So now it seems like the popular thing to do to call yourself a fan of My Little Pony is to refer to yourself as a ‘brony.’ This term was coined by members of 4Chan, which as we all know is a source of deeply creative and inspired ideas, and a bastion of tolerance, understanding, and optim I can’t even finish this fucking sentence. Point is, I hate it. It’s a bad term. It’s an utterly terrible, gender-biased term and much like ‘trap,’ it is drastically overused by people who aren’t actually thinking about what it means.
"But Peach," the hypothetical brony-in-question says, "don’t you want MLP to have more exposure? How can you hate on bronies, when we’ve done so much for getting the show into the media spotlight?" To which I respond "neither of those questions have anything to do with my point, dunkass, but I’ll respond anyway."
Firstly: yes. I want MLP to get more exposure. I want it to be so popular it reaches the point of total media oversaturation, so that I can turn a corner and see little kids and their parents, hand-in-hand, singing ‘Giggle at the Ghostie’ while wearing matching Pinkie Pie t-shirts. Stores will advertise the very latest in bridle-based fashion, as an Applejack cosplayer sets up a stand on the sidewalk and begins to sell apple spice muffins. Fluttershy lifestylers will lead the animals in a song and dance routine in the park across the street, while high above, rainbow-hued hanggliders soar overhead, resulting in at least three fatal accidents from failed Sonic Rainboom attempts. This is the world I wish to live in, and it will be glorious, aside from the people who are dead.
Secondly: I don’t hate on bronies. I hate on the TERM brony, but on the whole, I think they’re good people who like a good show and are supporting it as well as they can. But herein lies my problem: nothing bronies have done for the show is all that unusual or exceptional for a fandom. What is unusual is that they are supporting it with a passion, intensity, and degree of creativity usually seen in shows with predominantly FEMALE fandoms… fandoms which the popular media actively ignores.
The reason MLP fandom is currently in the spotlight is because a greater-than-average amount of its membership is heterosexual white men, so much so that they coined their own unique TERM, because… uh… hm. Why DO bronies need a unique term for themselves, while non-male pony fans are just ‘people who like My Little Pony’?
The answer: because they’re heterosexual white men who are insecure in their sexual and gender identity unless they reclassify everything they like into being a ‘masculine’ interest. And if you think there’s some other reason why the term ‘brony’ exists, or that it’s some kind of gender-neutral term, you’re absolutely wrong and you will continue to be wrong, because you have your heteronormative blinders on. ‘Brony’ exists because MLP is too feminine for many guys to accept as ‘okay to like’ unless they can qualify it as not-feminine or mitigate it via irony, because I guess admitting you like something earnestly gives you ICKY GIRL COOTIES. Female and genderqueer members of MLP fandom have been just as dedicated and just as intense and just as creative as the ‘brony’ segments, but as above, are ignored in popular perception because society has decreed that something isn’t REALLY interesting and cool until the white guys accept it.
And while deciding your interests are somehow special and unique while those of others who share your interests are not is not a UNIQUELY white male heterosexual thing to do, it is a CLASSICALLY white male heterosexual thing to do. ‘Brony’ redefines the broad sweep of MLP fandom into exactly two categories: ‘guys’ and ‘everybody else.’ And every time I hear someone support bronies by saying ‘yeah, we’re taking it back!’ my words of congratulation on overcoming needless gender binaries turn to ash in my mouth, because now the narrative has shifted from ‘it is okay for guys to like this show’ to ‘guys liking this show is why this show is valid.’
So, please, stop using the term ‘brony.’ It reinforces the gender divide in a very subtle, insidious manner, and asserts that even in unmistakably feminine arenas, the opinion of men will always carry greater weight than the opinion of anyone else. And that isn’t ‘taking it back,’ that’s just ‘taking it.’
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- merryspectre said: I think the point is that it is a very masculine-charged term and came about because dudes needed to justify/frame their interest in a “girly” show. it definitely just meant older dude fans.
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