Oh man oh man.
So first of all, anon, I want to commend you on your dedication. I literally just turned anon on last night after the pedophile anon I dealt with a couple of weeks ago, and according to my GMail notifications, you sent this ask at 6:37 a.m. EST. That’s pretty impressive. Kudos.
Second of all, and as a point of clarification: I have never watched the brony documentary, and I never will. I’m not into supporting things that sugarcoat a disgusting subculture (which I’ll get to in a minute), and I find the entire thing hypocritical and extremely… false. When it’s paired alongside a documentary—a praised documentary—about how awesome women are for loving something that’s traditionally geared towards men (how about video games and sci fi, for starters?), then maybe I’ll give it a glance, but considering that the brony subculture is one that is very happy to loudly exclude and push women away, I’m not holding my breath.
So now. Let’s talk about why that post (for those following at home, this post) is hilarious out of context, and I’ll even use My Little Pony gifs to help explain my position. Just for you, anon.
As a point of clarification, I think My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic is a fantastic show. It teaches lessons that more kids (and, to be quite frank, fans of the show) need to learn. It has a main cast of not one but six girls, which is unbelievably rare in this day and age. It’s funny and heartwarming, the music is frequently adorable and entertaining, and it makes perfect sense that people of all ages and genders enjoy it. It’s an enjoyable show!
But, and here’s the important part, there’s a HUGE (dare I say, GARGANTUAN) difference between someone saying, “Wow, I really like this My Little Pony show!” and someone saying, “I’m a brony.”
Let me explain.
You see, anon, in the English language, words have connotations. If, for example, I say, “I’m a redneck,” you’re going to assume certain things about me—that I probably really love the second amendment, that I’ve got some high level of fondness for a more rural/backwoods culture, probably that I’ve got some really conservative political views. All or none of those things may be true of me, but the fact remains that I chose a word to describe myself that carries with it those specific connotations—connotations that I, as a speaker of English and an understander of American culture, should know about and shouldn’t be surprised when people assume them of me because I’ve said “I’m a redneck.”
In the same vein, saying “I’m a brony” carries with it certain connotations, and very few of them are pleasant… and what’s worse, most of those connotations are consistently provable as true.
I’m not talking about the connotations of bronies wanting to fuck underaged cartoon ponies (which is fucked up in and of itself) or spending all of their time clopping. Nobody actually cares about that. You do you.
I’m also not talking about the connotation of being a grown man who really enjoys a show that’s geared towards young girls. As I said before, this show is a great show. I’d be surprised if people weren’t really into it. And legitimately nobody is upset that a bunch of adult men really like a show that’s geared towards young girls.
And frankly, if we were talking about the brony culture of ~3-4 years ago, that’s all we’d be talking about.
But the culture has morphed, and the word “brony” no longer has the connotations it had back then. It doesn’t just mean that you’re an adult who likes this show. It’s turned into something far grosser.
A couple of weeks ago, I did an experiment, to sate my own curiosity and because I was kind of sick of people talking about how brony culture is completely harmless and okay. I’m not going to replicate the results here (you can read about them here and here), but suffice it to say that even leaving off the gross misogyny, homophobia, rape apologetics, and general nastiness of the brony community, I’d still find the community disgusting for the sole reason that they don’t bother to hide their porn and, because of that, have literally made it so that the show’s target audience can’t really participate in the fandom without being exposed to things that no child should be exposed to.
And that’s just scratching the surface.
I’m not going to get into a discussion about the entitlement of bronies, how they seem to think that because they like this thing that it should somehow belong to them and only them, even though they basically stole it from little girls.
I’m not going to get into a discussion about the pervasiveness of rape culture in their community.
I’m not going to get into the enormous overlap between bronies and entitled Nice Guys.
I’m not going to get into the culture’s inherent homophobia, where it’s perfectly okay to post porn of a pair of anthropomorphized ponies lezzing it up for the male gaze, but any sort of m/m is automatically deleted.
I’m not going to get into the culture’s tendency towards racism (with the constant question any time a pony is humanized and depicted as anything but white being, “but why is she [non-white]?”).
But it’s all there for you to see, and these are all connotations that the word “brony” carries. When you identify yourself as a brony, especially nowadays, you need to accept that these connotations will be assumed of you and, if you don’t want them to be assumed of you, you need to not just say “but I’m not like that!” but actually do what you can to change the culture itself and demonstrate with your actions that you’re not like that.
So. With that in mind, let’s talk about bronies “coming out of the closet” and how stupid that is.
First of all, it’s a gross appropriation of a term that applies—and should apply—to the LGBT* community. None of us chose to be the way we are; none of us woke up in the morning and decided, hey, I’d like to be part of a group that’s marginalized and abused in the best of present circumstances and jailed and murdered in the worst of present circumstances. If you think that the opposite is true, that’s a whole ‘nother discussion that I’m not going to have beyond saying: science says “fuck you.”
But the thing with bronies is that they’re not admitting to something that’s out of their control and, what’s worse (and secondly), they’re using a term that has such gross connotations that they should expect a lot of backlash when they reveal that they’re part of that particular subculture. They’re choosing to use a term that doesn’t just say “I’m a fan of this television show” (which, as I’ve said before, is fine and wonderful. I’m a fan of this television show) but that says, “I find myself sexually aroused by the characters in this show, and I don’t think that this show belongs to its target demographic but rather to me, the misogynistic dudebro who enjoys it.”
And that, anon, is why that post is funny out of context, because to be frank, if my future 13-year-old son ever came to me and admitted to something along those lines (that he was part of an internet subculture that I knew behaved in really gross ways and had essentially destroyed what should’ve been a safe space for actual children), I’d be pretty disappointed, too. Disappointed in my son and disappointed in myself, for somehow failing to raise him better than that.
As to your last jab, that I’m going to be a mother.
That’s 99% of why I have a problem with brony culture.
Take a trip with me, anon, to the future (after all, it’s nearly 2015!).
Not a future of hoverboards and flying cars, but about five years from now, when my son (and probable other kids… there’s going to be an infant in there somewhere, and the house [I’m totally going to have a house] will be a mess, but a different kind of mess… a mess of toys and also cereal) is about five years old.
This son of mine (Sammy, for those playing along at home) loves My Little Pony. He thinks that it’s the best show on TV. Sure, he may have a stronger fondness for the villains of the show (after all, look at who his father is… and related, Kyle’s love for Discord and Chrysalis knows no bounds), but he just loves the show in general. Assuming I have a daughter by then (for the sake of argument, her name is Evie and she mostly likes Apple Jack because Apple Jack is orange and orange is her favorite color), she also loves the show in general. We all love the show.
But here’s what happens.
They come and sit on my lap so that we can Google pictures of ponies… but when I do that—with Safe Search on, mind you!—disturbing and pornographic images pop up on the screen before I can navigate away, leaving my kids—we’ll say that Evie is 3 at the time, so they’re 3 and 5—to ask questions that they shouldn’t have a reason to ask yet.
They want me to read them stories about the ponies, but half the time I search for those stories, all I can find is porn, porn, porn.
They want to participate in the fandom for something that they love, but it’s a fandom that’s been taken over by really, reallygross people who perpetuate really, really gross ideas and have made it abundantly clear that while my son might be welcome to join them in a few years (assuming that he’s not a Dreaded Feminist or gay), my daughter is not and will never be welcome.
In other words, if this five years from now scenario plays out as it would play out today, my children would miss out on a LOT about something they love because that space has been taken over by a bunch of grown men who seem to think that it should belong to them (all while these same grown men throw tantrums whenever women and girls demand equal representation in other media).
So yeah. I’m going to be a mother. And that’s why I say, with utmost sincerity: fuck bronies.
To my anon the other day who asked me how I felt about MLP: I gave you my small, neutrally-positive opinion on the show itself. Have a wonderful expansion on why it’s difficult to fully enjoy, even peripherally.
Thoughts On Anti-Bronies/Closet Bronies
I’ve noticed a lot of the more outspoken anti-bronies where once really active in the fandom and even considered themselves bronies until something happened that upset them. Dragondicks/Cuteosphere for example used to be pretty positive about the fandom until she discovered Molestia and the whole DWM movement upon which she decided anything positive about the fandom was negated by molestia’s existence. Whoo used to be really active in the fandom as well and bizarrely used to even post about it on 4chan. iirc it was a fanfic she saw posted there that majorly upset her and caused her to do a full 180 and become one of the craziest anti-broneis out there. I’d use prpltnkr as an example as well but she seems to flip flop with her opinion on the fandom all the time and hasn’t ever been as hateful as someone like Whoo from what I’ve seen. Why do you think these people flipped so suddenly and to such an extreme over relatively insignificant things? Maybe they are just the type who can only have an extreme opinion of things? Like either something is all good or all bad, no inbetweens.
That’s kind of what I don’t get. There’s jerks in every kind of fandom, but for the life of me I don’t remember a single instance of “I saw one thing I don’t like so now the whole fandom is bad” in any other fandom I’ve been in. It’s what I was trying to say before that just because one person is being a jerk, doesn’t mean you have to turn on the entire fandom. Why not just be upset with the person who pissed you off? It’d be a lot easier I think…
As for why… only thing I can really think of is I guess maybe because the fandom was so new at the time that there’s going to be the same mistakes, drama and just weird shit happening that goes on in all new fandoms. I really have no clue, and it just seems weird to me… I think it’s just going to take some time for the fandom to get settled and things like this will just happen until then.
I know I shouldn’t expect quality out of something as ridiculous as an anti-anti-brony-blog, but I wanted to clarify something.
I didn’t “decide to hate Bronies because I saw a gross fanfic;” I realized that Bronies were garbage because one of them threatened me with rape, and then my own friends claimed I was “taking it too seriously”/”making a mountain out of a molehill” and dismissed my concern about it.
People I had hung out with for weeks, some of them months - just absolutely didn’t give a shit about another Brony threatening rape on their friend.
And it wouldn’t be so bad, receiving a rape threat - if the other men didn’t then immediately close ranks and babble about “well it’s not that bad” and “not all men are like that” and “oh, rape isn’t that big of a problem.” They did this to their friend: with friends like that, who needs enemies?
I was once a wholehearted Brony - I know it’s hard to imagine. I immersed myself in Brony culture (even the 4chan side of it in the pre-/b/ age), I wrote fanfic, drew fanart, went to the first Bronycon, defended the fandom to ‘haters,’ you name it, and I still got rape threats.
it’s interesting that this post claims I used to be pretty positive about the fandom “until [I] discovered Molestia and the whole DWM movement”. If the person who wrote this had actually come to me personally and asked me, I would have been able to instantly tell them that’s not true.
I created this comic about how uncomfortable the brony fandom made me with their irresponsible behaviour with content control way before DWM was even a thing (a comic I got harassed for by bronies, by the way). Back when the G4 fandom was reasonably new I expressed the opinion in my personal deviantart gallery that I didn’t like the amount of fans that seemed to be in the fandom purely to sexualise the characters. One of the big name mlp porn artists at the time took offence to it and I was bombarded with comments (from them and many others) about how I was “hateful” and “not loving and tolerating” and even threatening messages, to the point that I took a break from the show because the fans had freaked me out so much. At the beginning of the show I would regularly browse and post on show-focused forums and imageboards, but had to stop when the amount of misogynistic and gross threads got too much for me to put up with (and anyone who voiced distain for them was “a hater”). I could list more examples but I don’t really want to expend a lot of effort on this post.
So no, my dislike of the brony fandom didn’t simply pop up out of the ground when I noticed one massively popular rape joke in it. It is built on a foundation of lots of experiences I have had. I became more outspoken about it since DWM because before then I was afraid to, in case I was harassed like I had been in the past. Rather than make assumptions about a person and their behaviour, perhaps next time you should ask them yourself.
Well those stories make a lot more sense then… that’s all I’m going to say on that matter really
Gotta say, it’s kind of sad that after hearing two stories that directly contradict Faily’s beliefs of “Bronies are great, people make up stories of abuse to make Bronies look bad,” their reaction is “huh.”