Welcome to This Week in Fandom, the OTW’s roundup of things which are happening. Before we get started, what do you think of Harry Styles’ new single, Sign of the Times? Do any of these reactions seem fitting?
There has been upset in fandom recently over changes at Livejournal. As io9 reports, Livejournal’s servers have been moved to Russia–where the company is located–and therefore a new User Agreement has been devised that states that site content is now subject to Russian laws. According to the io9 article, this means that the site has “officially banned “political solicitation”— which can mean anything that criticizes the Russian government, as well as pro-LGBTQ discussions.” Privacy may also be an issue: “Critics have claimed the user agreement puts users at risk of having their data accessible to Russian intelligence, in accordance with anti-terrorism legislation.”
Many fans are not happy with these changes. There has been discussion on Tumblr about the possible implications of the new User Agreement, which has led to discussion about leaving Livejournal entirely, including instructions on how to transfer content to Dreamwidth. As a result, many new Dreamwidth accounts are being created. This had led to some difficulties with the Dreamwidth import function, but cite maintenance staff have stated that things are still working, albeit slowly.
For those who may find it helpful, it is possible to easily import fanworks from Livejournal (and other sites) to the Archive of Our Own. Also, the OTW has a Dreamwidth community where you can stay up-to-date on all our news posts, including This Week in Fandom.
Speaking of social media sites where you can find the OTW, did you know that we have a Weibo account? Go check it out!
And speaking of Chinese social media and fandom, there’s an interesting new “boy band” on the scene. Quartz recently did a feature of the group Acrush, which is made up of “androgynous” girls. As the article explains, “Acrush is made up of five women mostly in their early twenties, who all have edgy short hairstyles and dress like a bunch of boyish hearthrobs.” The group is following in the footsteps of Chinese pop star Li Yuchun, who sports a similar look.
They will avoid using the word “boy” or “girl” when introducing the group. Instead, they have carefully chosen a gender-free phrase, meishaonian, or “handsome youths.” But still, female fans on Weibo have taken to calling them “husbands,” a meme usually reserved for male celebrities… 21-year-old Lu, captain of Acrush, says some female fans send love letters to her, but “of course I won’t like fans back.” She says the [group’s managing] company doesn’t allow her to discuss her own or her teammates’ sexual orientations.
What are your thoughts on Acrush? Let us know in the comments!
Rounding out this week’s roundup, Film School Rejects is marking 100 years of film fandom by discussing the pervasive stereotypes about female fans. “The stereotype — whether it be by the name of “screen-struck girl” circa 1917 or “fangirl” circa now — has, beyond the name, changed very little.” The article covers the classic “fake geek girl” and “lonely fangirl,” among others. Which of these stereotypes have you had to deal with as a fangirl? Tell us in the comments.
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