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Author Topic: Has Friendship is Magic impacted you in any way?  (Read 2626 times)

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Offline Nemesis

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Re: Has Friendship is Magic impacted you in any way?
« Reply #15 on: October 11, 2020, 04:44:16 AM »
Hmm... Well, for me it mostly just felt like another MLP generation. I don’t know if I’d say it particularly impacted me positively or negatively.

It DID give me a chance to see a MLP movie in theaters for the first time in my lifetime, so that’s something. X3 I also enjoyed seeing MLP get to be a huge, popular phenomenon for the first time since G1. G3 certainly wasn’t UNpopular, but it never achieved the fad/mania status that FiM did at its peak.

I guess there are ways I feel like it’s positively and negatively impacted the franchise and fandom as a whole, but just not ME on any personal, meaningful level. I enjoyed the ride quite a bit, but it didn’t make or break anything for me, y’know?
« Last Edit: October 11, 2020, 04:46:42 AM by Nemesis »
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Offline brightberry

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Re: Has Friendship is Magic impacted you in any way?
« Reply #16 on: October 11, 2020, 05:04:30 AM »
I’ve been a fan of ponies since G1. I enjoyed the first few seasons of FIM.  But the cruder side of the fandom did eventually ruin it for me.

I do still love the tiny blind bag ponies.  They’re just so colorful and cute when displayed together.

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Re: Has Friendship is Magic impacted you in any way?
« Reply #17 on: October 11, 2020, 08:11:12 AM »
Well, the most glaring thing that FIM has done for me is get me into pony as a whole. I never would have fallen in love with the pastel ponies from all gens if I never took that first step in late 2013/early 2014.
The most important thing FIM has impacted me was getting me into cartoons as a career. I’ve been told my whole life that I will do something with science. But I wasn’t too sure I wanted to follow on that plan. But if I didn’t become a scientist, what would I be? I had no other skills, and little confidence in whatever else I did have. But after being inspired by the show and the people who worked on it, my future dreams changed from vague ideas others had told me to dreams where I truly saw myself.
FIM was a gateway to who I am now. It ignited within me a spark that I hope to carry forwards once I start my career. A spark I can put in my own creation, and hopefully inspire some other 13 year old girl to follow her passions. Light the next torch. But my own would never have been lit if not for a group of six little ponies.
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Offline Taffeta

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Re: Has Friendship is Magic impacted you in any way?
« Reply #18 on: October 11, 2020, 08:34:18 AM »
You know, I remember the first ponycon when G4 was involved, and how excited everyone was about it. I remember they screened the pilot there but I can't remember...I think that it had already aired because a lot of the old gen fans seemed to have seen it and know all about it.

I hadn't, I actually watched it for the first time when someone outside of the pony community was talking about it and said that I should watch it.

I think back to that time quite a lot and how excited the existing fanbase was for G4 when it came out. A sense of "finally", I think - a feeling that it was going back to something we could recognise because the person behind it was a fan of G1 MLP.

...It didn't end up that way, for various reasons, but I think it's really important to say that as a generation it was welcomed with open arms by the existing ponypeople, as Ponybookworm also said.

I think if not for that enthusiasm, the negative hit that we all took would have been less pronounced. The community wanted G4 and embraced it fully. And a lot of older gen fans still do with one bit or another of it (for me, nonM6 brushables and EqG). But because of the backlash when the brony movement kicked off - not that the bronies existed, we welcomed that too, but the way that it was a complete rejection of everything pre G4 - I think probably left a lot of folk feeling MLP in general was tainted.

I am not going to speak for SpacePinto either, but I have seen a few older gen pony fans complain that especially the brony phenomenon has been rough on guys who are pony fans but not bronies. There is a general assumption that male fan = brony and I imagine that it's a different level of impact to those of us who identify as female. I've certainly seen a couple of other older gen male fans say it's made it harder for them to acknowledge their collecting to other people and that they are worried about being associated with some of the more negative brony behaviour.
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Offline SunbeamV

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Re: Has Friendship is Magic impacted you in any way?
« Reply #19 on: October 11, 2020, 10:04:25 AM »
I've also got a balance of positives amd negatives from FiM's run.

On the positive side, it really brought out some of the best in me and my friendships and I learned a lot about myself in the process. I find it fascinating how stubborn I can be about something I value, like collecting and documenting the history of MLP and seeing the change in how we see and treat children and their necessities like toys in modern culture. Even though the objective quality of the toys are in an eternal nosedive amd fall apart in months rather than in decades, I'll just keep ramping up my collection maintenance habits because by G*d, i will preserve these things and keep them in presentable and orderly condition.

On the negative side, I am kinda legitimately traumatized by how inappropriate the g4 fandom was allowed to be. I went from freely surfing the internet to look at ponies at 7 years old, to a 15 year old terrified to go to the walmart toy aisle after school and whose mother caught wind of the particularly vocal bronies that acted like freaks and had to sit me town and tell me to avoid them because she was worried for me. It forever changed how I feel and interact with the MLP community because I was eternally walking on eggshells trying to avoid the explosively nsfw content because I was a minor and self aware of that. I spoke up about it many times and was brushed aside every time so I eventually gathered that the safety of children in a fandom for a childrens show/toy was simply not a priority and it messed my head up pretty bad considering I'd already been collecting for almost 10 years by the time of that boom in FiM viewership. I was a 14-15 year old kid who was essentially told "your safety as a child doesn't matter compared to adult's whims and fantasies about something that wasn't even made for them." and like, for real? I hate being around kids because of my migraines and I'd never want any of my own but they deserve so much better than this. Because I got screwed over when I was still a kid and bro it sucks living with that

Offline SpacePinto

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Re: Has Friendship is Magic impacted you in any way?
« Reply #20 on: October 11, 2020, 01:36:28 PM »
Also, I’m sure you might’ve explained in the past as to why the franchise is ruined, thanks to FiM, but could you jog my memory?

Mostly because of the kind of people it attracted to MLP that hadn't been there before and because of whom the franchise and the fandom will never really be the same.
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Offline Minty_Magic

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Re: Has Friendship is Magic impacted you in any way?
« Reply #21 on: October 11, 2020, 04:43:34 PM »
I will say my experience with FiM has been mostly positive. Some negative, but I can twist it into a positive!

The show came out when I was in the middle of high school and frankly having a rough time. I honestly didn’t even KNOW my little pony was back after G3.5, but my dad happened to see something my little pony was coming on tv and recorded it for me. I watched the first episode and was kinda hesitant on the art style at first...but as the story line played out and the characters started to develop, I was in love! I loved Twilights snarky attitude in the first season, I was happy the ponies got to go on more adventures, and I loved that the ponies seemed more “grown up” than the G3 cartoon. It felt like mlp had aged up with me. I remember coming back from school every Friday and being SO excited to watch the newest episode! It really gave me something to look forward to every week.

When the show initially started to gain traction and attention from “older” people in my age group I was really excited. I thought it was cool my weird little niche hobby was becoming mainstream. I went full in on the brony fandom. I never participated too much, but I followed its memes and development really closely. It was fun at the beginning. I thought the first few shoutouts the fandom got in the show and on the hub were like, the most exciting thing ever. I loved the art, the music, and creativity coming from the fandom. I knew there was a dark underbelly to it, but hey, what fandom DOESNT have those people, right? Slowly though I noticed the “few” were actually “many” of the fandom. It got harder and harder to ignore the adult content coming from the fandom. I felt more isolated being a woman in the brony fandom, because I didn’t see the characters as anything more than cute cartoon horses. I felt really uncomfortable seeing the characters from the show put in these overly sexual or overly violent situation. I realized many bronies did not care for the girl positivity message the show was trying to convey. They were somehow getting something totally different from the show than me.

I left the brony sites to come back here, at some point maybe around 2012? I saw that the fandom had spread over here too, and the bronies were causing a lot of heated debate. I still wasn’t super comfortable with all the pony drama, so I mostly laid low. I posted some FiM art here that I was SO proud of at the time. As always, I got lovely feedback from the folks here and I was feeling pretty good about my art! I had tried a lot of new techniques on these pieces and poured hours of work into detailing the backgrounds. I was still shaky on the FiM style, but with these I felt like I was getting there! Well, I was browsing a brony image board a few days later and saw my art had been reposted. Without my permission. But, I was still a teenager at that point. I was frankly kind of flattered. I had always wanted to be featured on a brony site for my art. Unfortunately, the commenters there weren’t so kind. There were only a couple comments, but they were making fun of how I drew Fluttershy. They said she looked like a goblin. I was so hurt that even my best work wasn’t enough for the fandom. At that point I lost interest in participating at all. I just watched the show and bought the toys.

Once I graduated high school and started working and going to college, I still watched the show, and occasionally bought the toys if there was a new character, but really didn’t visit any pony sites anymore. Ultimately, I’m grateful for the burnout though. It gave me a window to go out and explore others interests beyond pony and develop a more rounded personality. At work one day, a co-worker noticed my pony cup and asked if I “knew about...the you know....”.  That’s when I refused to be identified as a brony anymore lol to this day I still correct people and say I’ve been into it way longer than that, and I don’t really associate with that side of the fans. Unless it seems like someone who only knows what a brony is from their kids....then I don’t let on that there is anything weird going on at all. :lol:

Obviously, I came back later. I’m here now and love pony as much as ever! I have....still very mixed feelings about G4. On one hand, I hate the division it created among the community. I hate the reputation bronies created. I hate the boring, cheap, repetitive toys we were left with at the end. But....early g4 still feels really nostalgic to me. I still love the characters, I appreciate the show for what it was, and I’m grateful I had something to look forward to nearly every week for almost 10 years. It’s weird to think that G4 is the last pony generation where I can say I was a kid when I watched it. I mean...teenager, but let’s be real, still a kid. :P

And....that turned into an essay. I’ve never tried to really critically think about my experience with G4, but it undeniably had a rather large impact on my life.
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Offline Aeryala

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Re: Has Friendship is Magic impacted you in any way?
« Reply #22 on: October 11, 2020, 04:58:35 PM »
It's complicated for me. G1 was my childhood and I started collecting ponies as an adult during G3, then I met my husband virtually right around the time that FiM debuted. The show was genuinely great in the beginning and it became something that we bonded over; we were 2000 miles apart and watching FiM was a perfect way to hang out and have something to be into together. There was a period of time before the fandom got visibly gross that it was just fun and almost kinda cool to be into it. I even bought him and a friend brony shirts.

I was so excited that FiM was bringing ponies back into the mainstream, in a way that people of all genders and ages were into, and it was so cool to share this love that I've had my whole life with my partner. When we got married in 2011, Rainbow Dash and Fluttershy were our wedding cake toppers.  When we had to separate again, my husband would read FiM fanfic to me as bedtime stories.

9 years later and the brony shirt is relegated to the pajamas drawer, and the thing that we loved together is  forever tarnished by 4channers and Hasbro's relentless pandering to white male money.

Tldr; Lauren Faust did an awesome thing that I connected with my husband over. And then certain fans ruined it for everyone. Really sad.
« Last Edit: October 11, 2020, 05:02:17 PM by Aeryala »

Offline Taffeta

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Re: Has Friendship is Magic impacted you in any way?
« Reply #23 on: October 11, 2020, 05:01:27 PM »
I also laid pretty low with the brony invasion here and in the wider pony community.

There is a sense from that element of the community that it is the only valid pony fandom and it needs to conquer all other ponies through hate and mockery and negativity. Which when the show is called Friendship is Magic is a pretty big irony. I have not watched enough of G4 to know if that is an idea they could draw from the show or if it's one they invented and imposed on it, but I do know some of the G4 episodes do have a kind of pony > other communities angle that is probably accidental but still feels a bit wrong for a 21st century series.

...I had to remove explicit pony art spam from an anime forum I used to moderate once. I forget why they did it, except they thought it was funny - but I could've lived without seeing any of it.

I've always been of the opinion that the pony community should be for all generation fans and I still feel like that. But I don't see those people as pony fans, and the comments here kind of back up my impressions. I remember one year when the brony convention got cancelled and as a result the ponycon tickets sold out. Because they couldn't get tickets, one group of bronies threatened to storm the building and some were threatening to expose themselves there and stuff like that. Ponycon is age friendly and safe for children and there was some concern about it happening.

Fortunately it didn't. The thing is that the bronies/male fans/female G4 fans I have met irl at ponycon have been FINE. They have obviously been there for G4, but they have all been respectful of other gens and of other people, they've been human beings and I have no issue with them.

We all really wanted to embrace FIM when it came out, but our existence was somehow a threat to the brony mindset. Even though we weren't :/ I remember being really excited to see AJ and Rarity and co in Finland in 2011. It's that dominating part of FIM and the fandom I want to see vanish. I had hoped it had gone, until I saw the article about brony neonazis in July, and realised it hasn't, and MLP is still being dragged through the mud by these unpleasant people.

SpacePinto is probably right that it's tainted us all forever because people just call bronies MLP fans. I think that's why I like to use brony to term the unpleasant ones, because they're not MLP Fans. Other G4 fans are, so for me to call them bronies would IMO be an insult.

I hope when ponycon can go back to real life, we'll only have the respectful G4 fans showing up. This year the online con has basically been a glorified G4 convention with nothing but vendor stalls and occasional chat for older gen fans. This in spite of the fact ponycon predates G4. I really hope that G4 will take more of a balanced backseat in future conventions, but it worries me that it won't, and that the all-gen concept is basically going to suffer.

But on the other side, I graduated my MA with G4 Rainbow Dash in 2012. I graduated my undergrad in 2003 with G3 RD and I have a bracelet a friend bought for me which also has Dash on it, that I hope to be able to wear to my PhD graduation if it comes off next year. And of course there's Fluttsi, my little mascot pony that has been all over the place with me. I love those ponies. I just can't love the world they come from.
« Last Edit: October 11, 2020, 05:03:12 PM by Taffeta »
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Offline Mana Minori

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Re: Has Friendship is Magic impacted you in any way?
« Reply #24 on: October 11, 2020, 07:02:03 PM »
@Taffeta:
Yeah, again, I am disgusted by that part of the fandom that thinks it’s their mission to defend g4 at all costs and burn the other gens to the ground like barbaric conquerors. Not cool. Especially for a fan base that made their beginnings in the slogan “love and tolerate”. It seems utterly hypocritical for fans of g4 to wave the L&T flag, then take shots at fans of the same pony community, but just from a different gen, and the ponies they love. And I realize that it might not be the same ones doing it, but there are too many of those who can those flames with no consequence or regard or respect. I’m sorry that these types of people who dare to call themselves fans and behave so intolerantly have ruined some of your (and anyone else’s) more precious moments in the past and made them feel like they have to lie low Or distance themselves in the pony community that they love.
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Offline Taffeta

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Re: Has Friendship is Magic impacted you in any way?
« Reply #25 on: October 11, 2020, 07:18:11 PM »
I think that if the G4 community had bothered to police itself and deal with its own extreme elements then the situation would have been contained sooner and there would be less bad feeling.

I get that G4 fans sometimes feel frustrated that it 'isn't them' who are doing the bad stuff and I know that's true. But there are a lot of fans who just sit back and let the status quo happen, and there's a lot of low key negative from the overall community even outside the worst offenders. And it's never been something that those of us outside can do anything about, because we have absolutely zero standing in that space.

I still hope we'll have a more integrated and balanced community eventually, but I am also glad to see the end of FIM. The problem for me is that if G5 is based on FIM, it might be harder to cut those negative elements and get rid of them once and for all. So long as they have something to feed off, the trash will remain.

« Last Edit: October 11, 2020, 07:23:06 PM by Taffeta »
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Offline Glitter Yolk

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Re: Has Friendship is Magic impacted you in any way?
« Reply #26 on: October 11, 2020, 07:43:16 PM »
Yeah it has! When I started watching it as a teen, I was like, "oh yeah, I had some old pony toys as a kid! Wonder where those went...". After years of watch FIM and wondering about those lost toys, I rediscovered them hidden back in my closet. Finding those old toys is what kicked off my decision to become a vintage toy collector, and got me into going to flea markets with my dad, something he had already been doing for years. It really helped strengthen my bond with him over collecting cool toys, and not feeling as ashamed for wanting to collect toys as an adult. Deciding to collect G1 and vintage fakes is what encouraged me to join this forum too.  :P

I never really got involved with the FIM fanbase/community or merch while watching the show, aside from listening to all of the cool fan music that was created! I guess you could say joining this toy forum ended being my first experience integrating with the pony community, and it's been a pretty positive place! I will say my 2016 BF was a fan of the show too, which surprised me but it was so much fun to talk about it with him, he was super nice.

Offline Wardah

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Re: Has Friendship is Magic impacted you in any way?
« Reply #27 on: October 11, 2020, 08:16:12 PM »
I experience with G4 was similar to a few others here. I had come into pony near the end of G3 because of the new LPS that was out at the same time caught my attention after growing up with the original Kenner LPS. It was an exciting time because all the fun high quality fan content. I might have even read a "questionable" comic or two because I thought it was funny. But then something changed. It was actually something bigger than ponies but unfortunately ponies got swept into it. People into "nerdy" things that weren't straight white males started wanting to be catered to as well. Which is good but the problem was straight white males took "I want things that appeal to me too" as "you don't deserve things that you like anymore". And a lot of "nerd" spaces became inhospitable including bronydom.
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Offline Zapper

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Re: Has Friendship is Magic impacted you in any way?
« Reply #28 on: October 11, 2020, 10:38:14 PM »
For me it's been mostly positive at first since it got me back into MLP. I skipped G3 completely. Then ironically G4 got me into G3 because I became bored with FiM's only two poses real quick :lol:

As some others have said the crazy antics of the b-word soured it all for me and the final nail in the coffin was the show's writers humoring them in ways I had never seen before happening in a show for little girls. Even the hyper religious or helicopter parents didn't have such sway over kids content. Without trying to sound over the top, it honestly disturbed me and I wanted to distance myself from it.
I also had some run-ins with Bronies in the wild and those weren't pleasant meetings at all. I got accused of faking interest in MLP to get brony attention and had to see so much dumb crap that I can't talk about here as it is against the forum rules.

I took a long hiatus from FiM and whenever I wanted to have some pony in my life I turned to the older gens, not FiM. I think I bounced right before they had that Tirek episode, then came back three seasons later.

I sadly don't get the same vibe with G4 that I get with G1,2,3. G4 just became way too self-aware and some kind of groupsourced fanfic.
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Offline Snapdragon

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Re: Has Friendship is Magic impacted you in any way?
« Reply #29 on: October 12, 2020, 12:24:48 AM »
Oof ... well, yes, but it's a complicated question. It would be easier to say, 'yes, more negative than positive', because of what I've dealt with, but I don't know if that would be 100% accurate.

The positives were really positive! The high of the first heydey of Brony fanaticism were unsurpassed. For a short time, I felt like I had a whole new, massive circle of friends, all who liked MLP! That was crazy, because before now, I'd largely felt like I was collecting in a vacuum. Yes, there's always people online who loved MLP, but it felt like a very much just-me thing in real life. I'd been to two pony Fairs, but those were years apart, and it was never like I went with a group of friends. I wrote pony fanfic, and people went NUTS for it. They couldn't get enough! Suddenly, I had an audience. I made all these new friends, shared art, talked about the show, eagerly hunted new brushables as each wave was released at TRU - it was incredible. I went to conventions! Suddenly, I had conventions in my area - multiple, even! I cosplayed for the first time in years, I even wore MLP cosplay to non-pony cons, and people recognized it - and LIKED it! It felt like this was what pony collecting should be, and maybe I had just missed out on it during G3 because I was too young. (I was just finishing college as FiM started, wow! Time flies!) I joined group chats on IRC for the very first time, and it was like a circle of friends immediately appeared. Sure, there were some creeps, but it felt like those were outliers. I stayed up hours every night talking, and I can only say how grateful I am that most of my college years were finished pre-FiM; I don't know how I'd have kept up! I even made some posts early on in the Arena, defending them - 'not every Brony is that bad, trust me, everyone is generally good and kind!' It's a unique kind of 'high' to be in a popular fandom.

And then things started souring.

I'm sure that, for some people (mostly men), the Brony fandom has only ever been good and kind to them. But for me, that was part of the problem; every time someone made a creepy joke, or posted ridiculously obscene/illegal content, or made disgusting implications at me, the rest of them would run over themselves to bellow "but he's an outlier! we're not all like that! not all Bronies! don't lump us together!" There were efforts to clean up the Google search results of NSFW, but it never expanded to their own backyards, their own chats, their own forums. The Bronies were more concerned with the group's image than the safety of the women in it. Because, in their minds, women were the outlier, and they needed to be quieted down, so as not to ruin their 'good time' in the fandom. So for me, the negatives of the fandom became all the more stark and dramatic, because I had flown so high in my infatuation with the fandom, I had even further to fall.

I made friends, and then lost them. I had friends who were more interested in pursuing Brony Fame than friendship, so as their Youtube numbers rose, I vanished from their attention. I had a G1 friend start running weekly 'casual Brony parties' at her house so she could pick a new boyfriend from the largely-teenage group who showed up. (She was in her 30s, and ended up marrying one.) I had to leave my IRC chat after someone came in and started making threats against me and others, and when I banned them, the other Bronies brayed about how "intolerant" I was.

What I lost the most, that makes me the most angry and why I will never willingly return to the fandom, is when I lost my sense of personal safety. I tend towards strong opinions; and in the past, I've posted some pretty 'hot takes' online that made people disagree with me, and even maybe dislike me. Disagreement happens, life goes on. But post-Brony, I would have arguments (usually talking about how unsafe the fandom made me feel, and how wrong it was that women should feel unsafe in a fandom *for female children*), and suddenly I had a former friend posting my personal information, telling her followers I deserved harassment for being 'mean'. Suddenly I had people contacting my family. I had a former friend tell mutual friends she fantasized about coming to my house and killing me. I have people who, even now, somehow justify stalking me across multiple platforms. It's sick, and they're sick. And pre-Brony, there were only a small cluster of people who would do this kind of stalking and harassment, and it was looked down on as a horrible and hateful thing by most of the fandom. Post-Brony, it seems like no big deal.

I will say this: it was only until a few months ago that anyone non-Brony ever crossed that boundary of contacting my family IRL to harass me, and it still felt like a disgusting boundary violation. It may just be that, to some evil people (or popular scammers, in the recent case), that doxxing and harassment is now fair game, if you get them mad enough. But never, in my entire life, did I ever feel as unsafe as I did after I became 'the enemy' in the eyes of the Brony fandom, and I know many other people (primarily young women) who had the exact same experience as I did, and even worse. Many notable women were run out of the fandom after having their workplaces and homes violated on the whim of an internet mob. That's nothing to speak of the younger women who were preyed upon by the multiple known predators who used the Brony fandom to find new victims, and *still* maintained defenders afterwards, because they were popular artists or musicians.

Where was I going with this? I guess, overall, I got a lot out of Friendship is Magic; but very little of the good survived all of the horrors and evil I witnessed in the fanbase itself. It may just be that I'd never interacted with a primarily-male online fanbase before, even though the fandom is overwhelmingly female in numbers. Perhaps all male-dominated fandoms are just that depraved and evil, and I'd been spoiled by spending my formative years online in a mostly-female fanbase for a children's toyline. It may also be that, for modern fandoms, harassment and stalking are the new norm, and I just never witnessed that until Bronies. Who knows? But I do think the Brony fandom has changed the 'fandom' game, quite noticeably for the worse, and we will be witnessing those ramifications for years to come.
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