Tumblr user Dragon (of thedragonandthefox) has written a response to my touch escalator post, and you should go read it. Turns out, the full narrative that gifset was pulled from actually rejects the universality of the normative relationship standards of touch progression, creating an interesting analogy and a positive overall message. So in its complete context, that episode of Adventure Time isn’t really promoting the idea I criticized.
The episode ends with Finn (badly burned) kissing a rock and handing it to Flame Princess, who kisses it back – their own version of the traditional romantic gesture.
What concerns me is that I’ve seen a gifset of Jake’s relationship tier explanation, but I haven’t seen a gifset of the above being passed around.
I mean, I’m sure it exists, out there, somewhere. It’d be impossible to know everything that gets said or done on the internet. But why were people gifing that Jake scene and sharing it at all? Without commentary, except to snicker “children’s show, my ass”?
Call me paranoid, but I think there are people who take the scene at face value (or agree with it regardless), and that’s what I’m worried about.
This is a possibility that Dragon did briefly address in her post.
Unfortunately, there is always the possibility that viewers who aren’t specifically searching for representation or themes won’t see it and only pick up on the concept of the ‘tier system’ that is explicitly stated – this is the trap the Ace Theist, having only seen one gifset, fell into.
Yes, and I appear to be stuck down here. Somebody want to lend a hand?
Fox adds: It’s interesting to view Finn as a non-touch averse person who’s ok with the relationship as it is – there’s often a lot more complexity in ‘normative’ people than the ace community gives them credit for. That might be an interesting topic for another time.
eeeeeaaaaauuuuuuugggggghhhhhhhhmmmmmmm hmm. Well.
At this point, if they want any credit back, they’re going to have to earn it.