MY TAKE ON MOST POPULAR ANTI-S/J ARGUMENTS
â€œCharacters become defined by the romantic relationship. All character development becomes centered around the romanceâ€
This is simply not true. While in case of Sam and Jack their romantic feelings help to flesh out characters they are far from defining them. As Jackâ€™s relationship with Daniel becomes more antagonistic it also receives more screentime and attention. Jackâ€™s relationship with Tealâ€™c is still as important as ever. Ditto on Hammond and secondary characters. Huge moments for Jack include dealing with Danielâ€™s death, accepting Jonas and struggling with his promotion and new duties â€“ all of which have nothing to do with Sam. While it is true that time-wise all his interactions are more limited in later seasons itâ€™s simply because of limited RDA screentime later on, not some drastic change of focus.
Sam never ceased to be a great scientist, a kick-ass soldier and a force to be reckoned with â€“ the simple fact that some fans dubbed her Super Sam, after D&C, is the best proof. Contrary to what some antis claim, Sam didnâ€™t somehow lose her relationship with her father up till his death at the end of season 8, which frankly seems to have more to do with â€œcleaning the house due to the seriesâ€™ endâ€ than anything ship related. While dropping the Jolinar arch is regrettable (and I mourn it personally) it was never really developed and dropped at the beginning of season 3, before S/J ship became an issue. Blaming S/J for it seems silly. While season 8 indeed delved into Samâ€™s love life, it was centred on Pete at the time so again blaming S/J ship seems silly. Blaming loss of S/D friendship on S/J would have been understandableâ€¦except in seasons 9 & 10 this relationship vanished almost completely and at the time there was no S/J interaction at all. Clearly it wasnâ€™t the reason then.
I wonder when S/J will get blame for all the crimes and natural disasters in the world.
â€œPredictable romantic stereotypesâ€
YMMV on this one depending on your tolerance for stereotypes. Personally alpha!male and alpha!female hooking up is so common that I donâ€™t mind it in the slightest. I can understand the people who do though and I think it would be an excellent argument if 95% of people using it didnâ€™t slash J/D (two alpha!males of the show) or ship D/V (alpha!male and alpha!female of the last two seasons) or both, at the same time.
â€œSam and Jack's "relationship" is simply drawn out for too long to be believable.â€ And tied with it â€œshippy moments are randomly thrust into random episodesâ€
This is subjective. Of course tvâ€™s habit of drawing out UST as long as possible has little to do with RL, but letâ€™s not forget such are demands of tv series. IMO S/J thing could have been handled much worse, as it was, it still made perfect sense to me in terms of the charactersâ€™ decisions â€“ I explained my POV in S/J Relationship Onscreen paragraph. And because their relationship makes sense to me, seems quite natural and I see ship/friendship in almost every episode I disagree with the second statement. It all depends on your personal POV.
â€œBy focusing on the romance angle, the writers lost the chance to develop a unique and interesting mentoring relationship between Sam and Jack.â€
YMMV on this one too. Personally Iâ€™m sick of clichÃ©d â€œyoung woman becomes a student of older, wiser manâ€, have no interest in watching it and Iâ€™m glad the writers didnâ€™t go down this route. Especially since post season 1 I see both Sam and Jack as equals learning from each other, instead of Jack mentoring Sam.
â€œBy focusing on Sam's romance/love life, she is often reduced to the stereotypical role of "the Girlâ€â€
This is partly tied with argument no 1, about lack of any additional character development and is just as untrue. When was Sam a stereotypical Girl with Jack? She had her moments with Pete, thatâ€™s true, but what does it have to do with S/J? When was she reduced to carving out hearts and helplessly sitting at home waiting for her man? When did her feelings for Jack (because letâ€™s remember that with possible exception of BtS when they werenâ€™t quite themselves they never acted on their feelings) diminished her brilliance as a scientist, officer and a leader? When did they stop her from rescuing her teamâ€™s butts? Never. In fact it was some Sam/Cam and Sam/Vala interaction that seemed to push her firmly into the role of stereotypical Girl, more interested in shopping and baking cookies for guys than her professional stance.
This statement pushes my buttons however, because I hate it when female characters are criticized for daring to have feelings and /or love life. When a male character gets a love interest itâ€™s all good; when a female â€“ it somehow diminishes her and reduces to clichÃ©. I hate double standards, hate them with passion.
Women have feelings, they fall in love, not always with the right guy, they donâ€™t always deal well with feelingsâ€™ stuff; in one word: they have a love life just like guys do. It can be messy. It doesnâ€™t make them perfect, but it makes them real. And isnâ€™t it the point? Especially when it concerns such a well-rounded, interesting character like Sam Carter, who is so much more than just a Love Interest.
â€œS/J ship is nothing more than Samâ€™s one-sided crush on her COâ€
I already explained how I see S/J ship so I wonâ€™t repeat myself, but this statement always boggles my mind. Why do people insist that Samâ€™s pining for Jack? If there is any pining at all (which I donâ€™t see at all) itâ€™s rather on Jackâ€™s side. Heâ€™s the one wearing his heart on his sleeve while Sam backs away. Heâ€™s the one willing to talk in D&C, heâ€™s the one inviting her to go fishing, heâ€™s the doing the one thing he swore heâ€™d never do because she asked him to. And yet some folks go to extraordinary lengths to absolve him of any feelings.
On the â€œcrushâ€ note, I read over and over the antis complaints that people donâ€™t crush on someone for years, that itâ€™s impossible and unnatural and yet they refuse to admit that if thatâ€™s the case, Samâ€™s â€œcrushâ€ is probably something moreâ€¦
â€œ The lack of common interests.â€
I already covered this one in S/J Compatibility. Astronomy. Chess. Fishing. Bikes. Cassie. Old movies. Flying. Military. Similar sense of humour. Iâ€™ll repeat: after taking into consideration all interests, hobbies, shared values and ways of spending free time it turns out that Sam and Jack have the most in common out of all characters in the entire show. Jack/Tealâ€™c and Daniel/Tealâ€™c are second.
Again, this is subjective. Personally I donâ€™t have anything against partners being 10 or 15 years apart. I know 2 such couples in RL and they are happy. However Iâ€™m greatly annoyed when S/J age difference is so exaggerated that some folks claim Jackâ€™s a contemporary of Jacob and Hammond. I just..what?
Depending on your view of prop canon, Jack was born either in 1952 or in 1957. If the age difference squicks you so much, why not go with his younger age? And really, itâ€™s always good to remember that thereâ€™s a difference between *actors* and the *characters* they play. Really.
Another thing about the squickiness of the age difference that has me scratching my head is that it is applied *only* to Sam and Jack. The same people who claim they are uncomfortable with S/J because he is 10-15 years older are perfectly happy to see him with Kerry, who is younger or at the very least Samâ€™s age. Shouldnâ€™t they be against this pairing too? Not to mention folks who use this argument and ship D/J.
And the same applies to Samâ€¦apparently sheâ€™s too young for Jack but nobody says that sheâ€™s too young for Orlin, whoâ€™s thousands of years old. We donâ€™t know the age of Martouf and Narim but given that the first one is a Tokâ€™ra and the second one lives in medically advanced society I donâ€™t think itâ€™s a big stretch to assume they are also (much) older than her. But of course the age becomes a problem only when S/J are discussed.
And since Iâ€™m on the subject of ageâ€¦
Personally I don't think Daniel's older than Sam. I've always viewed them as being the same age, maybe even Sam being a year or so older, because she has this "older sister" vibe at times. I know that according to Entity she was born in 1968, but I just don't buy it.
Firstly, it's been proven numerous times that to be able to do everything Sam did in her life she would have to be older than 29 in CotG - meaning born earlier.
Secondly, I just don't believe in prop canon, period. It's too unreliable and not made by the writers themselves. If prop canon was to be believed, Jack was demoted and promoted several times during *one* episode, and his service record changes every time he wears dress blues. So for me personally, if something wasn't *said* on the show it's not canon. Hence, IMO, Jack was born in 1957, Daniel in 1964/5, Teal'c in 1898 and we don't know Sam's actual birth date, just that she was born in May.
Thirdly, I don't understand fandom's obsession with the fact that Sam *has to* be younger than the guys. Why? Is her being older than them makes her somehow less capable or accomplished? Geez, as a scientist she's Daniel's equal and she's also an officer - making her older doesn't diminish her genius. And I also don't understand why folks insist on making Jack older. Up untill Fragile Balance his canon age was never in question and the fact that age suddenly caught up with RDA is no reason to retcon *Jack's* backstory. If anything it gives it more credence, because I'd think all this stress and responsibility would take its toll on his health/looks.
â€œJack being the sole survivor of the Black Widow Curseâ€.
Again, this is not true. Apart from Pete thereâ€™s Lt Simmons, agent Barret, Felger and McKay, all of whom survived their crush on Carter just fine. And Jonas Hansen died long after he and Sam had broken up and gone their separate ways. This leaves Narim, Martouf, Orlin and possibly Joe Faxon. 4 dead suitors/potential love interests out of 11 â€“ not even half. Letâ€™s compare it to Tealâ€™câ€™s record, shall we? Dreyâ€™ouc â€“ dead. Shanâ€™ouc â€“ dead. Ishta â€“ ok. Krista â€“ kidnapped, but she survived. 2 out of 4 are dead, so Tealâ€™câ€™s love interests have 50/50 chance of survival â€“ less than Samâ€™s. Why thereâ€™s no Tealâ€™câ€™s Black Widower Curse?
â€œThe writersâ€™ lack of romantic subtlety and artificial inducing of shippy scenes.â€
This one always puzzles me. How can a shippy scene be shippy without showing it? The only alternative I see is the characters declaring their undying love for each other out of the blue, and I doubt thatâ€™s what everybody wants. Can someone show me a movie or a tv series featuring a romantic scene that *wouldnâ€™t* be somehow marked as romantic?
â€œThe lack of any confirmation one way or another.â€
I used to be angry at TPTBâ€™s fear of showing once and for all whether they are together or not. But that is slowly changing. Threads/Moebius was left open-ended enough that if someoneâ€™s living in total denial they can continue to do so, but if someone actually paid attention to S/J story thereâ€™s no doubt they got together. And I think I like it.