Elitism in Fandom

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There are huge cultural gaps between many different groups in fandom with different views on how inclusive or exclusive fannish spaces and practices should be. When these groups clash, it is often over the issue of elitism; the belief that one group of fans sees themselves as better than another group of fans for any number of reasons. Accusations of fandom elitism may also come into play when one group of fans feel excluded from an activity or event, for example fans who feel left out because they cannot access print zines through online means. Fandom elitism may overlap with gatekeeping in fandom.

Groups, practices, events, and so on that have sometimes been accused of being elitist include:

  • BNFs
  • Spaces that are temporarily or permanently invitation-only such as Dreamwidth and the Archive of Our Own
  • LiveJournal communities with closed membership, such as damnyouwentz
  • Awards for fanworks of any kind
  • Archives for fanworks which are selective on quality, such as the Henneth Annûn Story Archive
  • Writers of MST3K fic and others who police quality, such as The Literate Union
  • Print only Fanzines, because they are inaccessible to net fans
  • The No Stairway Anthology, an online anthology of fanfic in Supernatural fandom
  • Some consider the concept/term feral fan elitist
  • Some within the Teratophilia community who see "vanilla" monsters, like catgirls or werewolves, as not being monster enough to count as teratophilia
  • Fans of canon ships may be seen as elitist by those with non-canon ships when they argue that non-canon ships shouldn't be shipped at all for not being realistic
  • Alternatively, some shippers of noncanon ships may look down on canon shippers for a perceived lack of creativity or for not not being transformative enough.
  • Furry lifestylers of the furry fandom
  • Animators in the YouTube Multi Animator Project community who don't allow certain free software usage such as Flipaclip, which has a non-removable watermark
  • Fans who have the time, money, and ideal location to travel to conventions, as well as afford sometimes expensive cosplays, may be seen as elitist by those who cannot attend or afford higher-end cosplays. Links with classism have been discussed.
  • Those who can make a living solely by selling original species adoptables, and those who can afford to buy them

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