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So, even though I'm horribly behind on replying to comments (again), I'm also now in the habit of cross-posting new essays here. And I was prompted to write another one this morning after reading through journals that made me go "Why? Why are other women saying these things? WHY?"

So, for your reading pleasure -



I'll admit, the very idea makes me confused. Why, in the 21st century, should our culture still be trying to narrow fandoms into male versus female? Female fandoms are apparently fandoms in which there are love triangles and women leave their laundry undone1 because they're so busy squealing over their fandom that then forget to do the laundry.

To quote one Salon writer in an interview, "The female fans just don’t have that issue. People who are really into Twilight will go onto forums and say, "Oh my God, I’m so into Twilight I haven’t done laundry in ages!” 1First of all, if my laundry is undone, it's not because I got distracted by anything. It's because I hate to do the laundry. Laundry is boring, laundry is evil, and I'm not a 1950's housewife. Way to characterize women in a way that brings up the stereotype, and not the modern women whose laundry is probably tossed into a laundry machine and then cheerfully forgotten until it's time to toss it into the dryer. Sometimes, this might even be done by her husband or boyfriend.

As regards pairings - are you serious? I've seen male fans get entirely too invested in pairings. Please, go look at Mugglenet, and the whole lovely deal with its anti-Harry/Hermione thing. Regardless of canon Harry/Ginny pairings, it's insane. Founder of Mugglenet and antic leader, Emerson Spartz is a male. That's a fact.2

"For example, some fandoms take the form of obsessive knowledge and classification, kind of like a science. [sic] That’s a particular, very male type of fandom." 1 The idea that male fandoms are more likely to have serious fans that spend much of their time investigating and learning everything there is to know about the fandom is also ridiculous. Females are entirely capable of throwing themselves into learning everything there is to know about any given fandom. As anecdotal evidence, I present one of my own forays into fandom - for the past six and a half years, I've obsessed over learning everything there is to know about Middle-earth. I've spent hundreds and hundreds of dollars to buy all of Tolkien's books, and then started buying books like The History of the Hobbit. There are more female fans like me.

Dividing fandoms into male versus female is nothing more or less than an attempt to continue the division of life into male versus female roles. This is insulting enough when used by males as another way to put women down by dismissing them as incapable of the serious types of fandom that males can do. It's even more insulting and depressing when done by other females. Perhaps this is the experience and typical behavior in some fandoms. I can only speak for the ones that I personally have been in, and I find it insulting to be labeled and placed into a narrow box that seeks to keep me below men. I am not. Neither is anyone else, no matter what fandom they belong to.




~

1 Please see this article for laundry and female fandom antics - The Fandom Issue: Laura Miller in Conversation Part Two

2For a brief overview of one of Spartz many antics, see this lj post - Lumos: Addendum to the Panel Report While I fully support the right of public figures to have personal opinions, this right does not extend to disrupting other people while they are talking and generally making yourself look stupid. Furthermore, other fans have just as much of a right as he does to prefer another pairing.

For even more articles dealing with fandom misogyny and issues that result, see these link roundups and posts - On Shipping and Fanboys OTW Links Roundup Another OTW Links Roundup

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