Oh, look: ANOTHER women-discover-fandom article.


But it also contains the first instance I’ve seen of the people interviewed going “Of course women are genre fans. If this is news to you, then you are either an idiot or have been living on Mars.”  So, hooray! Maybe this sort of article is on its way out.


Also, the article claims that this year’s Comic Con was 40% female–and, as I think about it, that seems about as I remember it.


Addendum:  Doubtless some of you are now thinking “Now, Nightsky, when you say that the women-discover-fandom meme is built on a raft of sexist assumptions, don’t you think you’re overstating things just a tad? Sexism, in 2009, honestly?  Among fans–generally well-educated people who have been brought up to see women as equals?” Allow me to present, in toto, a comment that appears under the above-linked article.

When a girl tells me she’s a “fan” but is obviously just a fan of Twilight, I usually attempt to save her soul by recommending some of Whedon’s stuff or Gaiman’s Sandman. If she goes for it, then I’ve done my duty and fandom really will have another member of the fairer sex. If she doesn’t, well then there was just no helping her anyway!
By the way, am I the only one who’s asking himself where all these hot girls were at the comicons back when I was young and single? *sigh*

Totalling up the patronizing and sexist assumptions behind this statement is left as an exercise for the reader.  Mine are behind the cut, if you want to compare notes.

  1. The woman is not competent to judge whether or not she is a fan.
  2. He is competent to judge both his fandom status and hers.
  3. Twilight is not genre.
  4. Twilight is objectively inferior to works he prefers.
  5. Twilight fans are inferior to true fans. This is true even if they enjoy other genre works.
  6. A woman is assumed to be a Twilight fan until shown otherwise.
  7. The woman won’t have heard of Whedon or Gaiman before he tells her.
  8. She will automatically prefer their (male-authored) works to her current favorite (female-authored) work.
  9. If she doesn’t go for the Whedon or Gaiman oeuvres, then she’s a lost cause for fandom.
  10. Men have a duty to recruit women to fandom.
  11. Because he did not notice female fans before (or they didn’t measure up to his beauty standards), they did not exist.
  12. A female fan should hook up with a male fan, overriding of any other criteria (such as her attraction to him) she may have in mind.


I mean, I don’t like Twilight myself, but there’s no denying it’s genre.  I don’t like Eragon, either; but… funny thing, no one’s questioning whether or not Eragon is genre or deciding that Eragon fans are not trufen.