Journalists! Please don’t cyberbully teens because of their sexual fantasies!

Everyone is on the Internet now. Including your grandparents and children.

It’s a crazy digital world, and journalists covering the Internet literally go where no other writer has gone before. These journalists are on occasion making the rules up as they go, too.

These Internet writers hang out in weird fetish bars (think 4chan or Reddit) or peep in on journalists exchanging proverbial blows in a virtual newsroom (think a Twitter or Google+ debate).

Sometimes in their quest for a story, these writers even spy on teens gossiping in bathrooms about homoerotic sex, and because said teens don’t think anyone is listening they don’t bother locking the door. (In this particular case, that bathroom is Tumblr, and the privacy settings are off.)

When journalists write about children, tweens, and teens, (read: minors) on the Internet, that journalist is both morally and ethically obligated to handle the subject matter with sensitivity. Typically, an adult expert is called to weigh in. If the subject matter concerns a psychological or sexual issue, this rule applies double.

As a common courtesy, the journalist should avoid painting the minor (or group of minors) as loons or crazies, or use words like “silly” or “delusional thinking.” This last bit goes double if no psychological or teen sex expert has been called to weigh in on the horny, deluded minors in question.

(I don’t have a journalism degree, and I didn’t go to grad school; I know minors and their sexuality are supposed to be treated with delicacy when written about in respected publications because I have common sense.)

Media for the most part has been great about treating psychological and sexual issues arising from teens on the Internet with the required distance and lack of bias.

When the media wrote about the thinspo craze on Tumblr, no one teen was singled out and adult experts were called to opine on what this all means. When the media was concerned about the “Am I pretty?” videos on YouTube, posts that did single out teen users were supportive of the teen and didn’t refer to the insecure teen as an attention-whore, or anything remotely derogatory.

Recently, an article covering a predominantly tween and teen phenomenon failed to do any of the above. The article’s intention may have been to show how fans can take their fandom to the extreme, with the line between reality and fantasy blurring more often than not.

A fine idea for an article, right? Except, the article in question is about minors and their sexual fantasies, and the subject matter was not even remotely treated with sensitivity. Rather, the article comes off as if the journalist is mocking the minors. As I wrote earlier, the minors were blatantly, cheekily, painted as delusional and out of touch.

To make matters worse, this one community of minors being mocked by the press already has a history of being cyberbullied by peer groups, and a few members have allegedly committed suicide recently due to the cyberbullying.

(Also, harassment of this community of predominantly teens increased following the widespread circulation of the article on the Huffington Post, LiveJournal, and MetaFilter.)

The community of teens covered by the publication were (rightly) offended, and left hundreds of angry comments across various social networks. Many of the comments were confused, though that is to be expected given their age. Angry teens felt their privacy was invaded, thought the writer was homophobic (the article was about teens fantasizing about two teen members of a boyband as lovers), and:

“Did I just read a page long essay bullying teenage girls…”

“Bullying,” “victimized” and “harassment” were used repeatedly by angry commenters to describe the effects this article had on the community, with many echoing they are teenagers and shouldn’t be mocked by an adult in this public way.

“A person today messaged me telling me that he/she showed his/her parents the article (and his/her parents know he/she [supports the two band members as lovers]) and told me that they were disgusted and found it immature.”

“Basically this was an adult mocking teenagers for believing in love. I’m not sure if this was homophobic, offensive to me, or a pity that she has nothing better to do than try and ruin a kid’s vision of love… smh”

“I am more than a little offended. Not at you calling my [fantasy] impossible, but at your generalization of all of us as lunatics unable to see reality.”

“to me, this is just promoting the idea of hating someone for their beliefs and encouraging cyber bullying – larry fans already get enough hate simply for believing and they don’t need a pathetic journalist promoting hatred.”

“Mostly, taking into account that the demographic involved here is at an age where emotional growth is occurring, so backlash from the publicity could be just as bad for the people involved as the hate their[sic] finding on their social networks…I think it’s possible to write an article without potentially being demeaning or harmful to the people involved.”

A follow-up article appeared on the site shortly after, but didn’t address this issue of the community being minors, or of the article propagating cyberbullying against the teen community in question.

The article did address how the different communities within this one fanbase harass one another (but teens are always bullying one another over something so how new is this news really.) Then, as if to add insult to injury, the writer spent more time favorably covering the community that allegedly cyberbullied the originally covered community of teen girls to commit suicide. It was almost as if the writer was saying, “yes, you teens that believe those two band members are in love and fucking secretly, I am telling you to go kill yourself!”

The writer of the two articles also did not address either of these issues (the average age of her subjects when depicting them as crazies, nor the increased harassment her articles caused the group) on her personal Tumblr. The writer cannot claim she did not see these complaints from teens and what appeared to be concerned grownups as they were repeated again and again in the comments section, so why was she silent on these matters?

Full disclosure: I used to write for the publication in question. One time an editor and a writer were mocking a trending video during the pitch process, a video that was made by children. I inserted myself in the conversation, reminding them they were talking about children, and that I had an 11 year old brother and if he were to read what you are writing about those boys he would be crushed. The article when published did not explicitly mock the children in the video. (I am almost positive no one on the current editorial team has any experience with children, so this is probably why an article mocking minors was allowed to be published.)

I don’t mean for this to come off as if I am picking on this one writer, these two articles, or the publication. Far from it. I am writing this out of respect, and … out of fear.

These two articles deeply worried me because they have the potential to set a dangerous precedent in how we cover children, and minors, on the Internet. Coverage of Internet communities is new, and the trailblazers are making the rules, setting examples for others to follow in the future.

I know, I know, “Think of the children” is such a commonly used trope, but I mean it wholeheartedly here!

We won’t be able to avoid writing about minors on the Internet, but we can avoid unnecessarily painting them in a negative light, or treating their sexual fantasies with callous indifference.


96 Comments on “Journalists! Please don’t cyberbully teens because of their sexual fantasies!”

  1. Thankful Larry shipper. says:

    Thanks you so much for this article! This is exactly what the Larry fandom needs after those articles! (: xx

  2. Finally, an article where we are talked about like normal people!!

    Thank you so much for writing:) xx

  3. I love you, Thanks for defending us! 🙂

  4. Diana says:

    Thank you. There needs to be more articles like this. We’ve seen too many mocking us. Seriously I cannot thank you enough for defending us when everyone else was basically calling us delusional little teens!

  5. Larryshipperbyheart says:

    thank you so much! I am so happy finally someone gets us! bless you! 🙂

  6. Sarah says:

    Thank you so much for this. You have no idea how much this means to us.

  7. believer says:

    Thank you so so much for writting this , you spoke out for us , thank you 🙂 x

  8. Janie says:

    Thank you 🙂 It’s ridiculous the amount of hate and backlash we get just because we believe two people love each other. We appreciate this.

  9. friendly-larry-reminders-melody says:

    This should be all over the internet by now. You have no idea how much this mean to us Larry Shippers!
    Thank you for believing in love! xx

  10. Lux says:

    Thank you! Really…:)

  11. Larryshipper (: says:

    Finally someone who stand up for us!! Thank you so much omfg

  12. i love you. thank you. and adding the gifs lool.

  13. Ella says:

    Great article, extremely well written!

  14. alice says:

    brilliant article!

  15. shannon0228 says:

    Thank you for this! This was wonderful, and I love how you added a few gifs and pictures at the end to show people why we believe what we do. That article was absolutely ridiculous and acted as if we were completely delusional. The point of journalism is being objective, which that article was not in any way. Thank you again!

  16. LoveOfLarry says:

    Omg! Let me love you :D! Thank you so much! Finally somebody doesn’t treat us like we’re crazy people 😀

  17. Louise says:

    Thank you, thank you, thank you so much for writing this. Now, THIS is real journalism. I always wanted to be a journalist and the writer of the article in question put me off. You have made me aspire to do that again. You were not biased in any way, you did not mock any fans, or writers, or anything. You were objective – yet not mocking. That is the true meaning of journalism.

  18. Steph says:

    This is really kind of you. Thank you for writing this article, which expresses many of our thoughts. I would also like to say that the .gifs were very entertaining as well!

  19. Liz says:

    Thank you so, so much for writing this. I am one of the so called ‘deluded’ people who the original article singled out as not only immature, but as quite insane as well. The hatred against us is huge and death threats are common, and the article really only made it worse so thank you so much for defending us and pointing out how harmful and horrid it can be if adults get involved in mocking teens.
    Thank you.

  20. Anna says:

    Thank you 🙂

  21. L. x says:

    THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR THIS. Seriously, and adding the gifs was quite nice of you. I can’t thank you enough.

  22. ~L. says:

    This is the first article that has defended us and honestly it’s quite refreshing.. We Larry shippers get so much hate on a daily basis for simply believing that these two boys are in love and we don’t need it coming from online articles as well. I also hate how that last article made it seem like the people who were talked about were delusional tween girls who have created this fantasy in their heads over something that’s probably not real, but in reality, if this person did know what they were talking about, she would realize that most Larry shippers are sixteen and older, with many in their early twenties. And instead of actually talking about *why* we believe it, the writer degraded us simply for believing it at all. If journalists actually looked into our reasoning, they would see that we have so much evidence that backs up what we think and in no way did we create this fantasy in our heads. Anyway, thank you for pointing out that horrible piece of journalism, if you can even call it that, and I think I speak for all the Larry shippers or anyone else who gets bullied for what they believe in when I say- thank you so much for taking the time to write this, we truly appreciate it.

  23. you are perfect says:

    omg this was perfect thank you for defending us ❤

  24. Limericks says:

    Fruzsina, thank you so much for writing this article. I think a lot of times people write things on these internet sites with little regard to the impact it may have on their subject matter. Its ridiculous to call these boys and girls delusional and crazy for not being mindless and just sucking down whatever the media tells us. People criticize Germans for falling for those Nazi propaganda crap and not thinking for themselves and now teens are being criticize for thinking for themselves and not just blindly listening to the media. The lady that wrote those articles didn’t even fully address the body image issues going on and the fact that girls were starving themselves to be as skinny as one of the girls reported to be dating one of the band members.

  25. Corina says:

    Now this is what I call a nice, non-biased article 🙂 and the gifs were lovely, by the way. Thank you!

  26. tori says:

    asdfghjkl; You’re amazing.

  27. Cara says:

    Thank you so much. Having seen the mentioned article, I do feel that teenagers (or those who are perceived to be – the fact is that a vast amount of those who support Harry and Louis as a couple are actually in their twenties) are treated with a complete lack of respect, and that to mock us for our beliefs merely because of our age is harmful and offensive.

  28. Thankful Larry shipper says:

    Thank you so much for writing this article. It’s nice to have an article that doesn’t mock us, and calls us delusional. Because the hate in the fandom was bad enough, and then there were adults who practically hated on us as well, which I guess made the other haters feel as if it was okay. So 100x thank you.

  29. Joshua/Helen says:

    Thank you!!

    This is the first article I have ever read where us Larry shippers are not torn limb from limb. We really aren’t crazy, we are teenagers who can see a love between two people.

    Thank you so much for defending us.

  30. Larry shipper says:

    Thank you for defending us. Really, thank you. This article is brilliantly written and you seem to be a really nice person. Thank you again.

  31. deludedfor1d says:

    I ship larry but I am also twenty-three and can separate my fangirling from my real-life. If I was thirteen or fourteen when reading that article I don’t even know how I would have reacted but it wouldn’t have been positive. Thank you so much for writing this. Keep doing the awesome that you are doing.

  32. I fucking love you right now. says:

    Thank you so much for sticking up for us when everyone else seems to be attacking.

  33. Sel says:

    Thank you so much for this! I really like how you kept it neutral, and didn’t adress any of us directly as elounor shippers or larry shippers. And I love how you included the most obvious gifs 🙂 Lots of love and respect!

  34. Thank you so much. Thank you.

  35. starbucksrelationship says:

    lovelovelove this article, wonderful point. ❤

  36. I can't change... says:

    Thank you, really! We really have appreciated this article, thanks again for sticking up for us! We get so much hate daily from anyone, and this article probably has made the day of millions of people around the world! 🙂 x

  37. J says:

    Thank you for defending us. It really means a lot.

  38. Lean3 says:

    I’m eighteen and I ship Larry, and reading this made me so happy. Those other articles are horrible, we get enough hate on twitter and tumblr but journalists attacking us is just going too far. I admire you for writing this. I’m old enough to know fantasy from reality. And I genuinely believe Harry and Louis are in a relationship. We have too much evidence to brush this off as a bromance, and most of the fandom attacking us are 14 year olds and don’t understand what we see. And nobody deserves to be told to “Go and die” just when you ship two people romantically. Thanks again for defending us :))

  39. Brittany says:

    Thank you so much for doing this 🙂 xx

  40. Larry Shipper says:

    Thank you so much for this. You have no idea how much this means to us considering no one ever defends us. We’re constantly getting hate and being told to kill ourselves. Thank you SO much.

  41. TJ says:

    Thank you so much for writing this, you deserve all the awards. We are not crazy we just believe that two boys from a world famous boy band are in relationship, they never once right out denied it they never once said we’re not in a relationship or we are not gay and there’s so much that points to them being in a relationship..Their love for each other is simply amazing and when they come out we will fully support them.. its really sad that they have to hide their relationship and one goes as so far to help protect their relationship he ‘dates’ a girl..we’re not blind and we’re not stupid we can see what is going on it has happened before.. Google Ricky Martin and Lance Bass(there’s a lot more just Google them) Elton John even married a woman and they’re all gay..anyways thanks very very much for defending us

  42. Aims says:

    God bless you, a well-written, unbiased article that doesn’t offend everyone. Like quite a few people who have also commented on this article, i am over 18 and am quite able to separate fantasy from reality. I was majorly offended that she referred to us as lunatics *just* for having an opinion that differed from the norm. So thank you for this, and being respectful enough to acknowledge everyone’s opinions.

  43. Helloo says:

    Thank you for this article, it’s just…thank you

  44. I cried buckets reading this article. Thank you SO much for writing this article and sticking up for us! It’s exhausting and extremely hurtful to see new articles by ADULTS bashing us every single day and sending new hate our way when all we’re doing is supporting two people very much in love. I’ve lost so many treasured friends this summer from these ADULTS bullying us who should know better. It’s sickening. They’re ADULTS. They’re supposed to be professionals, not blindly attacking CHILDREN for who we choose to support. Even though a lot of us are in our twenties, we’re still kids and don’t deserve to be treated like this from members of the (supposedly) civil, professional world. It’s irresponsible and disgusting. They’re no better than the other members of the community that attack us, in fact, they’re worse because they’re being paid to spout their drivel, with full knowledge that what they’re doing is only going to hurt us and bring more attention to something that SHOULD NOT be a big deal. That’s what I will never be able to understand. If there was NOTHING going on, there would be NO REASON for all these attacks against us. Their management team is only making what we know to be true even more obvious.

    P.S. Thank you for using such beautiful, heartwarming gifs of them, it really shows their love.

  45. Odense says:

    Great article! Really a realistic way of looking at it.
    Yes, we are talking about young tweens and teens believing in love, not tweens and teens trying to be difficult. And sadly, the mocking of the Larry fandom origins in homophobia. Because if these two lovely boys were one girl and one boy, the sun would assume they were dating ages ago. But they’re two guys, and if so many young girls (and some boys) would love to see these two kiss, I would say it’s for the better. Because this means that the next generation will be so much more accepting of same-sex love than the current one. And then of course, one should never mock kids. Especially when we are talking about something as sensitive as ‘gay rights’ (although that miiight be stretching it a bit), because these could be our next politicians.
    Thank you for putting this article out here. That previous article really needed to be countered!

  46. Deluded says:

    Thank you so much, you have no idea how much this means to us seeing that somebody is actually defending us for once.

  47. Annie says:

    Whether you’re a “Larry” shipper/believer or not, this is an incredible article and what you say truly had to be said. Thank you so much for writing this

  48. djhalkjf says:

    Yay thank you. We are getting tired of being ridiculed by magazines! (who were probably getting paid to do so, js). But because of this article I have hope for the world yet. 🙂

  49. BLESS says:

    THANK you.

  50. nailpaulish says:

    Thank you so much for writing this!

  51. concerned shipper says:

    I agree to all the above and so I won’t repeat it. I just hope that this message gets out there as much as the mentioned articles and people take note. People are so flippant about teenage suicide and act like telling people to die because of their beliefs means nothing, but it’s a serious problem and gets worse everyday. Nobody should be bullied for who they are and what they believe in and really there is no harm being caused by people thinking two guys are together. Nobody is getting hurt but the believers so just leave them alone so we can all enjoy the group the way we see fit.
    I hope that the boys management see this and do something because these fans are in the palms of their hands and they have a responsibility to keep them safe. Is a record sale really worth a life? The boys have never come out and directly said they aren’t together, which may say something in and of itself, but if they truly aren’t then I hope they say something soon because a drop in sales and a few broken hearts is better than a loss of life.

  52. Jessica says:

    This means so much to us larry fans. Thank you very much! 😀

  53. Larrylovesyou says:

    I love you do much you finally got our view of the story, I was honestly hurt reading that and I find this an there are tears streaming down my face, thank you for actually letting us believe in a gay relationship and not judge us , THANK YOU!! Ps love the gifs 😉

  54. Kat says:

    Thank you for this. Keep up what you’re doing.

  55. Anonymous Larry Believer says:

    Thank you for this! I hated how that article made us sound crazy for believing two people are in love. The worst part is that no one would care if one of them was a girl and we all thought they were dating, but the fact that we believe two guys might be makes us “delusional”. Also, why are they giving us Larry shippers so much attention when people ship celebrities all the time? Is it really that crazy to believe in a gay relationship?

  56. mia says:

    God bless your heart. We can’t thank you enough. As you probably noticed by the comments above, we’re incredibly grateful to any support we receive because we’ve all been through relentless hate from the rest of the online community. Honestly, I don’t think most of us even want all this attention. We simply believe in a beautiful relationship and post our opinions on it on a blogging website. We’d just like to be left in peace. Why should we get hate for believing in love? For many, Louis and Harry’s relationship is an inspiration, something that gives us all hope in a world where we’re struggling to find our place at this age.

  57. TiffanyC says:

    Thank you soo much..

  58. Larrying it up says:

    Best thing I’ve ever read.
    Just, thank you. really.

  59. kylie says:

    Seriously i love you! Thank you so much for this! I mean it thank you!!!(:

  60. Caitlin says:

    Thank you for this.
    Us minors are growing up in a generation where the public is still iffy about sexualities other than the hetero-norm. The fact that there is a fan base of teens out there and a good portion of that fan base can look at the two boys in question and see love is just sort of inspiring in a way. They’re looking past what they may have been raised to believe- or what the public around them believes- and they’re seeing two people of the same gender and fantasizing about having a love like that. I think it’s disrespectful and immature for ADULTS to mock us girls as if we’re nothing but delusional little kids. It’s good to see that there are people like you sticking up for us.

  61. Kendra says:

    Thank you very much for this article, I think this is something that everyone should read, and I agree with you fully

  62. jazzlyn says:

    OMG thank you so much for that because I read that article and it did actually hurt my feelings I mean its one thing to be mocked by others your age is one thing but be picked on by adults is another it like being scolded by your parents when your younger. That is a horrible thing to feel but back to what I was saying thanks that article really lifted my spirit 🙂

  63. sinking with my ship says:

    I appreciate that so much we are not completely delusional I mean yes we have fan fics and stuff but so do many other “imaginary” ships ad they don’t get hate. Idk I feel like if it weren’t to guys it would be diffrent :/ but maybe that just me being “crazy” *insert eye role* again but again THANK YOU SOOOOOO MUCH like seriously bless your soul…I’m 17 btw

  64. Marcia says:

    yay! a lovely article, thank you 🙂 it’s so nice to find something that doesn’t make us out to be total lunatics

    (though i was wondering why there’s a gif of the leads from j’ai tue ma mere? not that i’m complaining, because i love it :D)

  65. Sophie says:

    You’re amazing and inspirational. If everyone saw the proof we see everyday they wouldn’t even think we’re crazy. We aren’t delusional teenagers, 90% of us are over 17. We know what the difference is between fantasy and reality. I’m glad you stood up for us. There are over 7 million people on Tumblr that believe Louis and Harry are in a relationship. Yet the person that wrote this article, doesn’t really know things like these. Basically this article is calling us Mental, unstable teenagers that should go kill themselves, and are living a fantasy. They are also being homophobic, basically saying they can’t be together because they are both male. SO I just wanted to say thank you, thank you for supporting us. I wish there are more people like you!

  66. Lana says:

    Thank you, so so much. I’m glad maturity isn’t a dying virtue.

  67. iloveyou says:

    Thank you so much, it’s really nice to see someone standing up for us for once. 🙂

  68. laurel says:

    Wow. Needless to say this made me really happy. Its nice to see someone in the media defending us for once when we’re so used to getting bashed by everyone in the fandom and media.

  69. Hebara says:

    Thanks for understanding and supporting us 🙂 LOVE the gifs

  70. nikki says:

    You have no idea how much this means to us. Thank you 🙂

  71. another larry shipper... says:

    there are not words to say how thankful i am, thank you so much.

  72. Laura says:

    I can’t thank you enough for writing this article. The mentioned publication by the Daily Dot was very much out-of-line and I’m overjoyed to see that another professional has actually noticed how that article is, indeed, demeaning against minors. Thank you so, so much for writing this 🙂

  73. Maddie says:

    1) Thank you so much for writing this. It means a lot.
    2) I love you.
    3) The gifs were an excellent touch.

  74. Kayla says:

    I love you for writing this. Seriously.

  75. I can’t tell you how much this means to us. Thank you so, so much for giving a clear-headed defense. We needed this. Thank you.
    (i appreciated the gifs, too) 🙂

  76. Alyssa says:

    thank you :’) really. i just wish there was no more attention focused on us larry shippers at all though!

  77. Hannah says:

    Thank you so much! I am so happy to know there are good people in this world like you. You make excellent points and the gifs were a nice touch.

  78. nalinkinomoto says:

    Reblogged this on sepenggal catatan bodoh kehidupan and commented:
    thank you so much for writing this. I’m so glad that someone from probably outside the fandom noticed this. thank you.

  79. ally says:

    Thank you so much for writing this. Words cannot describe how offended and hurt I, among other Larry shippers, was when the Daily Dot article was published. It’s absolutely despicable how they used their career to mock and bully teenagers who are obviously able to see the truth much better than they.

  80. xtina says:

    wow, thank you for this.

  81. Larissa says:

    All I have to say to you is thank you. We need a voice to stand up for us, and I’m sick of being looking down upon because of my beliefs. Thank you.

  82. lourry says:

    Thank you do much for this! After the influx of hatred we believers have gotten, it’s refreshing to see someone finally stepping in and defending us. There is no reason to hate in people for their beliefs. Thanks again!

  83. […] Journalists! Please don’t cyberbully teens because of their sexual fantasies! […]

  84. Hannah says:

    I agree. I’ve been keeping up with this whole Larry Stylinson ordeal, not because I am a huge fan of 1D or even really care that much, but because of what it reveals about the entertainment industry, fans, the media and the changing mentality of society in the digital age. The significance of this one little ship is mind boggling, in terms of the media and business. About a month or so ago MTV published an article similar the the one you discussed. It spoke in a derogatory manner towards shippers and included a quote from “Louis” (I highly doubt he actually said it) where he said that Larry was hurting his friendship with Harry and relationship Eleanor and other blah blah blah. (I believe this article has since been removed after the uproar it caused) As a veteran shipper, the very idea that a ship could actually hurt the people being shipped was outlandish. Laughable. Maybe it is weird to get tweets from young girls asking if Harry is a good fuck, or asking when Eleanor’s contract is going to expire, but if he was really happy with Eleanor than the handful of tweets would mean nothing. So for the media to insulate that shipping is that hurtful is really, really dumb, and offensive to others who, like myself, have been in fandoms and shipped people for years. I literally cannot tell if the author is just ignorant and has no idea how fandoms work, if they were simply trying to keep the boys in the closet, or some other reason. Either way, it was ignorant and offensive. I have yet to understand why the media is treating fandoms and the people in them like freaks. It’s truly pointless. As you said, the media choosing to attack a fandom, especially One Direction, where the fans are so young and new to the idea of shipping, (not to mention that the band itself is a product of the industry and all about selling an image) is not a good sign for the future of the media.

  85. Megan says:

    This made me tear up, honestly. I’ve been cyber-bullied in the past, and the two articles you refer to actually made me scared about what might happen to us. Larry shippers, believers, ‘deluded fans’, whatever you want to call us – we’re people too. Not just people, most of us are teen girls with fragile emotions. This really just speaks out for us, like a saving call. Thank you 🙂

  86. liz says:

    Thank you for not paintng us as monsters . If that first gif isn’t the text book definition of flirting, then i don’t know what is.

  87. slasher48 says:

    I am wary of this article, but I’m glad it exists.

    I do believe some of the ~shippers should be held more accountable for their actions, no matter how old they are, without kid gloves; but told they’re something other than “crazy” because crazy is an umbrella term that doesn’t discuss the actual issues. Those Tweeting the actual people about shipping or RPF or any of that should cease and desist immediately. Those despising girlfriends–women they don’t even know–for the simple reason that they’re there, “in the way”, should cease and desist. Those repeatedly stereotyping the boys or limiting sexualities to “gay” or “straight” and using the gauge of Harry versus Eleanor (or Zayn versus Danielle, etc.)…should cease and desist. There is an element of “fantasy” going too far, at some points, in the fandom, when it is forcibly presented to whoever it originates from. (I quote fantasy because I don’t think that’s entirely what it is, for everyone, and I’m not sure it should be.)

    However, it is VERY important, while discussing any particular group, especially one as large and diverse and socially conscious as teens (/age/race/gender/ability, etc. in other forums, stereotyping and mocking groups in the same way) to be cognizant of how many people you are affecting and be objective and consider all views and refrain from the blanketing and dismissive terms like “delusional” “silly” and “crazy”. Journalists (and the media in general) have not, thus far, been that way in response to Larry shippers, from what I’ve seen (and feel free to point me somewhere that they have).

    It is important to recognize that the fan base of this particular fandom is NOT just young cis women sitting around fantasizing (or masturbating), of course, but it is also important, especially in a world like this one where women are given to understand their sexual desires and sexual proclivities shouldn’t be of their own volition…to point out how it doesn’t matter that those young cis women COULD BE doing this for that reason. Because it doesn’t; age notwithstanding, imagining things that may or may not be realistic (in this case, my opinion is the former) for your own personal, harmless pleasure is just that: harmless. Especially, as I said, for this group (teenagers, specifically cis girls), whom society portrays as lovesick and reckless and out of control for even ~having sexual desires or proclivities. I am very, very happy that ANY of who work in media see how wrong it is to dismiss things because “teenage girls” like them, for ANY reason, and by doing so, dismiss “teenage girls” themselves.

    (If anything, the discussion that should be had in the media about this particular issue should discuss things like homoromantic friendships and why it’s a ~bad thing for this to be something someone thinks about you (because it’s not) and ~why sexuality is such an important part of this band being appealing, etc. Most articles I come up against discussing the issue are framing it completely incorrectly, in my opinion. The Huffington Post article posted earlier this week is one of the only–apart from this one–that seem to be getting it right.)

    I realize your specific focus here and am trying to be okay with the fact that you focused on that, because as a friend put it to me, not all articles have the ability to be ~completely objective. I would love to read a follow-up article or one you could point me to that talks about how that’s a limiting perspective when looking at the fans of One Direction, though. I am a twenty-one year old cis woman, myself, but I deal with many different ages, races, genders, orientations, etc. of fans of One Direction AND Larry shippers on a fairly constant basis and it’s very irritating for the fandom to be repeatedly treated as only made up of that particular group and dismissed for that reason. They can call us ~all horny people who stick to the fantastical with no grasp on reality, if they’re that rude to that many people, but they should not decide arbitrarily that this is because we are all hormonal teenage (cis, straight) girls. Generalizing like that is a poison killing credibility and objectivity of the media, anyway.

    I do want to point out before I end my long, overly verbose response, that however narrowly focused I might possibly find this piece, I really, really love the progress that’s been made that it’s even a possibility, much less an actual readable reality. Media should treat this subject with as much respect as you have, ~always. As a Larry shipper–a horny person fantasizing, a skeptic believing–and a person who is always pleasantly surprised to find integrity in journalism, I thank you for what you’ve said here.

  88. […] tweets using racial epithets or talking about assassinating the president (a more striking example here). This violation of ethics appears to be accidental: The writers just screencapped the tweets, then […]

  89. […] tweets using racial epithets or talking about assassinating the president (a more striking example here). This violation of ethics appears to be accidental: The writers just screencapped the tweets, then […]

  90. […] tweets using racial epithets or talking about assassinating the president (a more striking example here). This violation of ethics appears to be accidental: The writers just screencapped the tweets, then […]

  91. […] tweets using racial epithets or talking about assassinating the president (a more striking example here). This violation of ethics appears to be accidental: The writers just screencapped the tweets, then […]

  92. […] tweets using racial epithets or talking about assassinating the president (a more striking example here). This violation of ethics appears to be accidental: The writers just screencapped the tweets, then […]

  93. […] tweets using racial epithets or talking about assassinating the president (a more striking example here). This violation of ethics appears to be accidental: The writers just screencapped the tweets, then […]

  94. […] che usavano epiteti razzisti o che parlavano di ‘’ammazzare’’ il presidente (altri esempi qui). Questa violazione dell’ etica sembra accidentale, dovuta a un copia e incolla frutto del […]

  95. […] usavano epiteti razzisti o che parlavano di ‘’ammazzare’’ il presidente (altri esempi qui). Questa violazione dell’ etica sembra accidentale, dovuta a un copia e incolla frutto del […]

  96. Reader says:

    “I do believe some of the ~shippers should be held more accountable for their actions, no matter how old they are, without kid gloves; but told they’re something other than “crazy” because crazy is an umbrella term that doesn’t discuss the actual issues. Those Tweeting the actual people about shipping or RPF or any of that should cease and desist immediately. Those despising girlfriends–women they don’t even know–for the simple reason that they’re there, “in the way”, should cease and desist. Those repeatedly stereotyping the boys or limiting sexualities to “gay” or “straight” and using the gauge of Harry versus Eleanor (or Zayn versus Danielle, etc.)…should cease and desist.”


    *Those* RPF fans aren’t crazy.

    *Those* RPF fans ARE BULLIES.

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