Fandom Hate

Icon-AnimeIcon-GamingIcon-MOEFandom hate is something a lot of us are familiar with. While it almost always comes down to a sweeping generalization about an entire group of people based on the actions of a few who identify as part of that group, it happens quite often. As negativity continues to be called out, however, those who blindly attack fandoms are being taken to task.

Pinkie PieA Tumblr post made its way around not too long ago and, while the subject matter pertains primarily to the My Little Pony fanbase, it should resonate with all of us who have become familiar with fandom hate. The author of the post had become fed up with video anime reviewer JesuOtaku and her apparent hatred for bronies.

There is a contingent of people within general fandom that seem to see themselves as an enforcer caste and, worse yet, they seem 100% willing to abandon the idea of judging individuals as individuals when a minority of people in a fandom (Particularly one that they don’t like) misbehaves. Suddenly, “gaming culture” becomes toxic, bronies become misogynistic, and moé fans become pedophiles.

Regardless of efforts within fandoms to police their own and keep their least elements from propagating, the self-appointed enforcer caste will condemn a fandom based on the misbehaviour of a small, but perhaps loud, number of people within it. It’s brainless. Anybody can tell you that individuals should be judged as individuals, but this concept is thrown out the window when the enforcer caste’s endgame is forcing a particular fandom underground or otherwise encouraging their reclusion from the rest of general fandom.

That’s only half of the problem with fandom hate, however. In addition to wrongfully judging people based on the actions of other people related to them only by liking the same thing, the issue with the concept of fandom hate is that it’s simply not productive. It doesn’t create value.

Unless you consider Twitter rants and aimless, angry, ranting Tumblr posts valuable.

Fandom hate doesn't produce resin figures
Fandom hate doesn’t produce resin figures.

Fandom (Even overwhelming, obnoxious fandom) for something will, at the very least, help to support and promote that thing. Often, however, it goes much further than that. Passionate fans often create their own works based on things they’re big fans of. We see this with cosplayers, AMV creators, fanfiction authors, and garage kit makers. Whether by supporting the stuff they like or by creating fan-works, fandom creates value. When was the last time you saw petty hatred of a fandom inspire a cosplayer, or produce a nice doujinshi?

What value does fan-hate create? The most it can spawn are bitter blog posts about how Fandom X is so toxic and awful. At the end of the day, fandom hate is just a self-aggrandizing, masturbatory pastime, in which bitter, self-important people complain to people who will agree with them about groups of fans neither of them care for so they can collectively bask in the glow of their own self-righteousness.

It’s not just “Fandom X is toxic.” It’s “Fandom X is toxic…and we’re not.” It’s Nerd Hierarchy all over again, people shutting people down to lift themselves up, and it’s all based on awful logic.

To those who propagate fandom hate: Hating fans of whatever and ranting on Twitter about it isn’t going to help anyone, full stop. All it accomplishes is adding more negativity to a conversation already saturated in it. We don’t need more negativity, and you not liking fans of X, Y, or Z isn’t important enough that you need to add to it.

And if, despite that, you insist on adding your worthless voice to the conversation, spreading hate and discontent, all the while offering no way to solve the problem or help better the situation, do not be surprised when people call you out on it.

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14 Replies to “Fandom Hate”

  1. I’ve been meaning to write up a post on my blog about fan haters, particularly haters of ecchi and hentai fans. I wanted to tackle arguments like “All ecchi and hentai fans are just lonely horny teenaged virgins” or “all ecchi and hentai fans are pathetic and shallow” or “you’re weird for fapping to cartoons” and especially the whole “Why watch ecchi instead of hentai?” thing. Discovery of the hatred towards this kind of media and the hatred of the fans is what made me become so sour towards the Western fanbase in the first place. But perhaps that article isn’t necessary to write anymore because I think you’ve illustrated the points against fan haters better than I ever could.

  2. Okay I’ll throw my hands up and admit that I am part of the fan haters. I realize that there are rational and civil fans in any given base and that its not fair to generalize them as part of the whole. However, the reason why I don’t associate myself with any fanbase (Including fandoms of a game/manga/anime etc that I am also a fan of) is because of their sheer obnoxiousness and elitist mentality. I also hate how if you have a different opinion from the fanbase you’re treated as a pariah and you aren’t “a true fan”.

    For example I actually like the Star Wars Prequels but the fanbase will put you down for daring to like something that isn’t part of the original trilogy. I really like Final Fantasy X-2 and the XIII saga but since it isn’t IV, VI, VII, or X you will be put down by the Final Fantasy fanbase. If you actually like something in the Sonic fanbase that isn’t part of the original Genesis games like Sonic and the Black Knight for example you get treated like shit for that too. Or how I actually like moe and ecchi based anime and in the western fandom’s eyes you are a “pedophile”, “having shit taste”, “misgyonist”, and etc.

    This collectivist mentality along with other unsavory aspects of the fandom is why I hate most fanbases. I don’t hate individual fans because they’re smart, but as a collective whole they are incredibly elitist, fascist, and bigoted.

  3. @Drawingirl 94

    Actually I think you should go ahead with the article. After all, I am pretty sure you have your own unique ideas to add to the mix. On top of that I really haven’t seen anyone address the “why watch ecchi when you have hentai” argument before. Maybe add in there that its not shameful for men to enjoy such material and they shouldn’t feel bad for their natural biological urges. After all, most of the insults and slurs of this nature are more directed towards men in an attempt to get men back into their traditional roles.

    So you see, you have plenty to contribute to this topic.

    1. That’s true. It’s just that lately I don’t know if it’s a good idea to post about these things at the moment. Like I said before in another comment, talking about this genuinelly gets me angry to no end, and at this point in my life, I’m not sure if it’s a good idea or healthy to talk about things that make me angry.

      1. While I certainly think your perspective can add a lot to the discussion around the concept of fan-hate, especially concerning ecchi, I definitely wouldn’t want you to force yourself, and I can understand why you’d be hesitant about it.

  4. Good thoughts as always. That Tumblr post is crazy long but I’ll try to read it at some point. But I didn’t know that JesuOtaku feels poorly towards bronies. It’s disappointing as I like some of her videos and actually met her at Anime Expo one year.

    But yeah, I definitely agree that it’s a waste of time to hate on a fandom. There’s nothing wrong with having problems with a certain person who happens to be part of a certain fandom, but making assumptions and judgements about thousands of people based on how a few people act is stupid. If the fandom is very obviously condoning something immoral, like, for example, “fans of stabbing puppies” or something, then yeah, I would speak out against anyone who’s part of that. But if it’s just a fandom of people who like cartoons, you can’t lump everyone together like that.

    1. Bingo!

      Humans are tribal creatures. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. You can see it even in the entertainment that we devour. For example, look at sports: There are teams, rivalries, tote… err, I mean emblems, etc. If you look at our past, this kind of thing isn’t surprising. Whether it’s religion, nationality, ethnicity, or whatever you can factor in, we find ways to divide ourselves into compartments with those we find most advantageous.

      This isn’t really all that mysterious. In fact, you can trace it back to evolution and a natural need to create a pecking order , lest everything fall into chaos and disorder. You could even argue that it’s hardwired into people to do this for the benefit of the species.

      At some point we decided we are above animals and primal behavior.
      Newsflesh: We’re not.

  5. I generally detest tribalism and all of the mental mechanisms (which probably had survival value back when we evolved in Africa but are frequently misapplied in the modern world) that accompany it. I agree that no individual should be judged by the sins of the tribe (and I mean that as broadly as possible). Ideally, we should look at each other as individuals.

    My only point of disagreement, I guess, is that some tribes do frequently get a shorter end of the stick than others. So while I don’t agree with not treating people as individuals, I can understand why, if a woman has repeatedly encountered misogynist behavior from bronies, she might project that on to the tribe. I’m not saying it’s right or helpful–just it’s very human to do so.

    1. It’s certainly a natural jump to make, to project the behaviour of a small, but repeatedly-encountered sub-group onto the whole of the group. However, where it becomes a problem is when a person’s perception of that group becomes “Bronies are misogynist,” with a refusal to accept the fact that, despite their unfortunate personal experiences with the least elements of that group, their assessment of the group as a whole is nonetheless incorrect.

      It’s important to acknowledge the least elements of any fan-group, but assessing the group as a whole to be just as nasty says to me that those people don’t really want to improve the situation or solve problems.

  6. One more thing to add, I guess. If Moe fans (or whatever tribe I am a member of at the time) have a bad stereotype, I think the best response I can give is to try to be a better person and hopefully change someone’s mind about moe fans via my behavior. That’s really all I can do, I think

    1. That’s really the best that any one person in any given fandom can do. People are individuals, after all, and it’s a better solution than trying to shame the people who misbehave into falling in line.

  7. Fandom hate is something we are all familiar with. It is also something that we see way more than we would like. It saddens me when I see fandom hate and it makes me think of how similar it is to prejudices against ethnic, religious and sexual minorities. For the people practicing fandom hate, for the people advocating fandom hate, for the people condoning fandom hate, I want them to take a step back and think about their actions. Would they say that sort of stuff about African-Americans? Would they say that homosexuals are toxic? Would they say that all muslims are terrorists? To be perfectly honest, I’m not sure, but I hope they wouldn’t say any of these things. Prejudice is prejudice, no matter who it’s targeted at. And the awfulness of the discrimination doesn’t change just because there is now a new target. It’s still the same harmful sentiments.

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