These characters I think are really well-written guys.
-Aisha Tyler, Supernatural at NerdHQ 2014 in response to Jared Padalecki’s remarks
The problem comes when you dismiss relationships with women and being only there for romance or dismiss the possibility of romance being possible among men. When framed like that, those comments can be interpreted as misogynistic and homophobic. I’m not calling any of the cast either of those names (again, this is a system-wide issue), but for people who want more representation for both of those groups in media, that type of framing can be extremely hurtful. Strong women can be present without being love interests (Jody Mills and Charlie Bradbury, for example) and people of the same sex can be romantic together.
Another part of the panel that sparked heated discussion was when Jared called Misha a woman as an insult. For me personally, there is nothing wrong with being a woman and I will never understand why it’s used as an insult so consistently. This is not the first time Jared has made this type of commentary and he received blow-back about it in the past. Once again, I find this extremely problematic, but it’s absolutely possible to recognize this as an issue without that criticism being translated into hatred of the person who is saying it. If I hated everyone who ever said something problematic, I would have very few friends and zero social life. I can assure you, neither of these things are the case. Yet crit shaming has reduced it to an either/or scenario. You either love everything a person says and does, or if you criticize something you must hate them. To me, this type of mindset is dangerous and poisons discussions of important social issues. It takes the discussion away from those issues and makes it a personal attack.
I’m not going to turn a blind eye to the fact that there probably were some people out there slinging hatred at people over these incidents. Thankfully I follow a pretty good group of people so I didn’t see that on my own timeline or dashboard, but to say that it didn’t happen would be ignorant on my behalf. Personal attacks also poison rational discussion and should not happen. But for those who want to engage with media on a deeper level that passively watching it, rational discussion must continue to take place. It should not be shamed or stifled. They should not be told to be silent or leave a show they still mostly enjoy. Even those that left are still allowed to have opinions if they recognize the fact that their information is coming second hand. Issues need to continue to be discussed and media needs to be continue to be analyzed as long as it’s recognized academically as a reflection and/or an influence on our society. Media has been interpreted as a reflection and/or influence for a long time so I don’t see that changing any time soon.
Author: Angel Wilson
Angel is the admin of The Geekiary and a geek culture commentator. They earned a BA in Film & Digital Media from UC Santa Cruz. They have contributed to various podcasts and webcasts including An Englishman in San Diego, Free to Be Radio, and Genre TV for All. They’ve also written for Friends of Comic Con and is a 2019 Hugo Award winner for contributing fanfic on AO3. They identify as queer.
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92 thoughts on “Why Fans Are Upset about the Supernatural Nerd HQ Panel”
Thank you for clarifying what exactly people were upset about. I wasn’t there and I haven’t seen a video of the panel yet, so when I saw a few reblogged posts on my dash I was extremely confused. It seems to me that a lot of things were blown out of proportion or taken out of context like many things have been before. I absolutely agree on your thoughts on criticism and hatred, for some reason people conflate the two, while they are completely different things.
Totally agree. Its not that I think any of the actors are actually misogynistic or that I hate any of them, nor do I hate Aisha Tyler. Like you, its quite the opposite. I admire and respect all of them for a wide variety of reasons. But just because I love and admire people (friends, family, and even celebrities) that does not mean that I can turn a blind eye when something is said that I find problematic. I don’t think that the comments were meant to be taken that way, but often times, words are not chosen carefully and the fallout is that yes, sometimes people get offended. The remedy? A simple, “Hey, guys. We didn’t mean it that way at all! Sorry to those who were offended, it certainly wasn’t meant to be!” would suffice. A simple, “I love the show for what it is, that’s really all I meant; never wanted to offend anyone!” would have spoken volumes rather than a rant-like Facebook post wherein it just sounds like you’re yelling at the fans to stop watching. There have been a wide variety of books, movies, and television shows that I’ve found problematic. There have been tons of actors that have said things that I haven’t liked. There have been tons of fans who have done and said problematic things in response or in general to or about actors and about the shows/books/movies that I enjoy. These are all aspects of fandom; critiquing and discussing and learning about different points of view from other people who enjoy and love the same things you do. The answer is not to caps-rage and tell people to STOP WATCHING THE SHOW just because they disagree with you. The answer is to realize that maybe you said something that could be taken the wrong way, and to remedy that by apologizing for the way your statement (whether or not you still stand by it) could have been misconstrued. Honestly, calling someone a “girl” as an insult is pretty immature and I don’t take kindly to it. Saying that you’re relieved women aren’t a bigger part of the show because you don’t have to deal with romance is not offensive to me personally, what’s offensive ABOUT that though, is that his answer left no room for interpretation other than, we’re relieved that we don’t have to put in more romance and sex scenes because clearly, you’re bringing up girls, and girls = romantic roles. That’s not true. As shown on the show itself, many women exist outside of romantic and sexual roles. I did not appreciate the phrasing of the comment, but I don’t hate him for saying it because I know that he is not a misogynist and sometimes people say stupid things or don’t think them through before they say them. I don’t hate any of those people. That’s what people in this fandom need to start understanding, criticism is not synonymous with hate. Telling someone, “I don’t like how he said that,” or, “that could’ve been phrased better,” does not mean you suddenly hate the actors and the show. And the response, specifically from someone in the public eye like Aisha Tyler, should never be to shame those who have differing opinions or tell them to just stop watching. Truthfully, she should know better than to make comments like that and I’m just disappointed that these people I do certainly admire would rather stick to their guns and yell at us rather than say, “Whoops, sorry if I said something that could be interpreted as problematic, really didn’t mean it that way!” It takes so little to clarify and to apologize, to be graceful and kind when responding to touchy subjects. I don’t understand why its such a hard concept for people to grasp.
You said everything that I would have said. I thought that a simple “Hey, I’m sorry what I said was taken badly. I certainly didn’t mean it in an offensive way.” would have gone over better than Aisha scolding fans. These q & As are off the cuff. Sometimes things said in the moment are not clear or you put your foot in your mouth. Wasn’t fond of Misha’s joke about Gen either. But I still adore him just as I adore Jared and I LOVE Aisha. I’m not crazy about the response fans critical of these comments are getting because it frankly smacks of someone putting their fingers in their ears and saying “NA NA NA – I am not listening to you!”
Yeah, I see the rants/opinions expressed a lot that if you don’t agree with me shut up, go away and stop watching the show!
Uh, folks. You might want to stop and think about that for a moment. Look at it logically?
Shows run on ad revenue which runs on ratings. Unless your ultimate goal is to drive your show off the air, cool it with the “OMGSTOPWATCHING!!!”
Maybe I’m too old or I’ve been in the corporate world for too long where we go through training before we are ever allowed to talk to a partner or customer but these constant kerfuffles seem entirely avoidable and an unnecessary pain for everyone. No cast or crew should be allowed to a con, on social media or in front of camera for an interview until they’ve been vetted by PR.
I don’t care what show it is.
Misha calling Jensen “a girl”: HAHAHAHA
Jared insinuating that Misha and Mark are woman: PROBLEM
This is the actual Supernatural Problem:
Of course he’s said problematic things. Misha Collins is not above saying dumb things that people can be offended by. Nor is Jared Padalecki. This article highlights something that went down at this year’s Comic Con, though, so that’s what most people are responding to at the moment. Its not okay for Misha to have ever made those jokes, either. I do not build an alter to any human being, celebrity or not, and worship them on my hands and knees and become unwilling to accept when they say offensive things. I don’t like hearing it from anyone, not from Misha, not from Jared, not from my own friends or family. So I’m not sure what your point is in linking that specifically to this article? Is it because you’re upset that someone you admire said something that upset a bunch of people? That upsets me too. I love Jared, I don’t want to see people ragging on him, but I really didn’t like what he said because of the phrasing. However, that’s what’s relevant in the context of this article, so I’m not sure what your point is. If you’re trying to say that nobody is above messing up and saying shitty things, congratulations, you’ve stated the obvious and we are in agreement. Nobody should be using the term “woman” as an insult. Ever.
I think you missed the entire point of the article.
My reply was in response to Nila BTW – and I agree with you Rachel. Misha is not above making dumb-ass comments – so I’m not sure if the linked Blog was supposed to be a deflection??
It’s very possible. I’m a well known fan of Misha and he’s said a lot of dumb shit too. I’ve called him out before and got crit shamed and told I wasn’t a “real Misha fan.” It happens everywhere in fandom, and in practically every fandom. So I’m really not sure where that comment was going…
” I wasn’t a “real Misha fan.”
Oh no. You can be a fan while accepting than something or someone has flaws. It gets scary when you won’t admit or refuse to see those flaws because you’re too obsessed.
And there’s no such thing as a true fan or a real fan except for a device that moves air around. Now if you’ve got one of those named Misha? That’s a real Misha fan and you should post pics.
I legit giggle snorted at the fan comment
You know, none of us are above saying problematic stuff. I myself said a few weeks back to a guy I work with “OMG, You’re such a girl!” then afterwards I actually checked myself. You see I grew up with all brothers, it was something we said when someone was being emotional or acting cranky – basically, an insult. I actually said aloud to someone – “You know, that wasn’t right, I shouldn’t have used “girl” as an insult.” I apologized to the person that I said that to – not because being called a girl should have been taken as an insult but because I used it as an insult. Make sense? Anyway – it’s not that people – everyone – don’t say stupid things, it’s a problem when we can’t take constructive criticism, learn, apologize, grow and avoid those things in the future. When you deflect, minimize and blow off constructive criticism, you are completely missing an opportunity for self-growth.
Great article, seriously, I’m going to try to explain this and make as less grammar mistakes as possible, I will fail.
I love your article, I love it. I’m very, very scared of people criticizing others (due to a mental thingy that I got, it’s rare and I’m not going to bother you with it any further here). With your article though, I not once had the feeling that someone could get hurt by this or that etc…I enjoyed reading it, and to my surprise, it made me see another point of view (which I love). When something happens, I need to know the opinion of each side before I can make up my own mind. I’m just so very grateful of the way you put things here.
You switch between the two parties, assure people that you don’t hate Aisha, that you clearly don’t ‘hate’ any of the actors. BUT you don’t take away the problem, you point out the issues and discuss them and you’re open for other opinions. A big deal when you’re talking to a big audience.
So, I just want to thank you, this is beautifully written, explained,…If this gets negative feedback, don’t worry, you did an amazing job (especially after such a busy weekend). I can’t explain that well in English and I must come over as someone who doesn’t know what she’s saying but I do, it makes sense in my head, I swear :).
Thank you. You teached me something today, I can’t thank you enough for that.
Probably the difference is that Misha’s joke felt more like a friendly in-joke, rather than a “Har har har, women are weak! These men are girly, har har har!” type of thing. I absolutely love this article, this issue is very complex and you articulated the problems related to it very well. There is a deeper issue going on in fandom at large of equating being critical of something with hating it or being all “SJW” about it, and it depends on who you ask whether which is worse. I’m not fond of this idea that if you have criticisms about something you CLEARLY DON’T LOVE IT AND AREN’T A FAN AT ALL. I can love a motorcycle but also realize that it comes with certain flaws that cars don’t have, and that doesn’t mean i hate motorcycles. It just means i realize the cons, but nonetheless i want to ride that hog!
See, I’m not even going to defend Misha. I love Misha. But I still don’t think that sort of joke is right. But that’s the thing. You can criticize something without hating that thing.
Thank you for writing this article. As an aside, I’ve never understood the reaction of “go watch/do/read something else” if you have criticisms of the work. Most of college and graduate courses were focused on how to be critical of written works, art, and media. Does that mean I hate everything I analyzed, criticized, or found flaws? Absolutely not.
Fans of Supernatural are critical because they see legitimate flaws and they want it to be better because it has that potential. When their favorite actor makes a misstep, they call them on it, because they know they are good people and they respect them.
Supernatural and its cast and crew are not perfect. Fans will call them on their mistakes, as they should. How else can anyone learn and improve themselves?
“Most of college and graduate courses were focused on how to be critical of written works, art, and media.”
Yes. Thank you. Every undergraduate should have been or will be exposed to this through their core curriculum requirements. High schools used to teach this too but I’m guessing not so much any more?
Not in the US unfortunately. Maybe if you go to a great private school or take a lot of well done AP English classes, but usually American High School classes are geared towards geting you to pass standardized tests which is more test taking skills than critical thinking. You don’t get to media criticism until higher education. At least I didn’t, and I went to one of the highest ranked public schools in my district. But I graduated with a BA in a media critical related field.
I made it through the public school system in the US prior to No Child Left Behind so I avoided the learn to test curse and yes, I was AP (but it was also IB). Critical thinking was the focus of our curriculum and our English classes were split each year with one semester on writing/grammar and one semester on literary analysis. Odd years we studied World lit and even years we studied American lit which coincided with our history classes.
The good ol’ days of education.
On one hand, I very much agree with you. Critical exploration and disagreement are not hate, not bullying.
I don’t think there’s anything wrong with expressing that if you are not being fulfilled by the show you are watching and find it rife with misogyny, with misogynistic actors, with homophobia, and with diversity issues.. that perhaps the biggest stand you can take is to stop supporting the show entirely.
And this is not me saying, “you should just shut up.” This is me saying that if you’ve expressed your opinion, if you’ve written calm letters to the writers and producers about what you’d like to see and nothing has changed in NINE years, then perhaps the thing they WOULD understand, that would MAKE them understand that people are dissatisfied is a drop in the ratings.
Let’s be honest. A lot of the responses going on were not calmly insightful, “I wish you had phrased this better.” It was “HE HATES WOMEN, THIS SHOW HATES WOMEN.”
For the intense overreaction some people are having, from the insults being heard (Which I know you are not advocating, I know you are advocating critical thought).
If the show stresses you out THIS much… it is TV. It isn’t healthy to be getting THAT angry about something so very trivial. Do I get frustrated? Sure. Do I express my opinion about those frustrations? Sure. But some of the outrage I see… Stress literally reduces your lifespan. So I say to my fellow fans, in a loving way… critique if you must, push for the show to be better. But if you’re getting so continually stressed out about what is supposed to be your relaxation time…? Maybe it is time to take it in a new direction. (SHIELD is on at 9pm next year and has POC, strong female leads of many archetypes, and will likely have a gay character next year….)
I’m happy Aisha didn’t apologize, because she wasn’t sorry about what she said. I don’t need empty apologies.
Also, maybe we in our various fandoms, as people, should begin to question why we let the words of celebrities define us so much. They’re just people. People who play pretend for a living.
I agree. Sometimes the biggest way to show your displeasure is to turn off altogether and take away your support. I don’t disagree that sometimes, despite best efforts to make changes – and some make better criticism than others – you have to cut your losses. There are some angry responses out there that are not constructive, but there is always a handful of those – it is a shame when you have some people making it out to be that the entirety of those critical of the goings on are hysterical and raging but I guess deflection is the go-to these days.
Exactly. I think that there are some people who are simply saying, “These are my issues and thoughts, take them or leave them.” And that is fine. Not everyone who is speaking out are speaking out from a place of utter outrage (manufactured or real).
Actors are fallible people. They stumble, they say stupid insensitive things. So do all of us. I would hope that someone, when those issues are identified, would make the attempt to better themselves — but change can be hard. It isn’t some switch.
That’s valid and I’ve left shows for being too frustrating. It’s not a bad thing. I think the thing I take issue with is dividing into a black/white line. You either love the show and support everything, or you critique it and then must hate it. But yes, I’m sure there was some non-rational hatred out there. I didn’t witness it personally but I’ve been a bit busy this weekend with the convention.
THere’s a tipping point, I think. If a show is more upsetting than enjoyable, you need to walk. If you still find enjoyment, you should be welcomed to stay and be critical.
Thank you for this. Aisha’s “no, you’re wrong, go away and watch something else” response really pissed me off.
Same for me. I hadn’t said anything about that panel. I haven’t even watched that panel (though it hurts to not watch things that Misha is a part of).
Aisha’s response, however, is just really upsetting. Too many people, especially celebrities, never try to stop and think for a moment that maybe things they say can be problematic. The tone of her response and the wording just really got to me. I think I’ll just take her advice and go watch something else that she’s not associated with in any way.
Me too. It’s the exact same true fan crap some people throw out whenever they want to derail discussion about the show, well, until they have something to be upset about that is. She could have said whatever she wanted without adding that and exacerbating the already crazy in fandom fighting that is always going on. If you don’t like everything about SPN then obviously you hate it all and should just go away, which is bull crap at its finest. There is no law that says I have to love every single thing of the show to still enjoy it.
I think it’s actually good advice.
Look, if a show is unsatisfying on these levels, or the actors behave in a way that’s not to a fan’s liking, the best thing you can do is stop watching it and definitely stop tweeting and making tumblr posts about it. Even outrage counts as free publicity. Show indifference to the thing. Stop using #Supernatural on show nights.
Supernatural, IMO, has tried to improve recently on the writers’ end, with adding female characters it’s not killing off (though it does kill off some, and it does kill off men, as well.) So I do think some criticism of the SHOW has been having an effect, but being offended over ball-busting comments or jokes at a fan panel kind of has no effect on anything except increasing wank and outrage. I see why some were offended by Jared and Aisha’s comments, but clearly they don’t GAF so this is pointless.
I don’t watch Supernatural and I didn’t watch this panel (yet), but what you said can be applied to a lot that goes on when intense fandom is present. In some instances, a person can’t even provide constructive criticism in a situations where feedback is needed and welcome without being accused of doing something wrong.
I wish certain fans could see/enjoy Supernatural without insisting that the Actors or characters are Perfect human beings and never make mistakes. I adore Jared, Jensen and Misha as talented actors but each one has made verbal stumbles over the years and guess what? Their opinion on real world issues doesn’t matter to me anymore.
I think it is sad that Jared seems to think that women actors belong only in the tiny box of Romantic Interests. It is sad that the writers/TPTB are unable/unwilling to think outside of that tiny box either. What is a fan to do when their real world attitudes clash with my humanist beliefs? Not much except keep my money in my pocket.
Ms. Tyler’s Facebook response to Twitter upset over her comments only made the situation worse. It was basically a “sit down, shut up or get out.” Not helpful.
Jared has not said that, his word are twisted as always.
AIsha has a right to answer because some people were insulting her on public.
I do not know Aisha, and I will now make a point to never watch anything she does. She condones the problem face by so many other women by trying to change the argument. Instead of misogyny being the problem, she has framed it so that fans who criticize are the problem. I find that a belittling attack on people who express concerns. She – and the actors – and the writers – and the powers that be – cannot explain away the statements made by Jared on that panel nor can they mitigate the ridiculous assertion that the sole purpose of women in the lives of men is to be a romantic interest.
She was on Friends I think? A few shows since then, is heavy into the gamer culture which makes this extra special ironic since she’s had to combat, quite publicly, the gamer world’s ‘fake geek girl’ misogyny. Apparently she’s fallen down the ‘not like other girls’ rabbit-hole in the years since.
Enough already with that, they just say it was ok that there is no female lead character because as soon as men and women are leading a show, at one time ou an other, it turns to romance. That´s the way it is. Well spn is not about romance.
If people have the right to express their opinion, others have also the right to say enough with des riels fan who are always on Jared´s back and also Jensen because they don’t want romance of any kind on the show. If you don’t like the answer, stop asking.
Same with Jared calling Misha a girl. Who never tease a girl calling her a boy ou à boy a girl ?
As soon as Misha is here, his fans want Jared away. But when Misha says he slept with Jared´s wife, there is nothing wrong here. Hypocrite !
Well spn is not about romance: no destiel , no wincest… And if you are not happy with that, too bad leave the real fans alone and stop giving us such a bad image.
“If you don’t like the answer, stop asking.”
Uh you think a collective showed up and asked the question en mass? I don’t think so. It’s usually person who asks the question. This isn’t even a valid response.
Also, you’ve got a lot and I mean a lot of libelous statements in this response. Uh mods?
“REAL FANS” like YOU, Audrey,are exactly what’s wrong with the Supernatural fandom. You “REAL FANS” give yourselves your own bad image.
“Well spn is not about romance.” Someone should go back in time and tell this to Carver over Sam/Amelia then. Ya know Sam’s arc for the first half of S8, his romance with Amelia. It was even touched on in the second half too. An arc Jared loved/talked up until it went over badly after the fact. I’m gonna have to ask you turn in your real fan card for not remembering any of this.
Do you not find it concerning that the introduction of a female implies that it’d be about romance?
I see that Misha is not called out for telling Jared he f*cked his wife. Here is a list of mean things Misha has said with sources that this article ignores. Misha said Jensen was born a girl. Rape and gay jokes abound with Misha. http://yourfaveisproblematic.tumblr.com/post/49940306219/misha-collins
Do you know what derailing an argument is? Right. This is an attempt to derail and argument. This has nothing to do with the article.
This might be relevant if this was about Misha, and people here were defending him. But it isn’t and they aren’t – several people in these comments are expressing discomfort with what he said at the same panel, and his fans have called him out in the past for earlier questionable comments.
As an aside, I’m frankly amazed the blog you linked doesn’t have a Jared tag.
As someone who has called Misha out in the past and been called a “not true Misha fan” I’m pretty surprised you are pulling this card. This issue is about crit-shaming, which happens everywhere and I expressed repeateadly are not confined to these people. So if you’d like to actually discuss what this article is about (crit shaming in relation to sexuality and gender in the media) please come back and try again with a better argument.
In my opinion .
As always scandal unleashed some sick Destiel fans. They hate Jensen, because he does not want to accept their fantasies. They hate Jared, because he thinks it’s more important in the show are family relationships. Anyone who does not accept their inventions called immediately “homophobe”. They are evil, and they make a bad reputation for fandom.
A double standards in relation to Misha there forever. He allowed more. I do not know why.
Jensen is not allowed to do, because once is the worst.
The article has nothing to do with destiel. So why are you here?
This article has nothing to do with Destiel nor hatred toward Jared, Jensen, Misha, or even Aisha. Did you read the article?
Are you people actually reading the article? I’m going to go with a big fat “NO” considering that your responses have literally nothing to do with what was written above. You’re just looking for an outlet to rag on destiel fans some more because you think that people are giving Misha a *super special snowflake* pass, meanwhile not once, in the comments or the article, have people excused Misha’s behavior. Try reading before you comment, helps with the whole not looking like an idiot thing.
But since you want to drudge up the whole “MISHA IS PROBLEMATIC TOO!11!!! STOP HATING JENSEN AND JARED!!1!!! WINCEST AND DESTIEL AREN’T REALZZZ!!1” debate, here’s some food for thought. This article isn’t about destiel, wincest, queer baiting, or anything other than the sexist comments thrown around during a panel. Who doesn’t call people “girls” as an insult every now and again? Uhh, people who realize that that kind of talk is problematic, and go back and apologize for being ignorant. You don’t call someone a specific gender as an insult, because its STUPID AND IT MAKES NO SENSE. IT’S OFFENSIVE, and since you’re all women, you’d think you’d be able to get past the fact that Jared, Misha, Jensen, and all these celebrities have pretty faces and go, “damn. That was rude, as a woman I feel that was rude.” No? Okay then, you’re superficial and I don’t want to engage with you because it isn’t worth anymore of my time.
On behalf of logical, cohesive, critical-thinking destiel and wincest fans and shippers alike (of which I am only one), I’d like to tell you all that you’re truly embarrassing yourselves for your above statements because you’re dragging slash shipping into an article about crit-shaming and potentially misogynistic comments. I would tell you to go back and read the article, but I’m wasting my time again, aren’t I?
Nobody here is arguing for canon ANYTHING. We’re arguing against the idea that we should sit down, shut up, and accept what a show, or some random celebrity, thinks its okay to say and tell us how to feel. Its not okay. It is by NO MEANS OKAY, people can and will have their opinions about things that they enjoy. I LOVE Supernatural. I LOVE the cast, are you kidding me? We have one of the coolest casts ever and the show will always be one of my favorites. But guess what? I love my father, too! But when he says misogynistic shit like, “Why are you even bothering going to college, why don’t you just get a husband and settle down like your mother?” I TELL HIM HE’S BEING PROBLEMATIC. I tell him, because I love him and because I want him to change for the better. I tell him because his comments offend me, and they hurt on some level, and I want him to understand that.
If you can’t understand these topics then why are you even here? As an excuse to bullshit some more about how the fandom/show is being ruined by slash shippers? Take a hike. Seriously. You’ve come to the wrong place, friend. Try tumblr.
I read the article. I watched the panel. Besides stupid and rude “joke” Misha Collins about Genevieve, I did not see there any signs of misogyny, homophobia or other … phobia: P. Just joking guys. If a woman in the company of women laughing with a guy, how to call it? Also something naughty? I accuse you? About discrimination?
I’ve always enjoyed Supernatural for the fact that there is no romance in it, that there is no woman who poses for the badass that is not idiotic problems associated with the trade. Trade any type of romance.
And this eternal whining about female characters? I do not care: P. Maybe it’s because I’m a normal woman and I do not need to watch the screen for some superwoman. I want to watch the handsome, heterosexual men. And I do not mind if someone called me a homophobe. Because it is difficult to call me a misogynist: P
Why fuss about calling the suspect Destiel Shippers? Because I have them as the worst experience. They always spit on Jensen, hate think differently and come up with these ridiculous stories your tracking them in the shadows on the wall.
Congratulations on enjoying the show for your own personal reasons, that’s fantastic and I’m truly very happy for you! Unfortunately many people would disagree with you about the treatment of women and the comments made on the panel. Which is literally what this article is about.
But I guess since you think you’re a “normal” woman you’re clearly a special snowflake for admitting you want to watch a show about handsome men. Newsflash, nobody has a problem with enjoying the handsome men on the show. And you’re not anymore of a “normal” woman than I am simply because I took offense to a few things that were said.
If you watched the panel and read this article, you have every right to disagree with whatever you want. But pulling slash shipping into it is kind of ridiculous, because it literally negates what you just said. You can’t have read the article and watched the panel and then started talking about destiel/wincest/slash shipping because this article and that panel had NOTHING to do with that. So you’re just drudging up random things so that you can accuse a specific side of the fandom of being hateful.
I don’t understand your last sentence, so I won’t address it. However, if you’ve had bad experiences with destiel shippers, maybe you should go take it up with them and not discuss it on an article that has to do with crit-shaming.
A ‘normal’ woman. Sorry that is so hilarious. Like what’s the criteria? What you think is normal? Are you trying to imply that women who want diversity aren’t normal? That women who like women aren’t normal? That women who are bi aren’t normal?
I’m straight but I’m so goddamn tired of almost every relationship on tv being straight and white.
And what’s the fuss about accusing Destiel shippers? Because it’s creating a scapegoat. It’s furthers the hate between ships when we don’t need it.
One person asked a question that had nothing to do with shipping.
This should not be made into a shipping issue. It derails a legitimate issue on sexism and crit shaming.
Your concept of “normal” women is extremely problematic. You are esentially accusing women who take issue with female characters being reduced to romantic interests “not normal.” Do you see how that’s wrong?
” You are esentially accusing women who take issue with female characters being reduced to romantic interests “not normal.” ”
I’ll proudly step up and admit to being not normal if that’s the criteria.
Both homophobic comments and misogynistic comments are actually against the rules of this website as well. This is your only warning on that front. You just confessed to being a homophobe so I would like to advise you to keep your homophobia away from this website. Thank you.
“Sexist, racist, homophobic, biphobic, transphobic, or otherwise bigoted language and sentiments are also not allowed.”
the article say “why supernatural fans are upset”, well I am upset. You can say it is not about destiel, truth it is a destiel fan who started all that, who also tweeted to Misha and Mark and asked how they could be friend with someone like Jared . That Jared can’t recognize that there is no need to have a girl in the picture to have romance because there could be between two men. this bullshit started with destiel, again, like everything they touch. And they are sending accusations again and again to Jared. And after they come crying that they can’t express themselves. Well, they did, AIsha anwsered now enough.
I am upset too, and for the first time I say enough. They are spoiled kids who are doing a tantrum because they can’t get what they want, they turn everything Jared says around. It’s not only that, they bullied the writers, right now, there are insulting Mr Shatner.
You can have a opinion, express yourself, but no need to harass others. This time, I won’t shut up because they go too far.
They certainly need to grow up.
This makes no sense. You’re blaming this on destiel because a destiel shipper asked the question?
I don’t understand the logic behind that. The question had nothing to do with destiel.
The article has nothing to do with destiel.
The kerfluffle has nothing to do with destiel.
It looks like you’re trying to make a scapegoat of the ship and it’s a huge stretch.
Just because you don’t like what one person who happens to ship destiel did, that does not mean all destiel shippers “started” something.
I think maybe you need to rethink your analysis of the situation and your critical thinking process because if anytime you don’t like what someone has to say about SPN or Jared or anything you go straight to “it’s those destiel fans?” that’s a problem.
It ALWAYS has to circle back to that. God forbid people in this fandom discuss anything in a constructive way, we must immediately put all the blame on destiel shippers even though that has literally nothing to do with the topic!
Its really funny considering the ten people I know who watch Supernatural, four of which are heterosexual men, and NONE of which ship destiel, heard about the comments made at the panel and went, “Wow, you’d think he’d watch his words better considering the majority of the fandom are girls. That was messed up.”
That’s right. Non-shippers. Straight men. People who are not this avidly involved in the fandom news, casual viewers of Supernatural. They thought the comments made were insensitive and incredibly stupid when almost your entire audience is made up of women.
Jeez. If you’re going to tell people to “grow up” and act like a big shot saying that “you’ve had enough” and you’re going to “fight back now,” why don’t you go fight back in a place where your argument is actually relevant? Because this is an article about crit-shaming.
This is not an article about shipping.
Or did you not read it?
Yeah. Good try, though. Well, no. That’s a lie. It wasn’t a good try at all, you actually just look ridiculous.
Yes I am blaming it on the destiel fans. Because, they did it again.
You know what, you can express what you want but the title of this article is wrong. Supernatural fans are not upset about it because nothing happen during this panel. I read the article and the title should be “why destiel fans are upset”.
During all the weekend, I asked myself, what are they going to complain this time, what will be the next personal attack to Jared or Jensen.
At every convention or panel, someone ask a question about ship, women on the show or what ever, they answer honestly that this is not what the show is about, and the destiel fans start right away a campaign that they are sexist, homophobe, don’t know their character. They are doing it cleverly, I give you that, using the gay community, the press and everything. They can express themselves, that’s for sure, but they are a minority of the fandom and they can’t use the term supernatural fans in their all. I know full well the article is not about shipping, but as I said it is their new way of communication.
And I didn’t say they are not supernatural fans, but they represent just a part so they can’t talk in the name of all.
I will add that when they throw their tantrum because that’s what it is, don’t come crying that others are mean to you, you are attacking, expect an answer.
I also know many fans watching the show but they stop talking in forum because of these destiel fans who bullied them.
If I am looking ridiculous, too bad, remember, won’t shut up this time.
” I know full well the article is not about shipping,”
So then you admit you’re using a strawman?
Say goodbye to your credibility.
And like yourself, Audrey, I waited all weekend and wondered what it was going to be that was going to drive a wedge between the fandom. Not because its destiel shippers vs. the rest of the fandom, but because members of the cast follow a pattern of saying stupid things during panels that genuinely piss people off.
You do realize people CAN be upset about things and not ship slash pairings?
You do realize that genuine anger at ignorant comments is something that people can feel without shipping something?
And you realize that Jared, Jensen, and Misha are JUST PEOPLE, and that they are capable of making mistakes just like anyone else?
Just like the cast, the members of this fandom follow a pattern as well.
1. Cast member says something incredibly stupid/insulting.
2. Fans begin to express why they disagree/are upset.
3. Some fans take it too far and throw insults around.
4. Some fans write blog posts/credible articles on the matter.
5. Other fans come to defense of the actors.
6. Those fans blame everything on destiel shippers/on destiel shippers making everything about them/telling destiel shippers they’re going to ruin the show whether or not the issue has anything to do with shipping.
The pattern I’m seeing is that you all tend to throw people with critical thinking skills under the category of “destiel shipper,” so I’m going to say thank you for that because even though you’re attempting to make it look like destiel fans are a bunch of whiny babies, in fact, you’re just showing me that destiel fans are the ones who are more aware of these issues.
But I digress. Because no matter what you say, the article had literally nothing to do with shipping.
Its funny, its almost like you’re looking to put all your credibility in your argument on the “subtext” of the article, as if there’s some super secret destiel message in between the words despite it being an incredibly well-written piece about something entirely different.
Guess its my turn to tell someone on your side of the fandom that you’re grasping at straws for things that aren’t there subtextually. The irony is not lost on me.
Look, guys. I’m a fan of white bread..
OH NOES, MY COMMENT WAS ORIGINALLY ABOUT AN ARTICLE ON THE GEEKIARY, BUT DAMN, I’M PROBABLY JUST STARTING ISSUES CAUSE I REALLY LOVE WHITE BREAD. LIKE, THIS COMMENT IS CLEARLY LITERALLY ALL ABOUT THAT WHITE BREAD-Y GOODNESS AND I’M DEFLECTING AND HIDING UNDER THE GUISE OF COMMENTING ON A WEBSITE ABOUT CRIT-SHAMING AND MISOGYNY WHEN REALLY I’M JUST PISSED BECAUSE I LOVE WHITE BREAD SO MUCH.
Are you serious? Do you see how ridiculous that is? Loving one thing, being passionate about one thing, it has absolutely nothing to do with your credibility on having an opinion on other things.
When the actors receive backlash for saying stupid things, fans like you come out of the woodwork and start throwing around comments like, “IT’S ALWAYS THE DESTIEL FANS!” as a way to discredit people’s valid arguments.
As if shipping a slash pairing makes my opinions less credible on other aspects of the problems on the show?
As if the fact that I ship destiel has ANYTHING to do with my feelings on the comments that have to do with WOMEN?
Destiel is a slash ship with two men. What in GOD’S NAME does it have to do with this article which is about comments that could be taken as misogynistic?
You literally just want to say, hey its the destiel fans starting stuff again, when in reality its just fans who pay attention. Who don’t blindly sit there and worship these actors and put them on pedestals simply because they’re good-looking. Once again, you realize that agreeing with every single thing they say and never passing a single judgment on them isn’t going to get you any special prizes, right? The actors aren’t going to come visit you and be like, “Hey, thanks for all the support!”
And you do realize that just because YOU weren’t offended doesn’t negate the fact that some people were offended, right? Just like with Aisha’s comments. Just because YOU didn’t take it one way doesn’t mean other people had the same reaction as you.
I’m not telling you to shut up, I don’t tell people to leave when I disagree with them, that’d be the difference between me and Miss Tyler and the rest of this fandom with their superior-fan complexes.
the cast are people with their opinion, sometimes they say things I disagree with, I am not going to send hate and asked the others cast members how they can be friends with someone like this. This is what has been done here. I you don’t believe me go read the tweets of the woman who wrote the first blog and of her friend.
You can ship all you want, I don’t care and I never get involved before but these people who cry to an unfair treatment to women are the same who sent hate to female cast, to sera gamble because they didn’t want them in their show.
I would change something in your pattern:
1 Cast member answer truthfully to a fan question for the 100th time about ship or here women in the show
2. Often destiel fans are offended because the cast member doesn’t support their ship or opinion
3. These same fans take it too far and throw insults around.
4. These fans write blog posts articles on the matter saying what a bad treatment of women and gay they have in the show
5. Other fans come to defense of the actors.
6. The destiels fans say they are the victims and no one understand them.
“You can ship all you want”
No, it appears the ‘destiels’ cannot because here you are to tell them all that they are doing wrong, in length. Multiple times. Over and over.
Or did I get that wrong?
I believe the ones who are trying to have a rational conversation about sexuality and gender in media are being more mature than the ones who are turning every conversation into shipping. I won’t be “shutting up” either so I look forward to our really long drawn out conversation. Cheers!
I can have a conversation about sexuality and gender in you want. If we were in the 70 or 80, when most shows were male leading characters, I would say spn would be one more show with only male characters. But today on TV, I think woman are very well represented. They are tons of show with strong woman (scandal, desperate housewives, damage…).
Spn is a show about two brothers, so yes they are male. There is no wrong with that. I will add that they tried to add women in the main cast. Remember Bella and Jo? the fans hated them and they had to take them away from the picture. And they are wonderful strong female characters : Joddie, Charlie. Yes I know, these are the two left but they kill everybody anyway ans we had Pamela, Abandon, Ruby, Helen, Lisa…. In all honesty, the only reason Cass is still there is because we love Misha.
I repeat Jared and Aisha didn’t say anything wrong saying that the fact there is no women in the main cast allow the show to explore interactions between men. I will add that’s it’s true that when men and women are leading a cast, at one time or an other, it goes to romance. (ex: the mentalist). The only exception I know, it’s law and order, maybe there are others, i don’t know watch every show. Spn has even tried it twice with Dean and Lisa and Sam and Amelia, , for me, it’s was horrible to watch. I certainly hope they won’t try it again. but that’s me.
So my problem with this article is that I don’t see any problems with the treatment of women in the show and what what said in the panel. And also because yes it was brought by destiels fans in the first place.
I read the original blog, it was very well written by a destiel fan who has every right to express her feeling in a blog. But it was a personal attack against Jared and not the first time.
Some Destiel fans started it after Jibcon when Jensen said their was nothing romantic between Dean and Cass. They were upset and they cried everywhere that he is homophobic because he doesn’t want destiel to happen.
They kept going in “ask spn”, they bullied writers about it. And now they add it too. They are using press to say the show is sexist and homophobic in the hope TPTB change his mind.
So this article took a destiel blog and changed it into “all supernatural fans are upset”. That is not true. A small part is. The title is wrong.
In the blog, Aisha was also called sexist. She answered and defended herself and Jared. And I agree with her about the fact that if someone is so unhappy with the show and the way women are treating, they can watch something else. If they keep watching it means it’s fine with them. It is one thing to analyse and criticize some episodes, it is an other to want to change the story and personality of characters to please a minority.
I am a woman and would call myself a feminist. If the article had said women are not paid as well as men for the same job, this kind of stuff, I would had totally agree. But I still don’t see anything wrong in what was said.
Once again, the fans have the right to express themselves but they have to expect an answer and don’t come crying because of so.
For the part that Jared call Misha and Mark a girl, it’s not an insult and I won’t bother.
I have to add that I was very upset yesterday when I first answered, it is always better to answer with a cold head so I apologize because I know I was rude. But I will not accept that the destiel fans get victimized again.
I agree 100% with you.
I’m a woman and SPN for years now. And I’ve never been upset that the main and storyline is male-centered. If I wanted to watch story women and their problem, I’d watch another show. If I wanted to watch for romance, I’d watch another show. And there has been strong women on SPN for years: Jo, Mary, Abaddon, Jody, Ellen, Lisa. The lkist can go on and on. So what they’ve all died (or mostly died)? So are males. Most of characters dies on this show and that’s the fact.
People scream aboot equality, and yet, they are expecting women to be traeted special. This show is focused on guys and their problems. That’s the way it always was and how it always will be.
And while this particular article has nothing to do with Destiel (for once), I think it’s not a coincidence, that it’s Destiel fans, who are making all the noise about this. I have a big and long experience in this fandom and I know, they often plan to ask contoversial question, and no matter what the response it’s gonna be, they’re gonna hate on the show and the actors (usually Jensen or Jared).
“I’m a woman and SPN for years now. And I’ve never been upset that the main and storyline is male-centered. If I wanted to watch story women and their problem, I’d watch another show. If I wanted to watch for romance, I’d watch another show. And there has been strong women on SPN for years: Jo, Mary, Abaddon, Jody, Ellen, Lisa. The lkist can go on and on. So what they’ve all died (or mostly died)? So are males. Most of characters dies on this show and that’s the fact.”
It’s fine if you aren’t personally offended by the ideas expressed by cast, crew, and in the narrative, but you don’t speak on behalf of all feminists. A lot of feminists view framing women as only a romantic interests as something highly offensive. The fact that there is at least one woman on the show (Jody) who ISN’T a romantic interest makes these comments even more baffling.
“People scream aboot equality, and yet, they are expecting women to be traeted special.”
“This show is focused on guys and their problems. That’s the way it always was and how it always will be.”
well, as I said: “Of everyone who responded to that question, Aisha’s were the most insightful and spot on. It focuses on the relationships between men, which is unique in many regards, particularly when focusing so heavily on brotherly love and other male familial relationships. The problem comes when you dismiss relationships with women and being only there for romance or dismiss the possibility of romance being possible among men. When framed like that, those comments can be interpreted as misogynistic and homophobic.”
And if you want to say I’m calling PEOPLE misogynistic or homophobic, I’d like for you to kindly finish reading the paragraph I just quoted.
“And while this particular article has nothing to do with Destiel (for once), ”
Huh? For once? Explain.
“I think it’s not a coincidence, that it’s Destiel fans, who are making all the noise about this. I have a big and long experience in this fandom and I know, they often plan to ask contoversial question, and no matter what the response it’s gonna be, they’re gonna hate on the show and the actors (usually Jensen or Jared).”
Thanks for at least recognizing that this article has nothing to do with Destiel, but I find it interesting that you seem to be implying that being critical of a show directly relates to being a Destiel shipper. It’s interesting that you feel that all criticism is rooted out of anger over a ship instead of anger out of an ongoing systemic issue that spans multiple shows. If you look through my own articles (feel free to click on my name and pick me apart! It’ll be fun) you’ll see I’m critical of many system wide issues beyond this show. This isn’t even the show I talk most about. And yet somehow the implication is that people only critical of this show because of misplaced anger over shipping.
“special treatment”? Where in any of these did anyone ever ask for special treatment? How is wanting characters treated with respect and not treated like disposable furniture particularly for under-represented groups asking for special treatment?
“scream about equality”–and yet fans critiquing the show have been articulately, intelligent, and polite. Others trying to shut it down have been dismissive, rude, generalizing, and close-minded to any view but their own. They don’t see a problem, they are watching for certain reasons, there is no problem, and no one else is allowed to watch for any other reasons or to critique.
This just doesn’t make sense to me.
“I can have a conversation about sexuality and gender in you want.”
Considering that is the focus of the article, along with crit shaming, yes, lets do that.
“If we were in the 70 or 80, when most shows were male leading characters, I would say spn would be one more show with only male characters. But today on TV, I think woman are very well represented. They are tons of show with strong woman (scandal, desperate housewives, damage…).
Spn is a show about two brothers, so yes they are male. There is no wrong with that.”
Thankfully, my article and my argument actually agrees with this. I have no problem with this story being male focused. And I agree that there are a lot of great female focused shows. My problem is equating the role of women in a narrative to purely their romantic value or making the assumption that romance cannot happen in a group of males. As I’ve said, this is a systemic issue, not an issue just in this narrative. By making claims that women=romance and males=no romance it is making statements that are very uncomfortable to a lot of people.
“I will add that they tried to add women in the main cast. Remember Bella and Jo? the fans hated them and they had to take them away from the picture. And they are wonderful strong female characters : Joddie, Charlie. Yes I know, these are the two left but they kill everybody anyway ans we had Pamela, Abandon, Ruby, Helen, Lisa…. In all honesty, the only reason Cass is still there is because we love Misha.”
Thankfully I covered both of these women in the article already with: “Strong women can be present without being love interests (Jody Mills and Charlie Bradbury, for example) and people of the same sex can be romantic together.”
I 100% agree that there are strong females on the show, but with Chalie being written out, we have a grand total of one who is only seldom present (maybe once or twice a year). I’m grateful she’s not a love interest, but by the phrasing that the addition of a female character equates to romance, that’s hugely offensive to all the wonderful women that aren’t romantic interests. Such as Jody. Such as Charlie. And then beyond this show, there are hundreds of wonderful women who aren’t romantic interests that this type of categorization doesn’t do justice.
“I repeat Jared and Aisha didn’t say anything wrong saying that the fact there is no women in the main cast allow the show to explore interactions between men. I will add that’s it’s true that when men and women are leading a cast, at one time or an other, it goes to romance. (ex: the mentalist). The only exception I know, it’s law and order, maybe there are others, i don’t know watch every show. Spn has even tried it twice with Dean and Lisa and Sam and Amelia, , for me, it’s was horrible to watch. I certainly hope they won’t try it again. but that’s me.”
I agree. I don’t want more heteronorative romances on screen. I don’t want a woman to be introduced to BE a romance. There are shows out there with male/female relationships that aren’t romantic like Sleepy Hollow or Elementary. Many of these secondary characters that are introduced on Supernatural could be women without it becoming romantic. I crave platonic male/female relationships or romantic male/male female/female relationships on TV. We have enough predictable heteronormative male/female relationships and I’m really bored by it.
“So my problem with this article is that I don’t see any problems with the treatment of women in the show and what what said in the panel. And also because yes it was brought by destiels fans in the first place.
Once again, the treatment of women has nothing to do with a ship. If a ship is male/male, why would the treatment of women factor into this at all? I’m not seeing the connection. I DO see the connection between shipping a slash ship and wanting more homosexual/bisexual characters on TV. That can be an entirely different argument if you’d like it to be, but I don’t see how shipping Destiel relates to the treatment of women in media and I’m baffled by why it keeps getting brought up.
“I read the original blog, it was very well written by a destiel fan who has every right to express her feeling in a blog. But it was a personal attack against Jared and not the first time.”
I don’t think it was a personal attack. I think it’s one example of a systemic issue related to sexuality and gender roles on TV that was sparked by comments made at a panel. I do not condone personal attacks and would not want to associate with anyone who made personal attacks against any member of the cast. I do, however, want to support people who have criticism of statements made by the cast or crew or criticism of the content of the show. The majority of this article is about how those people should not be shamed.
“Some Destiel fans started it after Jibcon when Jensen said their was nothing romantic between Dean and Cass. They were upset and they cried everywhere that he is homophobic because he doesn’t want destiel to happen.”
That’s an entirely different incident than this article is addressing, but I still think part of this article covered my feelings on the matter: ” The terms “misogynistic” and “homophobic” have been thrown around and that falls into a gray area when it comes to name calling. While I have no personally used those terms to describe the people involved, I will acknowledge that the words used during the panel can be interpreted as such. Those words should, however, be used with caution when being applied to a person. It’s also extremely frustrating that the bigger issue that arises from these incidents is whether or not you are calling someone homophobic or misogynistic, as opposed to the wider issues involving why people are hurt enough to use those terms to begin with. It once again turns the argument away from what it’s really about and perpetuates the idea of being either 100% for or 100% against something with no room in the middle for valid criticism.”
That’s pretty much all I have to say about using the terms “homophobic” and “misogynist” against people in relation to either of these incidents.
“They kept going in “ask spn”, they bullied writers about it. And now they add it too. They are using press to say the show is sexist and homophobic in the hope TPTB change his mind.
I don’t expect you to know who I am or what I’ve said in regards to this incident, but let me make it very clear: I do NOT condone personal attacks. There were personal attacks in the #AskSupernatural incident. However, there was also a lot of valid criticism about the content of the show. During that incident I didn’t tweet a single piece of commentary in that tag but once it was concluded I made my feelings known, just as I’ve now done here with you. There is a massive amount of difference between valid criticism and hate and, in fact, that is a large portion of what this article is about.
“So this article took a destiel blog and changed it into “all supernatural fans are upset”. That is not true. A small part is. The title is wrong.”
No. No it didn’t. I didn’t say “all Supernatural fans.” I said “fans.” I would never claim that an entire fandom is thinking with a hive mind. Fandoms are diverse, but the truth of the matter is, fans are upset right now. So my title is 100% accurate. If I had said “all fans are upset” then this argument would have validity.
“In the blog, Aisha was also called sexist. She answered and defended herself and Jared.<.i>
Again, there is a difference between personal attacks (not being made here) and calling out systemic issues inspired by comments made at a panel (definitely being made here).
“And I agree with her about the fact that if someone is so unhappy with the show and the way women are treating, they can watch something else. If they keep watching it means it’s fine with them.”
No. I covered this in the article as well: “As long as the elements that you enjoy outweigh the elements that bother you, you have every right to stick around and enjoy that show while also rationally criticizing the pieces of it that you do not like. Once the balance tips, she is right, it is probably best to walk away from that piece of media and go enjoy other things. It’s better for your own peace of mind. I’ve done this before. It happens. But as long as you still enjoy the show for whatever reason, there is absolutely no need for your criticism to be shamed or ridiculed. Rational discussion should always be welcomed. There are entire industries built up around analysis and interpretation of media. Academia and editorial journalism rely on this type of discussion. Even for those who don’t do it professionally, these discussions can be enjoyable and enlightening.”
Considering I outlined that entire argument in the article, I won’t be expanding on it any further.
“It is one thing to analyse and criticize some episodes, it is an other to want to change the story and personality of characters to please a minority.”
What does the latter half of this have to do with this article? This article is about the former.
“I am a woman and would call myself a feminist. If the article had said women are not paid as well as men for the same job, this kind of stuff, I would had totally agree. But I still don’t see anything wrong in what was said.”
Then we’ll have to disagree with the value of media. As I stated in the article: “Issues need to continue to be discussed and media needs to be continue to be analyzed as long as it’s recognized academically as a reflection and/or an influence on our society. Media has been interpreted as a reflection and/or influence for a long time so I don’t see that changing any time soon.”
“Once again, the fans have the right to express themselves but they have to expect an answer and don’t come crying because of so.
At this point I feel like I’m just quoting my article back at you, but oh well. As I said: “Aisha is 100% in the right to want to express her opinions as a person who was involved in the incident, but fans also have the right to express why these things are problematic. Right now those fans are feeling as though their opinions are not being entirely understood and are feeling ‘crit shamed’ for finding elements of the media they enjoy worthy of deeper discussion.”
And again, since I already outlined that in the article, I’m not going to add further commentary.
“For the part that Jared call Misha and Mark a girl, it’s not an insult and I won’t bother.”
It is an insult. Calling someone a “girl” should not be used as an insult to someone who identifies as a man. There is nothing wrong with being a woman. But feel free to not bother, but I feel it’s important to not use gender as a slur and I’m not going to change my mind on that.
“I have to add that I was very upset yesterday when I first answered, it is always better to answer with a cold head so I apologize because I know I was rude. But I will not accept that the destiel fans get victimized again.”
Rational discussion is always welcome and I hope you feel like continuing. This is an important thing to talk about and I hope that we’re both listening to each other right now. Dialogue is important and, again, that’s what this article is about. So please, do continue rational discussion here. That is what this website is for.
I am not as good as you with a computer and am not able to quote what you are saying so I will try to answer clearly.
I agree with you when you say that we can’t say woman = romance, men = no romance and you can also have romance with two men or two women but once again where doest it concern spn, it’s not what it is about and not what was said. There can’t have romance between the two main characters, there are brothers and were written since day one as straight so of course their love interest will be women. Now they can introduce new characters gay or bi, they did with Charlie. I really don’t see where it is an issue.
Now you asked me why destiels fans are brought again. I know full well it wasn’t in your article, it was not about ship. I really don’t care who ship what, everybody can have fun with what they want. But maybe you haven’t seen the tweets that was sent with the initial blog but I saw them. It was a total personal attack toward Jared. They said to Misha, Mark and Zachary that their “friend “Jarpad and AIsha were as we already said sexist, misogynistic.. They clearly insulated that they shouldn’t be friend with people like this. I don’t remember if it was in the blog or in the tweets (probably) but they said Jared was rude, wouldn’t let Misha talk during the all panel and it went on and on.
I know all destiels fans are not like this, but some are very hateful toward Jared and Jensen because they don’t share their opinion about their character and these people who started the discussion about the wrong treatment of women in the show are the same who wanted Bella, Jo, and Lisa out of the picture. They are the same who sent hate toward Sera Gamble (how come a woman could run such a sexist show ???), these people don’t care about it, they just want their ship turning canon and they throw such accusations giving a bad image of the show and its fans.
I am sorry to tell you that because I truly think you write it with good intentions and I respect it but you are playing their game or are manipulated. They are crying on front and laughing out loud in the back.
This panel was just four guys who spent the all day answering the same questions over and over and wanted to have fun during this panel. They were joking between each others and with fans, some jokes were good, some bad, some answers were ginvg seriouly, others weren’t. There was nothing to be upset about. It is sad that everything gets twisted into WW3 and I as said I’d rather talk about conditions of women in some countries where they are killed for an affair, because they showed too much skin, to much hair, they can’t vote. Some little girls can’t go to school because it’s too “dangerous” to educate women. These are some feminists problems and not a story about romance in a TV show.
Time to take a step back and enjoy the show for what it is: a fun time on TV
“I agree with you when you say that we can’t say woman = romance, men = no romance and you can also have romance with two men or two women but once again where doest it concern spn, it’s not what it is about and not what was said. There can’t have romance between the two main characters, there are brothers and were written since day one as straight so of course their love interest will be women. Now they can introduce new characters gay or bi, they did with Charlie. I really don’t see where it is an issue.”
So we’re basically on similar pages here. Female characters don’t have to be romantic and romance can happen between two people of the same sex. Good. I don’t agree that characters that are introduced to be interested in the opposite sex are by default heterosexual or even have to remain the sexuality that they were first introduced as, though. Willow came out as a lesbian several seasons into Buffy. And again, I’m not talking just SPN, but as a larger, more systemic issue in media.
“Now you asked me why destiels fans are brought again. I know full well it wasn’t in your article, it was not about ship. I really don’t care who ship what, everybody can have fun with what they want. But maybe you haven’t seen the tweets that was sent with the initial blog but I saw them. It was a total personal attack toward Jared. They said to Misha, Mark and Zachary that their “friend “Jarpad and AIsha were as we already said sexist, misogynistic.. They clearly insulated that they shouldn’t be friend with people like this. I don’t remember if it was in the blog or in the tweets (probably) but they said Jared was rude, wouldn’t let Misha talk during the all panel and it went on and on.”
Nope, I haven’t seen these. As stated in the article: “I’m not going to turn a blind eye to the fact that there probably were some people out there slinging hatred at people over these incidents. Thankfully I follow a pretty good group of people so I didn’t see that on my own timeline or dashboard, but to say that it didn’t happen would be ignorant on my behalf. Personal attacks also poison rational discussion and should not happen. But for those who want to engage with media on a deeper level that passively watching it, rational discussion must continue to take place.”
Again, hatred and criticism are different. Hatred should not be tolerated. Criticism can and must continue.
“I know all destiels fans are not like this, but some are very hateful toward Jared and Jensen because they don’t share their opinion about their character and these people who started the discussion about the wrong treatment of women in the show are the same who wanted Bella, Jo, and Lisa out of the picture. They are the same who sent hate toward Sera Gamble (how come a woman could run such a sexist show ???), these people don’t care about it, they just want their ship turning canon and they throw such accusations giving a bad image of the show and its fans.”
You’ve accused me of generalizing, but now here you are generalizing in the opposite direction. Many of the Destiel fans I follow love many of the female characters that you listed. Many Destiel fans even love the female love interests when they are well written, even if it “gets in the way” of their ship or whatever. So no, it’s not always the same fans.
“I am sorry to tell you that because I truly think you write it with good intentions and I respect it but you are playing their game or are manipulated. They are crying on front and laughing out loud in the back.”
Nobody influenced my opinion when I was sitting in that room on Sunday. I knew without anyone telling me that what they were saying was problematic. This influence is not from Destiel shippers, but from my college critical studies classes. I took these classes long before I ever watched a single episode of Supernatural.
“There was nothing to be upset about. It is sad that everything gets twisted into WW3 and I as said I’d rather talk about conditions of women in some countries where they are killed for an affair, because they showed too much skin, to much hair, they can’t vote. Some little girls can’t go to school because it’s too “dangerous” to educate women. These are some feminists problems and not a story about romance in a TV show.
Time to take a step back and enjoy the show for what it is: a fun time on TV.”
Yes, there are a lot of issues beyond media representation and I do spend a great deal of time outside entertainment discussing those as well. This is a geek blog, though, so my long winded discussions about the isolation of North Korea or reproductive issues and the persecution of the Falun Gong in China don’t really fit in here. Despite enjoying discussing those issues with people, this isn’t the place for them. What this is a place for is to analyze media from a critical perspective.
‘“I know all destiels fans are not like this, but some are very hateful toward Jared and Jensen because they don’t share their opinion about their character and these people who started the discussion about the wrong treatment of women in the show are the same who wanted Bella, Jo, and Lisa out of the picture.’
Oh this is so very wrong. Firstly because Destiel as a ship didn’t even coincide with Bela and Jo on the show, so how can Destiel fans have wanted Bela and Jo out of the picture? And you know, I have watched the show since the first episode and have been active on many forums. The fans who were hateful about Lisa were Samgirls and Wincesters who didn’t like the fact Dean wanted to be with her, and that she was ~mean about Sam.
As a side note, just because you agree with something Jared Padalecki, Misha Collins, or Jensen Ackles have said in relation to Supernatural does not make you more of a “real fan” than me or anyone else here. Get off your high horse, they’re just human beings with thoughts and opinions like you and I. You’re *gasp* ALLOWED TO DISAGREE WITH CELEBRITIES! They won’t come down and yell at you for it like Aisha Tyler who clearly doesn’t know how to handle fandom.
Guess what though? They’re also not going to show up at your house with a plate full of cookies with the words “~TRU FAN” on them, patting you on the back while you eat them for accomplishing the worthless task of thinking that you’re better than any of us because you’re willing to accept exactly what a television show puts on your screen.
People critique things. People discuss things. People argue about things. People enjoy things differently. That’s part of being in a fandom. Notice how I’m not telling you to leave the fandom because we have differing opinions. It’s almost like I used my brain and was able to come up with a rational thought without screaming at you to stop watching or doing something just because we don’t have the same opinion. That whole maturity thing is truly amazing.
That bullshit argument that you’re a better fan than I am just because you don’t take an issue with it? Yeah, it’s not a real argument. Stop using it, thanks!
“They won’t come down and yell at you for it like Aisha Tyler who clearly doesn’t know how to handle fandom.”
who clearly doesn’t know how to handle the public.
Changed that for you. Because really, the letter was filled with a whole bunch of what not to do’s in communications. But hey, we’re just dumb fans. We don’t have a life outside of fandom so what do we know about anything?
yes, I’m typing sarcastically. Can’t you tell?
Thank you, that’s actually a MUCH better statement than mine because you’re right on all counts; clearly she has no idea how to handle the public in any shape or form whatsoever.
I mean, you’re a person in the public eye, right? So you take to Facebook.. to open up the “notes” feature.. in which you write an opinion piece telling fans of an incredibly popular show which you are not on.. to not watch the show if they dislike it?
Then she takes it to twitter and continues talking to fans about it, telling them that they’re wrong, and linking them to blog posts and basically giving them the go-ahead to bully people with differing views.
Then she goes to tumblr and sends messages from her actual personal tumblr wherein she disagrees with fans who are writing blog posts who disagreed with her.
Where is her publicist?! Who told her that any of this was okay as a person in her position?
Look, I get infuriated that TPTB don’t respond to our legitimate issues with the show, but I get it. I understand that its just good PR to keep silent sometimes.
So can someone tell me what she thinks she’s doing and why she thinks she’s handling this appropriately?
But its okay, since she’s a trufan unlike the rest of us and she knows the actors personally, clearly she can come down and scold a bunch of people on the internet and tell them how to enjoy their individual forms of entertainment. Truly, spectacular PR going on over in her camp. (I’m definitely copying your sarcasm now, its infectious. Also, I love every single thing you’ve posted in these comment threads, thanks for being awesome and that is certainly not sarcasm!)
Well, we have a mutual admiration society going on then
Best comment award goes to Angel, everyone else go home. Except you, LJ. <3 Hahaha.
Its the worst article ever..after reading few lines i have no interest to go through full part of it. really people need to grow up! and i read Aisha’s article and i support her fully with whatever she said.she was right totally. u dnt like this show how its going ? STOP watching it and spare us who enjoy it fully! and your negativism means nothing to us coz majority part of the SPN fandom arent psycho crazy misha fans/destiel fans who loves to pick on other platonic fans. we enjoy the show as it is without foreseeing any extra flavor. and also about Misha? He really needs to watch how he talks. I like him but that doesnt mean he keep on going calling Jensen a girl or mocking him about his modeling photos. really? Misha and his fans and his destiehellos all of them really needs to grow up get rid of their delusions!
Both sides have done their share of mocking. Both Jensen & Jared constantly call Misha a girl and Misha replies in kind. Big deal. It’s all harmless fun between friends.
It seems to me that the Destiel fans are the victims here. They can’t open their mouths and say or do anything without a certain segment of fandom coming after them. It has reached the point where it is a pointless back & forth with hostilities ever increasing. People need to shut up and enjoy how they want to enjoy without attacking and bashing each other.
Interesting, isn’t it? How this started as an issue about women being seen as only romantic potential and now it’s all about how awful Misha and those destiel fans are?
It’s kind of horrifying the way they derailed an issue on misogyny and sexism to get their hate about destiel and misha into the comments section.
I also wonder if the Misha haters realize that the Misha, Jensen and Jared all actually like each other and if that drives the haters up a goddamn wall?
*the Misha, Jensen and Jared
I meant the three of them. BAH, I need to log off.
“It’s the worst article ever.”
“I didn’t read the article.”
How about you read the article first before dismissing it? And then try to discuss the issues of gender and sexuality in conjunction with crit shaming, which is what the article is actually about?
WORST COMMENT EVAH!!! 🙂
‘Its the worst article ever..after reading few lines i have no interest to go through full part of it. really people need to grow up! and i read Aisha’s article and i support her fully with whatever she said.’
You are so funny! You admit to reading just a few lines of this article, and even though you say you read Aisha’s article you can’t even summarize her position other than to describe it as ‘whatever she said’. Oh my dear, it is so obvious you read neither article.
And again, a crisis from nowhere… Seriously ? I hate this part of the fandom !!!
Ok…but then why are you here commenting?
You clicking on this link, reading this article and then commenting on it is like heading out to Chicago because you hear they have good hotdogs, looking around at the ten hot dog stands on one street corner and pointlessly yelling, “ANOTHER hot dog stand? Seriously? I hate this city!”
Go back to your own corner of the fandom and eat from the hot dog stand y’all own, man. Nobody forced you to be here.
Caroline, you hate this part of the fandom? The ones who express their valid opinions in a well-thought out manner without being hateful?
The side of the fandom that can discuss these matters without getting rude, sending hate, and screaming at you to stop watching the show and demand you leave the fandom?
Glad you left that really thought provoking comment, then. Don’t know what we would’ve done without your input.
Thank you for an articulate, thoughtful article on a sensitive issue.
It’s interesting how, here and on twitter, fans who are being articulate and thoughtful on a sensitive issue are getting flamed as ruining the fandom, as rude, as “untrue fans,” being told to shut up, to stop watching the show, by fans who are coming across as shrill, judgmental, and rude, or are derailing the whole thing into a Misha hating and destiel hating agenda. (While, of course, they accuse everyone else of having an agenda).
To me, saying that SPN is about the inner lives of men as a response to criticism of how the show treats women is not a response to the issue. It’s a derailment in itself. The fact that SPN is centered around men doesn’t explain the show’s relentless erasure of less represented groups, or why women can’t be a more regular presence while it’s centered around men. What I also see a lot of fans claiming SPN is fantastic on representation as a way to shut down anyone who is trying to discuss how SPN handles female characters and characters of color in relation to how its white male leads are treated. Nor is someone who never criticizes the show and always takes it “as is” a better fan that those who choose to analyze and critique along with their squee. Having watched the show since the pilot, and flailed, cried, and squeed over it, and been deeply frustrated and hurt by it, I definitely object to anyone who tries to tell me I’m less of a fan because there are things I think about and wish would be better. I’ve been aware of SPN’s flaws for a long time, I don’t kid myself about them, and I don’t feel I have that much more to add by this point, but that doesn’t mean the subject isn’t worthwhile and there are many intelligent well-spoken fans willing to write about it (like this article) and no one should be yelling at them to shut up.
I agree with a lot of this. I do want to point out that i wouldn’t have minded Aisha’s answer at the panel about it being about the relationships between men, but the dismiss relationships with women as being there for romantic purposes or to dismiss the possibility of romantic interests among men is what I personally take issue with. BUt the point is, neither of our view should be shamed. We should not be shamed for criticism. We should not be thought of as “less than.”
Initially I had no major issue with Aisha’s commentary. I didn’t feel it was an adequate answer to the concern raised, but it was interesting commentary and not exactly un-true. SPN does focus on the male characters’ emotional journey and their bonds with each other. It is unusually nuanced and overturns some of TV and societal mindsets on men’s emotional lives. However, I’ve seen that argument used before to shut down any criticism of the show’s lack of female regulars and the way women are treated as compared to (white) males so my flags went right up, even though I wasn’t too fussed. The issue isn’t just that women die on the show, it’s their position in the narrative, how they’re depicted, and the fact that the show now has 4 white male regulars and still, 9 years in, and not without ample opportunity, had a single female or CoC regular or even a semi-regular who lasted more than 1 season and the recurring female characters the show has left are barely recurring. The show grants Very Special Episodes that focus on them, before they’re whisked out of the ongoing narrative again, and the show has most often a tendency to introduce women just to be love interests, use them for the pain of the male characters, and then dispose of them–being killed off is not the only way for a character to be treated in a dismissive fashion.
Completely agree about the “less than.” It wasn’t until Aisha Tyler made her facebook post that I saw this discussion explode into fandom-wide, hard-to-ignore noisy wank, and it wasn’t until her post that I felt the need to speak up about the issue, and it wasn’t until her post that I felt she was outright trying to silence and shame fans. I did right along have a big issue with Jared Padalecki equating female presence with “romance,” because as you pointed out, the reductiveness shown towards women’s roles on the show in that, and the default equating of “romance” with male/female.
It just makes me sad. There are so many things I love and appreciate about SPN, but this continues to be a sore point. I’ll also note that it seems to be acceptable to voice fan sore spots of criticism when it’s about Sam’s story, Dean’s story, or Sam and Dean’s story. Criticism about Castiel’s story also, although there was some really vicious shaming of fans who spoke up about wanting him to stay on the show. But critique on race, gender, sexuality, or about Dean and Castiel–even if it’s not specifically about making the romance canon, but just concerns about the bond being treated well–gets a huge blowblack and attempts at silencing and shutdown. This “it’s only about 2 brothers” mindset seems to be have been unquestioningly absorbed, by some unconsciously, people who wouldn’t even actually agree the brothers are the only part of the show that count, and it’s used as an excuse and silencing tool, a battering stick to hurt fans, including trying to close down valid discussion on the show’s representation issues.
I should add, Kevin Tran does seem to have been recurring. I don’t know Osric Chau’s contract status, he seems to have been guest star, but they used him so often he was a steady presence for 2 1/2 seasons, which was *remarkable* (and that is kind of my whole point, it shouldn’t have been *remarkable* that the show had a CoC hero who lasted that long)…only to be disposed of specifically to make Dean Winchester cry a single perfect tear. Which is so utterly a dismissive way to treat the character, it threw me out of connection to the story at that point. Anyway, relevant but an aside to the discussion on the show’s gender politics.
People make the counter argument that SPN has great representation but I don’t agree it does.
I am a woman, I had a lot of fun with the panel. I have no problem with anything they said there. For me thats what humour is about. It tips off the edges where we sometimes hit personal boundaries.
I am concerned when oligarchic factions are starting wars all over the world using religion or democratic rights as shields to consolidate their power.
Compared to real life these “problems” here seem so artificial.
Excellent article discussing much of the controversy.
While it was by no means solely my effort, I think it was probably a post of mine on tumblr that helped get the discussion rolling on this, and helped trigger the facebook post of Aisha’s referenced, here.
I posted an rebuttal/discussion of the post as well, in response to a message that Aisha Tyler sent me on tumblr, if anyone is interested:
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