Okay, so, I really dislike having my bike stolen.
Okay, so, I really dislike having my bike stolen.
So, here’s a thought:
The types of fandom that are most often considered traditional and acceptable, and which are often either male-dominated or coded as masculine, tend to be acquisitive, whether in terms of knowledge (obscure trivia) or merchandise (collectibles). Whereas, by contrast, the types of fandom most often considered insincere, non-serious or “unreal”, and which are often either female-dominated or coded as feminine, tend to be creative, such as making costumes, writing fanfic and drawing fanart.
Which is arguably an interesting expression of gender dynamics within fandom, in the sense of being a direct response to gender representation within the canon of particular franchises: namely, that because men, and particularly straight white cismen, are so ubiquitous within popular narrative(s), they have less need to create personal fan interpretations in order to see themselves represented, or to correct/ameliorate stereotypical portrayals; whereas women - and, indeed, members of any other group likely to suffer from poor representation - do.
Which isn’t to say that it’s impossible to be both an acquisitive and a creative fan - not by any stretch of the imagination. Nor am I trying to say that the only reason someone might be an acquisitive fan is because they’re complacent about issues of bias and representation, or that the only reason someone might be a creative fan is because they want to address an issue in the canon. Some people like to collect, some like to make, and some like both, or neither. It’s fine! But I do think that, when it comes to conversations about Fake Geek Girls and what being a “real fan” means - conversations which tend to be strongly gendered - the split between acquisition/creation tends to follow gender lines, too: that guys who know All The Facts and buy All The Merch are the REAL fans, whereas girls who just dress up and tell silly headcanon stories aren’t, and that maybe, there’s an interesting reason for why this might be.
[bolded for emphasis]
This is interesting. Especially because an extrapolation from that is that the ‘orthodox’, ‘traditional’ mode of interacting with a work - knowing, staying close to the first interpretation, valuing the refusal to budge from those first interpretations over being inclusive and fluid - is therefore masculine-coded, but it’s feminine-coded to be canonically fluid, intensely metacritical, artistically motivated, and to encourage creative deconstruction and reconstruction.
Which is probably a sliver of the backlash that grows into the Fake Geek Girl conversation - that people think the ‘text’ of their fandom ‘faith’ shouldn’t be tampered with or recontextualized, whereas other people insist that it has to evolve to meet the needs of the people who it serves?
I’m not sure how it accommodates for works like Welcome to Night Vale (a really good place, I think to discuss fandoms and their interactions with media), where the literalism of its canon is the establishment that blanks are required to be filled in by the audience. Fan-created artwork of any type, arguably, is as valuable a ‘history’ of Night Vale as Cecil’s radio show, because so many details are up in the air anyway, and have to be informed by the information you do still have (e.g. nothing says Cecil can’t be a blob, so what would it mean if he were a blob?).
This is absolutely fascinating to me now, and will surely make up a large part of actual notes I have about what I can now call ‘exegetical fandom theory’ and how people interact with and alter media.
Reblogging for commentary, and because the divide between literalism/exegesis is another fascinating lens through which to examine both fandom generally, and its gender dynamics.
"Sir Francis, he was a figurehead of great courage and bold exploits. No one like him ever existed in my family. Why do you think I drink? Because I know I’ll never be like him.”
Wow, talk about a coincidence. I’ve felt so awful tonight, and this comes along. Worth sharing.
I really need to remember this.
I. Fucking. Love. This. Quote. It actually throws me from my bad moods.
I thought that was live action acting till he said Tintin and I realized it was animated.
Two or three years ago at PAX (when it was problematic but not skincrawly to attend), I jammed out at the indie rpg room, which is where I invariably haunted the entire weekend whenever I chanced to go. There, one of the guys running games introduced me to an RPG term. I regret I don’t know the source, but…
You can ‘veil out’ or simply say ‘veil’. It means you can fade to black on any moment or topic or scene or idea and just… skip it. Skip to the next thing. For any reason. No explanation needed. Scared of snakes? Veil on a fight with snakes. Hate the implication of someone hurting an animal? Veil out of the conversation with a puppykicker. Grandmother run over by a reindeer? Veil on using reindeer as your transport to the next plotpoint. Don’t explain. Just say, “veil” and the GM finds out what to ditch and then the game continues with hopefully 100% less discomfort and barely a hiccup in play.
It’s similar to the kinky concept of, “going to go get a cookie,” or “needing a cookie,” that one of the dungeons I played tourist in for a weekend used if you needed to leave the room for whatever reason. Mental health. Discomfort. Whatever you needed.
I needed this sort of thing BADLY for one of my old GMs, because he refused to work with me on my half-____ character background. His ruling (and when I got this ruling I should have taken it as a sign and bailed) was that the ONLY way my character’s background would work was if rape was involved. Which mean the character’s plotline REVOLVED AROUND A RAPE. I was desperately uncomfortable for most of the sessions and trying to nudge the campaign a new direction was… not something that worked. The GM was stubborn and wanted to use the shitty stereotypes from the dawn of the Jurassic.
Just - look at the concept of the veil. Introduce this concept to your gaming group. Create a safe place for your players. Because you’re not all going to have the same experiences and levels of comfort. It’s this idea of community facilitated self-care, and I think that’s great.