Rucka was reacting to a T-shirt for sale at WonderCon. The T-shirt says "I like my fangirls how I like my coffee. I hate coffee". HA! HAHAHA! It's funny because WHO HATES COFFEE, right?! Right?!
Of course not. It seems women aren't totally welcome at these conventions. "some asshole thinks selling a shirt that, essentially, says, GURLS STAY OUT is funny. Heâs talking to my wife. Heâs talking to my daughter. Heâs talking to my friends. Heâs talking to my fans. Heâs talking to some of the best writers in the industry, some of the most gifted artists, some of the most talented creators in the arts. GURLS STAY OUT. Heh heh heh."
Urban Dictionary's top definition for fangirl is hostile: "A rabid breed of human female who is obesessed with either a fictional character or an actor. Similar to the breed of fanboy. Fangirls congregate at anime conventions and livejournal. Have been known to glomp, grope, and tackle when encountering said obesessions [sic]."
I do know a lot about misogyny masquerading as humour at which women are supposed to laugh, to banter over and to leave.
This is perhaps why I'd missed the fangirl hostility. Which is silly, because I've seen it. I've seen it in TV shows where a girl with an enthusiasm for something usually reserved (reserved?!) for geek boys is treated as freakish. I've seen it in the webcomic Something Positive in which the Spay your Catgirl poster was frequently promoted. Subcultures are assumed to be safe spaces. Subcultures are not safe spaces.
If a band I love is in town I will go and see them. I would not, however, traverse the globe. That would make me 'crazy' (and broke, mostly broke). If a man (and I do know men who have traversed the globe/country for a band) did that he would be broke and a serious fan. A proper fan.
The online Oxford Dictionary definition of fangirl is a little more accommodating: "A female fan, especially one who is obsessive about comics, film, music, or science fiction:your average fangirl, despite the implication of the name, is a grown-up".
As I say, I don't know much about this world of ComicCons very well. I do know a lot about misogyny masquerading as humour at which women are supposed to laugh, to banter over and to leave.
As Rucka says: "This fandom, that fandom, guess what? It doesn't belong to you.
You don't own it. You partake in it. It's called community.
You want something to be your thing, make a club, build a tree-fort, and do us a favor. Don't come down."
I don't think the fangirls are going anywhere. So if you're scared of fangirls, if you're scared of sharing with them, of talking to them, of welcoming them...well, you better get building that tree house.