like, i understand why ladies who are attracted to other ladies cling steadfast to the very few canon f/f ships out there. i get it. they’re all we have.
i am very tired of this trend whereby we idolise unhealthy relationships between women.
i ship a fair few questionable ships, i’m not saying you can’t. shipping can be cathartic, it can be an indulgence for things which are not acceptable in real life relationships, it can help you better analyse healthy and unhealthy relationships dynamics.
the problem at large with the femslash fandom is that there is no admittance that these ships are problematic. for example, i’m a sansa/sandor shipper, and a good percentage of meta i read about them discusses the problem of power dynamics between the two, sandor’s bad treatment of her, sansa’s naivety and youth, etc. sansan shippers (in general) tend towards full and open admittance of the sizeable problems with the ship, and work to avoid the pitfalls of bad fic tropes, unhealthy depictions of the two, etc etc.
i have never encountered this with any of my interactions with femslash fandom. i have to work very hard to seek out critical analysis of, for example, cosima and delphine from orphan black. this ship is not a healthy ship. delphine repeatedly betrays cosima’s trust and even denies her full control over her body at some points. delphine is in a relationship with someone under her medical care and that is not a healthy balance of power.
now, that’s not to say you can’t ship them. like i said above, i myself have ships which are unhealthy or have other issues to contend with, such as age differences or trust issues. but you need to be aware of these issues. you need to discuss them and bring them to light to ensure that younger members of your fandom do not mistakenly idolise these unhealthy relationships. you need to make it clear that these relationships should be confined to the realm of fiction.
another example. alex and piper in orange is the new black are a compelling couple and have great onscreen chemistry, i can’t lie. but alex emotionally manipulates and abuses piper, in some cases explicitly because piper is multisexual. for example, the line “never fall in love with a straight girl” places the blame on piper for leaving despite the fact that alex was putting her in danger and ignoring her, erases piper’s multisexuality, and this theme continues throughout the series with alex’s behaviour. if this had happened between two male characters or a male/female pairing, you bet your arse there would be tons of discussion about multi erasure, abuse cycles, and so on. i’ve found maybe three posts on this website which discuss this in any detail.
i get it, guys. we have limited options. there aren’t many canon femslash pairings. but for the love of god, this is not an excuse to ignore or heaven forbid condone abuse simply because it’s two women. these discussions need to be had and i’m not seeing it.