North Texas Daily

The difference between gatekeeping and defending a fanbase

The difference between gatekeeping and defending a fanbase

The difference between gatekeeping and defending a fanbase
July 29
12:00 2021

When it comes to the pop culture world, multiple famous franchises are at their peak. Marvel always seems to be doing great, and “Star Wars” and DC have incredibly passionate fandoms as well. As I scroll through social media I see a lot of instances of gatekeeping. Gatekeeping is when fans call other fans, normally within the same fanbase, “fake fans” because they may not share the same opinion as someone else. Gatekeeping completely neglects the whole point of fanbases, because finding groups of people to appreciate the same interests as you should be something that brings nothing but a positive impact. There is a clear difference between defending something you are passionate about and limiting someone’s enjoyment because fans are overprotective.

Funny enough, there was a time where things like comics and comic book movies were not considered mainstream at all. The root of the problem begins there. As the popularity of Marvel and DC properties grew, fans started using a phrase everyone loves to hear. “I liked this before it was cool”, is probably one of the most offputting sentences someone can audibly say.

To get into college you have to take a bunch of unnecessary tests and eventually get accepted. Being a fan of something requires none of those things, but you would think the exact opposite by how fans are treating each other today. We have gotten to a point where liking or disliking certain pieces of media makes someone a “fake fan” which is absolutely ridiculous. It is a disguised form of bullying and taking away a safe space people may really rely on.

An enormous example of how fanbases are cloaking their loyalty as weaponized hated is casting in fictional projects. I wrote a whole piece on the casting of fictional characters earlier this spring. We have seen countless “fans” complain about the accuracy of castings for a while. This qualifies as gatekeeping because telling other people they are not true fans if they agree with a certain casting choice creates a huge divide.

Many people latch on to fandoms as an escape from their lives. There should be no restraints or requirements to enjoy something. Someone may be the fan of a certain actor and this actor could have just been cast in a Star Wars movie. You can already picture the people upset over a casting decision, but those same people are going to gatekeep fans of the actor just because their fans are showing interest in a fanbase their favorite actor is now a part of.

Being a part of a fandom should not be intimidating. It should be a place where people can appreciate what they want. You don’t have to watch all the Marvel movies to be a fan, and you don’t have to name every Jedi to be a fan of “Star Wars.” Gatekeeping mostly takes place on the internet, which is already flooded with people going out of their way to make the world a terrible place. Never feel discouraged about what you are a fan of, and never feel like you are a lesser fan just because you don’t know every bit of information out there. Some would mistake gatekeeping for fans being passionate, but that is simply not the case. Respecting everyone’s opinion and letting people enjoy what they want to enjoy should be the main focus of all fans and we can hopefully gravitate towards that in the future.

Featured Illustration by Miranda Thomas

About Author

Jaden Oberkrom

Jaden Oberkrom

Related Articles

0 Comments

No Comments Yet!

There are no comments at the moment, do you want to add one?

Write a comment

Write a Comment

The Roundup

<script id="mcjs">!function(c,h,i,m,p){m=c.createElement(h),p=c.getElementsByTagName(h)[0],m.async=1,m.src=i,p.parentNode.insertBefore(m,p)}(document,"script","https://chimpstatic.com/mcjs-connected/js/users/de9596854f37498d65b58fa8f/42480106fd1ae582112be0c96.js");</script>

Search Bar

Sidebar Thumbnails Ad

Twitter Feed

North Texas Daily @ntdaily
@JohnAndersontx: I am incredibly happy to announce I will be serving as the Spring 2023 Editor-In-Chief of the North Texas Daily! I’ve loved my eight semesters at the Daily and am honored to continue serving alongside such great journalists. @ntdaily https://t.co/LjuRbjVNxM
h J R
North Texas Daily @ntdaily
RECAP: North Texas clinches Conference USA title appearance with victory over Rice📝: @justanotherijc 📸: Marco BarreraRead more: https://t.co/H7M1VNNtKr
h J R
North Texas Daily @ntdaily
NEWS: University’s new Industrial Assessment Center is ready to help local manufacturers📝: @KevinKeigherUNT 📸: @IBelkouraRead more: https://t.co/6h4uFI22ln
h J R
North Texas Daily @ntdaily
NEWS: University announces agritourism course📝: John Eberhart 📸: @JohnAndersontxRead more: https://t.co/f1d2avn35a
h J R
North Texas Daily @ntdaily
ICYMI: Return of Tylor Perry fuels men’s basketball win over Fresno State📝: @jillian_ntd 📸: Marco BarreraRead more: https://t.co/wNfUnHZSXP
h J R

Sidebar Bottom Block Ad

Flytedesk Ad

Instagram