David Duchovny Estrogen Brigade

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Mailing List
Name: David Duchovny Estrogen Brigade
Date(s): September 1993-?
Moderated:
Moderators/List Maintainers: Sarah Stegall
Founder(s): Julia Kosatka and Kellie Matthews-Simmons
Type: private mailing list
Fandom: The X-Files
URL: FAQ: David Duchovny: The Definitive FAQ, Archived version
the original page was here
Click here for related articles on Fanlore.

David Duchovny Estrogen Brigade was an Estrogen Brigade for the X-Files character Fox Mulder. It was formed in September 1993, shortly after the first episode of The X-Files aired. [1] It was a closed mailing list with about 40-50 members. It was the third estrogen brigade created.

There were three: DDEB (created September 1993), DDEB2 (January 1994), and DDEB3 (shortly after January 1994). The latter two were formed in reaction to previous lists being full and closed.

The first DDEB was created by a member Kellie Matthews-Simmons and Julia Kosatka and modeled after similar Star Trek groups: Starfleet Ladies' Auxiliary and Embroidery and Baking Society and Patrick Stewart Estrogen Brigade, as well as the first estrogen brigade, Siddig El Faddil Estrogen Brigade.

The Gillian Anderson Testosterone Brigade was formed at roughly the same time. [2]

A similar group was The Duchovniks.

Fans not on the actual mailing list were able to visit the FAQ page, a website that had a lot of information about the star. Many fans confused being able to access the FAQ page with being on the mailing list, and perhaps didn't even know a mailing list existed.

From one of its spokespeople in 1996: "The David Duchovny Estrogen Brigade is not a drool group. We post info on the man, answer endless repeated questions about his height, weight, etc., and generally act as a clearinghouse for info about him. Individual members sometimes write fan fic (and only a small percentage of that is NC-17) about *the show*.... We don't post drooling messages. We don't send underwear to him. We don't stalk him. People who *claim* to members of our group may do so, may screech their throats raw at his public appearances, and write bad poetry about him on the Net. We can't help it if people appropriate our name without our knowledge." [3]

Why the Popularity of This Brigade?

The "David Duchovny Estrogen Brigade" was especially influential in that the media gave it much exposure. This was due to 1) how media latches onto things and doesn't let go or dig deeper, 2) the DDEB's spokespeople were very charismatic and visible, 3) people were just becoming aware of the internet and all the wonders therein, 4) X-Files was wildly popular, and 5) the idea of women gathering together and talking frankly about sexual desire was novel.

In 1996, a fan asked how she could join the Brigade and was told: "Yeah, you and 2,000 other Phemale Philes...it is a closed list." [4]

From 1996: "The David Duchovny Estrogen Brigade(tm) is a mailing list. There are two other DDEBs, DDEB2 and DDEB3, which share the (trademarked) name. They are also mailing lists. None of them are open to new members, having had to limit their membership to avoid overwhelming the capacities of their members and their servers." [5]

Some 1994 Complaints of Exclusivity

In December 1994, the subject of exclusivity arose:

Sarah Stegall wrote:
I won't presume to speak for Kellie, Kirsten, but I can say that there are only 38 people on the mailing list. Period. Some of them are off-line due to server problems, but they are members. And Enrico, no, I would not vote to open DDEB if we got God's own server--not because I am an elitist but because, after nearly a year, we are like family. [snip] We have never confined ourselves solely to David, and anyone else butting into the conversation now would find herself wholly lost. I cannot speak for the other members of the Brigade, nor would I want to, but my vote, if it came to that, would be a resounding "no". Just my opinion. Sarah Stegall, David Duchovny Estrogen Brigade. [6]
dith answered:
I understand, Sarah, but I think that if what you say is true (and I'm sure it is) then perhaps it's time to change the name of the group to something that reflects what you really are, a close group of friends, rather than a fan group (which is what the name implies.) The name originally was open for anyone to claim (I remember -- i've been reading a.t.x. almost as long as it's been here, not that anyone cares) and though I smiled tolerantly when it became a fixed, "closed" group, it's getting to be a bit of a pain, all the postings here about how you are you folks and no one else and everyone who thinks they are DDEB is just full of it. I have no quarrel with a closed group (well, maybe just a little, since like everyone else I like to think I am an intelligent, interesting person and there's a little sour grapes available for all of us who weren't good enough (or cliquish enough) to get into the DDEB when it formed, not realizing that it was going to become the X-Files Illuminati) but I do think that if y'all insist on the name, you are going to have to A. live with other people, not in your group, using it, and B. live with an increasing reputation on the net for being grumpy elitist snob-women (which has already started, and which you aren't, as far as I know, so if I were you it would distress me.) [7]
Polly Moller responded:
If I had my way, everybody who wanted to call themselves DDEB would do so. However, after all this time, we've become very protective of what we've got. Witness the DDEB2--after acquiring a large number of members, the list voted to close itself rather than sacrifice beloved members to the increased mail volume. I was _really_ sad then, because in founding DDEB2, I thought I had solved a problem for everyone. Instead, it followed the same pattern the original Brigade had. It appears that lists such as ours have a way of taking on a life of their own....It does distress me [to be referred to as 'elitist snob-women], as we're nothing of the sort. There appears to be very little any of us can say to reassure everyone that we are not. Hence the defensive mother-tiger posture I've been seeing. Someday soon there will be a DDEB3 for those who still want to be a part of the Brigade. Will that please everybody? Will we stop getting criticized/flamed/misunderstood? I don't know. It really bugs me as I'm one of the proponents of Brigadierhood for all who seek it...it just can't be accomplished right now. [8]
dith responded:
What distresses us (or me, at least) most are people telling me what my group is and what it isn't and how terrible we are that we like it the way it is. I know we're an incredibly charismatic and absolutely *fascinating* (OW! It *hurts* to talk with my tongue that far into my cheek! :-) group of women, but there are just as many other wonderful people out there *why* would anyone want to crash our group. And that's what it would be now. Crashing. If you (and that's a generic you) saw a group of people having a cookout in a park would you go over and invite yourself to join in? Probably not. But there's nothing keeping you from getting together a bunch of your friends and having your own cookout. Then we all come *here* to play together. [9]

DDEB

David Duchovny Estrogen Brigade Creative Archive

DDEB2

David Duchovny Estrogen Brigade 2 Creative Archive

DDEB3

The archivist was Miri.

It was formed in 1994, shortly after the second list.

banner

Some fics, poems, and filks: DDEB3: Creative Works, Archived version

Some awards: DDEB3: About Us, Archived version

The site's motto was "Where Magic and Technology Meet."

The DDEB3 mailing list is a very fun place to be. I started the list when the DDEB2 list had been closed awhile, but it was still constantly getting subscription requests. Our list filled up in a mere week - such is the power of David. ;) We have a lot of fun together - we celebrate each other's happy times and commiserate in the sad. I've made friends here I want to keep for life.

The main reason I put the archive up isn't original at all: the other DDEB sites had links to their members' fanfic. :) Also, I was looking for ways to make the site more about us (this was before that evil Duchovny photo gallery took over the whole thing [grin] ) and less about Duchovny. Not that we don't appreciate David, but the DDEB3 list is more about us than it is about Duchovny, so I wanted the site to reflect that. After all, people often pour a lot of themselves into fanfic. I'm still looking for more ways to make it about us...much harder to do that now that the photo gallery has grown to absolutely ridiculous (but rather fun) proportions.

FYI: The motto of the group comes from Mr. Duchovny's not-quite-finished doctoral dissertation entitled Magic and Technology in Contemporary Poetry and Prose. Now you know. [10]

The Brigade Now

In a 2012 interview, Sarah Stegall, one of the founding members said: " Back in 1993, I was one of the original members of the DDEB – David Duchovny Estrogen Brigade. We were a closed e-mail group because the servers were catching fire from the amount of traffic on the list, and we have been on-line chatting with each other, every single day, 365 days a year. Next year will be our twentieth anniversary. Some of the members have bowed out, some of them are still with us. A couple of them were actually journalists. I won’t give you their names, but they reported on The X-Files, they interviewed people. You would recognize their names. It’s been going on for decades." [11]

Subject of Academic Study

This mailing list was discussed heavily in the book "Cyberspaces of Their Own: Female Fandoms Online" by Rhiannon Bury (2005).

References

  1. from "Cyberspaces of Their Own: Female Fandoms Online by Rhiannon Bury"
  2. alt.tv.x-files 20 Questions, Archived version
  3. alt.tv.x-files, comment by Sarah Stegall, 1996
  4. alt.tv.x-files
  5. alt.tv.x-files, comment by Sarah Stegall, 1996
  6. alt.tv.x-files
  7. alt.tv.x-files, comment by dith
  8. alt.tv.x-files, comment by Polly Moller
  9. alt.tv.x-files, comment by dith
  10. XF FanFic Links: Featured Page, Archived version
  11. The X-Files Lexicon Interview with Sarah Stegall