“The ‘Spotlight Effect’ in Media and Fandom,” by saathi1013


So, this is the tangle: media projects a hierarchy where white cis het men are given primary consideration —> fandom reflects that hierarchy. And in some cases, media with strong feedback relationships with its audience/fanbase will then cater to the fanbase, creating an ‘echo chamber’ effect of white dude importance.

It’s not so surprising, then, that every now and then we’ll hear some douchecanoe spout off some line like “straight white men are the default – they’re more ‘universally relatable.’” What is surprising is how angry people in fandom will get over that sentiment while simultaneously reinforcing that same internalized hierarchy that media feeds us.

Yes, we absolutely do need more representation of minorities in the center of the media spotlight. But fandom is a place tailor-made to reinvent canon at whim – so why do our ‘whims’ all too often reinforce white male supremacy?

Bringing this back, because my blog is locked down but this mirrored version might be valuable to somebody.  It’s an older essay of mine, so it’s a little shaky in places, but I think the overall thesis is pretty sound.

Actually, your ideas are not wrong. You’re really saying that fandom is reproducing the patriarchy/white supremacist narrative that they claim to be against.

“The ‘Spotlight Effect’ in Media and Fandom,” by saathi1013