jesus, it's like there's unending dwarf halls of wank. you pass through great palaces of wank, and wondrous carved gardens of wank, and then whole other vistas of wank open up before you.
i'm not too proud to say, i had no idea the wank was gonna go this far down. these people are *batshit*.
Information on the con itself and the immediate responses are collected Sherlock 221b Con Wank, as well as the page on The Johnlock Conspiracy and main wankers Graceebooks and loudest-subtext-in-television. As the wank has continued and grown, additional players have entered the fray, both from inside the Sherlock fandom, and from the larger fandom community. (Ed. note: Please be cautious when following some of these links, as many contain frank discussion of sexual assault and its aftermath. I have attempted to mark these clearly within the text, but as this wank is ongoing, some may have slipped past me. Take care of yourselves! ♦)
“Enthusiastic consent as a kink”
Shortly after the wank blew up, Grace’s faction began “writing headcanons and fics about how """"sexy"""" it is when John and Sherlock get each other’s consent during sex- which is morbidly hilarious, given the recent actual social justice backlash against portraying consent as sexy (and rather portraying consent as fucking mandatory) and thus implying that not consenting is not sexy or prudish …” Though one of them is quoted as saying they don’t want their fics to “assum[e] consent just because they’re in a relationship,” a nonny notes that Joolabee has written fic in which Sherlock attempts to fellate a sleeping John.
Other nonnies point out that the canon does not precisely lend itself to this kind of fluff — after all, Sherlock has nonconsensually drugged John before. “Unless, of course, I missed the scene where Loving Top Dom Daddy John diddles Sad Gay Baby Sherlock while asking if he wants it with every stroke on camera.” Another nonny: “…anyone who thinks Sherlock ought to be the posterboy for consent really needs to, like, watch the actual show before going full-tilt into headcanon-land.”
One nonny, linking to Fawnlock fic by Bennyslegs and Fawnlock art by Rutobuka, puts their finger on why this version of enthusiastic consent squicks them:
There's this aspect of kinking on asking "Do you want this? Do you like this? Is it good?" and getting the answer "Yes!" regardless of any of the other aspects of the encounter. Combine that with rampant infantalization and you get something horrifying if you present it as something good and normal and proper and unkinky.
That leads to characters being written as not competent enough to actually consent while giving enthusiastic confirmation that the person fucking them is doing a good thing. In the tumblr discourse where that's not kinky, but an unquestionably good and pure and virtuous form of sex, you get a narrative where agreeing to sex is more important than understanding it.
Kumbricwitch complained that people talking shit about these fics is “actually suddenly quite weirdly triggering to me.” Given what this group of people has done to actual survivors at 221b and afterward, meme was decidedly unsympathetic to her. This nonny brought up something interesting and relevant:
I've noticed there's a pattern in how tumblr SJWs use the idea of safety--people are only allowed to say they feel unsafe in regards to ideologies. Things that make people potentially unsafe in the real world are not the same. There was a wank on here awhile back … where one side said people with violent impulses made them feel unsafe. This was, in turn, making someone uninvolved feel unsafe because it was ableist. Physical violence? Not an issue. Ideological violence? Unsafe and dangerous. The real world is nearly irrelevant to these people.
We've had this conversation a million times already
Despite Gracee et al's assertions that talking about the morality of rape/non-con and underage fic is a conversation we need to have, meme points out that this has been discussed over and over, in fandom and out, for decades. "They're so far up their own asses they are completely unaware that people have been talking about this shit since the dawn of fandom." Nonnies discuss whether they're ignorant, or disengenuous, or "caught up in some kind of folie a Grace" re: fandom-inflected myopia. One points out that "It's literally the same argument - not even an actual argument, just plain wank - in fandom after fandom, varying in intensity, as if this was a topic that was newly discovered every time." Another nonnie makes a point about their possible motives:
I think they keep insisting on "having a discussion" because they think if it happens again and again, sooner or later their viewpoint will be validated, because of course it's right. The previous discussions are obviously tainted and invalid, because they don't conform to what they believe. "Fandom Needs To Have a Discussion About It so this time fandom can get it right, and agree with me."
If you are wounded by the existence of rapefics, I will personally train you in my method of "not reading stories that don't interest me". It's a weeklong seminar.
Day 1: How Not to Click Links.
Day 2: Recognizing That Everyone Is Not Me.
Day 3: How to Enjoy Recreational Activities Even If Other People Are Not Me.
Day 4: Advanced Not Clicking On Links (Even If You See Them More Than Once)
Day 5: Celebrating The Improved View Once My Head Is No Longer Up My Own Ass.
Registration opening soon! Warning, it'll be crowded, so please register early to avoid disappointment.
Over on tumblr, aprillikesthings, abudantlyqueer, vegetablerightsandpeace, and emmagrant, who have all been in fandom for more than a decade, point out that this conversation has happened many times before.
Harassment & threats of violence
Roane72 has been a favorite target of Gracee et al (especially loudest-subtext-in-television) since she had a run-in with TJLCer goldfishanunbrella in 2014. (Meme discussed it briefly at the time, and again in the context of this wank.) She collected a series of screencaps showing the TJLC'ers threatening violence against her and hoping she would leave fandom, and plotting to get her banned from 221b Con. Meme discusses. After this came to light, martainducreff, another TLJCer threatened to punch both Roane and AbundantelyQueer, because obviously more theoretical punching will solve these issues. Gracee herself has directed her toadies to continue to bother AQ, which meme rolls its eyes at.
As a direct result of this harassment, AbundantlyQueer emails the 221b, GridlockDC, and Sherlock Seattle concoms with her concerns. Nonnies discuss, with one nonny claiming that "I know a lot of con runners are stuck in a weird place with this right now. They can't come down preemptively, but, uh...I know some of the runners of Gridlock who are definitely not cool with the presence of Grace & Co."
Fighting the good fight in namespace
Songlin, a self-confessed survivor of child sexual assault herself, waded into the fight with several good-faith posts attempting to engage gracee et al. She even went into explicit detail about her own childhood sexual assault and the ways noncon fanfic has helped her cope (blanket trigger warning for frank discussion of pedophilia, victim blaming, and sexual assault). Meme is almost universally supportive of her, and discuss her posts in detail.
This goes about as well as one would expect. For this "offense," Gracee et al have:
- screenshotted her twitter
- called her "a dangerous survivor"
- claimed her taking a break to write up her abuse was "~convenient~"
- sent anon asks claiming survivors become abusers
- deliberately triggered her re: her own CSA
- told her that she--not the bullies!--is the one making fandom "unsafe"
- threatened to report her to the head of her department for being "a threat to children" (nonnies discuss)
Penns-woods, another CSA survivor (trigger warning for frank discussion of CSA), calls out the kink-shamers' attempts to disempower her and other survivors.
AQ has exactly less than no for Gracee's posse, and enjoys toying with them, much to their consternation: "if you’re particularly keen to have me call you a shit-stain, plz tag your posts."
Beautifulfic responds to multiple requests to clarify her position, denouncing Gracee et al & their tactics.
Dkwilliams talks about how far fandom has come, and points out that it still has far to go, if the current climate of bullying is any indication.
A nonnie responds to one of Gracee's post with an eloquent call-out, ending with, "i would like fandom to be a place where my word is law, and my law is obeyed." itwasjustawolf reposts to tumblr, and miracle of miracle, Gracee engages! In "good faith!" Of course, she denies any responsibility for any of the wank whatsoever, and attempted to turn the tables on those who oppose her clique. Meme mocks this "historical revisionism."
Saathi1013 responds condescendingly to Songlin, rubbing meme the wrong way by starting her post with "Oh honey no" as she sides with Gracee et al. Nonnies take issue with her obvious victim blaming and SO MUCH BAD SCIENCE. After finding out just who, exactly, she threw her lot in with, Saathi retracted her post and apologized to Songlin. Songlin came to FFA to say that she accepted Saathi's apology; nonnies are largely understanding and forgiving themselves, but some are not willing to simply forgive and forget.
Falka goes nuclear
On April 28, two weeks into the wank, and about the time reasonable voices began to dominate the discussion (see above section), yourfalkaisproblematic aka katzensprotte posted a massive write up on why Traumachu is a really for-realz pedophile. (Ed. note: Link goes to a reblog with the original content wiped, as I believe the allegations are baseless and do not want to give them any more airtime than they already have. ♦) She included several screenshots of Traumachu discussing shota fic, and claimed that "[h]er reaction to a group of 8 to 9 year old schoolboys was indistinguishable from the reactions she has to the rape and pedo headcanons and art she loves so much. She made the exact same turned on noises she makes when she finds something hot and while I tried to explain it away at the time it was a moment of realisation for me and it honestly haunts me."
There is something seriously fucking wrong with all of these people. Do they not realize they are potentially destroying the lives of real people over their stupid ship? (Because like fuck is it about being scare Michi's going to do anything. Like fuck.)
This sounds a lot like a whipped-up hysteria. There were a lot of other times this should have been addressed, if it's an issue, other than when her "side" is losing the sympathy war.
How fucking stupid could you be? If ANY part of this person actually believes the shit she is spewing, that is a motherfucking travesty of a response! What's next, you're going to try and report someone else's spousal abuse on Fandom Secrets while snidely including jabs about the abuser's financial situation, their preference for the wrong part of your OTP getting thumped, and tossing accusations at a number of other fans you don't know? Or maybe next they'll leave cryptic notes in anon comments on AO3 about someone having homicidal tendencies, which they know because they write Hannibal fic and are over the age of forty.
If Michi is a giant pedo then fucking report her to the police, report her to con com (as soon as you know it), take her aside and talk to her, do some fucking thing that's not making a burn book of your JOINT shota-funtimes and showing it to the world as if you didn't have a fucking thing to do with that dynamic.
Some nonnies discuss the "shota fancast" screenshot (posted by someone other than Tramauchu, but which she "liked" on tumblr), coming to the conclusion that using photos of real children in these fantasies is over the line. Even so, one nonnie laments that, due to the way this wank has gone, "we can't even have a serious discussion about how inappropriate this specific behavior is because they've poisoned the well." The issue comes up again in post #194, with meme again agreeing it wasn't cool, but that "what Michi did isn't what's at issue here. This is about power." In post #195 it's brought up again, and one nonnie asks why Gracee et al aren't going after the person who made the original post. Meme's response: "The obvious answer is that they don't have a problem with the content, this is purely a personal grudgewank. Which is the only way any of this wank makes objective sense, because almost every sin these guys have railed against have been sins they've committed themselves."
Another nonnie reports that someone (assumed to be either gracee herself or one of the ringleaders) has created a blog called "draggingpedophiles" and is using this burner account to send threatening messages, revealing that they know RL names and workplaces.
Decadentwallpaper, who several memers considered a friend, posts a long screed denouncing Michi/Traumachu. Nonnies take offense to her assertions, especially that "Shame is your brain’s way of telling you THAT YOU ARE DOING SOMETHING WRONG," joking that she "has obviously never met a Catholic." Vulgarweed responds, pointing out that the screencaps were "very selectively cherry-picked by people with an agenda that, I believe, really at its heart has everything to do with turning on a former friend and nothing whatsoever to do with protecting children or survivors."
ErinPtah points out the hypocrisy of calling "people who read/like/kudos/write/draw fictional underage sex, sexualized minors, infantalization, etc. are a danger to real children…except when it’s me.”
a-melancholy-donkey points out that "this is not about CSA or rape victims - it wasn’t in the beginning, when they went to the con with the intent to harass a specific person they didn’t like, and it is not now, when they show no interest in actual discussion. This is about a group of people who take every nasty measure possible to harass people who ship their ship wrong."
Songlin concurs with an anonymous ask that Falka's post was probably vetted by Gracee to avoid any legal liability.
One of Gracee's flunkies, 91-71, attempts to connect the fancasting post (which, again, Michi did not post, but only "liked") with actualfax child pr0n, claiming that it is "wholly indistinguishable [...] from those coming from actual pedophiles on actual pedophile boards." (Meme discussion.) When questioned by itwasjustawolf, she weasels out of actually answering (citing that she is just so triggered by the topic--that she keeps following), and insists that she is "not accusing anyone of any criminal activity; rather i am commenting on the patterns i am seeing" while linking to a Nonnies summarize the essay and agree that it is nothing like the post Michi liked (but did not post).
A few days after Falka's initial post, one nonny points out that the screencaps come from several iterations of Michi's blog layout, meaning Falka had been capping her posts and planning this for months, if not longer. Meme agrees this is very creepy.
"And Tilted Syllogism will reign benevolently with AQ forever..."
Tiltedsyllogism posts a long and eloquent response to the idea that non-con and shota fics are inherently harmful. She specifically called out joolabee, drfurter, johnwatso, graceebooks, kumbricwitch, martinducrieff, ivorylungs, yourfalkaisproblematic, and loudest-subtext-in-television as "the people I’ve seen expressing the most fervent concern about the damage that reading noncon and shota can do." Several other tumblr users have weighed in on Tiltedsyllogism's arguments. Meme agrees that she hit it out of the park.
Tilted also received an anon ask (almost certainly sent by one of Gracee's boot-lickers), begging them to read Falka's post on Michi, and then a second follow-up ask on the same subject. She points out something that this nonnie believes hits at the very heart of this wank (outside of the witch-hunt of a former friend, ofc):
But the real problem with the widespread reliance on the criterion of "good faith" is the frequent (certainly not universal) corollary assumption that it’s okay to do or say things to these Bad Faith Actors that wouldn’t be acceptable otherwise. I’m not talking about pointing out the inconsistencies in things they have said, or calling others’ attention to the things that they themselves have done, or blocking them; I’m talking about things that you would be ashamed to admit that you had said and done to another person, absent the justification of “but I mean well and they don’t, and that makes them dangerous.” As I said above, I’m really not one for dicta, but here’s one I feel completely comfortable with, in the context of fandom arguments, at least: if you need to say that to yourself in order to justify the thing you’re thinking about doing, then you shouldn’t be doing it.
The first two wankers to respond were drfurter and johnwatso, though the latter "accidentally" lost 1.5 hours worth of work and so did not actually respond to Tilted, while meme points out that the former "made a straw man out of the beautiful post." Another nonnie asks, "What more proof do you need that these people simply aren't interested in a good-faith discussion?" johnwatso eventually does post her own screed, which meme quickly pulls apart: "This is like a 2nd grader replying and critiquing a celebrated PhD dissertation."
Gracee herself does chimes in, though she neither reblogs the original post, nor tags TiltedSyllogism (as nonnies point out, Tumblr's @ function is notoriously unreliable). One would almost think that she had no real intention of engaging! ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ One nonny supposes it's "because [she wants it to be] on her terms and in her turf."
Tilted's first response was "the definition of calm, rationality and good faith." Unfortunately for reasonable people, Gracee can't admit defeat, and fires back, making it very clear that, despite appearing to be sensible, she "is either a) not arguing in good faith, or b) batshit. Or c) both, I suppose," which meme discusses:
…but here is where I get off the train. Congratulations! I will now stop exhorting you to be reasonable. For reasons I wrote about earlier tonight, it is incredibly hard to maintain a culture of good faith when the subjects under discussion are painful and divisive and the stakes are high, and this attitude - I mean, I have no idea where it comes from, but if someone very smart and talented were trying to design a conversational style aimed at inflaming and distorting, it might come out looking like this.
One of the reasons I admire professorfangirl so much is that she is consistently willing to revise her own thinking, and to apologize when someone makes a solid case that she has gotten something wrong. It saddens me that you do not likewise to see fit to apologize for things you said that were very hurtful. At this distance, it should be clear that what you intended with those comments is less important than the legacy of hurt that they left - or, at least, it should be less important than that legacy of hurt. Maybe it’s not.
And I am genuinely sorry to lose you, because you are smart and tough and clearly willing to go to the mat for what you believe in. But this combination of moral rectitude and unrepentant shit-flinging is just about the most toxic thing I can think of.
The TJLC'ers take this eminently reasonable post as casting aspersions on gracee's character, and decide that the only way to fight back is to act like the shit-flinging little twerps they are. Gracee herself vagueblogs about "banning IDEAS" and trying to equate her banning from 221b Con with ... censorship? Or something. Thevanishingtwin pops up to try to claim Tilted is "fling[ing] shit into grace’s face while you are both trying to have a decent conversation" while meme wonders wtf she's even trying to achieve.
IT'S A TRAP!
On 1 May, both Songlin and AbundantlyQueer received anon asks on tumblr requesting that they Skype with "someone on the other side" (assumed to be Gracee herself). AQ shuts down the request in no uncertain terms (even saying on meme that she'd rather "hammer a nail through [her] own face"), while Songlin seems receptive. Nonnies do not believe that Gracee is making this offer in good faith, but rather attempting to find more "dirt" on Songlin:
As some random stranger on an anonymous message board, I suggest that you don't. You do not need to face your abusers like this. They are trying to get something that they can edit to make it look like you've said you support child molestation. If you skype with them, they will use it to destroy your life and career, or, if you're very lucky, just blackmail you into never contradicting them again.
You have given them every opportunity to discuss these things with you without allowing them to record your face and voice while a lawyer tries to get you to say something that she can twist to make you look like a monster.
These people have demonstrated again and again that they have no interest in debate or open conversation. That is not what they will be trying to get out of you.
Another nonnie mentions Skype's well-known security flaws (which have been exploited by Gamergate), and suggest that if Gracee et al are really interested in a good faith discussion, they'll find another medium.
The NeverEnding Wank
Although the main culprits seem to have quieted down, meme continues to discuss:
- Sherlock Wank: Lowering the IQ of the entire internet (post #197)
- GridLockDC contacts wiki-nonnie to remove reference to them wanting to ban Gracee et al; wiki nonnie refuses
- Sherlock ShitStorm 2k15 (post #198)
- Turns out the video WAS of the entire panel, which makes the editing even more suspicious
- KumbricWitch fauxpologises and fake deletes.
- Sherlock Grace Wank (post #200)
- Nonnies discuss Gracee's use of "queer" to refer to herself (a cishet woman)
- Apparently the TJLCers are working on organizing their own con; one nonnie mocks up a panel schedule (get it, mocks?):
9 a.m.: “Saturday Morning Shota Cartoons”
10 a.m.: How Traffic Light Patterns in Sherlock Prove that John Will Do Sherlock Up the Butt by the Show’s Finale”
11 a.m.: “Surreptitious Videography”
12 p.m.: “Book BBQ Lunch”
1 p.m.: “Weedblogging for Fun and… Uh, I Forget, Man”
2 p.m.: “Internet Drama Tactics for Underemployed Lawyers: Put That Degree to Good Use!”
3 p.m.: “Toward a More Selective Definition of ‘Feminism’”
4 p.m.: “Baby Bats, Q-Tips, and Radical Consent”
5 p.m.: “Don’t Sweat the White Stuff: Having John Explain Semen to bb!Sherlock in Your Fic”
9 a.m.: “Bambi: Fuckable or Not?”
10 a.m.: “Worship Hour: Come Lick the $300 Shoes of Our Savior, Grace”
11 a.m.: “Care and Feeding of the Tiny Frogs Kept in Your Trousers”
12 p.m.: "Hakuna Frittata: Picnic Lunch on the Veldt with Your Queen, Simbabooks"
1 p.m.: “The Rousing of the Peeper: Adorable Euphemisms for Your Smutfic”
2 p.m.: “It’s Never Your Fault: How to Blame Your ‘Friends’ for Misdeeds You Committed During the Five Years You Were Seventeen”
3 p.m.: “How Disagreement Ruins Constructive Dialogue”
4 p.m.: “King Henry II: Inspiring Sherlock Fans More Than 800 Years Later”
5 p.m.: “Interpreting the Body Language of Canon Creators”
- Post #201 sees the wank demoted to a subthread
- But for #202 it's back to its own thread
- Meme collectively eyerolls in #208 about Gracee being posted to sherlockiansbepositive
- A teeny update on gracee continuing to be terrible in #214
- In #217, the wank receives its own icon, and traumatizes new nonnies with Fawnlock and totally-not-a-kid bat!John. Also, AQ leaves Tumblr media fandom, and someone accuses the Sunnies of running the sherlockshitposter tumblr.