i'll put my hands on the truth, by god! (the_drifter) wrote in f_s_i_t,
i'll put my hands on the truth, by god!

Teacher! They're oppressing me!!! --Discuss.

Has anyone else noticed how very, very gendered fandom is? And by "gendered", of course, I mean "gendered feminine." (Ain't it always the way.) Think about the context-specific language we use. "Fangirl" doesn't merely refer to a girl who is a fan, it refers to a certain way of being a fan that is considered girly. It's even become a verb, "to fangirl" (which makes me wonder if non-femme-identified people can be said to fangirl). And the net-speak we semi-satirically employ (e.g. "squee" and "OMG") is (at least in my mind) stereotypically feminine (and also stereotypically adolescent). In the larger cultural context, obsession with characters or actors in a media source is considered a female/feminine trait (though it's important to notice that the association is sometimes reversed for obsession with science-fiction).

Now, yes, the majority of fen are female in some sense or another, but not all of us are. Also, this does not mean that all "female" fen are girly, are female-bodied, or even think of themselves as female. We can't say that fandom is this way because fen are already this way- it simply isn't the case. Yet the feminine tone and timbre of fandom is sufficient that it can change the behavior of less-feminine fen. I'm speaking mostly from my own experience here- I started off on LJ using gender-neutral pronouns and presentation, but within a week, I found it so difficult to try to maintain gender-neutrality (especially as I'm not trans-identified, and I do use a gendered set of pronouns in everyday life) in a context where most people assumed I was female that I gave up.

So how did fan culture get this way? And is it fan culture "at large," or is this a phenomenon specific to blog-based fandom? Can we or should we do anything about it? Because right now, our language and modes of interaction can exclude some fen or render them invisible, but as Riki Anne Wilchins (and half the rest of the activisty planet) has noted, identity politics sucks.

Please, please weigh in.
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