question of the day: Has the term “fanboy” become a misnomer?

Chris Hemworth Tom Hiddleston Avengers

It’s just like now that there’s a black man in the White House, racism is over! Jim Slotek in The London (Ontario) Free Press:

Is the term “fanboy” becoming a misnomer?

At comic book and sci-fi conventions across North America, many of the Star Trek, Star Wars, horror fans and video gamers are female. And [in August], some 7,000 female fans attended the second annual women-only GeekGirlCon in Seattle.

In the gaming world according to the Entertainment Software Association, 47% of all players are women, a stat that inspired the game giant Electronic Arts to add a “female avatar” to its NHL game.

Still, some sexism exists in the geek world, according to the women who live in it.

“The assumption still is that girls are there to get attention, because our boyfriends talked us into it, or that we’re only into the TV and film,” says Liana Kerzner, a comic book writer (Ed and Red’s Comic Strip) and TV personality who will attend this weekend’s monstrous Fan Expo Canada in Toronto.

“But there are certainly more women fans. Harry Potter has done a lot to get women out to conventions. Costuming has done a lot, too.

“There are also more female role models, like (sci-fi author) Julie Czerneda, who have been around long enough to help get other women published. Personally I think the female fans have always been there, but there’s now a way for us to get noticed and be counted.”

Broadcast technician and comic fan Veronica Manzerolle says things are improving. “When you go to comic stores you still feel like a minority to a certain extent,” she says with a laugh. “I’ve definitely been in conversations where (male fans) are caught off guard that you know certain authors.”

“But now you go to a comic store and you notice some staff are women. And more women artists and writers coming forward and getting recognition for their work.”

Slotek does note, way down in his article:

Of course, the real tipping point would be when gender isn’t an issue.

But that comes after the suggestion that all’s pretty much fair and equal in fandom these days, beyond a few clueless outliers.

What do you think? Has the term “fanboy” become a misnomer?

I don’t think so, any more than the term “frat boy” continues to serve a certain purpose even though women are outearning men when it comes to higher educational degrees. Particularly when it comes to Hollywood, we’ll still need the term “fanboy” for as long as the studios pander to that particular slice of tastes in a preponderance of its films.

(If you have a suggestion for a QOTD, feel free to email me. Responses to this QOTD sent by email will be ignored; please post your responses here.)

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