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Date: 2009-06-07 11:37 am (UTC)
jlh: Chibi of me in an apron with a cocktail glass and shaker. (Default)
From: [personal profile] jlh
This is so interesting because I think that in particular, the expectations and assumptions of Metafandom and Fandom_Secrets are so different as to be almost divergent, because they originate in such different places, and while Metafandom frequently makes me feel that I am not "really" in fandom, Fandom_Secrets tends to reassure me that I definitely am.

In fact, I had a long conversation on F_S with someone who was surprised that shows that are nothing like the ones you have listed have at least moderately sized and very active fandoms. I'm thinking not only of shonen manga like Gundam Wing, but also of shojo manga like Ouran High School Host Club and Fruits Basket, female-targeted tv shows like Gossip Girl and Grey's Anatomy, and especially sitcoms like How I Met Your Mother and The Office, not to mention all the rpf written for American Idol. There's definitely an overlap between all of that and the core of SF/F fandom, partially thanks to HP, but many of those anime fans will not have a working familiarity with most of the shows you mention.

I find it interesting that in LJ multi-fannishness and the idea of being fannish as an action that so many are taking fannish activities and applying them to very mainstream canons as well as acknowledging that fandom has many mothers: not only classic SF/F fandom, but also rockfic fandom (whose roots are nearly as old, and entirely separate; see the bandom/rockfic debates) and anime fandom (which tends to be much younger, and often its fans are often not involved in SF/F to any real extent). Never mind comic book fandom, which of course has lots of ties to SF-F fandom but whose canons you have not mentioned. I'm not saying these fandoms are separate, and in fact, I don't even have to argue for their inclusion, as a cursory glance at Fandom_Secrets will show you that they are already a large part of fandom, as would a check at the fandoms that get posted regularly on Femslash Today). I would argue, rather, that the idea that SF/F fandom, in whatever medium, is the One True Fandom (see, arguments that HP was a feral fandom, or that there cannot, by definition, be a Gossip Girl fandom) is being eclipsed by the behavior of fans.

Therefore, I would say that I do not expect people in fandom to have a familiarity with the texts you bring up—I certainly wouldn't be that popular in Idol fandom if I did! And what's interesting about that is how much the conversation about fandom changes when you step outside of SF/F and into other genres. In particular, the whole "female characters we like" conversation becomes very, very different (see sistermagpie's recent post on the same) or the aforementioned Femslash Today listing that includes Guiding Light and Gossip Girl and GG rpf and 30 Rock and Grey's Anatomy. Race becomes different, too, when you're talking about anime (which has its own, but very different, problems) or sitcoms (which are incredibly segregated) or reality tv.

It's technically multi-fandom spaces like Metafandom that actually are not pan-fandom as much as they are multi-fannish about SF-F fandoms and then those tangential fandoms that female fans of SF-F tend to like, which then get retrofitted into being the same "kind" of show, in order to fit the model. It's the drive to fit the behavior of fans into some sort of small model, instead of its insanely large, sprawling reality, that leads so many into being frustrated with Metafandom and ultimately denigrating it. It's unfortunate because I think Metafandom can be a great resource, but as I have experienced it, it is somewhat blind to its own boundaries and prejudices.
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