Bandom Terminology Debate

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Event
Event: Bandom Terminology Debate
Name(s):
Date(s): November 2007, April 2008
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Contents

The debate over the use of "bandom", and which music RPF fandoms it actually applies to, took place in two rounds, of sorts, about six months apart.

Setting

In late 2006 and early 2007, Bandom (Decaydance+, My Chemical Romance) saw a rise in popularity on LiveJournal with many second-wave fans becoming increasingly fannish about Fall Out Boy, My Chemical Romance, Panic At The Disco and others. Because most of these fans were fannish about multiple bands, as opposed to only one band, they often used bandslash in reference to their fandom and fanworks and to classify their communities. Bandslash Mania, created on LiveJournal in May 2007, is one example of this usage. [1]

This led to increasing tension between those who used bandslash to refer to that specific group of bands and those who used bandslash as a more general term. Additionally, some bandom (DD+, MCR) fans found that bandslash as a term was no longer appropriate because of the increased visiblity of female personalities and the emergence of gen and het fanworks in their fandom. As a result, some fans within bandom (DD+, MCR) made a conscious move to use another term. By mid-2007, a group of bandom (DD+, MCR) fans adopted bandom as a term, many without realizing that it was already in use by other groups of fans to refer to a wider section of music fandom. However, bandslash remained a popular choice, and is still the prefered term of some bandom (DD+, MCR) fans who dislike the term bandom. Band Fandom Reference, created in July 2007, is one example of an isolated attempt to use a term that is not bandom but that at the same time appeases other bandslash fans while still conveying the wide array of the community's interests.[2]

As the bandom (DD+, MCR) community grew, their particular usages of the bandom and bandslash terms gained increased visibility. But other fannish communities already used those same terms to mean quite different things. Depending on what sections of band fandom any single person was referring to and needed terms to describe, the terms had distinctly disparate and conflicting meanings. For some, bandslash and bandom had a narrower focus and were used to refer to bandom (DD+, MCR). For others, they had a broader focus, with bandslash being used to refer to bandslash (slash source community) and bandom to refer to bandom (music). For still others, bandslash had a broader focus, used to refer to bandslash (slash source community) and/or bandom (music), and bandom a narrower focus, used to refer to bandom (DD+, MCR+). Finally, to some, bandslash referred to bandom (music), but the term bandom was completely unused.

Round One

In November 2007, in a post about different terminology issues, ScrewtheDaisies commented about her frustration regarding the apparent co-opting of the term "bandslash" by the bandom (DD+, MCR) fans to mean exclusively bandom (DD+, MCR).[3]

This prompted Libertines fan Dachelle to post about the issue and express her confusion as to what Libertines fandom would be, if not bandslash or bandom - and the debate exploded[4]. Dachelle had "wanted clarification on whether that term had become exclusive or whether it also still included other bands, because [she] was getting mixed messages."[5]

Jadziadrgnrdr posted[6] in response to what she viewed as "distancing", "shunning", "fractious" "vitriol" from Dachelle and the other non-bandom (DD+, MCR) fans in the comments to Dachelle's post. It is worth noting that despite being on the "opposite" side, Jadziadrgnrdr defined bandom as "bandom = band + group of fans".

A few days later, two more posts were made: one by Sidewinder[7], mainly expressing more frustration at the perceived co-opting of the term, and one by wistfuljane[8], an attempt to open a discussion:

[W]as the term bandom used before the recent mashup of MCR/FOB/Panic!/etc. as a collective fandom? Was it ever used to refer general band fandom as a whole? I mean, obviously, the term bandom is a mashup of band and fandom and therefore, could and probably should use to refer to general band fandom as a whole, but its usage have always seem to be specific and I don't know. Am I being misleading and offensive when I used bandom to refer to the MCR/FOB/Panic!/etc. subset of fandom? What term should we use to refer to it if we can't use bandom to refer to this particular subset of fandom?

After a little over a week of discussion, wistfuljane summed up the differences in terminology:

For FBR/MCR/etc. fandom:
bandslash
fandom involving slash of any band, but not exclusively = both a fandom name and a genre term.
bandom
fandom involving any band (regardless of genre)
sometimes referred to FBR/MCR/etc. fandom, but not often = fandom name.
Bandslash and bandom are sort of used interchangeably with bandslash being more predominantly used in early fandom stages and with bandom gradually growing into predominance later on (because most likely of the increased of het fan-generated content).
For band fandom:
bandslash
slash fanworks/fiction in fandom involving any band = predominantly a genre term.
bandfic
het, gen, and/or slash fiction in fandom involving any band.
bandom
fandom involving any band = predominantly a fandom name.
Bandslash and bandom are not really used interchangeably. Bandslash is predominantly used - at least within LJ because of the slash part of band fandom predominates LJ, but the term only refers to a specific genre/fandom: the slash sub-fandom?

While the discussion in wistfuljane's journal was going on, two more posts were made: ScrewtheDaisies posted about the attitude from the bandom (DD+, MCR) fans towards the "bandom should mean every band fandom" side[9], and Trascendenza, who was following as an interested observer and not a part of any band fandom, posted a round-up and her thoughts on consensus[10].

By December 2, the day after Trascendenza's round-up and the day wistfuljane posted with her summation of the definitions used by the two "sides" for the variety of terms, the discussion had died down, with more understanding on each side but no real resolution.

eBandom

It was during this first round of discussion that the term "eBandom" appeared. Coined by partly_bouncy, eBandom stood for exclusive and emo and was meant to be used in reference to bandom (DD+, MCR). However, as the term was mostly only used within one group of bandom (music) fans and was added to Fan History Wiki as an official term without discourse or dialogue with other fans, specifically with fans in the targeted fandom -- bandom (DD+, MCR) -- the term was shunned.[11]

Round Two

The debate flared up again in April of 2008, after Hector_Rashbaum expressed displeasure over posts of hers and Sidewinder's not being tagged "bandom" by Metafandom[12]. At the start, it appeared this "round" was shaping up to be a bigger mess than the first - the initial posts, both Hector_Rashbaum's and a response by Bexone[13], weren't exactly conducive to productive discussion.

However, that did not prove to be the case. wistfuljane posted again, with a poll and invitation for discussion[14], and with few exceptions the discussion was civil and productive.

Two main things came out of the discussion:

  1. "eBandom" was almost unanimously agreed to be a bad move, as it was the bandom-inclusive side doing exactly what they had been fighting against in the first place by attempting to redefine another group through their own filter
  2. It was established that rather than either side co-opting one group's term, the dual use of "bandom" was more of a coincidence stemming from the rather obvious portmanteau of "band" and "fandom". Each group, it would appear, coined the term independently to suit their own use.

In light of that, it became not a debate about "stop using our word", but "stop telling us how to use our word", and the resolution - to the extent a series of conversations in one LiveJournal could result in a resolution - boiled down to "use your word your way, we'll use it our way, let's all be aware of the difference in definition, and let's put a stop to the vitriol."

Popslash

Popslash fans watched this discussion with some amusement, as the bandom (music) side's repeated assertion that their use of bandom to mean all musicians did not match with the historical reactions of some bandom (music) people, who had insisted that those artists covered by the term popslash were not real musicians, and, thus, were not included in the term bandslash. [15]

Methods of Distinction

wistfuljane has proposed writing Bandom (capitalized B) to indicate bandom (DD+, MCR) while using bandom with a lower-case b to indicate bandom (music). This distinction is not widely known.

Conclusion

Shortly after the discussion in her post, Poll: Bandslash vs Bandom Usage, ceased, wistfuljane made a follow-up post with the results of the poll and her personal definitions for bandslash and bandom as she "[understood] them to be used by the general populace within the fannish community"[16]:

Bandslash

  • Fandom of fans who are fannish about one or more bands.
  • Fandom of fans who slash members of one or more bands.
  • Slash fiction about or involving members of one or more bands.

Bandom

  • Fandom of fans who are fannish about one or more bands.
  • Fandom of fans who are primarily fannish about Fall Out Boy, My Chemical Romance, Panic At The Disco, and/or interconnected bands.

References

  1. Bandslash Mania's profile. (Accessed 04 October 2008.)
  2. Band Fandom Reference's profile. (Accessed 04 October 2008.)
  3. Wells, Heather G. ScrewtheDaisies commented to Hector_Rashbaum re: Co-opting of "bandslash", posted on 10 November 2007 at hector_rashbaum's LiveJournal. (Accessed on 04 October 2008.)
  4. Dachelle. Untitled, posted on ? November 2007 at dachelle. (Access locked?)
  5. Dachelle. In a comment re: original post, posted on 02 May 2008 at wistfuljane's LiveJournal. (Accessed on 04 October 2008.)
  6. Squall. "Why Y'all Gotta Hate?", posted on 19 November 2007 at jadziadrgnrdr's LiveJournal. (Accessed 04 October 2008.)
  7. Sidewinder. "Can this be made any clearer?", posted on ? November 2007 at sidewinder's LiveJournal. (Access locked?)
  8. Wistfuljane. "The etymology of the term: bandom", posted on 23 November 2007 at wistfuljane's LiveJournal. (Accessed on 04 October 2008.)
  9. Wells, Heather G. "Regarding the terms 'bandom' and 'bandslash'....", posted on 30 November 2007 at screwthedaisies' LiveJournal. (Accessed on 04 October 2008.)
  10. Sheera. "Identifier, communities, and language, oh my!", posted on 01 December 2007 at trascendenza's LiveJournal. (Accessed on 04 October 2008.)
  11. Fan History Ebandom. Retrieved 06 October 2008 from Internet Archive: http://web.archive.org/web/20080122110429/http://www.fanhistory.com/index.php/Ebandom.
  12. Rashbaum, Hector. "Band + Fandom = Bandom. Wait, no.", posted on 28 April 2008 at hector_rashbaum's LiveJournal. (Accessed 04 October 2008.)
  13. Bexone. Untitled, posted on 29 April 2008 at bexone's LiveJournal. (Accessed 04 October 2008.)
  14. Wistfuljane. "Poll: Bandslash vs Bandom Usage", posted on 30 April 2008 at wistfuljane's LiveJournal. (Accessed 04 October 2008.)
  15. Discussion in wistfuljane's LJ, posted 02 May 2008. (Accessed 05 October 2008.)
  16. Wistfuljane. Terminology & Statistics!, posted on 03 May 2008 at wistfuljane's LiveJournal. (Accessed 04 October 2008.)
Related Concepts, Fandoms, Terms, Fanworks
See also Bandslash, Bandom, Popslash, Rockfic, RPF
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