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They’re the Stick, You’re the Bear

MAN: Women are more emotional than men.

WOMAN: *begins speaking*
MAN: No really, they are.
WOMAN: *begins—*
MAN: It’s so obvious.
WOMAN: *be—*
MAN: They’re completely at the mercy of their emotions.
WOMAN: *nuclear explosion of teeth-baring hatred*
MAN: See, I told you.

This little expositionary tale (paraphrased from an actual Twitter exchange) is to make a point and that point is this: to get attention, some people will metaphorically poke and poke and poke a bear with a stick, so they can prove bears are dangerous.

Next time someone wanders into your comments with their stick, telling you that your favourite character “would never” be a top, a bottom, bi, ace, or whatever, I’d love it if you think of that someone as an idiot with a stick, an idiot who doesn’t want conversation or to enrich fandom, they want you to get your bear on and growl.

Do not give them the pleasure.

I don’t usually have nasty comments but once, oooo, once I had a reader tell me Sherlock “would never” and I replied “for me he does.” This riled her and she got rude. So I deleted her comment. She made a new account and repeated herself. I deleted. This went on for seven new AO3 accounts before she stopped.

See, the thing is, anyone who’s something other than a jerk comments in a way less jerklike. So people and their “would nevers”? They’re not there to talk, they’re there to tick you off. For fun.

Because riddle me this: If they’re so sure whomever would never…why did they click to read your fic?

If something’s not their preference, kink, one true turn on, why did they come to and continue reading your story?

I’ll tell you: they have a stick and they’re bored, lonely, or just fecking mean, and they want attention.

Don’t give it to them.

As so many genius writers for Spark have said in their own essays—the characters we love? They’re not real. They don’t care what we do with them or have them do. They have no opinions, needs, or feelings.

But we do.

And the bear pokers? They don’t care about those. So don’t care right on back.

Me, I delete rude comments. Life is rough enough without fools messing up my fandom playpen. So I delete, delete, delete.

Then I take my angry bearness and I go have coffee with a friend, growling awhile about the idiots of the world. Afterward I write porn. Maybe the people in that porn are top, bottom, bi, or ace. They aren’t real so they can be anything, everything, or nothing. And that’s fine.

It’s all fine.

(By the way, men commit 96% of homicides worldwide and most all the violent crime. Who’s more emotional now? *Atlin will not growl or eat people she will not growl or—*)

P.S. Read more in Improbable Press' writing newsletter: Top, Bottom, Bi, Ace: It’s All Fine.

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