In Fandom, All Villains Aren’t Treated Equally

From Hannibal Lecter eating the rude across the northeastern United States to Loki’s attempts to subjugate the human race and Kylo Ren’s patricide and misogyny, fandom just loves to look at villains who have committed atrocities and decide that they’re in fact complex characters who just need a redemption arc to set them on the […]

via In Fandom, All Villains Aren’t Treated Equally — Stitch’s Media Mix

I’ve witnessed quite a lot of this myself. The “woobification” of fictionalized villains  ties into the real life “woobification” of action mass murderers and serial killers. (I do sort of blame a little of this on the rise of the anti-hero, and the sympathetic villain, in comic books. Or rather, that’s where I first saw this trope.)

3 thoughts on “In Fandom, All Villains Aren’t Treated Equally

  1. isabel

    this is interesting. there’s complex characterisation, psychology, unreliable narration- & there’s appreciation of all that-

    -& then there’s ‘woobification’. which is a hilariously accurate way of putting it. i think it’s mostly harmless- silly, of course, but harmless- but it’s always interesting to see how people’s cutesifying of villains interacts with their actual empathy for other complex & struggling characters. interesting, too, how all the villains listed are men.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, I thought about that too. I still find no particular reason that the characters that get woobified are men. There might possibly be some sexual component to it,because most of the fans who do that are young women. These female fans never woobify female characters, even the ones with canonically tragic pasts.

      But really, I bet there are all kinds of fascinating sexual, racial, and gender dynamics to who gets woobified, who doesn’t , who does it, and why, and one day someones going to have to do a comprehensive study on that.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. isabel

        yeah. funny that the hannibal fandom got mentioned- from what i’ve seen there’s a whole ton of woobifying going on there- i find it kinda amusing.

        hmmm. perhaps as a culture we’re simply more inclined to view transgressive behaviour in men as normal or attractive- or ‘cute’. plenty of fandoms have a good amount of gay or bi female fans, so you’d think that there would be some cutesy treatment of female characters. odd.

        yes! might be a fun idea for a future blog-project, although really it sounds like one for the sociologists.

        Liked by 1 person

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