It doesn’t take a master statistician to see that some of our most-commented upon posts at AfterEllen.com involve lengthy debates about lesbian television couples. In the world of online publishing, most articles have a pretty short shelf-life. The news cycle is swift; commenters usually share their opinions and move on. But debates about TV couples can go on for weeks (and sometimes months!) after an article or recap has been published and then tucked away into the archives.
It’s no use pretending these debates are pretty. Oh, sure, most of them start out civily enough — but give it a full day and you can pretty much guarantee that one reader is going to accuse another reader’s mom of shagging the devil to conceive her, because hell is the only place where people don’t think Brittany and Santana belong together. Plenty of theories have been floated about why things work this way: Behind the anonymity of a screen name, we’re all cannibals; lesbian and bisexual women are so underrepresented on TV, we over-project onto queer characters; the lesbian desire to process is so pronounced, we want to do it for fictional characters too.
At TV Recapper School they took out our feelings boxes, and it’s a good thing too, because if they hadn’t, I think a lesbian shipper or two could have probably made me cry. Shipping is a sport these days. No, more than a sport. Shipping is a Serious Business, especially when it comes to lesbian characters. And we want to know why.
Do you ship? Why do you ship? How do you ship? Take our 13-question survey and I’ll compile the results into an article about How To Survive Lesbian Shipping Wars.
The poll will be open until April 29, so spread the word. We really want to hear what you think. In the meantime, tell us the “whys” in the comments. (I might contact you for a quote for the article. Or I might pull directly from your comment.) Why are romantic lesbian storylines so important to you? Why do you Tweet and Tumble? Why do you think lesbian viewers are easier/harder to please? And why are we so willing to bludgeon our lesbi-friends to death if they have the audacity to disagree about Franky Fitzgerald’s romantic future?
Process, you processors! You have until Friday!