Geek Feminism Wiki

Media Fandom is a broad, poorly-defined term for a segment of fandom which is generally interested in TV shows and movies as its primary focus, and which encourages creative fanworks. Media fandom is often described in opposition to Science Fiction Fandom, however there is a lot of crossover between the two.

The differences commonly described between media and science fiction fandom are:

  • Media fandom = tv shows, science fiction fandom = books
  • Media fandom tends more female and younger
  • Media fandom centres around communication on LiveJournal and similar platforms
  • Media fandom encourages fannish creative works such as fan fiction and fanvids while SF fandom prefers professionally created works

These are all vast simplifications; it's more complicated. One article attempting to talk about whether there is really a binary divide, and if so, which lines it breaks down along, is oliviacirce's Admitting impediments, posted in response to a panel on "Media vs Book Fandom" at WisCon in 2009.


As a predominantly female group, media fandom has very different issues from those of women in other geek cultures.

  • Media fandom is often ignored or dismissed by SF fans or by the wider culture
  • Media fans are often described as 13 year old girls or as "bored housewives" in a further attempt to belittle them
  • The use of LiveJournal as a primary platform for communication is dismissed in similar ways. See Jonquil's It's only LiveJournal (part of a wider discussion about race in SF fandom and media fandom, in which the two groups were often in opposition)
  • Media fans' creative efforts are often dismissed/ignored in favour of men's efforts, even if the women's ones predate and outnumber the men's. See eg:
"Remix culture didn't start with the Internet. Women have been vidding, or making music videos with found footage, since at least 1975, when Kandy Fong made her first slideshows."
    • FanLib, a commercial fan fiction website launched in 2007, had an all male board of directors and seemed not to realise that fan fiction authors are largely female. The Fan History wiki has some more information, including a stunningly clueless advertisement featuring a male fan fiction writer going from 90lb weakling to muscled studliness by using FanLib.



  • FanLib
  • academic at conference claims fan videos invented by male anime fans in 1990s

Further reading[]