To quote my friend, Racheline Maltese, “Really sick of fanwork only being cool when boys do it. Yes, I’m looking at you Wired.”
First, let me say that it makes me gleefully happy that there are men out there who will wear their love of My Little Pony proudly. I have absolutely no issue with this.
The issue I have is in the way it’s presented. If you read the article I linked above, you’ll notice that the writer goes out of her way to not mention that My Little Pony is/was a show intended for girls. Instead, she says it’s “a TV show largely intended for a much younger audience.” OK.
She then calls the pony dolls “action figures.” Who is she trying to ingratiate herself to or impress?
But the ultimate issue is what Racheline brought up in her tweet - that fandom is cool when guys do it, but seen as lame when women do it. As the writer of the article says:
Aside from a few brony-haters, blessedly very little (negative) hay seems to get made over dudes liking something that’s “supposed to be for girls” (like, for example, the way girls would be side-eyed for liking Transformers in years past).
Despite a tacit understanding that some people might be surprised by their choice of entertainment, most bronies show little to no compunction about their fandom. They shouldn’t have to. And, intentionally or not, they might be bucking the gender socialization of things considered to be “for girls” or “for boys.”
So, while the article does get into the issue of gender socialization, the fact that the writer seems to want to make sure guys aren’t put-off by the subject matter by using phrases like “action figures” undercuts that. It also highlights the fact that, no matter what guys like, as long as it’s a guy doing the liking, they will be catered to.
In any case, I’m glad that guys can find worth in something that was originally created for girls. I just wish that Wired would cover female fandom (has there ever been an article in Wired about women and comics, or Twilight?) with the same enthusiasm as they do stuff like this.