Right-Wing Scare Tactics, Midterm Elections, and the Attack on Fandom

Election Day in the United States is only days away, and it’s a midterm with major consequences. From my previous writings, I think it’s clear that I have fairly progressive and left-leaning politics, and in this case, I am concerned that Republican wins will harm the US in numerous ways. From the environmental crisis, to the right to abortion, to gun deaths, to bad economic policies, to public safety in the face of an ongoing pandemic, to the undermining of democracy itself through election denial. But another topic has concerned me lately, and while it’s a bit small potatoes compared to the above-mentioned subjects, I think it ties into the generally fascistic threats that are happening: the attack on fandom.

Recently, right-wing media has been spreading a false story about a student supposedly identifying as a cat and receiving a very public litter box at school. It plays on the fear that accommodating trans people will lead to a slippery slope of moral degradation, and this tactic also attacks teachers and public education. It also clearly puts a target on the backs of furries. To see such vitriolic rumor-mongering about that group on primetime cable TV in 2022 (instead of 2002 on Something Awful) is disconcerting because I think it‘s part of a larger effort to remove spaces for inner exploration through fandom.

Even for a cisgender, heterosexual person like myself, being in fandoms has helped me learn about myself and to broaden my perspectives on various topics, including but not limited to gender and sexuality. Using fandom to find out what you like and don’t like, and then deciding whether or not to interact with others through a shared media experience, can be a very rich and rewarding experience that helps one grow emotionally. Over the years, it’s become increasingly obvious that fandom can help people to realize their identities, be it LGBT+ or otherwise. My fear is that right-wing politics seeks to remove all spaces, online and offline, where people who do not conform to their narrow values can be themselves.

I’m well aware that the description of fandom I just gave is a bit rosy, and that there are toxic elements to fandom that don’t originate with right-wing politics. But I think the general threat of disinformation and using false morality as a tool to leverage power is far greater from the right wing.

Scaring parents by showing freaky fandoms goes hand-in-hand with banning gender-affirming care, and it altogether might drive enough ill-informed people to the polls who mistakenly believe they’re saving America. Trans people, furries, and so many other marginalized groups have been used as scapegoats to distract voters from bigger problems. It’s the Satanic Panic. It’s violent video games. It’s every other fear-mongering propaganda about hobbies meant to scare people into voting against their best interests. I hope we don’t let the same mistake happen.

VOTE NOVEMBER 6!: Ogiue Maniax Status Update for November 2018

The blog is doing just swell, and I’m grateful as always for my supporters on Patreon and ko-fi, who are below:

General:

Johnny Trovato

Ko Ransom

Diogo Prado

Sue Hopkins fans:

Serxeid

Hato Kenjirou fans:

Elizabeth

Yajima Mirei fans:

Machi-Kurada

But the more important thing, namely for any United States citizen 18 and up, is to vote. People might think their votes don’t matter, but over and over we see how apathy lets those with more extreme agendas weasel their way. We have literal killers who feel motivated by our current political climate to emerge out of whatever sewers they crawled out of. I will be at the polls, and I hope you’ll decided to go too.

My favorite posts from October:

Can-Do Candy: Dagashi Kashi Full Manga Review

At long last, a full look at everyone’s favorite candy comic.

Beyond Expectations: Planet With

A review of a fantastic anime from the past season.

The Significance of the Classic Anime Devilman in Devilman Crybaby

How does the uniquely insightful, uniquely horny Galko-chan handle one of the classic romance tropes?

Hashikko Ensemble

Chapter 9 finally starts to pull the veil back on the life of Orihara.

Patreon-Sponsored

Aikatsu Friends! Choreography Has Won Me Over

The dancing has improved in Aikatsu! and notably so.

Closing

See you next month. I’m hopeful for a better tomorrow. Remember: November 6.