Have you ever read William Golding’s novel Lord of the Flies? Odds are you have if you’ve ever set foot in a high school. But for those unfamiliar with the book, it’s about a group of British school boys who crash land on an island. The boys start out with a civilised approach to life on the isle. They establish rules and build a blazing fire in hopes of attracting a rescue ship. However, over the course of the story, the darkness within all humanity (See most comments on social media for examples of this 😉 ) quickly conquers them, and they become savages willing to hunt and kill their own.
Now while this allegorical story published in 1954 is sadly still relevant today, there is always one question that keeps coming up. Why did Golding make all the characters in Lord of the Flies boys? Why not girls? Why not boys and girls? The answers, of course, make perfect sense.
1. Golding was once a little boy. He was a brother, a father, and, before he died in 1993, a grandfather. He was never a sister or a mother, or a grandmother. And as they say, write about what you know.
2. If you scale down human society, a group of boys with their violent leanings are a better representation of that society. Girls, on the other hand, are superior to boys in that they are less likely to resort to violence to solve their problems, even in extreme conditions. Therefore an island full of girls was of no use to Golding because his readers would have had a hard time believing a bunch of girls would so quickly abandon a civilised approach to survival, succumb to inner evil, and become violent in the same way the boys in Lord of the Flies do. Girls are awesome that way.
3. Finally, and most important to this blog entry, the reason there is not a mix of boys and girls on the island is, people being what they are, sex would have raised its lovely head. And Golding did not want his book to be about sex. He did not want to have sex interfere with his novel’s exploration of the problem of evil and the problem of how people are to live in society.
When it comes to Street Fighter shipping through fan fiction, fan comics, fan art, etc., there are people in our society who complain about it and want the shippers to stop. But let’s face it, the urge to put our favorite Street Fighter characters together romantically does not originate with the shipper. The shippers are reacting!
Street fighter shipping, and more specifically the wish to see Ryu and Chun-Li together, is similar to the boys violent behaviour in Lord of the Flies in that shipping is a consequence of plain old human nature: we are wired to seek a romantic partner in such a powerful, fundamental way that we even get a considerable kick out of doing it by proxy. But in truth, we only do this if given the opportunity.
And give us an opportunity Street Fighter did:
But unlike the evil acts of the boys in Lord of the Flies, shipping, at its core, especially when it’s done respectfully and tastefully, is an expression of love for the two characters it pairs, and an affirmation of love itself. In fact, shipping may be one of the biggest compliments a fan can give a franchise because it shows just how invested in a franchise’s characters and its story a fan is.
All those pig-headed shipping haters out there who wish to bring the people they see as annoying pairing-loving flies around to their way of thinking are out of luck…
We’ve already been caught with honey.
More next time.