Lunchbox Letter: Toxic Fandom

Hi kids, 

It’s your moms. Now that you’ve listened to our episode on Toxicity in Fandom, you’re ready to tackle bigger issues, such as making Fandom a safe space for everyone. Below are a few key notes to remember while you’re dismantling toxicity in the fandom of your choice. 

  1. Know the signs: 
    1. Like we said in the episode, toxic fandoms are a mix of possessiveness, entitlement, and a sense of superiority. When your fandom friends start saying things like “This artist owes me….”, “I’ve been a fan since before….”, and “That’s my favorite artist because…..” you are reaching a point of fandom toxicity with that person. When a group of fans begins to express these thoughts and feelings, your fandom has reached a point of toxicity and it is time to re-evaluate your space within that fandom. Please know that re-evaluating your relationship with the fandom is not the same as abandoning the content that you are attempting to consume. It’s simply ensuring that your own thoughts and feelings are not part of the overall toxicity that is infiltrating your group. 
  2. Call it out:
    1. When you see something, say something. This is fandom, not the police, so snitches will not get stitches. If you see any of the aforementioned concerning behaviors mixed into your fandom experience, call it out. CALL IT OUT! Silence is violence so open your mouth. This is important because if you can call out someone’s toxic fandom ideologies, it’s more likely that you’ll be able to call out their real world toxicity. Hear someone being a raging racist? You’re more likely to call them out if you’ve had a bit of practice within the confines of your fandom. CALL THAT STUFF OUT!
  3. Keep an open mind: 
    1. Last, but not least, keep your mind open. You may feel that you are the holy grail of acceptance and understanding but that might not be reality. Reality is knowing that we all continue to learn and grow each and every day. So if someone calls you out for doing something that promotes toxicity within the fandom -we’ve all been there once or twice because we’re not perfect – then keep your mind open and listen to what they have to say. Remember, it’s okay to disagree with what they say as long as you’re not disagreeing for the sake of disagreeing. 

We hope you have a wonderful day dismantling toxicity within your favorite fandom. Please clean up your room…we’ve been asking you for three days.

Love

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