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Proship, proshipper or anti-anti are terms used in online fandom spaces (more commonly after 2020), primarily in reference to lolicon and other erotic fiction. They are used to describe someone who refuses to harass or shame others for their fictional preferences, regardless of their own gut reaction to the content of said fictional relationship (ship).
Antishippers/antis (derog: fanpol, i.e. “fandom police”, fantis, i.e. “fandom antis”, sometimes "puriteens" in reference to their age) oppose fictional content they deem to be problematic, and seek to eliminate it by shaming proshippers, sometimes regardless of age, and using reporting mechanisms against them. Much of this activity takes place around "fandom age gap discourse". Antishippers' rationale is usually that sharing fiction on a subject is likely to encourage it in real life, particularly among the young and "impressionable". There is no actual evidence for this argument, and their movement has sometimes been described as "cult-like", with many examples of fantis who become so obsessed with policing content they deem to be pedophilic, that they spend hours each day identifying targets for suicide baiting.
Relevance to MAPs
For MAPs (both ego-syntonic and dystonic) and their allies, the term "proship" has potentially negative connotations, due to the tendency of some proshippers to engage in Validity Policing against MAPs. Oftentimes, this is based upon reaction formation (i.e. the proshipper might be a lolicon themselves and a repressed/distracted MAP). MAPs engaging regularly with proshippers online are likely to be highly familiar with the Lolicon-MAP Equivalence Debate. This is a trivial philosophical debate, widely understood to be unresolvable, largely invisible to outsiders and a waste of resources. MAPs have coined the term "ironic lolicon" to refer to individuals who are not self-accepting MAPs, but nevertheless have a marked proximity to drawn child erotica, using various justifications such as being "attracted to fiction" or quasi-human "aesthetics".
Antishippers and Fantis
Some of the following content is considered to be "problematic", and sometimes policed in online communities:
One particular tell as to the ultimately moralistic nature of antiship ideology, is that antishippers will attempt to fight even the most fantastical and impossible fiction, as long as it contains references to themes that offend their sensibilities. In this sense, the argument against encouragement is discarded, and the antishipper's counter-degeneracy agenda is laid bare. While it can be argued that shipping debates should be avoided by MAPs (due to a general inability to represent or influence real life events), it might also be the case that these debates play an important role in normalizing taboo themes, and engineering alliances with adjacent groups. A general level of literacy on this topic is now routinely encouraged among activist MAPs on social media, perhaps if only to identify, avoid and/or curtail unnecessary arguments.
Example of a suicide-baiting teenage fanti
There are many examples of violent and mentally disturbed antishippers and fantis, and some are known or suspected to have led to suicides. One mother of a teenage fanti girl spoke out on Reddit, after a girl attempted suicide following bullying by her daughter:
I asked her why she did this and once again told me, being completely serious, "Because (Said girl) is a pedophile". I asked why she felt that way, and straight faced, once again, told me exactly what the principal did. She believed the girl she had been harassing should "Be put in prison" and was a pedophile because she enjoyed art of these characters together depicted as a couple but the police won't do anything so she needed to take it into her own hands. I asked her if she believes these characters exist. She said no, but had gone on a very long rant about how people drawing art of them "normalizes pedophilia" (These characters I believe are 18 and 21) and went into very bizarre detail about different fetishes and "ships" that upset her.
She even ended up calling her father a "Pedophile enabler" for saying an adult should not be sending her porn or talking to her like that. Which, by the way, is also what this Discord group referred to anyone who was "clean" enough for their standards but disagreed with them for obvious reasons. For God's sake, I feel like my child has been indoctrinated into some weird "anti pedophilia" cult. Her behavior has completely changed over the span of two hours, I found out she tried pushing a classmate into suicide over drawings of cartoon characters kissing, and has been being groomed for months. I feel like I'm in a nightmare and fever dream at the same time. I don't even know what to do in regards to my daughter yet. I haven't told her I'm filing a police report yet and she's been almost in a manic state all night. The rest of my children are terrified. My other daughter (13) who has autism and a special interest in art, has told me that her sister has told her about some of this stuff before and she really didn't understand it but said she was really shy about showing her sister any of her drawings in case she got mad because she didn't know "What the rules were".
She's calmed down about her phone, I think her main concern was us seeing the messages. Since we already have, now it's a mix between her crying because she feels her life is ruined (Which she said while she hugged me and I think her way of saying "I know that woman was in the wrong") And her screaming at us for being "Pedophile enablers". And she's made comments that she's going to call the police on us for "holding her hostage" after we locked up all the sharp objects in the house inside the basement kitchen. She's not locked in a room, she's just not allowed in the extra little kitchen nook downstairs, there's barely used and only has sodas in it right now.
- Mastodon (following a small number of post-Elon Musk bans on Twitter, some proshippers have now followed MAPs to the Fediverse).
- 2021 analysis of anti-shipping
- Shipping discourse - MAP Wiki.
- When Pro-Shippers Turn on MAPs - Blog post.
- A Carrd on Proshipping