Here’s a roundup of stories on race and gender in fandom that might be of interest to fans:
- An article in The Root pointed out that given the diversity of attendance at New York’s recent Comic Con, the number of minority characters and the attention paid to them is clearly lacking. “Eaton also sees problems with the structure of fan culture itself, which seems content with the status quo. This was neatly symbolized by the editorial choices at Comic Con. “My panel featuring four black creators and a professor of history was shot down so that a panel on black characters — featuring no black creators — could be held. I am still very salty about it because it perfectly illustrates my issue with the industry,” she said. “They want us as consumers, but God forbid we actually try and snag a seat at the creator’s table.”
- Racialicious posted Fandom and its hatred of Black women characters which focuses on reactions to characters in the British series Merlin and Doctor Who and the American series Glee and True Blood. Of concern to the poster and commenters, “When I see fandom reacting to fictional Black women this way, I wonder what they’re saying about real Black women while our backs are turned.”
- In this Huffington Post article about fandom bandwagon jumpers, an unfortunate comment was made about how most female sports fans are fans only because of their boyfriends. “So ladies, don’t get caught up in impressing your boyfriend with your sports knowledge. Understand the fine line between attending a game and ruining the sporting experience for your boyfriend’s buddies.” While a male figure is indeed the most important influence in a woman’s sports fandom, that person is equally important for men: fathers, as a study from Murray State University found.
- A college sports blog column supported the Murray State study numbers on a school’s influence on female sports fans. But unlike the Huffington Post story, this post put a positive focus on how casual fans are fans too. It also reflected on how the simplicity of connecting to fandoms and other fans through social media helps fans become increasingly passionate about their interests over time.
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