Enterprising Women: Television Fandom and the Creation of Popular Myth

Enterprising Women: Television Fandom and the Creation of Popular Myth

Enterprising Women: Television Fandom and the Creation of Popular Myth

Enterprising Women: Television Fandom and the Creation of Popular Myth

Synopsis

A study of the worldwide community of fans of Star Trek and other genre television series who create and distribute fiction and art based on their favorite series. This community includes people from all walks of life-housewives, librarians, secretaries, and professors of medieval literature. Ninety percent of its members are women.

Excerpt

A book about women who produce a massive body of literature, art, and criticism about their favorite television and movie characters is of necessity awkward to begin. On the one hand, the ethnographer wants to jump up and down and scream, "Look what I found! A conceptual space where women can come together and create -- to investigate new forms for their art and for their living outside the restrictive boundaries men have placed on women's public behavior! Not a place or a time, but a state of being -- of giving each other permission -- in which each may take freedom of expression into her own hands, wherever she is, whatever else she is doing!"

Then a colder mind prevails. The creation of this art, the bending of popular culture artifacts -- in some cases, popular culture icons -- is a subversive act undertaken by housewives and librarians, school- teachers and data input clerks, secretaries and professors of medieval literature, under the very noses of husbands and bosses who would not approve, and children who should not be exposed to such acts of blatant civil disobedience.

Coming together in a hotel ballroom with the rebels in the cause of a women's art/communication system, the researcher feels a tiny thrill of danger. The community is open to anyone willing to participate, but closed to anyone who might jeer, or worse, blow the whistle. A man in a ten-gallon hat approaches and wants to know what is going on. There is a gleam in his eye: he sees only women about. Not all of them are pretty -- some of them are middle-aged, or overweight, or both. They all return his bravado with suspicion. Lois, in her late forties and looking very prim, looks up from her place at the registration . . .

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