- The new generation of high school and college fangirls have taken note of the way their interests and activities are portrayed in the media, and by others around them. On the same day two articles went up in different college newspapers, by different writers, with the same title — “In Defense of the Fangirl.” At the College of William and Mary, Bri Little wrote “When we dismiss fangirls, we are telling them that it is unreasonable to expect emotional availability, love and acceptance from men. We are telling them that women are somehow undeserving of all these things. Of course it’s all an illusion, an image created to lure young women…But it’s often easier to fantasize about someone I’ll never have because I can imagine him treating me better than I’m treated by men I know in real life. We have to pay the price for wanting better for ourselves.”
- Meanwhile at the University of California, Berkeley, Jackie Roman wrote “The implications of the word ‘fangirl’ also create a divide among women at a very young age. To be a girl who is a fan of sports and screams alongside the guys during a game is to be a ‘cool girl,’ not a hysterical fangirl. The reason behind this is connected to our unequal respect for different genders. In this scenario, cool is code for what’s perceived as traditionally masculine. The girls expressing the same level of interest in football or other testosterone-dominated hobbies are seen as inherently different (read: better) than girls interested in traditionally feminine hobbies. And this is to no fault of the women who just want to watch sports without having their interest in it become some kind of sexual fantasy for a guy who glorifies the ‘cool girl.’ After all, they too are held to patriarchal expectations, only cool so long as they don’t become a tomboy and teeter across gender lines (oh, the binary!).”
- Two days later at Duke University, Nandhini Narayana wrote about the misogyny towards fanfiction. “However, if people are to criticize fanfiction, then, they should be doing it for the right reasons, not because ‘fat, illiterate, silly women who can’t get a life’ spend their time writing it. It is also true that a lot of online fanfiction is porn. Here’s a shocker: women enjoy porn. Women enjoy sex. Some people watch videos to masturbate, and some people read two thousand words of man on man action. Get over yourselves. Consider the term ‘mommy porn.’ The concept of a woman writing about BDSM and other women enjoying it apparently deserved a whole new category outside of regular porn. Why? To distinguish it from all the other 5 million pornographic resources on the internet that men enjoy and is, therefore, more serious?”
- Lastly, at The Mary Sue Saundra Mitchell wrote about feminism and boybands. “What is feminist—what is spectacular— is that in this glossily packaged world of boybands, young women are creating a safe space for themselves. They’re not asking permission. They’re not apologizing. Their Kiss Me, Jong–hyun! and She’s my Louis Tomlinson t-shirts give no quarter. This is for them, and they don’t care if you like it. No wonder it drives men crazy. There’s no room for them here. And for the first time in their lives, they have no choice but to admit it.”
What fannish manifestos have you seen written? Start an entry for them in Fanlore! Contributions are welcome from all fans.
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