Why Girls Rule Fandom
At Reupp we've written a lot about how fandom has exploded recently, but not enough is being said about the role girls play in this revolution.
Typical geekdom has long since been thought of as the realm of boys and men, but with the emergence of fan fiction and fandom universes, girls are taking center stage. Why is fandom ruled by girls? Equal parts necessity and cultural fit.
Traditional fan culture is passionate, intensive, and in some cases an unwelcome place for girls.
Fandom isn’t about ownership, it’s about collaboration and celebration of your favorite stories.
It goes back to the roots of fandom, where you could sit in your room friends and talk about your favorite book, tv show, or film. No one tried to take over that conversation, in fact there wasn’t even any person steering things.
And the goal of these conversations was never a consensus on what was, or what should be, but rather we we all loved about the story and characters. What moved us, what made us feel truly transported into another world. The only thing better than that first experience was to nerd out with our friends about it afterwards.
Has the Internet Helped or Hurt Fandom?
It’s hard to say the internet is responsible for anything itself, after all it is just a communication tool for us all. But there is something to be said for fostering a supportive, friendly, judgment-free community just like the one in your bedroom as a kid. You felt like you could say anything, and share the intently personal reason why you were touched by a story.
But the personal nature of these passions also leave us open to abuse. If you admit to loving a character, and another person online tells you that character is stupid. you feel hurt. In the old days, this wasn’t an issue. If one of your friends wasn’t being supportive, you could talk to them or in the worse case, don’t invite them back.
Online, once you share your personal opinions, they are out there for everyone to see.
The future of fandom and creative collaboration demands the same focus on community and supportiveness as it does on communication and scale.
It doesn’t matter how many people see your tumblr or twitter posts if a good number of the responses are hate-filled or negative.
Everyone risks something by putting their creativeness on display, and it is the job of a community to make sure it’s members thankful for any contribution to the conversation, even if it doesn’t match up with the consensus. While we think guys are capable of this supportive nature, girls see the need for this type of positivity straight away, after often times being the target of unfair personal attacks on larger sites.
Fandom Is A Group Activity
When creating a fandom universe, no one is necessarily right or wrong, because there can’t be any right or wrong when expanding a story. The expansion is owned by fans, and they are free to go any direct they want in any way they want. Better yet, any changes done to characters or storylines are handled democratically, and popular ones become more popular through a nature process of “yeah, I like that”.
We think this is key to why fandom is just a strong and powerful movement. It’s not about saying the right thing, or representing the right storyline or character. It’s about adding to a creative extension of your favorite story and characters, with the passion and love that it gave you originally, returned as a tribute.
Both girls and boys are demanding a greater connection with the stories they love, and fandom is a natural response to this demand. At Reupp, we’re excited to keep pushing this exciting new trend into the mainstream, and help more people discover why fandom is the perfect way to connect passion fans with each other, and the stories they care about so deeply.