It’s Ok to be joyful? My Little Pony and Brony masculinity
Bronies, the adult male fans of the animated television series My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic (2010–), have raised controversy in public discussions and on the Internet: male interest in something so obviously non-masculine seems to call for some kind of explanation, for instance, as a sexual subculture or as one more ironic Internet meme. Bronies, however, emphasize their sincere enjoyment of the show and foreground their identification with the characters and stories in the series, as well as the significance of the active fan community. This article discusses the Brony fandom as a site for renegotiating male gender norms and constructing masculine identities. The focus is on the fan discourse that Bronies themselves produce and circulate, i.e. how Bronies talk about being a Brony. The empirical material consists of interviews and observations within the Finnish Brony community, both online and offline. It is argued that the ‘neo-sincere’ attitude of Bronies illustrates the centrality of humour in the construction of gendered identities. Bronies themselves emphasize that Brony fandom offers a kind of joy that is hard to find among more traditional masculine discourses.
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Document Type: Research Article
Affiliations: University of Tampere
Publication date: April 1, 2015
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