What's Happening

This is discussion archived from a time before the current discussion method was installed.

Working Title: Fanboy: From YKTTW

Nornagest: I've got to question this:

Whereas a stereotypical fangirl will usually find some base element in the personality of the character to fetish over (although it definitely helps for the actor to be handsome as well), a fanboy will just have discussions of a given female actor's physical attractiveness when it's not directly relevant (with almost no mention of personality unless it's something that contributes to fetish such as a love for geeky things).

It's easy enough to find counterexamples; David Bowie is the first one that comes to mind, but there are several others (including a prominent one on the YKTTW for this very page). Nor is obsessing over a character's personality purely a fangirl thing; the Moe Moe aesthetic is all about personality traits.

You could argue that I'm talking about real-life fans and the article is discussing stereotypical ones, but I don't see it. The first paragraph is spot-on, though.

Ethereal Mutation: The term "fanboy" itself is a pejorative term that refers to this particular type of activity, not as something that gets universally applied to all male fans. Same applies to the term "fangirl". Being a female fan of something doesn't automatically make them a "fangirl" (although that term has gone through a lot more reclaimation than "fanboy" and as such, often gets used on a neutral basis).

Also, with your mention of Moe Moe and other personality aspects, it's probably worthy of note that it takes quite a bit more effort for somebody to gain the label of "fanboy" obsessing over that than just the automatic label that mentioning some physical fetish detail as a single sentence contribution to a discussion would warrant.

Nornagest: I suppose I wasn't being entirely clear. I didn't mean to imply that it's not a pejorative; it is. Nor did I mean to imply that it's an automatic label that gets applied to all male fans.

I think the problem is that "fanboy" and "fangirl" both have two distinct senses: a fanboy is unhealthily obsessed with a character or a piece of media, and that obsession may or may not be sexual in nature. When "fangirl" isn't used in the increasingly common reclamatory sense that you mentioned, though, it almost always indicates a sexual obsession.

I don't, however, see many gender differences in how that sexual obsession manifests itself. Calling someone a David Bowie fangirl has pretty much the same implications as calling someone else, say, a Madonna fanboy.
MercuryInRetrograde: The vitrol! It burns!

Perhaps this entry is best written by someone who doesn't have an axe to grind about fangirls or fanboys?

Jordan: I know there are often debates on Gratuitous Japanese, but I would think that the term Fan Boy (or Fan girl) is pretty close to the idea of being an otaku, and by extension, I'd see it as a term which is used negatively in some contexts but doesn't need to be.