“What is the opposite of fandom? Disinterest. Dislike. Disgust. Hate. Anti-fandom.”Melilssa A. Click. Anti-Fandom: Dislike and Hate in the Digital Age
The anti-fandom(s) – and anti-fan(s) – of 2020 look far different from what Jonathan Gray put together in 2003’s “New Audiences, New Textualities” when he described anti-fans as, “those who strongly dislike a given text or genre, considering it inane, stupid, morally bankrupt and/or aesthetic drivel,” (70).
The internet and fandom as we know it have both changed drastically in the past decade and change since he first attempted to provide that definition – a definition that Gray himself has tried to expand upon and contextualize across the years, culminating in his essay in Melissa A. Click’s collection on anti-fandom referenced in the introductory quote.
At this point, if you’re in transformative fandom, you’re probably faintly aware of the term “anti” and the variety of ways it’s used to describe other people in fandom who seem to be against fandom in some way that is rarely fully explained.
In part because most of the people explaining it… can’t explain it very well because they have wildly varying definitions of what an anti is and what anti behavior looks like.
At this point in fandom and fandom discourse, what is most “anti”/opposite/against fandom is not letting fans do what they want without any criticism whatsoever. Which includes, as I’ve noted across the years… fans creating purposefully or incidentally racist fanworks.
I mean, really… considering that when John Boyega was getting shat on by Rey/Kylo fans – members of a fanbase that’d been harassing him and shitting on him publicly for his entire time in the Star Wars sequel trilogy – I saw tweets accusing him of “siding with fandom antis” –
It becomes clear that in many fandom spacesm, the term “anti” at this point is mostly meaningless.
(And that Black people who aren’t doing what fandom wants will always be viewed and (mis) treated as outside of or against (anti) fandom.)