An Open Letter to SuperWiki

Potentially opening a can of worms here but…
Hey @superwiki, can we talk about some stuff?

Here’s the thing…

You’re a great voice in the fandom. A great big popular voice with the ear of not only many fans but some of the crew as well. I know if I’m out of the loop for a bit, I can easily scan your twitter feed to get caught up on whatever I may have missed. I know you’ll always have a link to the next episode’s preview or a storified list of all the fun live tweets. I know you’ll have a running countdown to the end of whatever hiatus the show may be on at that moment and you’re always there with fun bits of behind the scenes tidbits the crew shares that I probably would’ve otherwise missed.

But (you knew that was coming, eh?)…

But.

Sometimes the jokes go too far. Sometimes they’re things that can be a trigger for some folks who may follow you. Sometimes they encourage harassment. It’s unintentional, I’m sure, but it happens fairly often.

Sexual harassment – would be viewed differently if it was directed at women.

“Dad” – Daddy Kink. It seems harmless enough, right? A little joke to indicate that something “works” for someone. A little poke or nudge of the elbow to a fellow fan over whatever pic or video is making the rounds that day. Your feed was overrun with daddy kink jokes last year and they still pop up now and again. There are some things to consider when invoking “daddy kink” references to your tens of thousands of followers. Rape victims are often forced to call their rapists “daddy” so the offenders can get off. Or that 49% of children molested are violated by their biological, adoptive, or foster parent. So when joking about “daddy kink” with something that sounds as harmless as “Dad!” next to a pic of shirtless Jared or “fuck me daddy” on a mockup of a tshirt of Jensen like you posted, there can be a very serious impact on your followers. Many of them are still very young and shouldn’t we – as women, as fellow fans, as humans beings – try to make this a safe place with as few triggers as possible? Shouldn’t we want to show that sexual harassment of any gender is a bad thing? Shouldn’t we attempt to set a better example? No one comes to fandom looking for a role model and I’m not saying that you should proof every tweet, post and comment to meet the standard of one. But what I am saying, or asking I guess, is that we all take one or two seconds before hitting send to think about what we’re saying.

Can’t we appreciate a beautiful cast without reducing them to little more than a physical being? There’s a line – one that’s not so fine – between “Wow Jensen Ackles face is perfect and Jared’s body is insane” and “Fuck me Daddy.”

The Wincest Shipping…

We all have non-traditional pairings that we ship, no matter the show, movie, book, etc. I’m not attempting to bash Wincest shippers here even though it’s not my thing. Those triggers I talked about above? HUGE factor for a lot of people when it comes to this discussion too. Like I said, 49% is minor sexual assault cases are committed by a family member. That’s incest. That’s a lifetime of therapy and heartbreak, lifetime of insecurities and intimacy issues. So yes, we’re talking about fictional characters when we discuss Wincest, but let’s not forget that the root word there is incest. It’s something that more people have to deal with than we’d expect or like to admit. If someone had been sexual abused by a parent, a brother, a sister, a cousin… You’d have to see how a even a (well-drawn) cartoon of Dean penetrating his brother could be a massive issue for a lot of people, right?

Maybe you have personal experiences in these areas, maybe you don’t. That’s your story and not my business. I would just hope that, as a main voice representing fandom, you’d want to be as inclusive as possible. It’s not a matter of simply not liking these things (I don’t ship anyone on this show so I’m not like “oh that’s not my ship so I have a problem with it.”) ), but about the larger and potentially traumatic effect it can have on the people that follow you. One tweet, one pic, can trigger a million bad thoughts and feelings in people that come to SPN for a escape from bad thoughts or experiences. Why would we want to do harm to those people, even when it’s unintentional?

I know you’re likely to think or respond “well you can unfollow if you don’t like it. This account isn’t for everyone.” That seems to be a fairly regular response. I could but I don’t want to do that. I like what you do, I just wish it could tweaked for the fans that have negative experiences in their personal history that they don’t want to have to face on a regular basis when trying to do something they enjoy. It’s #SPNFamily, right? As a family, shouldn’t we try to do what we can to make sure we’re not knowingly hurting others or bringing up topics that are painful to our own?
8/5/16 ETA: As stated above, I don’t “ship” anyone on this show, that includes not shipping Destiel as well. The common theme among those that disagree is “well she doesn’t like Wincest so she must be Team Destiel.” Sorry, that argument doesn’t hold any water. It’s not picking sides, folks. Just a reminder that some things we see as totally fine can be triggers or harmful to others without intending to be so. 

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3 thoughts on “An Open Letter to SuperWiki

  1. Leslie says:

    I was triggered by the threats and beatings Castiel gave to Dean.

  2. amusawale says:

    The thing I have with all these so called ‘triggers’ is that it reaches a ridiculous point. Basically anything would trigger SOMEONE so I think the responsibility for avoiding triggers should be on the person who will be triggered and not everyone else. It’s just not possible to know everything that would trigger everyone. Also I have never seen ANY sexually explicit pics on superwiki so I don’t even know where you’re coming from.

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