OTW Fannews: Marketing to women

Banner by Bremo of a smiling Frank Sinatra passing a group of excited fangirls

  • There have been discussions in the media over past months that suggest that a significant reason for the erasure of women in fandom is that companies have no interest in marketing to them. This was made explicit in an article on io9 which discussed the fear of TV network executives that their cartoons had too many female fans.
  • Even targeting stereotypical female interests seems difficult for marketers to do, leaving women’s fashion options lacking for years. Perhaps that’s why this feature on a history of fangirl fashion in Elle seems to be more a collection of random female fan photos than an exploration of the creative fashion statements seen at fan gatherings.
  • Part of the problem may be the general disapproval expressed when women come up with their own ways of enjoying fandom. Even when commercial entities use many of the same ideas it’s somehow different when fans do these things for themselves. This attitude may be a factor in why even some fannish people resist becoming fans.
  • The Shipping News focused on what such disapproval said about wider society. “[I]t’s not the fans that make it all about sex, it’s everyone else…we just like to see people fall in love. Sure, sex is a part of that – a super fun part that we enjoy immensely – but anyone that has read over 80,000 words to get to a kiss, knows that porn is just a side effect…they have got to stop assuming that slash fandom is synonymous with sexual deviancy. Slash fandom encompasses A LOT of different things, so the fact that they are obsessed with the part that is porn says more about them than it does about us.”

What issues involving female fandom have you come across? 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.