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  • Alicia Takaoka

My fave is problematic

My fave is problematic

I love things. I’m a person, and I have interests and hobbies and things I absolutely adore that are rife with issues. Some of those things include Hamilton, 90s culture, punk and metal, gaming, and wrestling. You know what? All of those things are problematic. Whether they are toxic, sexist, racist, or have inadvertently contributed to incel mentality (I’m looking at you, Descendents) I want to take some time to explore the issues with these things (and more!) over time. This is a short post to serve as a broad overview of some of the issues with these fandoms. Also yes, punk rock and metal have fandoms.

  • Hamilton: whitewashing history. Where are the Native Americans? What about a mention of slavery? Can we talk about how the very men who wrote our laws and systems for governance literally ignored women and then later stated that they would vote for Angelica Schulyer for President if she was allowed to run?!?

  • 90s culture: the sexualization of girls, the glamorization of drugs and dangerous lifestyles, and the acceptance and tolerance of rape culture aligned with the ideals of the patriarchy. We still deal with this, and there is nothing really new here, but the 90s were not as progressive as we thought.

  • Punk and metal: women are excluded and harassed in the culture or glorified, highlighted, and commodified in bands. Bad Cop Bad Cop is the first really all-female, new school punk band. Old school female punk bands were considered militant feminists, and metal bands that are either female fronted or have the coveted female drummer are more likely to get signed and pushed by record labels.

  • Gaming: What can I really say about the gaming community that hasn’t already been said? There are several types of gaming communities: mmorpg, collab/team games, and table top gaming. There are a lot of stereotypes about gaming and their respective communities. They’re seen as toxic, sexist, homophobic, racist, and just a vapid waste of server space, or the complete opposite. Gaming is seen as nerdy or emasculating, and all women who game are either just playing for their boys or are ugly. This doesn’t even take into account the issues with female game characters. Sooooooo much to unpack here.

  • Wrestling: WWE was all I knew until the fandom got insulted in 2015 when they put on one of the shittiest Royal Rumbles ever. The fandom got told something like, “All you do is complain. It’s not like you’re going to go watch something else.” After that, many fans started exploring the Indies and New Japan. We still deal with sexist storylines, and WWE has made some crazy bad political moves by entering into a 10 year deal with Saudi Arabia and actively tries to take away the rights and restrict the autonomy of their employees to this day. I am so glad that AEW came around, and they still have issues.

These are just some of the things I will focus on in this next blog series, and I will revisit these and other fandoms from time to time.

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