Links Roundup for 4 November 2011

Here’s a roundup of stories on images of fans that might be of interest to fans:

  • Fans have become accustomed over time to inaccurate or sometimes simply unpleasant portrayals in the media. For example, when a recent Saturday Night Live skit focused on manga fans, many of them were upset at the humor even though they felt it was a fairly accurate portrayal of the community. The reason? “For some fans, being cast into the limelight means many now feel judged for indulging in their hobby so enthusiastically.”
  • While manga fans felt that their behavior was being judged, a portrayal of Comic-Con cosplayers in Men’s Fitness instead judged fans’ physiques. However one fan took a deeper look at the incident to note not only why sexism hurts men too but how the media profits from it. “Men’s Fitness literally has the power to change these stereotypes and male beauty myths. But they aren’t, because they make money off telling men (and women) that their bodies are not perfect enough. Why would you buy Men’s Fitness unless you somehow felt bad about your body?”
  • A post at the Good Men Project initiated a contentious discussion of sexism by pointing out how there may be more room for the “female nerd” in fandoms these days, but only if her opinions and behavior are convenient. “It’s definitely hot when a girl wants to play Halo or Gears of War or any other formulaic testosterone-fuelled first-person shooter, but it’s kind of a turn-off when she wishes that videogame developers take a more unisex approach to design and marketing. Time and time again, I have seen women run into brick walls of male privilege when they raise important issues about gender and equality within their chosen nerdy field. ”
  • Furries are a fandom that often feels judged, even by other fans. This experience means “members of the furry community are hesitant to talk to reporters and afraid of readers taking things out of context”. The silence tends to encourage negative portrayals by outsiders, even as participants consider “the fandom to be an art form, with members drawing, designing costumes, performing and writing or composing music.” As multifandom favorite actor Mark Sheppard noted in a recent interview, “I think the people who dress up and show their allegiance and their fandom and passion are incredibly brave… And truly exceptional as a group. You never see ‘Gang of sci-fi fans rob 7-11’ [in the news] do you?”

If you cosplay, are a furry are part of manga fandom, or have indeed robbed a 7-11 with your fandom gang, why not contribute to Fanlore? Additions are welcome from all fans.

We want your suggestions! If you know of an essay, video, article, event, or link you think we should know about, comment on the most recent Links Roundup — on transformativeworks.org, LJ, or DW — or give @OTW_News a shoutout on Twitter. 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.

Links Roundup for 14 October 2011

Here’s a roundup of stories on universal fandom that might be of interest to fans:

  • To be filed under “fans are still fans, regardless of gender”, at the FIFA Master Conference in Neuchâtel, Switzerland a multinational group of researchers presented a study on female fans of male dominated sports. Among their findings were that women “want to be included in regular fan culture without necessarily having to adopt aspects of the language and behavior that prevails within it” and that they “want acceptance in the same way it is afforded to men. They want to be accepted within fan communities on their own terms as legitimate and authentic fans.”
  • To be filed under “fans are still fans, regardless of their fandom”, a media fan who attended her first sports convention, Caps Con, discovered that fans are alike under the cosplay outfits. “I’m a geek. I’ve hit the cons, walked the walk, and I talk the talk. The amazing thing about Saturday was just how much of fandom has apparently become universal in the last ten years. Whether it’s NHL hockey, comic books, or a television series, every convention has its consistencies.”
  • To be filed under “fans are everywhere”, Star Wars fans’ recently staged “a huge lightsaber battle” in a New York City park with over 1000 participants. The Fandom Post story included video from the event and also from July 2010, when a group staged a scene of Darth Vader arresting Princess Leia in the NY subway, much to the delight of surprised bystanders.

If you’re part of a sports fandom, if you LARP or are a con-goer why not contribute your perspectives to Fanlore? Contributions are welcome from all fans.

We want your suggestions! If you know of an essay, video, article, event, or link you think we should know about, comment on the most recent Links Roundup — on transformativeworks.org, LJ, or DW — or give @OTW_News a shoutout on Twitter. 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.

Links Roundup for 31 August 2011

Here’s a roundup of stories about gender and sexuality in fandom that might be of interest to fans:

  • In a strong counterexample to the women’s invisibility problem demonstrated by the L.A. Times’ entertainment blog Hero Complex (which is subtitled “For your inner fanboy”), a group of female cosplayers at Comic Con created the Gender Bent Justice League where men and women genderswap well known superheroes. The group is making a statement as well as having fun: “We try to keep it pretty scantily clad for [the men] because that’s how women are portrayed,” says Silver. “We weren’t scantily clad for ourselves because that’s not the point. We’re showing that girls can be clothed and be superheroes because, most of the time, they aren’t.”
  • Also helping to keep women visible in fandom, Chicks Dig Time Lords, a book celebrating female Doctor Who fandom, recently won a Hugo award. The volume includes a contribution from OTW Board member Francesca Coppa: Girl Genius: Nyssa of Traken.
  • In the BitchMedia post Ambiguously Gay Wizards, actors in the Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings fandoms are cited as examples of playing gay to the fans for professional reasons. “But it also highlights how much of the cultural bandwidth Straight Men playing or imitating Gay Men is starting to take up, and how lucrative being ambiguously heteroflexible can be in securing more of the fandom’s attention”.

There are currently no entries on Fanlore for the Justice League. If you’re part of that fandom or have taken part in cosplay the site could use your contributions!

We want your suggestions! If you know of an essay, video, article, event, or link you think we should know about, comment on the most recent Links Roundup — on transformativeworks.org, LJ, or DW — or give @OTW_News a shoutout on Twitter. 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.