"Sports fans have caused actual riots, but people still take sports seriously. Boy band fans scream at concerts, and suddenly they’re “a spectacle of the natural world.” Things that are made for women, particularly young women, are automatically given less respect. Girls who get interested in comic books or video games or science fiction get called “fake geek girls.”
Magazines and television and advertisements tell teenage girls that they should like certain things, and then other magazines tell girls that they’re stupid for liking those things. Then magazines publish articles and TV shows run specials wondering why teenage girls don’t have better self esteem, like they didn’t make it that way.
There’s nothing wrong with teenage girls being enthusiastic about boy bands or (heaven forbid) having sexual feelings about the boys in boy bands. There is something wrong with the way that other people react to teenage girls and their interests."
Boy Bands and Sexism: Can We Stop Hating Teenage Girls? (via albinwonderland)
See also: Twilight at Comic Con, romance novels vs. pulp fiction, etc. Society says: it’s fine to revere, legitimize, and even canonize the low brow, unless it is also feminine.
Also, when women start to like things that guys like, there either needs to be a push to keep them out, or men start changing the behaviour that fans should have in order to keep themselves forever separate and out of reach from women. I’ve noticed a trend recently in the sports radio I’ve been listening to, as women sports fans become more accepted as the norm, that the male hosts talk about how “real men” don’t wear sports jerseys because “wearing the name of another man on your back is weird”. And I’d never heard this sentiment, but now they were all panicking because women are doing sports fannishness now, and it’s changing the context of their boys club.
If women are being fans in the same way as they have historically done it, they start freaking out, because women as fans looks different to them. A woman wearing the name of an athlete on her jersey and cheering, to them, means she must be in love with him, because that’s how we see female fandom. That’s the stereotype. Therefore, it changes how THEY see wearing a jersey.
And like always, as what women do and can do expands, manhood goes into retreat, to keep it out of the hands of women, and keep men from feeling like “girls”. Being a “girl” is the worst thing a man can be in our society, so if “girls” are now wearing jerseys and cheering, “real men” can’t.
The other tactic is to try to keep women out of “male spaces”, or to deride their participation in them. The sexual harassment of women in geek spaces is an example of the outright attempt to make women feel unwelcome, and the “fake geek girl” meme is another way, where their participation in the space is derided and devalued. I’ve seen this in sports too, where women are told that we only watch because the players are hot, and that we don’t actually like or “understand” the game. The main goal of all this is that manhood can’t be polluted by women, and whether by changing what being a “fan” means (which is by default men), or by deriding women’s fannishness as being superficial or fake, or by outright harassment, men must be made to feel safe that their hobbies are theirs and cannot be truly enjoyed or understood by women; that being a male fan is different and better than being a female fan.
Excellent insight. I really wonder at what point does this toxic reaction starve itself out? I mean how much further can the boundaries of masculinity shrink?
See also: bronies.
(Source: brutereason, via negativekarmaengine)