OTW Fannews: Fandom Misunderstandings

Banner by Lisa of a street sign that has been knocked down and is pointing arbitrarily.

  • Attack of the Fanboy put a spotlight on gender segregation in gaming tournaments. “Keeping a few tournaments specifically aimed at females is not an ideal situation, but it does allow a woefully underrepresented part of the population a chance to compete on a professional level. To use the IeSF’s own justification for the initial segregation, many major sports use this method as well. Technically women are allowed in the NBA, but due to various reasons none have been placed on a team. That is why the WNBA exists, to allow a group who would be left out, a chance to compete professionally.”
  • While some companies recognize their sport is ‘for girls’, at The Globe and Mail, Amberly McAteer discussed how many just don’t get it. “It’s not just professional baseball that thinks women need extra motivation to support the home team. An official women’s T-shirt from the Pittsburgh Penguins went viral on Twitter because it declared that the wearer ‘wants the stick’ and loves to ‘puck.’ Because, of course, women are sex objects. Thanks for your sexist contribution, hockey. The Jays Shop, too, carries mildly insulting women’s gear: sequined tanks, ‘meet you in the dugout’ deep-vees. The only jerseys available in women’s sizes are indeed the players widely believed to be ‘cute,’ while the men’s section offers exponentially more.”
  • A theater company in Charleston, South Carolina created a play about “the dark side of Twilight fandom”. “‘Kate & Sam Are Not Breaking Up’ is a darkly humorous send-up of Twihard culture and celebrity obsession, with a side of gunplay and a dash of Stephen King’s Misery thrown in…The lights come up on Kate and Sam waking from unconsciousness, bound and helpless in the apartment of a crazed superfan named Bill (Andre Hinds). It quickly becomes clear that Bill wants tween America’s favorite couple to get back together, and he won’t let them go until they do. But the situation really goes to hell when 15-year-old Becky…moderator of the fansite ghostforest.net, shows up and starts laying down the law.”
  • A CNN report on manga brought about a heated reaction from fans as well as The Comic Book Legal Defense Fund. “As Japan prepares to implement a new law which bans the possession of child pornography but exempts manga and anime, CNN released an over-the-top sensationalist video report this week that demonstrates a profound lack of knowledge about the formats. Much of the report by Tokyo correspondent Will Ripley is devoted to undercover footage of an Akihabara manga shop, which Ripley calls ‘a place that caters to young people.’ (In fact manga is read by people of all ages.) Over mostly-blurred footage, Ripley describes “magazines and videos so graphic, so sexually explicit, we turned our undercover cameras off.’ …at least one of those blurred-out covers that was too much for CNN’s delicate cameras actually wasn’t pornographic at all.”

What troubling fandom issues have you come across? Write about them on Fanlore! Contributions are welcome from all fans.

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