Welcome to This Week in Fandom, the OTW’s roundup of things which are happening! Before we start, are you going to San Diego Comic-Con? If so, have you RSVP’d to the OTW get-together on July 20th? We hope to see you there!
The big story in fandom right now is the casting announcement for the 13th Doctor in the BBC series Doctor Who. The news that Jodie Whittaker will be the first woman to play the role has been met with a lot of emotion from fans. There’s been no shortage of haters, unfortunately, but the rebuttal to them has been swift and satisfying:
I took Daily Mail comments from people angry about a possible Female Dr Who and turned them into episode titles for the new series pic.twitter.com/k586EeVpld
— TechnicallyRon (@TechnicallyRon) July 15, 2017
'Doctor' has no gender in English.
— Merriam-Webster (@MerriamWebster) July 17, 2017
And even though some media outlets have responded to the news by publishing nude photos of Whitakker (yes really), they’ve been called out by readers and by other publications for their poor taste and misogyny.
Overall, fans seem pleased by the choice for 13.
no longer will little girls be confined to the role of the companion in games on the playground. the future IS female #doctor13
— The Time Ladies (@thetimeladies_) July 16, 2017
What a delightful way to greet the morning. #Doctor13
— Taliesin Jaffe (@executivegoth) July 16, 2017
In less happy news, there have been some reminders recently that, while the internet may be forever, media hosting isn’t. After image hosting site Photobucket recently began charging users for hotlinking, audio streaming service SoundCloud has announced that it is facing financial difficulty, which may threaten its future. Both of these events impact the preservation of internet history and creative culture, especially on a personal level for users. As the Buzzfeed article explains, many journal-style blogs have been broken by Photobucket’s new policy.
“In 2008, I started a Blogspot blog with photos hosted on Photobucket. Although the Blogger software let you upload images directly, I preferred the way the hot-linked images looked (Blogger forced default sizing on the images). Now, the blog I lovingly updated almost daily with images for years is pretty much completely nuked. I care, but I don’t care enough to pay $400, or to take the time to download and reupload all the photos to Google.”
The New York Magazine article states that SoundCloud’s potential closure could mean not only a loss of music, but of an entire genre populated by independent artists.
“SoundCloud hosts music, and its disappearance would mean the simultaneous disappearance of hundreds of thousands of hours of audio — music, podcasts, radio shows, random gobbledygook, all stored on SoundCloud’s no-doubt expensive servers. Just as importantly, the website’s demise would mean the end of a scene: SoundCloud is the birthplace of its own genre and musical community, a DIY branch of hip-hop so closely identified with the website that most people call it SoundCloud rap.”
What do you think of these changes? Have you been or would you be affected? Let us know in the comments!
Lastly, are you a female sports fan? Do you often feel overlooked in the sports fan community? Well good news! Researcher Stacey Pope, Associate Professor in the School of Applied Social Sciences at Durham University, has published new research into female fans of football (soccer) and rugby. “Based on a host of intensive interviews with football and rugby union fans from three generations in one area in the UK (Leicester), my latest findings show that, unlike the stereotypes, sport plays a hugely important role in the lives and identities of many female fans.”
In an article for The Conversation, Pope explains the overall findings published in her book, The Feminization of Sports Fandom: A Sociological Study. Her research showed that, for most female football fans, and almost half of female rugby fans, their fandom was a significant part of their identity. Those figures illustrate how the almost-exclusive focus on male sports fans in popular culture is inaccurate and problematic:
“What all this shows is the need to start taking female sports fans more seriously. Because by dismissing women who love their club as much as they love their family, not only are a large number of the fan base being alienated, but ultimately there is a also a risk of sport becoming a male-only pastime.”
How does it make you feel when female sports fans are ignored or dismissed as “inauthentic?” Does this research reflect your own interest in sports? Let us know in the comments!
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