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October 13, 2012
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#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.
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Brony Advice is both an active collaboration with artists and an advice column, in the simplest of terms: I want you to send me notes if you have any problems, secrets or comments on the pony fandom of any nature. It doesn't matter how embarrassing, offensive or vicious they might be - if you want someone to comment on them in an unbiased way, send them over. Maybe there's something within the fandom that you particularly despise, or perhaps you're feeling sad and need to hear some friendly advice? Whatever the motive, send me a note with your comment or question.

I'll then respond with advice and commentary and post the answers up in future installments. Users will remain anonymous, so you don't need to worry about your feelings and thoughts getting out onto DeviantArt. You may find that some of the things that you've personally been feeling will be addressed.

Feel free to note me if you would like your questions and observations to be answered in an upcoming edition. Every edition will be engaging with three issues. The above three featured today were submitted by anonymous deviants.

In this issue, my friend ~pap64 contributed an answer. As Brony Advice is collaborative, I thought it fair to get some answers from other people connected to the fandom, to give some other interesting perspectives on issues. Many thanks to him for his contribution!

Artwork by the wonderful *CrisisDragonfly. Go check out her stuff!
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Paintponyy Featured By Owner Nov 14, 2013  Student General Artist
i am a brony and proud i will not be branded with the stupid name of a pegasister 
JohrnyReport Featured By Owner May 2, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
sure, no one ever leaved the fandom completly
drama queens everywhere :icondrama-plz:
wallnut-parade Featured By Owner Mar 5, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
If you don't wish to read this (I never write comments this long...), then I am fine with that :) I just found this when searching up a Gen 1 MLP base and I felt like this was the place to get this out of my system.

I don't hate the FiM series (I actually hate on it all the time once in a while because of the characters and the male ponies being shown more than when Gen 1 was out with the Big Brother Ponies... Man, I miss the Big Brother Ponies), like the question, I just truly hate the bronies (Truly, lol Gen 1 pony XD)

I love the old generation, Gen 1 and 3... But if I said that to the people who weren't my true friends (I have a friend who owns a ton of old mlp merchandise, many of the Gen 1 movies like I do and hates the whole FiM series with a passion) I feel they would put me down and talk about how much FiM is better.

Personally, I don't see why people have to hate on old generations though. It's just a show, but I bet if I went on a long lecture about how FiM series was a complete ripoff of some of the best characters, they would throw the biggest hissy-fits ever. For one, all the bronies who are overly-obsessed with FiM should stay away from the old generations and just continue being in their little group of fanbronies and pegafansters.

Another thing is most of the old characters have really been ripped off. I know this Rainbow Dash is supposed to be some sort of Firefly (I don't remember their names well, so excuse me if I say something wrong ^^;), but I miss the old Earth pony Rainbow Dash. Pinkie Pie was never this hyper, while her looks as a whole were the same, in Gen 3 she was much calmer. Rarity, ah I remember her, a rainbow and pink Unicorn filly princess. I own the Gen 3 game based off the movie with Rarity. I think turning her into a complete and utter snob ruined her good name. "Eww!" this and "Eww!" that really upset me about Rarity...

Again, sorry about the humongous comment. If you feel I went a little overboard then feel free to hide this comment whenever you please
teygrim Featured By Owner Nov 1, 2012
You know, I've seen this column pop up now and again in my MLP group submissions, but I had never actually read it. I took one look and turned my nose up in disgust because I was sure that it was just another brony singing undeserved praises for the fandom and condemn all who didn't agree that brony's are the greatest men to have ever walked the earth. I'm pleasantly surprised to see that I was wrong.

You state the problems of the fandom plainly and without rose tinted spectacles, and you seem thoughtful and well informed. Unfortunately, I don't think that your good advice will have much effect on the systemic problems of the brony fandom because the vast majority seem to think that the only way to deal with a problem is to vehemently deny its existence, and throw the victims and their supporters under the bus in the process. No, I think that until brony's acknowledge that they, like every other fandom, has problems which must be dealt with in a respectful manner, I think the brony fandom is beyond help, but this was an interesting read, nonetheless.
Cuddlepug Featured By Owner Nov 1, 2012
I just answer in relation to what amuses me at any given time ;P
al1701 Featured By Owner Oct 28, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
I want to make a slight disagreement on your first subject about males dominating the brony community regarding Equestria Daily. You seem to imply that Seth lets NSFW and other questionable material on his blog because he's male. That's not the reason. He does it because either he does want to look like he's censoring people or it appeals to his personal taste.

I'm male, but if I was the one running Equestria Daily, I would put a hard line on stuff like that. I would say no to any 'saucy' pictures or clop fics. That's because I'm personally against sexualizing the ponies and would not want to use my site to give further exposure to it. It has nothing to do with my gender.

As for the rest of your column on the subject, I agree entirely. I find the gender gap in the people in the fandom who have riser to prominence odd. Having been a fan of My Little Pony since the 90's when Disney aired the original cartoon, I always I was where I shouldn't be. I would have thought with such a well entrenched female fanbase that have to be just as talented as their newer male counterparts, more female artists and writers would be better known.

I'm different about pegasister. I think it's up to the person if they want to be called a brony or pegasister. I personally greet everyone in the fandom as brony.
RaenBoow Featured By Owner Oct 23, 2012  Student Digital Artist
"of males telling females that they can't be bronies because of their sex."

wut O-o Never noticed. But it must be hard with coming up with a all-out genderfriendly name for it.... "Bros before Hoes" comes into mind which aims me to answer that it should be Bronies and Honies. (lulz)

But I don't see why we should give a fuck :P Everyone can be a Brony. Guys or girls saying otherwise are jerks.
queridoor Featured By Owner Oct 15, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I'd just like to point out that as a female brony, I can say based on my OWN personal taste that "not safe for work" images are not male-exclusive things. I don't enjoy pony NSFW, but as a girl, I watch lots of porn, so that's not a "male-exclusive" thing.

" 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. "
I thought the name "pegasister" came to be because girls chose it for themselves? In my opinion, having separate names for men and women is sexist. It's not sexist to call a woman a brony just like it's not sexist to call your female friend "dude".
TheWrongestTrousers Featured By Owner Oct 15, 2012  Student Digital Artist
God damn, this is pretty well done!
boredperson001 Featured By Owner Oct 14, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
<sarcasm> I'm going to be original here </sarcasm>

#79 really bothered me. Now before I go into why I don't like what the answer had said, I will say this. I love the brony fandom. It's probably the best fandom that I've ever been in and the people in it are just wonderful. I even first came to this by the journal of a wonderful female brony artist. What the point of this is, I'm not biased, at all. I love both sides of the gender spectrum in the brony fandom.

Source for my facts: [link]
As a whole, the Brony fandom is made of mostly males ranging from 15-30 years old (87%). The term "Brony" being a combination of the word "Pony" and the slang "Bro" is a term usually considered male in origin. The female side of the fandom earlier referred to as "Pega-sisters" took on the name of "Brony" after most of them deciding the first term was sexist. Now most of the earlier known female fans just use the term "Brony" to describe themselves.

Enough with the history. I just wanted to get that out of the way though.

The main problem that I have with your answer of #79 is about three things. The first being media. The way that you worded your response made it sound as if you blame the male side of the fandom for bringing attention to them/ourselves. The idea that we purposely exclude the female side of the fandom is entirely false. I don't believe that as a fandom we have ever really brought attention to ourselves on purpose. The media is effectively keeping out the female side of the fandom mainly because of deviation. Which also happens to be my second point.

This point is based upon three easily accepted assumptions. First the definition of deviation is 1. accepted somewhat universally and 2. is defined, as by the dictionary, by the action of departing from an established course or accepted standard. The second assumption is that grown males (15-30 years old) don't normally watch television based on a demographic of women. The third thing is that we as a race find deviation odd or weird. Now assuming that those three things are correct we can also assume that males watching My Little Pony, a show based upon the demographic of girls from 6-12 years old is a serious deviation. The media, as I have shown in my first point, loves to prey upon the deviations with a determination close to that of hyenas. Now, women watching My Little Pony is also a deviation, however, nowhere near as deviant as the males watching the show. As I have said the media loves to prey upon deviations, if you are able to put 2 and 2 together, you should have come to the realization that they want to only focus on the male portion of the fandom. This also leads me into my third point, deviation to the extreme, NSFW or clopping.

You had stated that sometimes Equestria Daily has NSFW posts or posts about NSFW topics that are censored. As that may be true, I'm not entirely sure, this has yet to be proven that it is an entirely male... object of interest. The idea that only males have a sexual desire for characters on a show is ironically very sexist. I know several tumblr artists are NSFW and also women. The idea that females have no part in the sexual side of any fandom is throwing them into a light that shouldn't be theirs for the taking.

If you do read this thank you, and please respond, this was not meant in a angry or antagonistic way.
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