cherrybina: (Default)
[personal profile] cherrybina
Note: I originally posted this on tumblr, but I was asked to post it to LJ/DW as well, so here it is :D

First of all, I will say that I pretty much agree with everything Aja and Ifrit said in the tumblr link about my ships becoming canon in general, but since a lot of people are discussing this as applied to Teen Wolf, I would like to talk about why I am extremely wary of Sterek becoming canon.

The other day I saw this gifset (warning for domestic violence) and it underscored a lot of what makes me really uncomfortable with the idea of Derek and Stiles getting together in canon. While the text of the gifset is inaccurate, the scene is real. Derek really did slam Stiles's face into the steering wheel when (Stiles didn't do what Derek wanted - edited because I misspoke) Derek didn't like something Stiles did. It's not domestic violence because they aren't a couple, but it is still violence.

I ship Derek/Stiles, and there are a lot of elements of their dynamic that I really like, but as much as I love their scenes together, the fact is that Derek has been both verbally and physically abusive to Stiles. I'm okay with this in canon for two reasons:

1. Stiles doesn't think Derek's behavior toward him is cute or funny. He sees Derek as a creepy lurker who's also kind of an asshole, which, you know, he is. If Stiles had a crush on Derek in canon right now, I would be skeeved out to the point where I probably could not continue watching the show.

2. Fandom is a place of transformative works. In fanworks, we can fix everything that we think is wrong with a show, give characters the backstories we don't get to see, develop things beyond what happens in canon, etc. I can believe in Derek/Stiles in fic, because once I step out of the show and into fandom, the constraints of canon no longer apply.

If Derek and Stiles became involved on the show, the freedom that comes with fandom disappears, and now the constraints of canon do apply. No matter what happens from here on out, for me to accept them as a canon couple, I have to accept Stiles falling in love with someone who was at one point verbally and physically abusive to him. I'm not saying it's an automatic game ender, but it's a really fine line and an extremely sensitive issue - one that's going to take a lot of time and a lot of really significant character development, especially on Derek's part.

I want to say that I don't hate Derek, not at all. I think he's an extremely poor relationship prospect, but as a character, I like him a lot. I mean hey, Brian Kinney is one of my favorite characters of all-time, so I totally get the appeal of emotionally repressed pretty boys. Like Brian, Derek is exactly the kind of character that I think can be so interesting in fandom, because he's dark and mysterious with a tragic past, and we get to fill in all those blanks. Here, we can give him a story and motivations and feelings. We can talk about how how he got to this point, why he is the way he is, and how he grows beyond this.

But the thing is, as awesome as a lot of fic has been at giving Derek a story and exploring his feelings, that is still all fanon. On the show, he's a guy who creeps around, treats people badly, and is willing to use violence when he doesn't get his way. Regardless of any trauma in his past, that is not an acceptable way to behave. There's some fic out there that makes me intensely uncomfortable because of the characterization and relationship dynamic, and ironically, it's the fic where Derek is the most true to canon.

I've seen a lot of comparisons with Teen Wolf to Buffy, both as a show, and with Derek/Stiles to Buffy/Spike. Buffy is my very favorite character of all-time, and watching her with Spike broke my heart because they were just so miserable together and I couldn't stand to see her so full of shame and self-loathing. I'm not saying I think Jeff Davis will do something similar if Derek/Stiles becomes a canon relationship, but Stiles is my favorite character on the show, and I don't think I could bear to watch him get involved in an unhealthy dynamic.

I love Derek/Stiles as a pairing and will continue to happily read all the fic and talk about all the backstory and give Derek all the feelings because I can step out of canon and into a world where I trust fandom to fix everything that I think needs fixing in order for it to be okay with me. Jeff Davis doesn't have the luxury of stepping out of canon, so I guess the question is, how much do I trust him?

In conclusion, I just want to say that these are just my own personal feelings on the matter. Everyone has to draw their own lines around what makes them comfortable regarding different issues. These are my lines; ymmv. And that's really okay with me ♥

Date: 2012-09-01 08:30 pm (UTC)
polytropic_liar: (Default)
From: [personal profile] polytropic_liar
I totally agree with this (as I said on tumblr), but I wanted to ask if you have any recs for fic that acknowledge canon Derek but then proceed to help him grow in an actually healthy way? Doesn't have to be Derek/Stiles.

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