OTW Fannews: Women’s Experiences In Fandom

OTW Fannews Banner Women's Experiences in Fandom

  • Comic Book Resources reported on a NYCC panel about female fandom in which Kelly Sue DeConnick said, “‘I think that there’s an important thing to remember too, that what you’re seeing now, the influx of female readership and female creators is not a revolution, it’s a restoration…Back in the ’30s and ’40s there was a girls’ magazine that had a distribution of 300,000 copies per month and it was comics… [In the decades since] women were discouraged, dissuaded, made unwelcome, and now for a plethora of reasons, women are returning…There are enough comics for everyone…Say it with me now: equality is not a loss.'”
  • In another panel at New York Comic Con, on harassment and assault, the “crowd was greeted with some sobering statistics…25% of women at cons have reported being sexually harassed, 13% report receiving unwanted, inappropriate comments, and 8% of all attendees have been groped or outright assaulted or raped.” This sheds light on the post in The Awl discussing rape charges in web celebrity fandoms, which speculated on the thinking of perpetrators. “Internet celebrity is just another opportunity, like management or teaching or parenthood, to assert power over victims in new and profound ways.”
  • Blogger ladyloveandjustice, wrote about why the Mary Sue is a sexist concept. “[O]ne of the CONTROVERSIES listed on the TV Tropes page is if a male sue is even possible. That’s right, it’s impossible to have an idealizied male character. Men are already the ideal. In our culture, male tends to be the default. Women take on the distaff parts. ‘Him’ and ‘mankind’ are what humanity are, ‘her’ and ‘womankind’ are secondary. Yet this isn’t true for Mary Sue as a term. That name was created first.”
  • An article in The Guardian cited fanfic on AO3 and Tumblr as places where teenage girls are the creators of sexual fiction. “‘There is a lot of PWP (short for ‘porn without plot’ or ‘plot, what plot?’) out there,’ 23-year-old Julia Schnorrer said. ‘However, every sex scene in fanfic always has a narrative, since it is integrated in a realm of existing characters. Characters are well-rounded human beings who also have a sex life – not off stage but right in the middle of it. Most fanfic writers are women, and I think it derives from the male gaze that dominates visual pornography.’ In fan fiction communities, and on sites such as Tumblr, all types of sexuality are represented – as well as the absence of a sex drive entirely.”

Do women have distinct experiences in fandom? If you think so, write about them 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.