This is going to be condescending as hell, but here goes:
“Romantic coded” isn’t a thing.
Neither is “adult coded”
That’s not how “coding” as a term works. I get that y’all are using it as short hand, but please just spell the whole thing out rather than saying everything is x, y, or z coded and looking silly. Please.
“Coding” in media refers to something relatively specific and I don’t think that many people in this fandom have a great idea of what that specific thing is. "Coding” as a term typically refers to queerness and queer coding (something else that your fandom isn’t using properly) and doesn’t quite translate to other forms of identity without making an effort. Romance and age aren’t things that a character or their behavior can necessarily be “coded” as.
If you think that behaviors between two characters are potentially romantic or intended to be romantic, just say that. And "adult coded” isn’t a thing. If you’re trying to say that Allura, Shiro, and/or Lotor come across like adults in the series just say that.
I promise y’all that you don’t need to grasp unsuccessfully at the language of literary and film theory in order to look smarter and more self-assured. Because when you get it wrong… it isn’t pretty and you can wind up undermining your own argument.
I know this from experience.
A Condescending Stitch
My favorite thing about the voltron fandom is that no one in it seems to understand how intellectual property works or how a film/television company gets books and toys made of their content.
Watching certain parts of the voltron fandom support misgendering people who ship things they don’t like, erasing people’s sexuality (e.g., “You’re not a real bisexual bcuz you’re a Shaladin”-esque comments), and being ableist poopnoodles to anyone that disagrees with them is really infuriating.
And I was already spitting mad over the fact that folks in this fandom see nothing wrong with telling other folks they should kill themselves or that their trauma isn’t real because of what they ship.
Because these are people who swear they’re the good guys. They swear that, in fighting for fandom to be a less gross place about ships, the end justifies the means.
But at several points, I’ve seen people (teenagers and younger adults than I) tell folks to choke and die, that they should kill themselves, and literally dehumanize people over what they ship – for the greater fannish good. It’s okay that they threaten others or wish harm on people or even actually physically hurt people because they ship Shiro and Keith or anything else that isn’t Lance/Keith.
And, to me, that’s a bit terrifying.
Oh boy am I uncomfortable with people in fandom calling fanworks that AREN’T kinky or contain sexual content “pure”.
I just saw someone in the Vld fandom defending Shiro/Keith shippers by saying that like not all of the stories are nsfw and that many of them were pure. What the hell does that mean? “Pure”.
There are better ways to defend your ship than to throw nsfw content under the bus for not being pure~
I guess this is the flipside of these same kids calling everything nsfw (but especially if it’s queer) “sinning” in fandom.
I’m just so tired…
I just saw a post where someone was like “posting copeshipping content is the same thing as posting images of self injury” and while I have complicated feelings on copeshipping, it’s nothing like sharing graphic images of physical self harm.
Randos posting mediocre stories or fanart about gross and/or problematic ships “to cope” isn’t even close to comparable with people sharing images of physical self harm online.
I hate how shipping discourse these days keeps conflating relatively minor acts of fandom with the worst behavior.
Someone writing content for a gross and/or problematic ship as a coping mechanism isn’t guaranteed to trigger copeshipping in others. Like… Not at all.
Posting images of self harm does inspire self harm desires in others.
The two things (and most things fandom compares in ship discourse) aren’t comparable and it’s wrong to try to equate them. It’s not a one to one comparison and I’m honestly sick of seeing it made because that’s not accurate in the slightest.