In a nutshell, is my brother right about me liking something wrong?
From 2012 to 2014, I dabbled in the Brony scene after being influenced to see the first few seasons of "Friendship is Magic". Since then, I've regretted it a little based on the fact that it's still at its core a toy franchise for little girls, and forming a fandom really still isn't socially acceptable for a mix of both valid concerns and unfounded fears. When I spent the holidays with my younger brother, and I just happened to joke ironically, in a clearly unfavorable light, about the fandom, he upstaged me with the question "Why do you talk about it so much?" Then he went on with "I don't know why anyone older than 12 would like that show. I think it's a case of psychological infantilism," and "Twenty years from now, they'll wonder what they were doing with their lives". I almost had a heart attack because I could have been among the objects of his scorn. If I watched MLP: FiM again and reentered the fandom, the fujoshis (look it up), Rule 34 artists, bad costuming, those Bronies who use feminism/civil rights/the LGBT cause as analogies to their fandom, and the obsessive crossing over of things that have nothing to do with Hasbro's property, WOULD NOT help my case. And my uncles and grandmother would have a field day putting down someone interested in something simultaneously child-oriented and effeminate. Worse, I still feel a soft spot for, plus attraction to, the main characters whenever I find images of them. My best defense argument for my personal enjoyment of it would be “I also like my share of mindless fun, just like millions of other people.”
Addendum: It's just stupid entertainment, but I’d have to pursue it secretively to save my hide socially.
Joaquin the Boar (age 25)
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When it comes to questions such as yours, I always fall back on the Wiccan Rede: “An it harm none, do what ye will.” (If you aren’t hurting anyone, do whatever you like.) There is nothing inherently wrong in your liking My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic. Lots of young men do. Who are you harming by doing so? The only people who are doing any harming around you are your brother and, possibly, other family members by making you feel bad about liking something that is just a television show.
Why do people do such things? Because they allow themselves to be told what to do and what to believe by society. Thus, they are told that MLP is not “manly” and, therefore, you, as a male, shouldn’t like it. When you do like such things, it threatens their comfortable worldview of how people should behave, which then inspires fear and anxiety, which then leads to anger and hate. That is, sadly, how most human minds work.
What is cool about Furries and Bronies is that they dare to enjoy something (gasp!) that isn’t a social norm. That is a very brave thing to do. But whenever people like you or me do that, the first thing that often (not always) happens is hate, and the second thing that happens is ostracism or dire predictions that the world will come to an end if we allow such things to continue. A great example of this is gay marriage in America. Conservatives and religious rightists issued Hellfire and brimstone warnings that if gay people were allowed to marry it would, literally, be the end of America and possibly the world. Well, we’re still waiting and nothing bad has happened.
Don’t allow yourself to be manipulated by small minds. People like your brother are the ones that hold society back, keep it from progressing.
It’s a sorry state of affairs that you feel like you have to hide being a Brony, but I understand. You still have to function in society and within your family, so if you feel that is something you must do, then okay.
But do not feel like you are doing something wrong or immoral. You aren’t. It is the people who are criticizing you who are the damaged ones. You’re fine.
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