2) I tend to focus on feminism. Clearly. And so, I spend more of my time thinking about how fangirls are represented instead of men. A definite oversight, yes, but girls have been greatly misrepresented in fandoms. If you know anything about this "fake geek girl" and "fake fangirl" crap that's been going around, then you you what I'm talking about. (On that note, the comedy site Cracked.com did a post on this phenomenon which is interesting, clever, and mentions Thor and Loki. "If you think the greatest Thor fan in the world is male, wow, you've been using a different internet than me." Great stuff.)
3) I once read this book called American Nerd, back when I was in high school. It was sort of disappointing, mostly because I didn't know anything about Dungeons and Dragons at the time, I wasn't the same sort of reader I am now, and I remember it being mostly about men, and thus had a hard time making it relevant, especially as it seemed to more reaffirm stereotypes rather than break through them. And so, anything I could have gleaned about male fans was lost on me because I wasn't sure how to connect to and read the book. I should probably give it another go, really.
|Stereotypes, stereotypes, stereotypes... (http://www.thenoisecast.com)|
Good old Henry Jenkins. In this discussing in how male and female fans read texts differently, some distinguishing features can be noted. Female readers tend to delve more into the texts themselves, interacting and conversing with them while males are more likely to see ideas of original authorship and react differently. Perhaps this is why more women write fanfiction and more men play Dungeons and Dragons; one revolves around changing a text while the other involves interacting with an already created one. I personally lost interest in Dungeons and Dragons when I found out that inter-species relationships couldn't exist and you were pretty limited in what you could do. However, I still have a huge fascination for video games (hoping to learn more about them over winter break, actually) and that's a very similar thing. Also, this doesn't account at all for the people (a great deal of them men) who hack into video games and create their own additions/changes. And this is the point where things get muddled.
Something I learned from psychology this year is that often there are more in-group difference than between-group differences. For example, if you look at one racial group compared to another in terms of health, there will actually be greater health disparities in the same racial group than compared to differing ones. I'm thinking that maybe that's how different fans react; that there's really greater difference in genders than between genders when it comes to fannish behavior. Yes, occasionally the type of texts differ (men tend to be sports fans while women tend to be movie fans, men tend to be more focused on plots and action while women seem to be more interested in characterization and actors; this of course is not a clear-cut solid fact, this is just a tendency and more reinforced by society than actual mental difference). From seeing fans interact and react online, there is a TON of difference between female fans, which is what makes fandom so interesting.
I realize that once again I have skirted around what exactly fanboys are. And I think that's because I don't really understand how they differ from fangirls, except for what the Jenkins quotes points out, for some fans, not all. However, there is a distinct difference in how culture views each sort of fan based on their gender. Which sucks. (Case and point, check out how the female fanboy is represented on the Fanboys poster amongst the others shown.) So... I've really got no good answer. Again. So this has been a very wayward post but a beneficial one... sometimes meandering around and not figuring out stuff is good.
On that note, I'm going to wrap it up here and wish you all Happy Holidays and a very Merry Christmas! Well-wishes to you and yours in this chilly time of year (well, chilly in my part; I suspect that Minnesota actually become Jotenheim in the winter (I'm actually not complaining, I like the snow)) and I hope you all have a splendid holiday season.