Fandom 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.
A 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 (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.