#79) As a woman should I be worried that the people that run our fandom are guys primarily (example: Equestria Daily)? I must say I was a bit offended when I saw sexualized ponies getting featured.
Answer: This is a fantastic question, because it's so multi-faceted and it raises genuine points about larger issues that exist in society. Despite feminism and suffrage, and policies that increasingly purport to grant women greater levels of equality, women are still marginalized in a lot of circumstances.
It's fair to say that Equestria Daily is a male-run website. You have the occasional female admin (Phoe springs to mind) but naturally, Sethisto is the dominating force of the website, and, I imagine, the one with the power to accept and veto the overall decisions that Equestria Daily makes. A simple glance over the site suggests that it's run by men, for men: you can quite frequently see images of ponies in 'sexualised' poses, and on more than one occasion they've linked to 'not safe for work' Tumblrs and accounts.
It's a problem when a site like Equestria Daily goes down this route, because they are the primary media face of the fandom. Given that they're the go-to place for many internal and external sources, they should aim to keep the site as clean as possible. Putting up a censored version of a porn flash animation, for example, doesn't make the animation acceptable to put up.
Now, as for men taking the reigns on Equestria Daily, you can see the same trend throughout the fandom in general. Most of the popular musicians are male; the most popular artists tend to be male; the interviewers and runners of podcasts tend to be male; the chat-show hosts and the project leaders tend to be male. This isn't to say that men shouldn't fulfil these roles there are plenty of reasons for why these people may be popular but it's fair to assume that the 'face' of the fandom is a male one.
This is a little bit concerning, because having males in charge means that the fandom is more catered to male-exclusive things. There are examples I've answered questions on it previously of males telling females that they can't be bronies because of their sex. Prior to "Friendship is Magic", people were content to associate My Little Pony with girls. With Generation 4, though, there are plenty of men coming out and saying that the show is manly that it's manly to be a brony and that being a brony is about being confident with your masculinity.
This is inherently a problem, as it's an ethos that doesn't represent a large amount of the fandom a fandom that has a large amount of female members who don't 'fit the bill'. You should be concerned that men are dominating the fandom, as it means that the fandom is being represented by those people, which is unfairly side-lining women. Most media outlets refer to bronies as '16-30 year old males', which ignores an entire side of the brony demographic, simply because females don't seem to fit in with the brony 'thing'.
This is why I argue against the notion that bronies are fighting gender stereotypes. If anything, by being male and coming out and saying that you're somehow special for being comfortable with something as feminine as My Little Pony, you're merely enforcing the stereotype that men are a dominate movement that can seize control of something. Bronies are less about equality between men and women and more about it being okay for men to like female things. And, while that's arguably the case with "Friendship is Magic", it's not doing anything for the status of women, and we rarely see the perspective of women in this fandom.
I've seen women being ignored in the pony fandom; I've seen them forced to wear the brand of 'pegasister', as if they're going to infect the 'brony' name if they're allowed to keep it. Having websites like Equestria Daily, which are run by males, being a key voice for the fandom filters the distribution of news and the featuring of fan-content through a myopic and androcentric perspective. Women are under-represented within the fandom, and it's a shame it's by marketing to females that "Friendship is Magic" even exists, and people should focus less on how the show has brought males into the limelight again, and more on how it's showing greater unity between males and females, and how the show is capable of bridging the barrier between what is viewed as being particularly 'appealing-to-boys' and what is 'appealing-to-girls'.
#80) I'm leaving the pony fandom. I only really joined it to get views, but I ended up enjoying it at the same time. I want to draw what I want to draw, which is anime and manga instead. I met really good friends [in the fandom] and I will keep in touch with them always, I just won't interact with the fandom at all. I will still draw [my OCs] because I really enjoy drawing them for some reason, and yes, I will still do pony commissions for you guys. As for rping...'eh not likely, but if I want to relieve some stress then yeah, I probably will. I will also stay in charge of [my pony DA group]. Should I really leave?
Answer: Sounds like a typical case of claiming to leave the fandom and then sticking around with most of it. Take it from me: you aren't leaving the fandom or ending your interaction with it if you continue to, in your words, roleplay around it, draw around it, work around it and base commissions around it. Claiming on the one hand to be leaving the pony fandom, while on the other acknowledging that you're still going to be having extensive interactions with it is crazy. You're no more leaving the fandom than a brony is when he leaves his laptop for fifteen minutes to walk to the shop.
You can feel a bit artistically caged-in in the fandom, and so if you wish to draw other forms of art, you might want to consider getting another account for non-pony art, which is in accordance with DeviantArt's rules. I can tell you now, though, that if you keep doing all of the above, then you're not going to be leaving the fandom at all. I don't tend to believe people when they say that they only draw pony art for the page-views it sounds like a defensive manoeuvre to distance themselves from the fandom. It's completely possible that the page-view thing motivated you, but you obviously had an interest in it prior to the page-views. I could get hugely popular if I wrote Twilight fan-fiction I don't, because I have no interest in it. By the same logic, you wouldn't have jumped on board the pony thing unless it appealed to you in the first place.
You may feel a strong desire to 'leave the fandom', but you aren't going to go anywhere if you continue doing all of the above. If you want to get away from the fandom, you're going to have to ditch everything and go cold turkey. Otherwise, the pull will be too strong. I don't really know you, but I'm also willing to bet that in another month you'll be back in the fandom with Season 3 coming out, you'll struggle to keep away from everything. There will be copious amounts of art relating to it, and you'll most likely find yourself watching the episodes and feeling that craving to do what your peers are doing and rejoin the fandom.
A lot of people claim to leave, but I've barely seen anyone who completely escapes from the fandom. The few that I have seen have completely cut My Little Pony out of their lives deleting all of their images, disappearing off of DeviantArt and social messaging programs and the like. They certainly don't sit there doing pony commissions and drawing their pony OCs while claiming that they've left the fandom. You don't necessarily have to wear the 'brony' label to be connected to the fandom. Whatever reasons you have for wanting to leave, if you're going to do it, do it properly making a big deal about leaving the fandom only to continue engaging with it is attention-seeking behaviour of the highest calibre.
#81) [Answered by my good friend pap64] I HATE Bronies! I hate them so much that I've been driven to hate "Friendship is Magic" as well, and I feel spiteful towards both bronies and the show. What advice do you have for me?
Answer: Ah yes, fandoms. If any company creates a legacy thanks to quality products, you can bet there will be fans behind them. Apple, Star Wars, Star Trek, Disney, Twilight, Hunger Games, football fans, ANYTHING that has been thought of as good and holy have legions of fans singing their praises. This can be a blessing for companies as fans mean more potential revenue and a better chance for the product to have an ever lasting appeal and presence in the market. Of course, this becomes a double edged sword as fan also destroy the image you set out to create, and as quick as they are to love you, they WILL tear you a new one.
Bronies are no exception to the rule. The fandom was born out of a show that should have been yet another pink, frilly series created to sell plastic toy horses to girl, but it was lucky enough to have been created by people who cared deeply about the source material, generating in itself one of the oddest successes of the last few years of animation. It proved that if something is written well enough it will destroy gender barriers and find fans that will see something to love and cherish.
But one of the reasons we are doing this column is because Bronies have also been the source of many a headache in and outside the fandom. Everything from an un-deserved sense of superiority to disturbing trends in fan output has created a vision of Bronies as being these obnoxious male fans that have become way too obsessed over colorful girl ponies. There are valid reasons as to why someone would be annoyed by Bronies. However, should we spend all our time and energy hating on them? The answer should be no, the reason being is that Bronies hardly have a real presence in our lives beyond conventions and online interactions. So you should instead focus that energy on things that have a real effect on our lives. Bronies may be very annoying, but it is worthless to have such a huge hate on them.
As for disliking the show due to them, you should remember that above what anyone has said about it, good and bad, "Friendship is Magic" is its own entity. Bronies may have elevated its status to that of the greatest show ever made, but what matters here is how YOU perceive the show. Love it? Fine! Hate it? That's fine too. You shouldn't let a fanbase discourage you from embracing something because chances are that if it wins you over, it will have been because it spoke to YOU in some way, shape or form, not because there was a horde of crazy fanboys telling you to love or hate something. "Friendship is Magic" is a show that promotes individuality, honesty with one's self and others and enjoying life through your own, unique perspective and outlook, so if you are curious enough, give the show a try without having to fear or hate Bronies.