ironically, the point that I’m closest to agreeing with antis on is “this thing should be portrayed as bad!!!!”
to be clear: not a single anti I’ve ever spoken to has the faintest idea what that means, since “shipping = good things that we like” is so firmly stuck in their mind. I don’t think any character has to outright say that it’s bad, and I don’t even think it has to be a tragedy. I certainly don’t think that it should be misery from beginning to end.
I just think that – hm. this stuff has consequences in 90% of cases, that’s why it’s dangerous. A lot of this stuff – abuse, incest, underage – looks different from a normal, healthy relationship in significant ways beyond the obvious.
I don’t think a few independently published stories online that casually show a 10 year old dating a 25 year old, with no one batting an eye and with the 10 year old suffering no consequences, constitute a moral crisis. I don’t think the people writing those stories necessarily agree with what they’ve written, or see these as realistic depictions. But I do think they’re…… bad stories? In the really abstract, “This is unrealistic and not making any attempt to think seriously about what it’s depicting” sort of way. They’re not realistic depictions of a 10 year old or of the consequences of that relationship.
People have the right to create bad fiction, and I’ll defend its right to exist online. I’m not going to make assumptions about the author, and there are reasons to create works where a problematic relationship goes in the total opposite, unrealistic direction. But, like…… it’s not like all these depictions are created equal, and there’s a difference between “I think this fiction should be allowed to exist” and “I think this fiction is good” or even “I think this fiction should be popular”. some depictions of pedophilia or incest or abuse…. are bad fiction. we are allowed to call them bad. we just shouldn’t ban people from reading them or demand that they be removed and the author summarily executed. proportional criticism, as always, is key.
(brought to you by: a friend sending me a fic of a 10 & 25 year old just casually dating, with the 10 year old acting like nearly an adult, and discussing why we hate this so much more than a fic that shows the adult grooming and molesting the 10 year old in a realistic way)