Large fandoms—things like Doctor Who, or Supernatural, or Star Trek, or any superhero comic—tend to have unique and separate sides to them: curative and transformative.

Curative fandom is all about knowledge. It’s about making sure that everything is lined up and in order, knowing how it works, and finding out which one is the best. What is the Doctor Who canon? Who is the best Doctor? How do Weeping Angels work? Etc etc. Curative fandom is p. much the norm on reddit, especially r/gallifrey.

Transformative fandom is about change. Let’s write fic! Let’s make art! Let’s make a fan vid! Let’s cosplay! Let’s somehow change the text. Why is Three easier to ship, while Seven is more difficult? What would happen if ______? Transformative fandom is more or less the norm on tumblr. (And livejournal, and dreamwidth, and fanfiction websites, and…)

Here’s the big thing: there’s a gender split. Find a random male fan, and they’ll probably be in curative fandom. Pick a random transformative fandom-er, and they’ll probably be female. Note that this is phrased in a very particular way—obviously there’s guys who cosplay and write fic, obviously there’s women who don’t. But men tend to be in the curative fandom, while transformative fandom is predominately women—and/or queer people, POC, etc. Why? Because the majority of professionally-made media is catered towards a straight white male demographic, leaving little room for ‘outsiders.’ Outsiders who, if they want to see themselves in media, have to attack it and change it—hence slash fic, hence long essays claiming that Hermione Granger is black, hence canons about trans characters or genderqueer characters.

And then curative/male fandom tends to view most things that transformative/female fandom does with disdain. Why? Because, in their eyes, it devalues canon. Who cares about knowing about Tony Stark’s lovers if somebody’s gonna write a fic where Toni Stark is flying about? Their power is lessened. Scream of the Shalka is unambiguously not canon—but it doesn’t have to be in order for me to read and enjoy a 30k fic where the robotic Master was secretly in the TARDIS during Nine and Ten’s time and they shagged behind the scenes. Canon? No, but who gives a shit?

Also, as transformative fandom tends to be an outsider looking in, they’re much more likely to analyze the work from a queer/PoC/neurodivergent/gender perspective. If I come to /r/gallifrey and start to talk about how ‘In the Forest of the Night’ had a questionable portrayal of mental health/autism, I get blank stare. If I go on tumblr, I get a conversation. This is also where the ‘overreacting, shrieking SJW’ trope plays in, either because of a redditor’s misunderstanding of terms and therefore assuming that a mild critique is a scathing one, or because the tumblr user in question is young/inexperienced and jumping the gun.

So, there you have it: /r/gallifrey’s bashing of reddit is part of a larger split in how men and women tend to enjoy fandom, and a lashing against how fanfiction/related things addresses fandom because it’s not the right “kind” of fandom. And also because tumblr is popular with teenage girls, and there’s nothing reddit loves more than shitting on whatever teenage girls like.

reddit user lordbyonic on the difference between reddit and tumblr fandom

but it also explains WHY fanfic (and the population of people who read it) is largely written by women

(via iloveyouandilikeyou)

I’d love to see a Black Widow movie. I think it will [happen]. It has to. We’ll rally for it. We’ll get it started.

I want to get across that bisexuality isn’t just a transitional state from being straight to gay, or that, you know, you just help out when the homosexuals are all busy.

Alan Cumming on NPR

I just laughed so hard at this that I felt like I needed to record it somewhere. (via lizdexia)

And to everyone in this Congress who still refuses to raise the minimum wage, I say this: If you truly believe you could work full-time and support a family on less than $15,000 a year, go try it.

President Barack Obama (via minishcap)

What have you learned in writing the series?

I’m learning the same lesson every single time. I’m learning to trust the process. I’m trying to remember that writing should be a form of play. I keep saying the fate of the free world does not hang in the balance. Even if I write a book that fails, nothing will happen. I’ll be mortified and embarrassed, but lives will not be lost over this. I take writing terribly seriously, and sometimes that just gets in my way. Writing is about the Shadow, which is about play. I just have to learn that again. And, in my own life, it’s like I can’t learn that I’ll rise to the occasion. I do rise to the occasion, but I’m never sure that’s going to happen. I keep thinking, Uh-oh, this is going to be the book that does me in. So that frightens me so desperately that I get into a panic when I should shut my mouth and get on with it.

Since 1980, guess how much of the growth in income the 90% got? Nothing. None. Zero. In fact, it’s worse than that. The average family not in the top 10% makes less money than a generation ago. So who got the increase in income over the last 32 years? One-hundred percent of it went to the top 10%. All of the new money earned in this economy over the past generation — all that growth in the GDP — went to the top. All of it.

There’s this great myth out there that we call the “Over-consumption Myth,” which goes: If you earn a decent income, and you’re in trouble financially, it must be because you’re blowing all your money at the Gap, and TGIF. The myth is so powerful, it almost seems like heresy to question it. But when we actually looked into the data on what real families actually spend, it’s just not true. An average family of four actually spends less on clothing than their parents did a generation ago, adjusted for inflation. That includes all the Tommy Hilfiger sweatshirts and all the Nike sneakers. How does this work? Well we forget all the things we don’t spend money on anymore — how many kids have leather shoes for Sunday school anymore? How many people dress up in wool suits for work everyday?

The point is that families today are spending their money no more foolishly than their parents did. And yet they’re five times more likely to go bankrupt, and three times more likely to lose their homes. Families are going broke on the basics —housing, health insurance, and education. These are the kind of bills that you can’t just trim around the edges in the event of a downturn.

Amelia Tyagi (via moontyger)

Yes. This. I can’t tell you how many times I have been around and around and over and under our budget, and there’s nothing else left to cut. I shop carefully — my son’s summer clothes come from thrift stores because he grows so fast, his school clothes come from Old Navy, bought on sale a season ahead of time with coupons and during ‘clearance even on clearance.’

My groceries are healthy but careful.

My only indulgence is my tablet, and that’s $23 a month until it’s paid off. Hardly a bank-breaker.

(via vaspider)

A minimum of 50% of the expensive, nice, electronic things in our home have been gifts from one parent or another. Including one of his cars. We’re shaving so finely in the budget I’m nagging him about the $5 he spends on a drink and snack when he buys gas, and worried about the $5 I spend on lunch at work.

The death of a police officer is never something to be celebrated, let alone as retribution for a totally unrelated crime. Putting a target on the back of all police officers because of the poor judgement of some members of the force is no better than making unfair and unreasonable assumptions about an entire group people because of the color of their skin. Black lives matter, but so do the lives of police officers.

Those who are celebrating the shooting of the New York City cops as a win for #BlackLivesMatter are missing the point of the movement for police reform entirely. The goal of the protests isn’t to eliminate the police force, or to exact bloody vengeance from every police officer who walks the streets. It’s to reform an inherently broken system that’s plagued by institutionalized racism, inequality and the frequent use of unnecessary force by officers who aren’t held accountable by their superiors or the courts. It’s to ensure that we have more good cops than bad, not to make sure we have no cops at all.

An Open Letter to Non-Vaxxers:

Tonight, while enjoying a nice dinner, I got a call from the director of my son’s preschool. She was calling to tell me that they had made the decision to put my son in a different class because two children in the class he was supposed to be in have “opted out” of their vaccines. This may not sound like a big thing. He is still in the Tuesday-Thursday class, and since he doesn’t start school until next Tuesday, it’s not like he has to get readjusted to a whole new class. No harm, no foul. Actually, this is a big deal—a very big deal. You see, my son is immunocompromised. He has cancer. He was fully vaccinated and supporting the whole “herd immunity” thing before his cancer diagnosis, but that darn chemo wiped out his immunity to the communicable diseases against which he had already been vaccinated.

So, parents who choose to not vaccinate because you feel it’s the “right choice for your family”, I would like to thank you. Thank you for adding yet another worry to my plate and my husband’s plate. You see, we already worry about a lot—it’s an unfortunate part of your child having cancer—you worry every night. On top of worrying about things like relapse, organ toxicity brought on by chemo, debilitating late effects of chemo, secondary cancers brought on by chemo, the mental effects of having more than three years of painful treatment, we now get to worry about, of all things, measles. And mumps. And whooping cough. And chicken pox.

Let me explain something about having a child with cancer to you: everything is robbed from your child in some form or another. Friends, Halloween, Christmas, play dates, school. It’s all taken away at some point or another and in some form or another because we have to protect our children from germs, because if they catch the wrong germs during the worst part of treatment, they can die. My son was isolated from everyone except immediate family for an entire year. For parents whose children are going through chemo, the decision to send them to school is a momentous one. It requires a leap of faith and trust in the surrounding community, in your child’s teachers and administrators, and in the families sending their children to school. It requires herd immunity. Now, even though my son is now in a different class than your unvaccinated children, I get to worry about him using the communal bathroom, the playground, and even walking around the halls with them. If there is an outbreak of measles in, say, Austin this winter, I won’t know if you have relatives in Austin and went to go see those relatives for Uncle Bobby’s birthday. I won’t know if your child was exposed to measles at the Austin Chuck-E-Cheese and then showed up at school on Tuesday. Oh, I’m sure you’ll do your due diligence and call the school to inform everyone that your child has come down with a case of the measles once it appears, but, the damage is done—the exposure to my immunocompromised child has already happened. It’s too late. Your choice just earned him a ticket to the hospital. Your choice just earned him a lot of shots and more toxic drugs in the desperate effort to stave off whatever disease your unvaccinated child passed to him. If, God forbid, he does come down with that disease, your choice just earned him a trip to the Pediatric ICU for a while—days, maybe weeks. Your choice may cost us our son. Who knows—it depends on how his already stressed body handles everything.

People like to say that in choosing to not vaccinate, they are making the “best choice for their family”, and that, after all, their children are the ones at risk, not other people’s children. No, sorry, you’re wrong. Choosing to home school is a choice that is made in the best interest of a family—it impacts nobody but your family. Choosing to eat all organic and locally grown food is a choice that impacts nobody but your family. For that matter, choosing to eat nothing but fast food and frozen meals is a choice that impacts nobody but your family. Choosing to not vaccinate impacts my family and my immunocompromised son. It impacts the teacher who is pregnant and teaching your non-vaccinated child. It impacts the man going through chemo who happened to be behind you in the grocery store when your unvaccinated child sneezed. It impacts the mom next to you at the pick up line at school who is on immunosuppressive drugs for her rheumatoid arthritis and who is bending down to hug her child just as your unvaccinated child coughs. Your “choice” has repercussions for your community.

Part of the cost of living in a first world country is that you have to do things that support the community in which you live. You pay taxes to pay for the police that respond to your 911 calls, to pay for the teachers who teach your children, and to pay for roads to be plowed and paved. You obey traffic laws to ensure an orderly flow of traffic. You don’t shout “fire” in a crowded theater because to do so would cause pandemonium and chaos. Sometimes, to live in a place with the privileges we enjoy here in America, you suck it up and do things you don’t want to do because it’s for the communal good. If everyone chose otherwise, we would not be a first world country. We would be a country without laws, roads, and schools. We would be a country overrun with disease. Your responsibility to your community is to vaccinate your child. The number of people who actually, literally, physically can’t have vaccines is extraordinarily small. The number of people who choose to not vaccinate is not—it’s growing. These people cite a vague unease about the number of vaccines a child gets or statistics they learned from Internet memes on autism. They confess conspiracy theories about Big Pharma and how it’s all a ploy to get doctors and pharmacists rich. They share anecdotes of a college friend’s neighbor’s son who got so sick from his vaccine he was hospitalized. They say their child got incredibly sick from the one round of vaccines he or she got at his 2 month visit, and they said they’re not vaccinating anymore. Guess what—if your child is sitting here today, talking, walking, eating, laughing, playing, and learning, he or she wasn’t that ill from the vaccine. He or she got a fever and reacted to the vaccine—it doesn’t mean they had an “adverse” reaction.

I am horrified, non-vaxxers, that you are so quick to forget the lessons of history. You’re spoiled and selfish because you have never seen the horrors of a society in which vaccines are not available. Perhaps you should talk to my mother about her neighbor growing up—the one who contracted German measles while pregnant with her third child. That third child was born deaf and with brain damage, thanks to his mother catching that communicable—and now preventable—disease while pregnant. Perhaps you should talk to anyone over the age of 60 about what it was like when polio was around—how nobody was allowed to go swimming or use public drinking fountains for fear of catching that dreaded—and now preventable—disease. Perhaps you should talk to the parents of a child with cancer whose daughter spent a month in the Pediatric ICU during treatment because she caught chicken pox—a preventable disease—from an unvaccinated classmate. Perhaps you should take a trip to a third world country and explain to them why they should not be lining up in droves to get their children vaccinated by the Red Cross or other relief organizations. Perhaps, better yet, you should keep your children out of school.

Alex Pomadoni via Imgur (via skywalkingintheair)