Here’s a roundup of stories on images of fans that might be of interest to fans:
- Fans have become accustomed over time to inaccurate or sometimes simply unpleasant portrayals in the media. For example, when a recent Saturday Night Live skit focused on manga fans, many of them were upset at the humor even though they felt it was a fairly accurate portrayal of the community. The reason? “For some fans, being cast into the limelight means many now feel judged for indulging in their hobby so enthusiastically.”
- While manga fans felt that their behavior was being judged, a portrayal of Comic-Con cosplayers in Men’s Fitness instead judged fans’ physiques. However one fan took a deeper look at the incident to note not only why sexism hurts men too but how the media profits from it. “Men’s Fitness literally has the power to change these stereotypes and male beauty myths. But they aren’t, because they make money off telling men (and women) that their bodies are not perfect enough. Why would you buy Men’s Fitness unless you somehow felt bad about your body?”
- A post at the Good Men Project initiated a contentious discussion of sexism by pointing out how there may be more room for the “female nerd” in fandoms these days, but only if her opinions and behavior are convenient. “It’s definitely hot when a girl wants to play Halo or Gears of War or any other formulaic testosterone-fuelled first-person shooter, but it’s kind of a turn-off when she wishes that videogame developers take a more unisex approach to design and marketing. Time and time again, I have seen women run into brick walls of male privilege when they raise important issues about gender and equality within their chosen nerdy field. ”
- Furries are a fandom that often feels judged, even by other fans. This experience means “members of the furry community are hesitant to talk to reporters and afraid of readers taking things out of context”. The silence tends to encourage negative portrayals by outsiders, even as participants consider “the fandom to be an art form, with members drawing, designing costumes, performing and writing or composing music.” As multifandom favorite actor Mark Sheppard noted in a recent interview, “I think the people who dress up and show their allegiance and their fandom and passion are incredibly brave… And truly exceptional as a group. You never see ‘Gang of sci-fi fans rob 7-11’ [in the news] do you?”
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