"What does 'proship' mean?"

That's literally it.

Proship; profiction; anti-anti...all these terms are shorthand for "I won't try to shame you, deplatform you, or otherwise harass you because of your fictional preferences."

  • If these terms just mean "normal person," why do they exist?

In the old days, fandoms were divided into niche subsets. However, the establishment of a more centralized web has destroyed many of the barriers that once separated rival factions; socmed sites thrive on outrage culture and actively discourage content curation.Circa 2016, Tumblr users created the anti-ship tag as a means of content curation. This "anti-[insert ship name here]" tag was used to keep "ship hate" out of the main ship tags, as a courtesy to the shippers (and a convenience for non-shippers).Over time the anti-ship tags became a nest for puritanical sentiments. "Anti-shippers" insisted that some ships were morally corrosive to the minds of fans, or that they reflected fans' hidden real life desires. "The type of fiction you consume reflects your ethics, betrays your deepest truths, and erodes the morality of at-risk individuals." In this environment everyone was a secret predator, betrayed by the most tame ships and fan art. The subsequent McCarthyist meltdown still blazes to this day, with a fandom culture plagued by constant callouts and harassment campaigns.Anti-shippers (soon shortened to "antis" for ease of use) became notorious within fandoms like Voltron for their harassment campaigns against fans and creators alike. In renouncement of the anti movement, certain fans adopted the "proship" label as a marker of solidarity with harassment victims. Many fans still carry this label as an act of defiance or as a signifier of their stance.

  • But I thought "proship" meant "problematic shipper."

Nope! Proshippers simply believe that you can't determine a person's ethics based solely on the type of fiction they consume.Many proshippers don't like toxic, dark, or otherwise "problematic" ships. Plenty don't engage with dark fiction at all.Antis benefit from the lie that "proship" means "problematic shipper" because it distracts from the core divisive issue: One side is against harassment over fiction, and the other believes it is foundational to the upkeep of society. To admit that "proship" actually means "against harassment over fiction" would be to admit that antis are "pro-harassment over fiction."

  • ...So proshippers aren't pedophiles?

No.This claim sprang up because proshippers will defend those who ship child characters with adults. Proshippers understand that fictional preferences are not synonymous with real life desires.

  • But why would someone ship something so terrible?

It can be difficult for those who don't like "dead dove" ships to understand why someone would ship a child character with their teacher, or a brother character with his sister, and so on. In essence, these fictional scenarios act as toy train crashes. The interest lies in the destruction inherent to the scenario—and is predicated upon its fictitious nature. The explosion is only fun as long as it is CGI—i.e., as long as no real person is hurt.This mentality extends to those who enjoy fictional porn about rape, pedophilia, and incest. The human brain often pulls from fear and disgust for fantasy fodder. It is common to be aroused by scenarios that would traumatize a person outside of fiction. For instance: Over 60% of women have had a rape fantasy. Fanfic and fan art porn containing rape, pedophilia and incest is just another form of force fantasy and ageplay.

Here's some research.

  • Isn't it cruel to survivors to allow people to consume dead dove porn?

It's actually more cruel to demand that all survivors act and recover the same way.Some survivors are triggered by dead dove porn. Others use dead dove porn as tools for art therapy—to connect with fellow survivors; to remind themselves that their fantasies are not monstrous or even unusual; even to desensitize themselves to a traumatic event. Whether the consumption of dead dove fiction will help or hinder a survivor's recovery can only be determined by that survivor and their therapist. To ban dead dove porn would harm the survivors who benefit from its existence. That's why proshippers advocate for curation, tags and age-restriction rather than the outright censorship of fictional porn.

  • I've heard that proshippers are racist.

Some proshippers are racist, and some proshippers are sexist, and some proshippers are queerphobic...the list goes on. Any given group, once large enough, must contain a percentage of shitheads. Proshippers are unified solely by a commitment against harassment over fiction, which generates an enormous pool of very different people.We not-shithead proshippers can do our best to cut off the bigots from our spaces. Those who harass others over fiction—who hurl slurs and spam porn at antis—are not proshippers. They are firmly pro-harassment, which puts them at direct odds with our stance.