AP Language and Composition
May 26, 2013
My Little Pony has found a strange and disturbing fanbase among a growing group of grown men who call themselves bronies. The idea of grown men passionately following the adventures of a group of magical ponies in a television show watched by little girls has quickly inspired fear in the hearts of parents across the divide. Some see this phenomena as the mass unification of men teetering on the precarious edge of pedophilia, while others see bronyism as a new global articulation of the Man-child spelling the end of masculinity as we perceive it. I, for one, cannot deny that these claims and fears are well justified because, bronies are creepy. The idea of grown men enthusiastically following the adventures of a herd of magic ponies is worrisome. Their passion is concerning. But however creepy the idea of bronyism is, judging and more importantly discriminating against these young men for a mostly harmless interest depicts a deeper problem within society of a rigid and unforgiving gender typecasting and the violent reaction received by those who break it.
Bronyism became popularly known as a result of a negative response to the show “My Little Pony Friendship is Magic” by a 4chan article. The review received an overwhelming response on the site’s discussion board by viewers of the show, mainly men, who rallied to its defense eventually uniting in their interest to form the group “bronies” as they are currently known.
This phenomena is evolving with a trend that is becoming increasingly common in the Information Age, in that it is not an isolated or even localized trend but is gaining followers on a global scale. This allows bronies to connect and share in their common interest with thousands of others through fan sites such as Equestriadaily.com. Sites such as these hold chatrooms, relay MLP, My Little Pony, related news, and organize events such as semi annual Brony Con, the latest of which boasted 4000 attendees and is expected to be topped by this year’s convention in Baltimore (Bronycon) Through events such as these the passionate male followers of the adventures in Equestria are able to meet with others and validate their interests. Though steadily gaining popularity in the online community the brony movement has not been well received by non-bronies many of whom have initiated a tireless crusade against what they see as a frightening counter culture. The development of bronyism coincided with the global development of the only remaining modern mode of intellectual idea exchange, the meme, an institution which has not been kind to the brony fanbase. Through this and many other mediums of internet disapproval The Herd, as they call themselves, are constantly subjected to ridicule and accusations of latent pedophillic tendencies. It seems that a very vocal majority of the internet has a special hole of unforgiving hate in their hearts for men that dress up like magic, girly, ponies. This is most likely because men dressed as magic, girly, ponies are creepy. I will preface my argument with the following, that My Little Pony is a show intended and marketed toward girls (ages 4 -13) (Hasbro). The idea of grown men watching and taking genuine interest in a show that is made for girls the age of their daughters is justifiably worrisome to many parents. More concerning is the passion with which some of the members express this interest, organizing conventions, chat rooms and dressing in expensively homemade costumes of the characters, with the fervent enthusiasm of religious zealots and suicide bombers. And ultimately, the contrast of hairy, masculine, features snugly fit into brightly colored pony suits and imagining them whinnying and raving with excitement over how much they adore a cartoon unicorn pony, is more than concerning, its creepy. However there are fallacies and biases to be taken into account of my judgement. One being that I might be more wary of bronies because I...
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