May 3rd, 2006

Orangutan

What Are Fen Afraid Of? What Am I Afraid Of? And Why Does metafandom Hate Me?

This was prompted by a really interesting survey partly_bouncy conducted recently and the ensuing discussion, mostly on an email list. partly_bouncy has been considering the oft expressed fear that certain fannish behavior – if publicly known – could adversely affect the sales of canon texts. She came up with several scenarios of fannish behavior and asked people who do not consider themselves to be involved in fandom if knowledge of those scenarios would affect their buying decisions concerning the related canon. She (very cleverly, I think) included both scenarios that would generally be viewed as positive acts (e.g. fans contribute to charity) as well as those where there’s concern that the public at large might have negative reactions. I think her results are interesting and thought-provoking and I’ve been discussing them with her. I’m not going to discuss them here. I found that thinking about her survey and the fear underlying it took me to a more general exploration of fear in fandom. I’d like to post about that.

I’m relatively new to fandom but in the few years I’ve been involved I’ve heard a lot of fear expressed - fear of exposure of fannish activities to non-fen. It seems to be very common among fanfic writers and readers, and particularly so among those involved in “adult” fanfic. (I’ve never really understood using the word “adult” to refer to sexual activity; I always felt it should refer to monitoring cholesterol or calculating mortgage interest or having impacted wisdom teeth, but I digress.) I’ve seen a few distinct types of fear of exposure. I thought it might be interesting to my f-list if I described them as I see them, as well as describing my own level of fear with each one. I’d be very interested in others’ opinions (particularly dissenting opinions) on both the types of fears and the sources of them.

Fear of Personal ExposureCollapse )

Fear that Fannish Behavior of Others Will Reflect Badly on Them Collapse )

Fear that Fannish Behavior Will Cause Decrease in Purchase of Source Text Material Collapse )

Fear that Behavior of Certain Fans Will Cause the Creators of Canon Material to Take Action Against Fans in General Collapse )

Okay, so all those fears of exposure I hear about apply to me very little or not at all. What am I scared of, fannishly? A few things:Collapse )
Last topic of this very long post: Why does metafandom hate me?Collapse )
If anyone has gotten this far, I’d love to hear your views on –

Fears you see among fen
Fears you experience in connection with your fannish activities
How to make metafandom love, or at least notice me again?
Anything else this post makes you think about.