So I’ve been reading a lot of meta lately, and some of the responses I’ve seen have got my hackles up. Read at your peril.

Goddamn but I do hate queer-baiting. I hate the whole concept it represents, I hate that it happens, but most of all, I hate that certain quarters in a fandom will use it as an excuse to discourage/disprove any points a gay ship has towards becoming canon.

"Oh, Regina and Emma touched one another and made literal magic? Queer baiting!"

"Oh, Castiel told Dean that he was his primary motivation in abandoning heaven? Queer baiting!"

"Oh, Merlin took off Arthur’s pants and wrestled around with him for a bit? Queer baiting!"

Listen. TPTB have lots of reasons for including stuff in their shows/movies/stories. Maybe they introduce a POC because they’ve been criticized for a very white cast. Maybe they amp up a female character’s competence because they don’t want to be accused of sexism. Maybe they bring in a funny animal because kids like funny animals. And maybe they do stuff because it actually ties into the story they’re trying to tell.

Point is, what’s in the show/movie/story is IN there. No matter why TPTB put it there, once it’s done, it’s part of the story. You can try to erase it from your brain or attribute it to corrupt motivations or write fanfic where it doesn’t happen, but that doesn’t change what’s there. So when people want to do analysis of character motivations, subtext, and relationships, when they are capable of lining up certain dots to come to the conclusion that the story could put Character X with Character Y, you are free to disagree - but kindly engage them on their own level.

Don’t just shut them down with ‘it’s only queer-baiting’ or ‘they would never go there’. You are not psychic, you do not know what TPTB are thinking, the only thing you have is the same thing the other person has - the material they’re analysing. Even comments made by people behind the scenes can be inconsistent, vague, misinformed, misquoted, taken out of context, later disproved, or subject to creative whims. If you really believe a couple has no chance of happening, then do what the other person is doing - use the information that the source material itself has given you to refute them.

Otherwise, chances are good that you just think there’s no chance in hell of a slash/femmeslash couple becoming canon because they are gay. And while that is sadly often true, it is not right, it is not acceptable, and it is a way of thinking that should not be encouraged and will only continue to thrive so long as people promote the idea that homosexuality is somehow scandalous, inappropriate, immoral, or bizarre.

Queer-baiting happens, but it should not, and it should not be used as an excuse to dismiss other people’s ideas or interpretations of a story. When you bring up queer-baiting you are levelling a highly unflattering accusation at the people responsible for the source material you enjoy. So rather than using it as a weapon to disregard ships you don’t like, if you really think it’s going on, maybe turn around and send some concerned comments to the people responsible for it, yeah?

Because it is kind of ridiculous to sit there watching two characters making eyes at one another, telling each other that they need one another and will always protect one another, and then turn around and be informed that it basically doesn’t count as romantic because the people responsible for that scene are just dicking with you.

I mean, really?

Really?

/End rant.

NOTE: this is NOT my meta. Actual post here: link