I was at my retail job, thanking the powers above for giving me 15 whole minutes without having to ring up a customer or clean out a dressing room with seven pairs of pants thrown onto the floor when a conversation arose between me and my boss about the hypocrisy between society’s treatment of fangirls and fanboys.
Typically, you never even hear the term “fanboy” when speaking of adult men who are fans of something. My point already seems proven by the blatant sexism in the very language of fandoms.
This discussion was sparked by the one and only, Taylor Swift.
It may be shocking, but young women can love things without being crazy and obsessive fangirls.
And if they are obsessed, then why not let them be? What’s the harm in loving something that much? As long as they’re not showing up to Jack Antanoff’s wedding level of obsession, what’s the problem?
Young women can be obsessive without the reproval that young men seem to escape from.
I am a huge Swiftie, a term coined by the Taylor Swift fandom, and I would honestly say the best night of my life was attending the Eras Tour. Nothing, including the birth of my firstborn, will ever come close to singing the bridge of “Cruel Summer” under a beautiful sunset in a crowd of over 70,000 people.
Of course, I’m joking about the firstborn thing. Obviously, that will be a close second.
Does this make me crazy or obsessed? Should society look down upon me for loving something? Absolutely not.
Swifties aren’t the first fanbase dominated by young women and girls to be scrutinized by society, particularly men. Remember Beliebers? Directioners? Girls as young as ten were labeled insane for loving their idols.
Are young boys and men looked at the same for loving sports? For example, is my best friend Colin Luderitz viewed the same for loving the “Ice Age” franchise more than the ill-fated Scrat loves his elusive acorn? Absolutely not.
I mean, I saw firsthand what can happen when a man loves something a little too much as I am also a Buffalo Bills fan.
Fans pay hundreds of dollars to attend a game and then twenty dollars more to park on some old guy’s lawn. I have also seen dozens of tailgates along the way to Highmark Stadium filled with cheering men, sometimes not wearing shirts despite the freezing weather and lots of alcohol. The most notable thing I witnessed was men slamming their bodies onto a folding table, and jumping from the roof of an RV.
Bills Mafia isn’t even the worst of them. Utter fear runs through my veins as the Philadelphia Eagles inch closer to getting to play in the Super Bowl.
You may ask, how bad could these fanboys be?
Here’s a brief list of things Philadelphia sports fans have done over the years: arson, scaling lampposts, eating horse feces, throwing batteries at players, and throwing batteries at a Santa and then each other.
Not only have Philly sports fans done those things, but in 1989, “instigated by the future mayor of Philadelphia and governor of Pennsylvania, Ed Rendell, Eagles fans blasted Dallas Cowboys coach Jimmy Johnson with snowballs.”
But God forbid two teenage girls trade friendship bracelets at The Eras Tour.
Another criticism of Swifties is how much money they spend on tickets to Swift’s concerts.
Meanwhile, The Football USA reported that the “Super Bowl ticket price range from just below $5,000 and the maximum is around $36,000 for the most premium seats in 2023.”
This doesn’t go for the resale tickets with the average cost being $3,801, which is still less than the Super Bowl.
And my ticket for the 200’s section of MetLife Stadium was only $253.
So Swifties are crazy for emptying their savings for a concert but it’s okay for adult men to do so when it’s a bunch of other grown men throwing a ball around and tackling each other?
Whether it’d be musical fandoms like Barbs or Beatlemaniacs, or film ones such as Ringers (“Lord Of The Rings”) and Twihards (“Twilight”), one thing is clear: there is a double standard against young women who show passion for something.
I rue the day Swifties start throwing themselves onto tables at tailgates because we will never hear the end of it.