Has Twilight shone a new light on female fandom?

It certainly made MSNBC take notice (well, technically Newsarama, but let’s take a wild guess at which version got the most eyeballs) that more women are flocking to geek fandom – or at least the traditional aspects like San Diego Comic Con.

“Hollywood is finally waking up to the fact that girls like a wide variety of things beyond Barbie and Sex and the City,” said actor Mike McMillian, who plays the Rev. Steve Newlin on the HBO television series “True Blood”, a sexed-up vampire show that has proven itself popular with both male and female fans. “The universal success and appeal of ‘Harry Potter’ probably kicked this off in some ways. There are obviously concepts out there that are more appealing to boys than girls, and vice versa, but things don’t always have to be organized into ‘pink’ and ‘blue’ categories.”

McMillian counts himself among the fanboy culture and is writing next year’s comic book series “Lucid” from publisher Archaia. But the actor said he thinks there have always been fangirls — Hollywood just never courted to them before now. “There are legions of women out there who love this stuff, but I think they’ve been largely disregarded up to this point,” he said.

Is it time to step back from the hate and take a look at the bigger picture here? (via)

4 Replies to “Has Twilight shone a new light on female fandom?”

  1. I didn’t click through to the article (so if what I have to say is touched upon there, I claim ignorance now to save myself the trouble later), but what bothers me about things like this are the assumptions that although girls have always been into nerdy things, the “things” which are being attributed to their nerdy attention spans are things like…vampires and harry potter.

    I like Harry Potter. I don’t like vampires. The implication is girls still like things that are inferior to boys: books marketed towards children, sexualized fantasies.

    Just for ONCE I’d like the same damn Star Wars print produced on Men’s t-shirts to be printed IN THE EXACT SAME WAY on THE EXACT SAME COLOR shirt but tailored to fit women (is it that hard to accommodate our chests?).

    No pink, no lilac, no baby blue. There are other colors.

    It’s not enough that we have things like Zazzle to customize shirts for girls. We shouldn’t have to resort to that. They should make stuff in women sizes that is the same basic thing being made for men and then sell them in stores. Hot Topic frequently has 10 shirts for men and 1 for girls that JUST SO HAPPENS to be hot pink or some other crap shade of pink.

    Same goes for stuff like fandom. Girls like comics, too and NOT just for the romance or anything presumably girly.


  2. “Oh wow, this really sexist stalker fantasy is popular! GIRLS ARE SO INTO FANDOM WAO!”

    Excuse me while I puke. McMillan is dead right that there have always been women in fandom. Lots of them, since before fandom existed. (Early women involved in SFF fandom fawned over that big ball of manly-manness that wrote the first SF novel. What was his name? Oh right. Mary Shelly).

    But oops, my mistake. We were tomboys, or anomalies, or just flat-out invisible because we weren’t validating negative stereotypes that allowed the male-dominated industry to feel ok about shoving us in refrigerators all the time. Now they’ve got a pack of female fans who are validating their stereotypes (women understand that it’s really all about men, women are only into romance and hot boys, women secretly crave traditional gender roles, women are prone to hysterics when people mock something they like, women only read trashy-poorly-written dross, insert the latest “twilight proves that all women $foo” article here, etc…), and suddenly they can see us.

    Or I should say, suddenly they can see them. It looks like the female fans who want quality properties–ones that push the radical notion that women are just as smart, competent, and capable as men–are still just as invisible as ever.

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