Although popular culture artifacts reflect social norms, sometimes their effect on society is unpredictable. Fans of Star Trek started writing homoerotic fan fiction about their favorite straight male characters, and My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic has attracted male audience despite targeting young girls. These cultural artifacts have provoked changes in social attitude to sexuality and masculinity.
When Star Trek’s fans started writing their erotic fan fiction stories, society did not approve this kind of entertainment. Nowadays, however, this genre is seen as another way of declaring one’s sexuality. The Huffington Post, for example, issued an article that explains that erotic fan fiction, including slash stories, is not a perversion (Fallon, 2015).
My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic has unpredictably attracted young and middle-aged men. They call themselves Bronies and participate in regular fan activities. However, this behavior contradicts general perception of masculinity, and Bronies sometimes are called perverts. However, the media tries to be balanced and issues articles which claim them to be “no weirder than your average Trekkie” (Yiin, 2019, para. 13).
Overall, Star Trek and My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic have proved to be changing society’s views on the declaration of sexuality and gender norms. Although some people still reject slash fan fiction and Bronies phenomenon, the media supports Trekkies and Bronies. These devoted fans are active consumers, and broadcasters will create more fan service projects to raise money. In future, these things will be more popular because of growing social interest to these phenomena.
- Fallon, C. (2015, October 14). Welcome to the sex-positive wonderland of erotic fan fiction. The Huffington Post. Retrieved May 04, 2017, from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/erotic-fan-fiction-value_us_561294efe4b0768127029355
- Roddenberry, G. (Creator). (1966-1969). Star trek: The original series. [Television series].New York, NY: NBC.
- Thiessen, J., Wootton, J., Miller, J., Lu, D., & Stuby T. (Directors). (2010-present). My little pony: Friendship is magic. [Television series]. Los Angeles, CA: Hasbro.
- Yiin, W. (2016, July 19). Bronies explained: The grown men who love ‘My Little Pony’ aren’t who you think they are. National Post. Retrieved May 04, 2017, from http://news.nationalpost.com/life/bronies-explained-the-grown-men-who-love-my-little-pony-arent-who-you-think-they-are