Reveals the systematic marginalization of women within popculture fan communities WhenGhostbusters returned to the screen in 2016, some male fans of theoriginal film boycotted the all-female adaptation of the cult classic, turningto Twitter to express their disapproval and making it clear that theyconsidered the film’s “real” fans to be white, straight men. While extreme, theseresponses are far from unusual, with similar uproars around the female protagonistsof the new Star Wars films tofull-fledged geek culture wars and harassment campaigns, as exemplified by the#GamerGate controversy that began in 2014. Over the past decade, fan and geek culture has moved fromthe margins to the mainstream as fans have become tastemakers andpromotional partners, with fan art transformed into official merchandise andfan fiction launching new franchises. But this shift has left some peoplebehind. Suzanne Scott points to the ways in which the “men’s rights” movementand antifeminist pushback against “social justice warriors” connect to newmainstream fandom, where female casting in geek-nostalgia reboots is vilifiedand historically feminized forms of fan engagement—like cosplay and fan fiction—aretreated as less worthy than male-dominant expressions of fandom likecollection, possession, and cataloguing. While this gender bias harkens back tothe origins of fandom itself, Fake Geek Girls contends that the currentview of women in fandom as either inauthentic masqueraders or unwelcomeinterlopers has been tacitly endorsed by Hollywood franchises and the viewerdemographics they selectively champion. It offers a view into the innerworkings of how digital fan culture converges with old media and its biases innew and novel ways.
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