Archived Discussion

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

Most Fanfic Writers Are Girls launched as Most Fanfic Writers Are Girls: From YKTTW

Working Title: Most Fanfic Writers Are Girls: From YKTTW

Erica MZDM: Not an objection to the trope, but it's worth noting that the gender bias in fanfic writing has more effects than /just/ the obsession with romance. For starters, it's the reason Mary Sues are so much more prolific than Marty Stus in fanfic.

Patsy: I really like all the little improvements that people have made to my first written article! Go team!

Laevatein: Took out "canonically straight" from the Gundam Wing entry - from what I remember of the show, that's not really true, and "undeclared" is more accurate. People often simply assume "undeclared" characters are straight. (Incidentally, even some non-yaoi fans think Quatre might be gay).

Man Called True: Am I the only one who feels, at this point, that this entry is a swift, snark-fueled kick in the balls to, I don't know, the entire fanfiction community? (Including this straight male fanfiction writer. My screenname here is my name, shamelessplug.)

Rogue 7: It would be if it weren't, in my experience, sadly true.

Falcon Pain: Even those of us who actively try to avoid it are tempted. I once lamented on a message board that, shortly after having some minor success writing game-related fanfiction, I had found myself writing a sex scene between a thirty-foot lizard and a transsexual. (That scene was shortened quickly. The fic isn't even in the Romance category.)

Ununnilium: I'm gonna disagree with the entire premise of this page. It's very hard to say that most Fan Fic writers are anything, simply because the group is very heterogenous, and one usually only see's one's own "circle" of fandom. I certainly remember back when I was into the scene that it seemed like more of the ones I was reading were male, and I know more MST3K fanficcers were. And certainly, none of what I was reading featured these characteristics.

Mipp: This entire entry is a thinly-veiled sneer at fanfiction writers, especially slashers. Compared to the light-hearted humor of most tropes, it's downright disrespectful.

Jisu: It would be, if, you know, this weren't a complaint of many fellow fanfiction writers. And I hate the name, too.

Patsy: Well, I'm sorry to have rocked the boat. I thought it was fairly light-hearted (speaking as a straight male fanfiction writer). If there's anything I (or, uh, anyone else, since it's a wiki...) can do to make it more objective and less 'sneery', I'd be glad to oblige.

I would have thought the title was fairly undeniable, though. As well as apparently preferred by the majority of tropers on the YKTTW.

Ununnilium: Heh. As you've found out, not all tropers are on YKTTW.

But see, it's very deniable. Note my objections above.

Duckluck: I'm not going to contest this article's thesis one way or another, but that's partly because I can't figure what the thesis is. No offense Patsy, but like a lot of new tropers, you got a little over-ambitious here and lost track of your thesis — burying the lead in the process. Simply put, what is the point of this entry? Yes, there are a lot of female fanficers out there, but what does that mean? Does it mean they are more interested in romance than male fanficcers would be? Does it mean they are more willing to write relationships between men than straight male writers would be? Both? Something else? Whatever you decide this trope means, that needs to be clearly stated near the beginning of the entry (don't put it off for more than a paragraph). Once you've done that, you can expand on that thesis and perhaps provide a bit of context and have solid article. Oh, and stay on topic. A lot of this article right now is just general stuff about Fan Fic that really should be saved for another page.

Harpie Siren: The thesis is... "No matter what the original story was about, the most fanfics will be 'romance'/ship fics." I think it makes it pretty obvious.

Mark Z: And romance and relationships are exclusively the interest of "girls". Got it. I'm trying to think of a way for this premise to get more sexist.

Harpie Siren: No, of course not... I'm a girl who writes fanfics, and none of the stuff I write has anything to do with shipping. And how is this sexist while the Most Writers Are Male and Most Gamers Are Male tropes arn't? Double Standard?

Duckluck: The potential sexism comes in with the statement that "most fanfics are written by girls" means the same thing as "most fanfics are about sex/romance." As written, the page seems to suggest that A) only girls are interested in romance, and B) that's all they're interested in. These are both sexist stereotypes that are extremely old and not terribly accurate. I don't think either message was intentional on the author's part, but they're there. A clearer thesis, like, "Compared to male writers, female authors tend to focus more on interpersonal relationships and are frequently more willing to explore romantic relationships between men" might remove some of the Unfortunate Implications as well as give the piece some desperately needed structure.

Servbot: Main difference between this and Most Writers Are Male and Most Gamers Are Male is that, in those two cases, the stuff listed under them tend to be things that you expect to draw males.

This trope, however, includes all romance related fanfics. Including those that fall under Girls Love ( Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha, Mahou Sensei Negima!) and Tenchi Muyo! style Harems (Neon Genesis Evangelion).

Can you honestly say, with a straight face, that the vast majority of the Girls Love and Harem fanfics are written by females?

And no, GIRLs do not count.

Mipp: I am pretty ticked off at how this trope implies that all girls are interested in is romance and homoerotica (for that matter, what the hell is wrong with either of those?). The disrespectful and demeaning tone ("How DARE those fangirls fantasize about fictional characters! What gives them that right! Out of MY fandom, yaoi fangirls!) doesn't help either. Fanficcers/fanartists are often the most devoted and creative fans, slashers included, and are a driving force in fandom. This trope isn't funny or lighthearted to me.

Big T: I'm not sure I understand the relevance of whether this trope is sexist. It seems to posit two things: that most fanfics are of the relationship type, that most of those who write this type are female, and that this combination makes the trope title true. If these statements are untrue, we obviously need to rename/rewrite this trope. If they're all true, then all we really need to do is make it obvious. And if only one part is true, we should probably rename this trope: Most Romantic Fanfic Writers Are Female or Most Fanfics Are Sexual, anybody?

Guy Smiley: This did stray from the YKTTW, which was meant, if I recall, to be about how most fanfics, regardless of genre, are of the shipper variety. Who exactly added in the harem stuff is beyond me. Still, after taking out that and the Girls Love, all that's left is overgeneralization - which is hardly worse than the tropes about male fandom and writers.

Jisu: I liked Slashing Blindly from the YKTTW.

Harpie Siren: Hmmm... That might work, but, it's not always slash.

Marie: "Can you honestly say, with a straight face, that the vast majority of the Girls Love and Harem fanfics are written by females?" I don't know about yuri fic, but the majority of femmeslash I've seen is written by lesbians or female bisexuals. Pretty sure it's not girls writing the Harem stuff, though. As for what to call this trope, the name is both sexist (and yes, more than Most Writers Are Male, because that's describing a dominant culture) and fairly accurate, so I really don't know how to handle it.

Big T: Like I said, it isn't sexist if it's true. You can't have both. Either we're doing something to unfairly represent one of the sexes, or we're not. The only problem is that some people might interpret it as sexist.

Fly: Hi, I'm a Yaoi Fangirl - female, straight, writes Ho Yay for manly plotty things. I actually run a large slash fanfic comm for my fandom. I was the one who initially proposed this trope before The Great Crash.

I don't find it offensive at all. Most of the writing snark comms are well aware of this phenomenon, and most girls are outright proud of what they do. If it's sexist, it's tongue-in-cheek.

Xi Whoeverski: I just thought I'd point out that it has been acknowledged by proffessional literary personages that a) most fanfic is written by girls and b) the interest of young women focuses on interpersonal relationships. Of course, this isn't saying all females are like that, just acknowledging a social trend. Check out Brenda Laurel's studies if you believe me not. I don't mean to be condescending, I just wanted to point out that basic idea of this trope is more than some dude's vague conjecture.

  • Then again, few people want to see Disney characters in slash fiction.
Harpie Siren: Who was talking about slash? Original Flavor Gen Fic it the way to go! :D

Shwoo: Changed "This, of course, is a trick. There is no Kingdom Hearts fanfic that isn't Sora/Riku or Orgy XIII slash." to "Not too easy, is it?" because I went to the Kingdom Hearts section on and found a Gen Fic without scrolling down. That's taking hyperbole a bit too far.

  • This is largely because - and let's not mince words here - a great deal of fanfiction is written by young single women who can't get boyfriends

What? All fanfiction writers I know have boyfriends. You can be in a healthy relationship and still enjoy fictional romance/porn.

Excuse me, but not all women are single because they "can't get boyfriends." Some women, just like some men, prefer to be single.
Ophicius: Reworded the Heroes example to make it less confrontational.

Sara: Carrot and Marron aren't twins.
L Guardinal: Judging by the examples on the page, shouldn't the title be changed to Slash And Shipping Sucks (or something less confrontational)? I'm not being sarcastic, 100% and quite honestly Just Trying to Help, but there really isn't much about fanficcers being girls in here that isn't obscured in Real Fans complaining about, well, slash and shipping.
  • EDIT: Actually, reading the trope description, which seems to be describing Fanfic Sucks, maybe this whole page should be nuked and started again, with a whole lot less Complaining About Shows You Don't Like?

Black Charizard: Strangely enough, most examples have Natter and Justifying Edits saying that "hey, given the amount of Ho Yay they have, it's obvious most fanfics would be centered about the relationship", despite the negativeness of the trope description. It seems that it's becoming similar to the Ho Yay article, with negativeness on the description not reflected on the examples.

Maybe we should just tone out the body text. Point out the thesis ("regardless of the genre of the original work, most fanfics about the series will be about romance and Shipping, to the point it's difficult to find anything else") and cut off the complaining.

L Guardinal: I agree with that, and perhaps it should be a No Examples, Please trope, as they sort of lend themselves to complaints? Oh, and that part at the beginning, saying how great published works are, and how awful fanfic is, coupled with Most Writers Are Male and Most Fanfic Writers Are Girls... Well, it's not hard to see some sexism in there. Whoever changes the trope page, leave that out! (I'd do it myself, but I'm afraid I'd be a more than a little biased in the other direction.)

Prfnoff: I've tried to cut down a bit on the Complaining About Fanfics And Shipping You Don't Like:
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender: lots and lots of shipping fics. One portmanteau (out of many): Zutara.
    • The impressive thing is not the amount of shipping fics, but the sheer variety. Every possible combination with every possible orientation in every possible genre with every single character, and not just the main characters either. Minor characters, one-shot characters, characters without names. If you exist, you will be paired with someone.
      • True enough, although it seems the single most popular pairing remains the one hooking up The Hero's True Love and the guy who spent most of the series trying to drag The Hero in chains before the Evil Overlord. Why, fangirls? Why?
      • Rule of Drama, that's why.
  • Despite the relative youth of the Mass Effect fandom, the sheer number of Garrus/Female Shepard fics out there is rather disturbing, especially considering a female Shepard is pretty much a ready-made self-insert, and Garrus is an avian alien with a naturally-occuring tribal warrior facemask and who is only vaguely humanoid.
  • In Gargoyles, Brooklyn, the most exotic looking and one of the most popular characters in the series, is the series' romantic Butt-Monkey with female characters continually giving him the brush off. Naturally, there are many fanfics where the writers eagerly supply his true love at last.
  • Heroes. If it isn't Mohinder/Sylar, it's Mohinder/Matt, Peter/Sylar or Peter/Nathan (for the uninitiated, Peter and Nathan are brothers). Of course, there's Claire/Sylar floating around as well, usually ignoring that Sylar actively tries to kill Claire for her powers. Also Peter/Claire and Nathan/Claire, even after it was revealed that Nathan is her father and Peter her uncle. And if an OC's going to fall for someone, it's Peter. Always Peter.
  • Danny Phantom and its wave of Danny/Vlad, Danny/Dark Danny, Danny/Ghost Writer, heck, Danny anything. He is the Little Black Dress after all. This troper has also seen too many Danny/Sam to fill a warehouse and I'm not gonna even begin to delve into the gazillions of other pairings the fangirls have made overtime. Danny/Fenton Thermos anyone?
    • Danny/Fenton Thermos? Squick...
  • This troper blames a single author (not sure on the gender) on the fact that 80% of the GaoGaiGar section on most of which seems to be between Mamoru and Volfogg, an eight-year-old boy and a Transforming Mecha, respectively.
    • If it's not between HyoRyu and EnRyu, or FuuRyu and RaiRyu. One wonders how ChoRyuJin and GekiRyuJin (their combined forms) feels about all this.
      • Then again, Super Robot Wars W did have KyoRyu and AnRyu do the robotic equivalent of a blush when one of the Dragon Brothers brings up the idea of Symmetrical Docking with one of them...
  • Kung Fu Panda fanfic has a romance between Po and Tigress as a popular plot. Well, she now respects him as a fellow martial arts master in the film, so that's a start.
    • Which is sad, because this troper was especially proud of the movie for foiling her expectations: she fully expected Tigress to fall for him by the end of the movie (c'mon, it's a standard plot), and was so utterly pleased when she didn't. The fact that he earned her respect while she was still sane meant so much more.
  • Metal Gear Solid. Period. Snake/Otacon dominates but Big Boss/Ocelot has its own massive following (unsurprising considering it's canon), as does Volgin/Raikov for some bizarre reason that shall never be understood, along with a slew of Crack Pairings. In the interest of fairness, In a World... in a game with this much Ho Yay the fanfiction writers really can't be blamed for capitalising on it.

fleb: ...Those don't seem terribly like Complaining About Shows You Don't Like to me. The natter obviously must be purged with fire, but I wouldn't be surprised if half were written by self-deprecating actual shippers.

Prfnoff: I now see I may have overreacted. I put some of those examples back in abridged form.
Fast Eddie: Changing the title to Most Fanfics Are Romances will solve some issues.

Dioschorium: I agree with Fast Eddie. Of course, the body text would require some editing, but that's not a problem. Damn it, why hasn't anyone changed this page yet?

Santander02: Honestly, I think the title should stay as it is, why? because it's the truth, most fanfic writers ARE girls. Someone said that contrasting this with Most Writers Are Male makes this trope sexist. Excuse me? have you read that trope? Most Writers Are Male is used to explain trends like Breast Plate, Distressed Damsel and stuff like that, not as way to say that only males can do professional writings. I see the same situation with this trope, to explain the prevalence of romances, yaoi, and shipping in fanfictions, the only thing that could be changed about this page is that it makes it look like the prevalence of that sort of stories is a bad thing, but hey it's note like TV Tropes has a wikipedia-like neutrality on most articles.

fleb: I think this page is perfect just the way it is, title and content. The title sums up the generalization being made just fine; the critical tone doesn't cross the line into bitter; and the snarky examples sound more like self-deprecation than actual dislike.

Hazel: Funny, because I read this page and all I'm seeing in whiny little fanboys whining about how there's girl-cooties and slash in their fandom. Nobody seems to be interested in any other aspect of most fanfic being written by women, but maybe that has to do with Troper Demographics.

Trouser Wearing Barbarian: Should Most Writers Are Male discuss other aspects of most writers being male besides "guys are sexist and obsessed with boobs?
Looney Toons: While doing other edits, I snipped the following couple of lines

, though male fanfictionists in general are inexplicably rare. Although there are more in males in fandoms of sci-fi and military settings, just look for the ones wanking the techno-military aspects.

because, quite frankly, I've never actually seen this supposed imbalance; the fanfiction communities I hang out in — general anime, Buffy, a few others — tend to be evenly distributed or slightly male-heavy. Besides, the comment is simply not relevant to the topic at hand.

sickishfish: This isnít an article about the gender of fanfiction writers so much as itís an article about the quality of fanfiction. That implies that the quality of fanfiction is a function of the gender of the authors. It ignores Sturgeon's Law completely in the analysis, but thatís beside the point. Sturgeon's Law shouldnít even need to be brought up. The implication that gender and the quality of writing are the same discussion is sexist.

The research sounds as if it was conducted in a single trip to the Pit of Voles that lasted about as long as the average person can comfortably hold their nose. Thereís no effort made to understand the people or situation about which itís speaking. The article consists of statements of the authorís views of the proper treatment of fanfiction followed by a complaint about how s/he thinks female authors violate them. Most of this should be removed. The style of the site allows for editorializing for the sake of humor, but not to the point that the article says more about the author than the trope.

Black Charizard: Yes, this page needs a rewrite to tone down the bile. You can see more people saying the same above your comment. The reason why it's stayed like this is because nobody has stepped up to actually do it. Probably because, well, we all have an opinion on this phenomenon, and our biases would probably end up reflected in the article.

Trouser Wearing Barbarian: I have done more "research" on this topic than just "a single trip to the Pit of Voles that lasted about as long as the average person can comfortably hold their nose", and this trope is pretty spot-on. While the quality itself can be attributed to Sturgeon's Law rather than the gender of the writers involved (and the page should be edited to make this more clear), every fandom I've ever read fanfic for has been dominated by m/m slash fics and female Mary Sue characters sexing up the resident Mr. Fanservice.

And I don't consider slashfic to be inherently bad, either. However, the obsession with pairing up everything with a penis and pulse combined with the Het Is Ew attitudes, Die for Our Ship-based bashing of female characters, and frequent usage of the "you're just a homophobe!" strawman against any criticism among slash FanDumbs is bound to leave other fans just a little bit peeved.

sickishfish: I apologize for coming on so strong. Ironic, given the nature of my complaint. I am a fangirl, if that helps to explain my reaction.

I'm not trying to argue that things like relentless slashing of everyone, Het Is Ew, etc. do not exist. I agree that they are there and that they often alienate fans who don't buy into them. Some of the tropes are clearly negative, but I would quibble about others. (No one should be called a homophobe for disliking slash, but if a many fangirls prefer to write nothing but, featuring every conceivable pairing, that's their right.) Positive or negative, these tropes are not there by accident. At the risk of sounding like an anthropology textbook, they reflect the values of the subculture. I wish the article would look beyond its kneejerk reaction to take an interest in why these particular tropes are so common. Why do so many fangirls accept them? I imagine that a lot of it is a direct result of Most Writers Are Male, which could have interesting implications if it's true. I think that addressing the topic from a "fangirlish" angle as well as the outside observers' point of view would go a long way towards connecting the article into something that belongs under the title.

I do realize that criticism alone will not fix anything and someone is going to have to buckle down and actually write these things. I frankly think a rewrite of such a complex topic is above my skill level (not to mention that I write like a snail). My original comment was the result of an effort to express concretely what it was that bothered me. I decided to share.

Trouser Wearing Barbarian: After giving it some thought, I think this trope largely exists because women tend to be more verbal, while men tend to be more visual - guys usually go for pornographic movies and skin rags while women are more into written sex. Plus, there isn't nearly as much porn out there for women as there is for men, so it's not surprising that many women write their own amateur porn/erotica/whatever, and fanfiction is a very popular form of amateur fiction...So Yeah. Most of it being awful has more to do with Sturgeon's Law than women being bad writers.

Crowley: DEAR FUCKING LORD, reading this discussion page straight gave me a headache from all the Face Palm. Even though the troper who created this trope said at the beginning of this page "I don't find it offensive at all. Most of the writing snark comms are well aware of this phenomenon, and most girls are outright proud of what they do. If it's sexist, it's tongue-in-cheek", people go on and on and on about how "mean and sexist" this trope is. Aren't tropers supposed to be good at taking jokes? Before anyone accuses me of being one of those "vile, sick men who live only to oppress the sweet, innocent women who are just standing up for equal rights", I'm just going to say right now that I'm female, and a fanfiction fan. I know some people are still going to interpret my message as sexist, but I'll try to get my point across: Most actual Fanfic writers themselves think this trope is perfectly fine. Stop thinking this trope was made by slash-hating men.

  • Patsy: Eh, tell me about it. When I wrote the trope, I was under the impression that everyone agreed that the whole shipping thing was lighthearted escapism (Little did I know...), and so it's hardly surpising that my usual cheerful irreverence didn't quite wash with some people. Still, the majority have spoken, so lesson duly learnt.

As to the whole sexism thing: I would argue that respecting women as writers and as people does not preclude me, for example, from pointing out eccentricities that I have observed in the writings of my female friends- several of whom are convinced that Demyx and that other fella are just perfect for each other- and how this may relate to larger trends in this mysterious beast called 'fandom'. If I couldn't cover that without ruffling some feathers, I guess that's my bad.

Overall, I'd say the problem was that I see fanwork generally as kind of silly anyway- not quite a Guilty Pleasure, but something like that- and everyone else seems to invest a little more in it. I'm still working on understanding that one. I mean, I like building sandcastles (the finest sandcastles in all northeastern Ireland, I'll have you know), but I wouldn't get pissed if someone thought that was funny. Anyhow, the page is changed now and I don't feel strongly enough about it to take this any further. Patsy, signing off.

Crowley: Yes, I agree with you exactly. Sorry for exploding; I just needed to get that off my chest.

Arekuru: Removed some entries that consisted of nothing more than "This fandom has yaoi in it (eww)." That - minus the "eww" - goes under Yaoi and Yaoi Fangirl.

What's with the assumption that only girls ignore a series' main premise to write about the parts they like? Really, as if boys don't just go on and on about fight match ups regardless of probability. (Is the Death Star really ever likely to encounter the Enterprise? I don't think so.)

Bionicman: I've noticed how often the picture at the top of the page gets changed (I can remember at least three), yet not a single one of them illustrate the trope effectively. They're all Just a Face and a Caption. This applies particularly well to the current picture; I watch a lot of anime and know what Genshiken is about, yet that pic means nothing to me. I can't even imagine how useless it is to someone who doesn't watch anime. I suggest solving two problems (constant changes, non-indicative picture) by getting rid of the pictures entirely. I'll wait to see if anyone can come up with another solution.