I'm here to scream from the top of the tallest tower, "LET PEOPLE SHIP!" As an anime and game enthusiast, I love shipping people together. It is a fun little game of who looks good with who, who has the most chemistry, who would make the most interesting couple. And as an avid shipper, I am so sick and tired of seeing all the hate that comes with it. I'm tired of being on a fandom site and seeing people complain about who ships who. So, I'm here to tell you all to stop hating people's ships.
For those who don't know, "ship" means two or more people who you think would look good together as a couple. Friend-ships, also exist where you just want two or more people to meet and become close. Shipping often pops up in fanfiction, fanart, and cosplay. There are numerous reasons for shipping, some just think they'll look good together or have compatible personalities, others just enjoying mismatching. Regardless, shipping is fun; however, there are people who are ruining it, simply because they don't agree with the ship. This can be known as shipping wars.
Whether someone thinks one of the people involved goes better with someone else or hates the ship for conservative means, shipping wars are plaguing communities and killing an activity that is supposed to be fun. When I say conservative means, I am talking about gay, polygamous, trans, and non-canon ships. I'll break each one down for everyone.
A big argument in fandoms on ships is LGBTQ+ ships. I hear, "They're not gay" or "That's not their assigned gender" and these statements are ridiculous. For one, sexuality often isn't confirmed in anime and video games, so no one knows for sure what sexuality a character is. It may be implied through their interactions with other characters but sexuality is fluid and can be expressed in many different forms. Plus, it is all fictional! The creator of the ship is allowed to decide the sexuality and gender of the character, for it's their story and their art now.
Polyamory is an act that is constantly up for debate, especially in today's society, despite it being nobody's business but the consenting parties. Polyamory or open relationships is where you have more than one partner or have relations with others outside your main partnership. This is a completely consensual and agreed upon form of love by all parties involved. However, many people advocate against it in real life and in ships. I don't see how it hurts anyone if it's consensual, thus it shouldn't be hated on.
Canon is a word used to refer to something that the original creator says is a part of the story or art. So if the author of "The Hunger Games" says Katniss is gay, then it is canon. It can also refer to anything that happens in the original form of entertainment. So, when people ship people who are already in different relationships in the story, things get dicey. Which shouldn't be the case because, once again, it is all fictional! The whole point is to create something in your own vision, not in the authors.
Now, one argument I do kind of agree with is the, "They're just kids" one. This is extremely circumstantial. I believe it comes down to legal terms; however, that changes depending on your own country's laws and the laws of the fictional world of the characters. For example, the legal age of consent is 16 in America but in Japan, it's 13. If you are shipping a 15-year-old with a 16-year-old then its not a problem. However, if you ship a 15-year-old with a 25-year-old, we have a problem. Most teenagers fall in love, so I don't think it's a problem to show them in relations, as long it's legal and consensual.
All in all, these ships aren't hurting anyone so you shouldn't hurt someone because of them. Maybe you should think first on why they are being shipped in the first place. Maybe the person ships gay or trans couples, for they may be gay or trans and the LGBTQ+ community is so underrepresented. Regardless of the reason, just let people ship and enjoy the art they worked so hard on to show you.