Pony Thought of the Day: Is Bronydom Feminist?

Apologies for the lack of a PTotD yesterday–I actually wrote one, but instead of queueing it I accidentally saved it as a draft. You can scroll down to see it–sorry about that!

Anyway, I’ve got feminism on my brain. It shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone that Friendship Is Magic is a pretty feminist show. I have tended to assume that bronies are therefore also more inclined than the general populace to feminism, though with the caveat that, thanks to consistent and intentional misportrayal of feminism in mass media, there are a lot of people who believe everything feminists believe but recoil from the label.

That said, I’ve based the assumption on a combination of the nature of the show, the fact that I haven’t personally witnessed or heard about any major incidents, and the general self-image of bronies as being an unusually open, welcoming, and non-judgmental fandom. But that’s not really a solid basis: it’s perfectly possible for someone to enjoy a feminist show while being a misogynist, if either the feminism or the misogyny is subtle enough; I’m a man, so any misogynistic behavior would not affect me directly and therefore I’d be less likely to notice it; and the self-image of a group is generally not a good predictor of its actual behavior.

So, I’d like to ask the people reading, especially any women reading: Is your experience that bronies are more feminist/less sexist than the general populace? Do you feel that the brony community is a safe and welcoming place for women? If so, why do you think it’s so overwhelmingly male?

0 thoughts on “Pony Thought of the Day: Is Bronydom Feminist?

  1. It helps that the outspoken feminist views of Faust tend to keep away the more vocal antifeminists from the fandom (and has many of the popular targets of mockery whining about left-wing bias), which leaves the more subtle and unconscious misogynists without an echo chamber to bounce off of.

    I'm a firm believer in the “What We Claim To Be” theory of political discourse, and I think unlabeled feedback loops can be a great teaching tool.

  2. Hmm. I'm not sure the lack of an echo chamber alone is enough, though. There's so much sexism permeating our entire culture that I worry a lot is flying under the radar. I'd like to hear people's experiences… I wish I knew anything about statistics or survey design so I could do a study at Bronycon or something.

  3. Comment deleted for violating Rule 1.2 of the Comment Policy.

    I will happily reply to the substance of the comment, such as it is, if you repost it without the ableist slur.

  4. – john joseco's molestia blog has tens of thousands of followers
    – pedophiles and ponyfuckers such as megasweet are the most famous fanartists, and feature in the bronycon 'burning with passion' panel, as if this is perfectly normal.
    – an artist i follow on tumblr has had many negative experiences with derpibooru comments (rape jokes) and with attempting to get her art removed (admin being a petty piece of garbage).
    – derpibooru's userbase is trash fullstop. pictures of people cosplaying can be found under the 'hootershy' 'raritits' etc. tags used for busty humanisations as if that wasnt objectifying enough in the first place
    – the proportion of pornographic works in fanart and fanfic, and the level of unhealthy emotional attachment to the female characters on the part of males, rivals that of the touhou fandom. its pathetic.
    – any positive experiences with bronies in real life have been overshadowed by gross, obnoxious fans who have no sense of boundaries especially about anything to do with sexuality
    – these experiences are corroborated fairly freakin often in the only pony community i'm involved in, which is ponygoons

    to answer your question Fuck no.

  5. Yeah. About a month ago (so well after this article) I did a series of interviews with women who identify as MLP fans, and there was enormous variety of experience. Those who stuck mostly to RL fandom had a mostly positive experience with a couple of problematic incidents, while most of those who participated online had more negative experiences. The story one woman (an older fan who started with Gen 1) told me about her treatment by online FIM fans was horrifying, especially the speed with which they degenerated from attacking her for liking Gen 1 to blatant misogyny. Overall it was a very eye-opening bit of research.

  6. “Is Bronydom Feminist” The very act of calling oneself a “BROny” is misogynistic as being a “MLP Fan” is seen as not masculine enough so a masculineizing term has to be made, the positioning anything else as both “feminine” and “inferior”. Otherwise, why not label as just an “MLP Fan” Why the outspoken masculinity. Brony is also not gender neutral so there’s that as well. Bronies by their very self label are not feminist.

    • Yeah. There was a brief moment early on where it looked like this was an attempt to redefine masculinity to be less toxic. That, needless to say, didn’t happen. With every passing year, Bronies became more and more toxic and hateful. This was one of those posts from when I still had on the rose-colored glasses of the first blush of fandom. I quickly learned better.

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