Wed
Jun 20 2012 12:30pm

In Defense of Bronies — The Quest For Gender Equality in Fandom

Way back in the 80s, when He-Man and Voltron graced us with their presence on television, when Thundercats roamed the TV landscape and Jem was truly outrageous, there was no end to the cartoons a child could fall in love with. Thanks to the miracle of capitalism, every trip to the toy store allowed parents the opportunity to festoon their children with action figures of their child’s favorites. There was GI Joe for the boys, She-Ra for the girls and of course the ubiquitous Care Bears to sort out the younger kids. But every once in a while, someone crossed the aisle. There was a little girl eyeing the GI Joes and a boy who wouldn’t mind a Jem doll. There was a clear divide for what action figures and dolls were meant for what gender and never the twain shall meet.

In the 80s, My Little Pony fell onto the girl’s side of the aisle. But in the new millennium, that divide was been breached when Hasbro and HUB network relaunched its slumbering pony franchise with the wildly popular My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic. And a funny thing happened — adults started watching the show too. And not just grown women either. Guys have embraced MLP and launched a fandom all their own. The term applied to these male MLP fans is Brony (short for bro pony) and they’re out to challenge some male stereotypes about what friendship — and fandom — can be.

My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, for anyone who hasn’t seen the show, is about a group of pony friends and their adventures in Equestria. Each episode revolves around the ponies learning lessons about friendship and having a good time while doing it. While that concept makes it unsurprising that children would love the show, the startling part is that the show is good for adults too. It’s well-written, clever, and doesn’t pander while still teaching messages about all the good things you want a kid to learn. What has startled many, however is the adult response to MLP and specifically the adult male response.

Bronies exploded onto the internet as a fandom in a big way. There are innumerable websites to the show run by bronies (like the now famous Equestria Daily), as well as fan clubs and Meetups that bring male fans of the show together. There’s plenty of cosplay with folks dressing up as their favorite ponies and entire conventions (like the upcoming Bronycon in New Jersey) that let fans get together to celebrate their equestrian pride. The Brony sensation has been met with honest bewilderment by a lot of people, who can’t understand why guys would be interested in the show. Sadly, underneath that has also been an undercurrent of nastiness aimed at the fan community, with folks asking why adult males would be interested in a show written to cater to little girls. These questions couch some old gender battles in new hurtful shaming tactics that seem eerily familiar to anyone who wanted to step outside their gender roles and do something different in their lives. The fact is, MLP’s Brony fandom is a poke in the eye to genderized fandoms everywhere and there are folks out there who just can’t stand a challenge to stereotyped gender norms.

Girls like pink, boys like blue. GI Joe for boys, Jem and the Holograms for girls. People have been fighting to be allowed outside of their gender boxes for generations, yet while we celebrate women standing up to claim their power to choose, a backlash exists against boys out to do the same thing. Where women can choose their fandoms these days and battle the naysayers with pride, these Bronies are getting a lot of hairy eyeballs for choosing to enjoy something that is a little pink, a little cute, and a little friendly. 

The question posed by the naysayers seems to be this: shouldn’t adult men stay away from things that are designed for little girls? Well then, why not ask the same question about adult women who are enjoying the show? Why not knock so-called Fillies (female adult fans) for being fans? No, Bronies get a bad name because being into something pink and friendly is not a masculine feature, and these guys are embracing something that is quite the opposite of macho. Is that their prerogative? Sure. What those critical of Bronies might want to ask themselves is what it is about men embracing lessons about fairness, friendship, fun, and happiness that makes everyone so nervous? Are lessons about good sportsmanship, being true to yourself, and ethical judgement strictly girl’s only? 

The inclusion of adult men in the MLP fandom doesn’t seem to bother series helmswoman Lauren Faust. She has gone on record as supporting all genders and ages as fans of the show, saying that the show had been created for parents and their children, which includes male parents. One such comment on her deviantArt page in response to some Brony-hate is particularly telling. Faust fires back, stating: “In general, I am still inspired by bronies. As a group, they have not succumbed to society’s pressure that young men must hold contempt for anything feminine no matter what. They’ve been able to see beyond the preconceived notions that they were most likely raised with to judge something for it’s merit. And on top of that, they’re brave enough to embrace it openly despite the ridicule that they are undoubtedly subject to. ”

In the spirit of battling for gender equality in our appreciations, I’ll say that it might be nice to live in a world where I can fight for my appreciation of action films and comic books, video games and tough role models, while a guy can like a rom-com or two along with his MLP without having his masculinity questioned. If it’s good for the goose it might be good for the Brony, and in the end, who is any fanboy or girl to judge? Meanwhile, Bronies continue to grow as a positive, supportive fandom across the internet with every season of the show with little sign of slowing down.

So keep your eyes open. When next you see a guy wearing a t-shirt emblazoned with a flying pony, or hear a man you know mention something called Derpy Hooves, you’ll know a Brony is among you. You’ll know you’ve met someone brave enough to stand up for their interests despite the peer pressure against being different, and that’s something courageous to be supported.

So, not to cross fandoms or anything, but let’s all say it together: 

Art by www.terryblas.com


Shoshana Kessock is a comics fan, photographer, game developer, LARPer and all around geek girl. She’s the creator of Phoenix Outlaw Productions and ReImaginedReality.com

38 comments
Lisamarie LiGreci-Newton
1. Lisamarie
I have never heard of this phenomenon (I didn't even know MLP was still doing anything) but it sounds awesome :)
EddV
2. EddV
I held out for over a year, but most of one of my writing groups fell for MLP, so I finally gave it a try. It's clever, well-animated, and touching.

I had not heard of female fans being 'fillies'; I'd heard them being referred to as 'Pegasisters'.
Charles Gaston
3. parrothead
@1 Lisamarie: Oh, it is indeed. This show is amazing. I'm a Brony, and proud of it. There's even a gamer bar that my coworkers go to on occasion with a MLP:FIM themed drink. Check it out if you've got Netflix. The third episode really sold it for me. The first two - a two part pilot - were good, but you could see where it was going and how much they were putting in for the adults in the third.
Mordicai Knode
4. mordicai
My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic is an unironic little piece of bubblegum that I really enjoy-- I mean, seriously, if you thought there could be anything better than Nightmare Moon, Princess Luna is it.
Angela Korra'ti
5. annathepiper
MLP:FiM is not my thing, but I am deeply charmed that the Bronies exist. Rock on, guys. :)

Also? I'm really kinda charmed by that Avenger!Ponies macro, too!
EddV
6. 4ak
Bronies get a bad name because being into something pink and friendly is not a masculine feature, and these guys are embracing something that is quite the opposite of macho
Bronies get a bad name because they spam their unfunny memes everywhere, push their fandom on everybody like it is some kind of radical statement or movement that people actually give a shit about, and because they evangelize a wholly mediocre children’s cartoon.

The fact that it’s “pink” or supposedly “for girls” is not at all the reason bronies are hated. Nobody gives a shit about gender roles. They do get some hate for their furry-tendencies, but personally I don’t care about any kind of fetish or sexual preference they might have, what bugs me is that they have latched onto such an undeserving, mediocre, and contrived children’s cartoon and spread it around like AIDS.

I am the first person who will line up as a fan for animation that taps into the “purity” and “innocence” of childhood or childish things. This show is not that – the show is painfully self-aware, loaded with winks and nods to the older audience and internet culture that is its new demographic. It’s middle-of-the-road, rehashed Saturday-morning-cartoon American cartoon fare.
EddV
8. Geekomancer
@4ak - Wow, dude, way to spew. I'm hardly a brony, but the show has its charm. If it's not for you, that's cool. What's NOT cool is hating on the fans of it just because YOU don't like it.
EddV
9. Ronja A-M
...and 4ak of course knows everything about the quality of cartoons, everybody's opinions about them and is always right in his/her judgement to boot. Now let's just bend our heads in humility and go home everyone: the discussion is clearly over, having been proven frivolous by 4ak's overwhelming, objective evidence and air-tightly logical conclusions.



(for the humor-impaired: that was sarcasm)
EddV
10. Ronja A-M
But seriously, this post made me smile from ear to ear and thank you very much for that! Yet another inspiring development on the gender & technology front, and so soon after http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/566429325/tropes-vs-women-in-video-games/posts/242547

This is a good time to be alive. *both*thumbs*up*
EddV
11. Stefan Jones
I watched a few episodes before Hub was pulled from the lineup. It seems nicely produced, and they had some great monsters in a couple of the shows. A hydra, for example.

But one episode set off all sorts of panic triggers. A bright pink pony felt compelled to make freinds with a donkey who'd moved to town. It was excruciating . . . some bubbly extrovert annoying the crap out of a guy who clearly just wanted some personal space. Jeeesh.

That said: While MLP isn't especially for me, I feel jealous of kids these days, for some the great cartoon shows out there. Early in its existence, Cartoon Network would run "classic" cartoon shows from the 70s and 80s. Wow, what awful crap!

Toon these days seem to be written by people who care about what they're doing. To name a couple, Adventure Time is hilarious and clever and full of references that only someone who grew up playing D&D and video games could write. Chowder (I think which has ended its run) was hilarious and clever and really trippy at times.
Luis Milan
12. LuisMilan
No, no, 4ak, tell us how you really feel, don't hold back on our account.
EddV
13. Kathrine Roid
My thirteen year old sister watches MLP:FIM. I follow a filly on tumblr and a brony on twitter. I'm familiar with the fandom. I'll get the jokes and memes.

I've heard brony-defenders saying, "Yeah, I'm sure you think we're crazy, but it's actually a well thought-out and clever show." From what I've seen (from over my sister's shoulder) it's better written than 99% of cartoons - scratch that, it's better written than 99% of all TV. It's also much more sex-nuetral than the previous MLP show, in which anything that wasn't pink was purple.

I understand it drawing a wide audience, but I'm still no filly (or pegasister), simply because it doesn't have the depth I like. Now would be a good time to admit I'm ridiculously hard to please when it comes to quality and proud of it. Keeps me from geting caught up in too many "great" shows.

Now I'm getting worried this comment has no point. But it felt nice telling someone my views on the subject, and maybe someone else will be able to say, "YES! That articulates what I think!"
EddV
14. AlBrown
I have to admit, as soon as I heard what a Bronie was, I realized that I was one. We started watching this show when our granddaughter was sleeping over one weekend, and then started recording it, so she wouldn't miss any episodes between visits. The turning point came when she started watching the show at home with her parents, and the next time she came to the house, when she pointed out that she had already seen the episodes, it was me who insisted that we still watch them so I could catch up.
I find the show to be fun and well written. The characters are very well developed, and their adventures very entertaining. I can see why people think it is fun for people of all ages and genders.
It has been a family joke that I buy my granddaugher Ponies for every occasion. She has even more Ponies than she has Superhero Squad members (its her dad who buys those).
(one caveat, I would warn MLP fans against seeking out old episodes of the 80's version of the show--definitely NOT recommend by me!)
EddV
15. Kathrine Roid
On another note: pony fan or not, check out the MLP figurine customizers, who come up with the most gorgeous and clever stuff. Just google "my little pony custom."
EddV
16. Nissl
After a year of following the show, I'm still waiting for a substantive negative critique of it. The most I have *ever* seen is that it's "mediocre." Why? Writing, animation, voice acting, setting, plot? What family shows perform better in these domains and why? Nobody ever backs that opinion up with detail.

As for the fanbase... eh, it's the internet. It's going to be a mixed bag with a few creepy obsessives. I think the fans could do with a little less religious fervor, and I prefer not to call myself a "brony" just as I'm not an Archerite or a Thronie. The gender role stuff is interesting, but lost salience to me after following the show for a while. I just think of it as a fantasy Futurama... albeit one I'd never tell my parents I watch. It's weird when I go wondering off my usual stomping grounds and find people who are still mad about it.
Nick Rogers
17. BookGoblin
I don't wear my Brony cred on my sleeve, and I've got absolutely no desire to push MLP:FIM on anyone, but Brony I most certainly am.

What I AM tired of is anyone wandering in and throwing down that a cartoon is subjectively mediocre and crapy. You know what, I remember being told that Star Wars (back when it was called Star Wars, not A New Hope) was nerdy. I remember being told that Robotech was a poor copy of Starblazers. I remember that Thundercats was "lame" and G.I. Joe was "childish" and "Transformers" was "nothing compared to Gundam" and Jem was "for girls who don't know good music."

Think you need to tell everyone what is and isn't good? Shut up.

Here's a clue: like what you like. Don't worry about what other people like. Anything else is a waste of time that you can't get back later.

Someday you'll grow up, realize that Thundercats was awesome TO YOU and anybody who thought otherwise and wanted you to think like they did, was actually a jackass. Think for yourself. ONLY yourself.

Once upon a time Tolstoy was "overly romantic" and Hemmingway was "a lowbrow hack". While someone objectively believed that, the majority of people down through history didn't actually agree with those opinions.

Don't like MLP? Great. I happen to think Twilight is rubbish. Want to know something? It absolutely, positively, 100% DOES NOT MATTER for anyone but me.

Rock on my fellow Bronys. Like what you like.
Kathryn Shaw
18. Pa_Hsia
As an unashamed brony, I wanted to add something about the fandom - that, of all the fandoms I've been in, this is the friendliest and most charitable, and is on par with the Steampunks for unabashed creativity (the custom toys are just the tip of the iceberg; the quality and variety of stories, art and music is incredible, never mind the more ambitious ventures like the Legends of Equestria MMO, or the project to illustrate and print the monolithic 'Fallout: Equestria').

Yes, some people get 'overly zealous' about promoting the show, but the vast majority are pleasant, decent people who take the show's message of 'love and tolerance' to heart.
Bronies For Good is a great example of this; the charity has raised nearly 30,000 USD to build a clinic in Uganda and a village for street children in Burundi, and 26,000 USD for the Children's Cancer Association.

Please don't let the behaviour of a handful of individuals mar the good work of the rest of the community.
Peter Ahlstrom
19. PeterAhlstrom
I am not involved in the fandom, but I'm a brony and happy to be one. I'm even an old-school brony—growing up with four sisters, I watched the original show in the 80s with them (and they watched Transformers with me). I did claim the male toys as mine (Spike), though I had a few of the normal ponies too. And I wrote Hasbro a letter begging them to release a boy pony, and when Lucky came out I saved up my Pony Points and got him. I still have him.

Anyway, we don't have cable (cord cutters), so the first I heard of the new show was when I heard of bronies at the same time—on Wait Wait Don't Tell Me. And it was fascinating to hear about, so I checked it out. What I found was not quite the show that was described (they mentioned D&D references, which I really have not noticed), but it's a well-done kids show. I have daughters age 2 and 4, and I watch it with them.

Many of the episodes have been highly enjoyable, and the not-in-your-face allusions are great. The Trouble With Tribbles episode was a highlight for me, and I also liked the "Into the Woods"-type song they did for the season 1 finale. The greatest laugh I've gotten out of the show was the Don Music reference in one of the cutie mark crusaders episodes. I was dying laughing for ten minutes (I paused the show), and my girls started laughing too without knowing why it was funny.
EddV
20. RBDash47
You seem like kind of a jerk, 4ak. "The fact that it’s 'pink' or supposedly 'for girls' is not at all the reason bronies are hated. Nobody gives a shit about gender roles." You sure about that? 'Cause I'm openly a Brony, and every friend/coworker/family member who's expressed confusion over my liking the show has been for that precise reason, just as presented in Ms. Kessock's wonderful writeup:



Yeah, I do. I love the art design, the animation, the writing, the music, the well-developed and interesting characters, the voice acting. And I love the online community, as well - fan art, fan music, fan fiction, charities, all kinds of stuff. (I actually run a couple of pony fanfic sites myself.)

You may have heard of John de Lancie, best known for his role as the omnipotent alien Q on Star Trek. He does a lot of voice acting work now, and happened to get a role in a two-parter episode of the series. When he discovered the brony community after his episode aired, he was just as bewildered by it as everyone else. But unlike everyone else, he actually took the time to get to know us, to look past the veneer of initial prejudices and assumptions, and he was impressed with what he found. And he was so frustrated and upset by how unfairly we've been portrayed in the media that he set out to try to show people what we're really like. He's spoken about us at other conventions he's attended. In his words, "The world needs more Bronies."
EddV
21. saezutte
I'm an MLP:FIM fan and I definitely support guys being into "girly" things, but I think all the commentary around brony culture is starting to border on problematic. It seems like all I ever hear about the show is something along the lines of this article, "it's a girly show! but grown men love it! we should support their fandom!" (Maybe it's the circles I run in, but I've never known anyone who thought it was weird that guys like MLP.)

It's just starting to seem like one more area where men swooped in and made something that's supposed to be about girls all about them. People write about bronies and their culture - they don't write about what shows like MLP can mean to the girls watching it, what is the state of children's entertainment aimed at girls, etc. It's like MLP's importance is only measured by the fact that it's attracted a large male audience. It's unfortunate that society teaches us that being interested in female-oriented things is weak and embarrassing, but it's just as unfortunate that our culture only finds things worth examining if men are involved.

I have no problem with the above article, just venting my general frustration with a trend I've noticed in the media attention MLP gets.
EddV
22. Tripq
"The fact that it’s “pink” or supposedly “for girls” is not at all the reason bronies are hated. Nobody gives a shit about gender roles. They do get some hate for their furry-tendencies, but personally I don’t care about any kind of fetish or sexual preference they might have, what bugs me is that they have latched onto such an undeserving, mediocre, and contrived children’s cartoon and spread it around like AIDS."

...There are so many things wrong with this I can't even... well I will say that referring to being a furry as having a sexual fetish alone is really ignorant which is not helping your "I'm not ignorant this hate is justified" stance. Also comparing something to aids, real nice...
Robert Kehl
23. idleprimate
this kind of blows my mind and i had never heard of it before.

I can wrap my head around it being fun to kick back with some cartoons sometimes. It does seem a bit strange for people (men or women, but i will admit, it does seem even stranger for guys) to get deeply involved in a young children's cartoon, like deeply like attending conventions, running multiple fan websites and writing fanfiction. That's some pretty extreme identification and obsession over something that was designed to entertain and distract a child for 22 minutes and then be moved on from. It can't come as a surprise that some people will scratch their heads.

I normally all about defending men. hell, we get mocked and made fun of for likeing the things that fall under male "norms" let alone if we stretch our identities or roles (often unwelcomed). but this will take some time to digest. it was kind of disturbing, like furries.
EddV
24. Sigh
@Idleprimate
To be honest a lot of us are just as suprised about how much sheer creativity is in our fandom. Sure, every fandom has its fanart and fanfiction, but the sheer scale of ours is incredible. When asked about why they like to create so much fan-based stuff, most bronies will either point to two things:
1. They just felt a surge of creativity that was either dead from feeling so much negativity before or it was not there at all.
or
2. Some of the bronies saw how many others of us there were and wanted to make something that would entertain them. I know, personally, that I am in this category, since I'm in the process of making a ponified parody of Mambo No. 5.

A lot of people want to make creative things, and some of us have more free time than others. When you put these two things together, and add a caring and positive fandom that won't break you down just because what you made isn't a masterpiece, and you've got a recipe for a lot of fanworks being made.

*cough*alsothere'satleast4fanmadegamesinprogress*cough*
EddV
25. Enterl
@idleprimate When I discovered the phenomenon I reacted similarly to the way you reacted. I thought to myself, "how the heck can people be so into a show intended for little girls?" I even watched a bit of an episode, the first five minutes, but couldn't finish it because then the dreaded intro hit.

Then, six months later, I was bored and decided to give it a shot after my friend convinced me it wasn't that bad. So I watched the pilot. I thought it was alright, not amazing, but had fair quality. Then I watched another. And another. I started laughing out loud at the jokes and clever humor, and the small nods at pop culture. Soon i'd watched all the episodes currently out.

The show itself is, in my opinion, very addictive. The characters are so well developed, it draws you in and you just have to know what happens next. And most of the time, besides the intro, I even forgot that I was watching a show for little girls. The stories are fairly complex, and you get drawn into them.

I'm not one to usually tell other people to give the show a chance, because so many others like to spam the show everywhere, but i'd recommend watching an episode before judging the fandom and relating them to "furries" (which is very much seperate from this fandom for the most part). Particularly this episode: "Lesson Zero". At the very least, you'll understand the fascination with the show after watching the episode. Believe me, it's not what you expect.
EddV
26. Hulkbow SMASH!
Hey, who did the image of me?
EddV
27. Jose G
I was surprised as anyone else when I found out about this 6 months ago.

I thought grown men can't seriously be watching My Little Pony. But then I found out it was created by alot of the same people who made the Powerpuff Girls and Fosters Home for Imaginary Friends. So, I decided to check it out.

After the initial shock of candy colored ponies, and the girly intro theme wore off, I thought this show was actually pretty enjoyable. So I decided to watch another episode, then another, etc.

So I became a fan and I regret nothing.
EddV
28. LunaEpona
I will agree with some of those posting that this subject has been written about perhaps too much. It does seem the focus on both sides is about male gender roles and girl cartoons. Perhaps instead we could see articles about why a show about tolerance and the importance of friendship is building such a wide ranging audience? I for one see it as a "GUMP" phenomenon. For people like me the movie Forest Gump was nothing terribly special. It was nice but the common sense of it to me was well...common. But then I started looking at those who REALY liked it and realizing in their lives that it was not common to them.

I think the reason MLP: FIM is becoming so popular is that in media today there is so little positive reinforcement of the good in people. Everything on TV is about the bad things and negative reinforcement. Having something come by and say, Look! Be friendly, help each other, be there for your friends and they will be there for you, and most of all you can get through anything as long as you have friends to support you. Is such a unique thing in these days where people will live ten feet from one another and not even know each others names.

I grew up in a small town where EVERYONE knew everyone else that lived there. Now in a city it bugs me not to know the people living right next to me but they get all freaked when I try to talk with them. Perhaps it is not that this is a little girl's show but that this is the RIGHT message that NEEDS to be understood by so many in a way that is not cheesy, sarcastic, or negative. The message here. Learn to be a good friend to those around you. Stop openly distrusting everyone around you and your world will be so much more magical.
EddV
29. Antonio G
ughh... i swear, people like 4ak just really gets me so angry.

whatever happened to our society these days? why not just leave us bronies to what we want to do and not post meaningless comments about why you hate the show or why you hate bronies for whatever reason, it obviously doesnt faze us in any way, we can come up with reasonable counters to these haters, and the fact that they do this just makes them less mature. it just makes no sense to me. the bronies are pretty much the only spotlight in the darkness of our self destructive society. i mean, we give money to charities under the name of ponies, we make fantastic art that isnt hurting anyone, and our whole moral is based around love and tolerance. i just dont get why haters think its ok to bash us just because of that.

why not just leave us alone and you can do what you want to do and we can do what we want to do, and then nobody has to get upset. i could go on for days about how
this is just wrong and pointless, but i doubt it would do anything.

thanks for listening to my small rant, just had to get it out of my system.
EddV
30. General Vagueness
Saezutte, I hadn't thought about it that way, that's interesting....
On 4ak's comment, he's probably talking about the hate for them on the Internet, as others confirmed a lot of them wedge it into conversation with no good reason (and personally I think the show is above average, but not great). Also people don't see the adult male fandom as weird so much because of the colors or the fact it's a cartoon but more for the same reasons a guy that owns a puppy and a van would get strange looks (I don't know if talking about the show would be effective in luring in little girls but it seems like it's in the same area of things).
EddV
31. Sigh
@General
I'm doubtful that being a brony would be very effective pedophile bait, if only because that's already one of the conclusions that people are going to come to when they hear that you're a fan of the show. Liken it to displaying Pedobear material, it's such an obvious symbol that anyone who legitimately tries to be a predator while displaying such a trait/symbol is a collossal idiot. It would be like trying to go hunting through the woods while wearing the brightest, most garish colors you could find in your closet while yelling, "Come here *insert animal here*! I've got a nice bullet waiting for you!"
EddV
32. Antonio G
another thing i want to talk about, the fact that bronies are seen as "the cancer of the internet" only because they post their love for this amazing show all over the internet.

Now, i really dont see how this is a reason to hate on us so much. I mean, in my eyes i see it as a a booster for self confidence, and a way so the beonies wont feel like their the only one in the world that likes a show about colourful ponies learning about friendship. im pretty sure that they dont do it just to say "hey guys look, i like a show called my little pony and im a man", but doing it to ban together and end the whole definition of masculinity, throwing it out the window and prove that its only a word made
only by society.

I am definately one of these bronies, and im afraid to admit it. i would parade down the street wearing a pony shirt with pride to support a show that has shown me so much in life that another tv show could never do.

once again, i could keep talking about this for days, but i think ive said enough already
EddV
34. System.out.prinln(
Interdasting. Not that often there is a good article about Bronies.

The main thing I don't like about the fandom is that some of them push it too hard. It has to be the main conversation piece, they have to bring it up - even if it's irrelevant at the time. And that's not something I've seen in other fandoms. HOWEVER, to that point, the reason why I think they do it is because I think some of them forget that it's not a little thing anymore. When I first became a Brony, it was hard to find another person that isn't a Brony outside of places like 4Chan, and when you did find someone, it was a happy day on Earth to say the least.
EddV
37. catty
Man, that show's not that funny. And I've been forced to watch *a lot* of kid's shows. I could see Phineas and Ferb gaining a following, or Fairly Oddparents, or Spongebob Squarepants. Because they are funny. MLP? Not funny.
That's what's inexplicable about it...
Ellen Cheeseman-Meyer
38. EllenMCM
My 5-year-old got into My Little Pony on Netflix, and I agree that it's a fun little series. (Bonus: It passes the Bechdel test!)

Access and acceptance for adult male fans is not the gender equality issue that I worry about in fandom. Women routinely face online abuse when presenting their views on their fandoms. While that issue is on-going, as a parent, I'm concerned about access and acceptance to fandoms for teen and pre-teen girls.
Mordicai Knode
39. mordicai
38. EllenMCM

A fair & valid point, but acknowledging that patriarchy & misogyny wrecks it for everybody, regardless of gender, is also a useful lesson. It isn't a zero sum game where we only have to look at some inequality-- that way lies the madness of "oh well sure women but there is happening to women somewhere else, so suck it up" argument often used to shut down discussions of genderpolitick.
Noneo Yourbusiness
40. Longtimefan
The wonderful thing about Bronies and other people who enjoy things because they enjoy things without regard to how it has been marketed by gender is that as a person they can find joy in things that exist.

it seems simple but social pressure makes it more complicated and occasionally unpleasant than it should be.

Additionally a person who enjoys something for what it is and not for what gender society applys to it will probably have a better appreciation of people for who they are and not what gender they see.
EddV
41. Bizzy
Well said! Case in point: my husband isn't currently a Brony, but he is a BIG fan of Jane Austen. He's a very smart, sagely guy, but my favorite hubby quote to date goes, "it is a truth universally acknowleged that a single man in possessin of a love for Jane Austen, shall not long be in want of a wife." And the one time I was watching PnP on my own when I was sick, he walks in about halfway through and says "Gasp! I missed Darcy's letter! Rewind!" Seriously, how can you not LOVE that? And his masculinity is not at al threatened by any of this. I would probalby love it if he would watch MLP with us.
EddV
42. the brony of time
Opps there where grammar and spelling mistakes let me rewrite this. I agree with you RB dash. Waits the point of doing that. Besides if you haters ya that's right HATERS if you can't do that then do it secretly. I hope you know that if you want attention or more people to join you, it's not working.
So wait if you think we're gay ,stupid. Well it doesn't mater and there's people that inspired me, evrey pegasistues and Brony and there's especially onepony else that gave me more faith and he is the youngest brony at age 10

ME!!!!!!!

That's right. I bet you've been wondering how do I spell mostly every thing right I'm using my thing that is almost like google serch on my 3DS. I gess you whant to know how I became a brony. It happened summer of 2012. My older sistures was going to see how “bad” it was. then they ended up liking it. So I ended up watching it. It was confusing because I didn't know anyone so I watched The Cutiemark Cronicoles then I wanted to be more of a brony so I cought some jokes little girls woundn't get. I started becoming a nerd (In a good way.) more and more and now you know how I brony. But I'm serious about not posting about us!! brony of time, out ?
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