My Ship Is Not Yours to Sink
If there’s one thing that seems to rile the Harry Potter fandom up beyond all belief, it’s shipping. (For the uninitiated, shipping is the idea of wanting two – or sometimes more – characters to be in a romantic relationship with each other.) There are the standard canon ships, such as Romione (Ron and Hermione), Hinny (Harry and Ginny), and Jily (James and Lily), and there are the standard non-canon ships, such as Harmony (Harry and Hermione), Snily (Snape and Lily), and Wolfstar (Sirius and Remus).
Shipping has become so prolific that there are even joke ships, such as Hogwarts Castle and the giant squid, Hermione and the Sorting Hat, and of course the most (in)famous of the joke ships: Drapple. (Again, for the uninitiated, that’s Draco and an apple. Tom Felton himself ships it, so there you have it, folks.)
Shipping is a great many fans’ favorite pastime while also being openly scorned by a great many others. For some people, the act of shipping itself is considered disrespectful to J.K. Rowling in the instances where it violates canon. For others, there are particular ships that make them feel uncomfortable or even disgusted. There are yet other people who will disparage certain ships in favor of their own.
There is so much controversy over shipping that what would otherwise be a fun and harmless pastime for many fans often turns into an all-out war. Any time a ship like Drarry (Draco and Harry) is mentioned, people will flood the comments section with all sorts of remarks about everything they think is wrong with the ship and how much they hate it, sometimes even going so far as to attack the people who enjoy it.
Listen up, folks: It doesn’t need to be this way.
If you don’t like a ship or it makes you uncomfortable, that is totally okay and you are fully entitled to your opinion on the matter. However, there is a time, a place, and a manner in which to discuss these views, and hurling insults and accusations in the comments section on a shipping post is not it. If you need to vent your grievances with a particular ship, or even just the idea of shipping in general, then chat with a like-minded friend, find a relevant forum, or just make your own fan fiction or fan art that suits your particular tastes.
This is not about creating an echo chamber, though. Where would we all be without a bit of healthy dissent? If you feel that your view is valuable enough to be shared on a public forum, then by all means, share it! Just make sure that you are actually sharing your views and not needlessly tearing down the people who support the ship you detest. It’s not Battleship; it’s just a ship.
We all express our enthusiasm for the series in wonderfully diverse ways, and it costs $0 to be respectful of other people’s hobbies and imaginations. If you don’t like a ship, that’s absolutely fine, but it’s not your place to dictate to other people what they can and can’t enjoy – especially if you don’t understand it.