Misogyny in Fandom

October 20, 2016 § Leave a comment

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Julia writes,

I can’t deal with (internalized) misogyny in fandom anymore. I’m so tired of fandom making everything about dudes. I pretty much exclusively watch shows with a female point of view and several amazing, well-written, complex female characters, but somehow the fandoms of these shows are still all about the male characters. It’s so frustrating that after episodes full of great character development for women and meaningful interaction between women, all everyone wants to talk about are the two scenes of their male fav doing nothing of importance. And it hurts me so much to see women being called bitches, crazy and worse in a predominantly female space. I’m tired of feeling like I’m less important, less interesting, less of a person simply because of my gender.

Hi Julia. Thank you for being honest about your frustrations! I too have been in fandoms where the phenomenal female protagonist gets pushed aside in fandom for a DOOD (Please speculate now). Misogyny in fandom is frustrating, and you want to throw your hands up in the air and shout, “Are we watching the same show???”

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In every fandom, however, you’ll find people who root for women, and more important, people who aren’t willing to engage in preschool theatrics. Huddle around them for warmth and inspiration. It’s like Michelle Obama says. You gotta go high when they go low.

Ultimately, a show isn’t its fandom. And you’re not your fandom. Hell, you’re not even your interests. You are you. And it’s not your responsibility to make sure that Internet folks have the same nuanced understanding of a character that you do. Sometimes you just have to leave people the fuck alone.

I like to think that it’s akin to when people get really into a way of living, an inspirational guru, or a cause. They get excited and want to convert people. They want to show their poor, lost family members and friends how they’ve been doing it WRONG their entire lives. But guess what? As humans, we’re pretty allergic to when people want to push things on us. We get suspicious. We get less interested in facts.

Anne Lamott says, “Lighthouses don’t go running all over an island look for boats to save; they just stand there shining.” People will be drawn to you and to your favorite characters if you live a life online and offline that honors whatever you see in them that’s worth emulating. This is HARDER but more rewarding than arguing your case on social media or trying to fight fandom demons.

So here’s what I think might help you, Julia. 1. Find your people. 2. Leave people with other interests alone. 3. Don’t put your worth up for a vote. You’ve found a beautiful character who stirs something deep in you. Don’t beat people over the head with her. Just let her shine in your words and actions.

Go high, and when you get there, go higher.

 

 

 

 

 

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