No, Virginia, Fangirl/boy are not gender neutral!

Sorry for the slew of short posts, but I’m trying to juggle a thousand things at once. Even so, Ragnell has this amazing post looking at the gender differences between “fangirl” and “fanboy” called Fan-What? Given my recent post on a Wii gift guide that used the term “fanboy,” I think it’s pretty relevant. And interesting!

Here’s an excerpt:

This reminded me of a conversation Kalinara and I had yesterday that has me musing on the term “fangirl” today. It’s a linguistic issue, mainly. In theory, Fanboy and Fangirl are simply gendered terms to differentiate a male fan and a female fan. In practical use, they have not only a different gender but an entirely different meaning.


Fanboy is a “Blue” term, as in “Blue is for Boys.” Whereas, Fangirl is a “Pink” term, as in “Pink is for Girls.” There is nothing inherently wrong with blue or pink. Both are fine colors, moods, acceptable lifestyles. But these colors represent traditional gender roles. The pink term of Fangirl embraces traditionally feminine traits like emotional/romantic thinking, pastel colors, cutesy things, and an audible high-pitched squeal associated with hearing about an opportunity to meet David Cassidy. The blue term of Fanboy embraces traditionally masculine traits like logical/statistical thinking, primary colors, blood and gore, and manly grunting/deep voiced “oh yeah”s.

Now go read the rest!

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3 thoughts on “No, Virginia, Fangirl/boy are not gender neutral!

  1. Gah! I hate “pink” terms for everything. “Fangirls” are supposedly diehard into Inuyasha and Smallville, and if they buy anything for a game console it will involve pink controllers and games that feature multiple outfit changes, shopping, and more Inuyasha then you can shake a stick at.

    Meanwhile “fanboys” can run the gammot from guys who only play dating sims, to guys who geek out on specific consoles, to guys who can tell you down to the last nut and bolt how any particular aircraft carrier is layed out.

    Fanboys are individuals, fangirls respond to a fixed set of parameters. Fanboys are diverse, fangirls all like the same things. Fanboys are percieved as a little over the top but with serious interests, fangirls are percieved as beyond insanity with frivilous interests.

    And there’s such a good term already out there: Nintendrones. A completely gender neutral term for those who believe that Nintendo can unequivocably do no wrong. I’ll admit to having made that high pitched noise a lot recently, mostly to mock Nintendo’s choice of console name. *Squeaks* Wiiiiiiiiii. I’ll admit that they’ve done a lot of new and innovative things, like broadening the definition of “gamer” with the DS, but sometimes I wonder just what goes through their heads.

  2. I’ve always considered them descriptive of a certain TYPE of fan, one that’s usually gendered, rather than descriptive of male or female fans in general, and used them as such.

    But then, I’m not the rest of the internet. It’s lame to think of fen as segregated behaviourally by their naughty bits.

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