Anonymous asked: Personally I don't call myself a brony, but a lot of people who defend harassing them separate themselves by saying they're just fans of the show, not bronies. Don't MLP fans on 4chan outright reject the term brony and instead call themselves "fans"? ironically to distance themselves from those who actively practice love and tolerance non ironically. I get people don't like unsavory characters but is the word brony really a distinction? or does it just make it easier to dehumanize them?
As has been explained before (and is generally understood by many fans), the term “brony” was a spur-of-the-moment thing that arose out of a pun. It was not something intentionally created to “isolate” anyone, or to try to “infuse patriarchy” into something that is unfairly pigeonholed as being “just for girls” (a belief which, of course, flies in the face of the very genesis of the franchise, as it was originally intended by Bonnie Zacherle to be an adventure series for both girls, and boys). While some female fans opt to use “pegasister” in reference to themselves, the fact is - no one thinks anything negative of the women in the fan base, regardless of age. Think about that for a moment. Why would women require a label for something they’re expected to accept due to it’s supposed femininity? That would be like creating a label for women who wear makeup. It’s unnecessary, because we automatically associate cosmetics with femininity. There are plenty of men out there who use makeup, but they’re a small minority in that respect, so no one bothers to take them into consideration. It is generally understood inside the fan base (at least to those who are as immersed in it, and understand how the term came to be) that “brony” is not as gender-exclusive as others are trying to claim. It was merely perpetuated as a means of including men into something that would otherwise be reserved for women.
When it comes to male MLP fans, they were a completely unexpected phenomenon to the world at large. Hell - a great deal of them likely never expected themselves to enjoy the show in the first place. I didn’t even expect myself to enjoy the show, and I’m a woman that grew up with the goddamn things in the 80’s! The term “brony” likely gained acceptance as a means to show guys that perhaps didn’t feel quite as comfortable about the fact that they liked the show (due to the outdated gender constructs that we continue to impose upon them, and then blame THEM for), that hey: There are other guys like you that appreciate the show for what it is, and that’s okay. It’s a name created out of a silly pun that became a term intended to foster community, and bring people together. No matter how seriously a scant few may take the term, that doesn’t change its simple origins.
Unfortunately, nowadays, it’s used more by others outside the fan base, because it’s easier to dehumanize them by labeling every fan with one blanket term, and disregarding their individual humanity.
These people do not care how each, separate human being that is a fan of the show is as a person - they just want to be able to see them all as the stereotype that they’ve painted in order to have a distinct image to project their resentment and/or lack of understanding onto.
They completely disregard the fans that are female, gay/lesbian, trans, non-binary, and any and all minorities, because those individuals don’t fit into their stereotype. They also disregard anyone that has been a fan of My Little Pony long before Friendship is Magic came around, which, yes, does include male fans.
These people also don’t care that many of the fans that create adult-oriented material are women. They don’t care how astoundingly stupid it is to try to impose the exact same mold onto a very large group of people. They refuse to acknowledge the fact that the stereotype keeps CHANGING, either. All of a sudden, they added a piece of fucking headwear into the mix, as if thousands of unique human beings all collectively own the same kind of hat. I mean, for fuck’s sake - the majority of human beings on this planet don’t even wear hats unless they have to because of the goddamn weather.
Take a moment right now to think about football fans. Think about the ones you know, or even yourself. Now, think about the image that comes to mind when imagining the stereotypical football fan - the kind used in comedic representations. What comes to mind? Obese, cishet, white male. Now, think of a stereotypical player of any MMORPG: Ones like Runescape, World of Warcraft, or Final Fantasy XI or XIV. You know - the ones played by millions of people worldwide. What image comes to mind then? Obese, cishet, white male. Star Wars fans, Star Trek fans, anime fans, horror fans. How many fans are lumped into this same physical mold, despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary?
Chances are pretty good that anyone reading this right now is probably a fan of at least one of the things listed above. Now, ask yourself: Are you, in fact, an obese, cishet white male? Are your fingers “covered in Cheeto dust”? Do you display poor hygiene, facial hair grooming habits, and own a specific type of hat?
I live in a city that is extremely dedicated to football, to the point where its nickname is “Title Town”. It is the home of one of the most revered teams in the NFL - The Green Bay Packers. In this town, there are fans of every shape and size, from little girls, to little old ladies. My 60-year-old mother owns at least five pairs of Packer earrings, numerous Packer sweatshirts and t-shirts, and even matching pants. We have lots of Packer memorabilia in this house, including a miniature Christmas tree decorated solely in Packer ornaments.
Don’t believe me?
This is her SEWING ROOM (messy as it is). She’s an accomplished seamstress.
She was also a member of Avon, and in the President’s Club for many consecutive years.
These statuettes of Mrs. Albee (the first Avon lady) represent only a few of her awards from Avon for excellence in sales.
This little old former Avon lady (whose favorite color is pink) doesn’t quite fit into the “big, fat, shirtless male in a “cheese head” covered in grease paint” image, now does she? Anyone who actually lived in this town would see that this image is actually pretty rare. Funny, isn’t it, that we represent an entire group with a single image, even when that image in no way represents the people it is intended to portray? There are also Packer fans the world over - particularly in Japan. Does that somehow change their ethnicity?
I happen to be a die-hard fan of horror movies, yet I’m a 31-year-old woman that likes to keep her nails long, and adores pastel colors and anything with glitter on it. I also listen to bands like KMFDM and Sepultura, yet love Lady Gaga and at the same time. I also play Final Fantasy XI as well. And yet, none of this has spontaneously changed my gender or appearance. Fascinating.
Human beings are not cut-and-dried, cookie-cutter molds of whatever you want them to be, and it’s about goddamn time the world started coming to terms with that.
(Now watch as this is reblogged by disturbingly obsessive anti-brony sites (which the very existence of is a pretty gigantic warning flag that those involved are in desperate need of more worthwhile pursuits) without reading a word of it, and basically repeating themselves like angry toddlers with their emotionally-driven (i.e., bullshit) cries of “All bronies are [insert slur of your choice here]”, whining about the “rape culture” that is little more than a figment of the imaginations of those claiming it, cries of “harassment” against others while conveniently ignoring the far greater harassment (including sexual harassment) and threats of death and violence thrown against the fan base on a daily basis, cries of “All the porn!”, despite that most of the places that would house such material have default filters that keep it out of Google’s Safe Search, as well as the fact that efforts from the fan base have already done a fairly impressive job of cleaning out stragglers, so-called “activists” and “feminists” attacking the fan base despite the significant amount of genuine charity and altruism accomplished by its members, while they themselves continue to do absolutely NOTHING for anyone but themselves, ludicrous allegations that male MLP fans are “taking the show away from” little girls or making it “unsafe” (which has already been thoroughly discredited), or trying to project the cherry-picked negative behaviors of a handful of people onto an entire, very large, community.)
This is literally one of the most well-thought out and constructive things I’ve read in a long time, and accurately portrays how I feel (but fail to be able to express) about this huge uprise in “Brony Hate” as of late. (Haha, that last part rhymed.)
TL;DR: Don’t just automatically assume an entire group of fans is this horribly disgusting, over-sexualizing, rudely insensitive culture when it very much is not, and the constant hate and intolerance towards said fans is demeaning and frankly, hurtful.
(I really hope the OP doesn’t mind me adding on to her original post. She really is phenomenal, and I shall be following her, because her intellect and way with words is astounding. ^_^)