OTW Fannews: Female fandoms old and new

Banner by caitie of a collage of music idols

  • The Observer ran a long, in-depth piece by Dorian Lynskey about Beatlemania specifically, but also how female music fandoms have ever been thus. The term ‘mania’ was “first applied to fandom in 1844 when German poet and essayist Heinrich Heine coined the word Lisztomania to describe the ‘true madness, unheard of in the annals of furore’ that broke out at concerts by the piano virtuoso Franz Liszt. The word had medical resonances and Heine considered various possible causes of the uproar, from the biological to the political, before deciding, prosaically, that it was probably just down to Liszt’s exceptional talent, charisma and showmanship.”
  • Meanwhile author Kameron Hurley complains about the media’s erasure of women in My Little Pony fandom. “Here was this fandom that I had to keep hidden for much of my life, because it was ‘too girly.’ Because talking about it made me feminine, and therefore weak, and I didn’t want to be like any of ‘those’ girls. Every time I brought it up, dudes made these assumptions about me. They teased me mercilessly…But I carried on, because dammit, pretty rainbow horses made me happy…What I didn’t expect was that this marginalized fandom with tiny cons that drew maybe a few hundred people a year was suddenly going to be legitimized now because now *men* said that they watched the show and collected the ponies.”
  • The Atlantic Wire cites a visible woman, Kelly Sue DeConnick, and how she’s affecting women in comics. “‘Having Kelly Sue be such an outspoken, unapologetic feminist is so wonderful. Those are the voices we need in industries like that so, like she said, our daughters (and our gay sons and our trans kids and any of our kids if we’re not white) don’t have to,’ writer Sam Einhorn told me. Einhorn blogs about feminism and the comics industry…’I’m glad Marvel not only has a voice saying ‘we can do better’ and ‘our work isn’t done’ (and also occasionally ‘shut up dude’) but that they keep her around and give her books to write.'”
  • The Oppidan Press featured PhD student Megan van der Nest’s presentation Fandom, Personhood and New Imaginaries “on how fanfiction is used to challenge stereotypes in society.” First citing the philosophical theories underpinning her work, the article continues “According to van der Nest, fanfiction provides examples of what relationships under different social norms would be like. ‘Fandom is all about alternatives,’ she said. ‘It is common in fandom to explore the forms that relationships might take in a society where they are not constrained by heteronormative expectations.'”

What work have you seen done focused on female fandoms? Write about it on Fanlore! Contributions are welcome from all fans.

We want your suggestions! If you know of an essay, video, article, podcast, or link you think we should know about, comment on the most recent OTW Fannews post. Links are welcome in all languages! Submitting a link doesn’t guarantee that it will be included in a roundup post, and inclusion of a link doesn’t mean that it is endorsed by the OTW.

News of Note
  1. Lady M commented:

    Where’s….the Duran Duran fandom on this?
    we write extensive works.
    we participate.
    we make stuff that is actually kind of meaningful.
    well, at least we are better writers than Anene Rice!
    So this article was basically…