OTW Fannews: Judging Women’s Fandoms

Womens Fandoms

  • The Global Times of China speculated about the appeal of Mary Sue stories. One reader responded “The reason I like reading and watching Mary Sue stories is because I can be swept away by the beautiful romantic relationships…The heroine doesn’t stick to one man, and no one blames her.” Her first experience with Mary Sues was in “a piece of fan fiction set in the world of Slam Dunk, a popular Japanese manga comic about a high school basketball team that was adapted into an animation series in 1993. ‘The Mary Sue character was the same age as me, and had a similar mentality to life as me, so I was able to perfectly identify with her…[Reading it] was as if I was in the cartoon world myself, and having these romantic relationships with the handsome basketball players.'”
  • At The New Statesman Elizabeth Minkel pointed out that the very same behavior lacked commentary when it was by men but not when it was by teenage girls, or indeed women in general. “Drop into any Top Gear thread online right now and…there’s a genuine outpouring of emotion for the Top Gear that was: these fans, mostly (grown) men, are offering up their vulnerabilities, talking about how the show was always there for them – a comfort, something to look forward to every week…Drop into any 1D thread right now and you’ll notice that even though the language is different, maybe even incomprehensible to you, the sentiment is the same: these fans, mostly (underage) teenage girls, have flooded social media with that same outpouring of emotion, for Malik’s departure or for the end of the group as it’s always existed. It should be easy to have compassion for people who love something and lose it.”
  • At The Conversation the focus was on female fans of Australian football. “Our research debunks a couple of persistent myths about women sport fans. These myths concern women’s motivation for attending football, which is commonly explained in terms of their duties as mothers (women support football because it is a ‘family’ game), or dismissed as something that women do mainly because the men in their life are into footy. These assumptions about why women follow football reinforce some particularly stubborn gender stereotypes.” Instead, the study “reveals that while family features significantly in the way women become fans – overwhelmingly women are socialised into following a team through their parents – they develop a connection with and enjoyment of AFL that prevails independently of family.”

Where has the line been drawn between men and women in fan reaction and support? Write about it in 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 Fannews post, and inclusion of a link doesn’t mean that it is endorsed by the OTW.

News of Note
  1. Clare Brooks commented:

    I have been trying to sign up for membership since Fri., 4/24 with no success. You site states that 1500 invitations are sent per day, yet I’ve been waiting for 3 days. I was stalled at #225 from late night on 4/25 through late night 4/27. I just checked (4/27) and got a message that my e-mail address cannot be found. I checked my e-mail inbox and spam folder, but there still is no invitation for membership. If my membership is being intentionally denied, I would appreciate a reason why I’m not being allowed to join. My friends joined without invitation, so why can’t I?