#34) I'm a girl, and I've seen a lot of people in the MLP fandom saying that girls can't be bronies because they aren't defying any gender stereotypes or something. The thing is, I don't like the word "Pegasister" and I've always considered myself a brony. Am I?
Answer: This is working on the assumption that bronies are defying gender stereotypes in the first place. To me, the whole, "We're defying gender stereotypes" argument is just a way of rationalising liking the show while maintaining your pride as an older viewer. Because a lot of bronies don't want to accept that their behaviour is unorthodox in any negative fashion, a lot of the time they'll put themselves into the dominant position by arguing that their behaviour is acceptable and that they're better than others because they challenge the status quo. While there is a modicum of truth in that, I wouldn't say that people should be particularly proud of liking "Friendship is Magic".
However, the same elitist mindset that would argue that obsessing over ponies is somehow helping in the battle against gender discrimination would also result in people saying that you aren't a brony. Put your foot down and call yourself whatever the heck you want to be called: who the hell are these people to tell you what you are and what you aren't? Who invented the boundary of what constitutes as a 'pegasister' or a 'brony'? The same kind of irritating swine who would make you feel excluded because you're female, of course.
There's an enormous level of hypocrisy in on the one hand saying that you defy gender stereotypes, and then on the other excluding girls from being part of your club. By saying that girls can't be bronies, these 'gender defiers' are merely reaffirming that women and men don't belong in the same category, and that men are somehow superior by the simple matter of gender. And, when you take that into consideration, you begin to realise just how weak their arguments really are.
If you dislike being called a 'pegasister', shun the label and refer to yourself as a brony. To insist that the label is anything other than gender-neutral at this stage is stupid, anyhow. Some girls like the solidarity of having their own label – the 'pegasister' – but a huge amount prefer to be part of the 'brony' entourage, and you should be welcomed if you're one of them. Shit, bronies should be grateful that real girls actually want to spend time interacting with them, anyway!
#35) Hey, I'm not a fan of the show, but I'd like to ask this - many overzealous 'bronies' have given me a bit of grief in the past. What do you suggest I do to become more tolerant of the fandom after these encounters?
Answer: Ah, I completely sympathise with your position. Being on sites such as DeviantArt and not being a pony-fan must be a pain in the ass sometimes. I can imagine that you'd get sick of all of the brony drama and content if you weren't actively involved in it. As for bronies giving you a hard time, it really depends under what circumstance they've attacked you, and if there was any motivation on their part.
If, for example, you deliberately antagonised them, then it's hardly surprising that you'd be pounced on by angry bronies. However, judging by the wording of this question, and your desire to become more tolerant of bronies, I don't assume that you did anything to deserve the 'grief' that you've experienced. This leads me to the conclusion that the over-zealous bronies you encountered were just being pricks. Naturally, I'd need to know more – for example, what they said to you exactly – in order to comment in greater depth, but for the sake of this general advice blog, I'll give some basic advice.
I guess the best advice is to let you know that not all fans of "Friendship is Magic" are idiots. While some obsess over the show and can't accept any criticism towards it whatsoever, others are far more rational and reasonable. If you want to become more tolerant of bronies, I'd suggest spending less time interacting with the over-zealous types, and more time talking to the people who enjoy the show and partake in aspects of the fandom, but also have a wide variety of other interests that ensure that they don't become entirely insular towards the ponies. There are other things in the world outside of My Little Pony, and, sadly, some people forget that. Associating with the right kind of pony-fan could be a good idea. You can usually tell who they are, because they're the types who update advice blogs belittling extremist bronies every two or three days.
Alternatively, if you're not into the whole 'pony' thing, and if you have no interest in joining the fandom, then you're under no obligation to associate with bronies at all. You might be better off avoiding bronies; while there are a decent bunch of people, you could just as easily not involve yourself in it, and it's possible that you'd be better off for it. You shouldn't feel forced to interact with something just because it's everywhere.
That said, it's great that you want to take measures to actively improve your relationship to bronies. Just be careful that you don't end up cynical and miserly like myself if you do start becoming involved with bronies. In your case, I would suggest that you employ passivity; if bronies are around, try not to actively antagonise them, and don't let bad encounters ruin your entire perception of the My Little Pony thing. Objectively, the show is decent, and while the fandom has been known to suck ass a bit, some pony-fans are completely normal people who wouldn't dream of causing you grief.
#36) I don't get Doctor Whooves. Maybe it's because I have never seen the series, but I just never understood this part of the fandom.
Answer: I'm not sure what the question here is, exactly. I assume that you're asking: 'why do people like the Doctor (W)hooves character?'. In that case, the fact that you haven't seen the TV series largely explains why you wouldn't 'get' it. I myself have no interest in the character, because I'm not a fan of "Dr. Who". That said, if I was, I could see myself becoming interested in the fandom's perception of the character.
It's all about mutual interests. A lot of bronies are "Dr. Who" fans, and fans of science-fiction in general. Therefore, you combine the two interests, and you have an equation for success and popularity. It's that simple. If people like "Dr. Who", and then a character suddenly appears in "Friendship is Magic" who 'resembles' a character from the show, then it gives those wild fan-imaginations fuel to create all sorts of crossover ideas. Of course, that has been taken further, with some people pairing him up with Derpy and so on, but hey; it's not a part of the fandom that I have any interest in, and, if you don't have any interest in it, you can easily avoid it. The Doctor (W)hooves thing is harmless, ultimately.
A lot of background ponies become popular among fans, because it gives them the potential to envision them in wholly original ways without having to adhere to a specific personality. There's no risk of 'out-of-character' stuff when it comes to Doctor (W)hooves, because there's no character there to begin with outside of the design. As a result, people like him, just as they like characters like Berry Punch and Lyra. Of course, Doctor (W)hooves has the added benefit of the whole 'crossover' thing, and so I guess it just comes down to what your interests are.
A new project that I'm starting in collaboration with artists. It's an advice column, in the simplest of terms: I want you to send me notes if you have any problems, secrets or comments on the pony fandom of any nature. It doesn't matter how embarrassing, offensive or vicious they might be: if you want someone to comment on them in an unbiased way, send them over. Maybe there's something within the fandom that you particularly despise, or perhaps you're feeling sad and need to hear some friendly advice? Whatever the motive, send a note with your comment or question.
I'll then respond to them with advice and commentary and post the answers up in future installments. Users will remain anonymous, so you don't need to worry about your feelings and thoughts getting out onto DeviantArt. You may find that some of the things that you've personally been feeling will be addressed.
Feel free to note me if you would like your questions and observations to be answered in an upcoming edition. Every edition will be engaging with three issues. The above three featured today were submitted by anonymous deviants.
I never really for a second believed in the whole 'bronies are changing gender stereotypes'. They just like a show for little girls, the same way as a couple of guys might like the Powerpuff Girls. It is a pretty dickish thing to do when they try to be a voice for gender equality and then sit in their 'No Girls Allowed' brony treehouse.
I love coming on DA to see that you've posted another issue, these make my day. And as for number #34, I don't understand the whole "pegasister/brony" thing anyway. Although the question is more about the whole "we're defying gender stereotypes" thing, the terms themselves can just be overrated. That's why I'd like to just call myself a MLP fan. Well, just call yourself what you want! Anyway, thanks for another great issue!
I also like to be called a fan of "Friendship is Magic" rather than a 'brony'. Saying you're a fan doesn't over-stretch how much you like it, which is good because I like plenty of things more than MLP. Thanks for your kind words :3
I'm a Pegisister, (nor do I like the word.) But in the, what you say, "Lower," age group. Like, I'm 9. But I'm mature and not one of those annoying kids you just goes, OH YEAH I WANNA DO THAT, OH YEAH I'M "TOTTALLY" WITH YA. And I HATE PINK! (not Pinkie, Pink.) I'm really bad at "Loving and Tolerating." SO. MAH QUEZIN. When I say I'm a Brony, all my friends are like, OH, YEAH, SO AM I HURRDURR. I LIKE THE PARROT ONE. Do I test their skills, or just ignore them and their statement.
It's not a wise idea to announce that you're 9 in future. I hear that DA take under-age people being on the site quite seriously. As for your question, would you be able to note it to me? That way I can keep track of it. Thanks.
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`anmari has been spreading her infectious positivity throughout our community for over 6 years. Throughout this time Ana has been at the core of all things devious, passionately developing an eclectic gallery, helping organise devmeets, participating in chat events and also recently completed dedicating her time as a Community Volunteer. We are absolutely delighted to bestow the Deviousness Award for May 2013 to `anmari, congratulations! Read More