Based on a review of current literature on the topic, this thesis explores the negative treatment women and girl fans receive whether they are part of “traditionally feminine” or “traditionally masculine” fandoms and how this phenomenon applies to the larger issue of sexism and misogyny in society. Beginning with an introduction that includes context for the topic and defines important aspects of both feminist theory and fandom attributes, I continue by exploring how this treatment affects female fans in one example each of a “traditionally feminine” and “traditionally masculine” fandom. Using Twilight to represent the “traditionally feminine” fandom, I analyze the effects of sexist treatment from outsiders to the fandom and to fandom in general and how internalization of these attitudes affect those within the fandom. Using the Marvel Cinematic Universe to represent the “traditionally masculine” fandom, I examine the trend of male fans excluding female fans from fandom spaces and how media representation, specifically in the superhero genre, affects the attitudes and actions of both male and female fans. I close by discussing counterarguments regarding the treatment of male fans by the general population as well as how artistic choices in “traditionally feminine” media come into play when discussing the genre’s merit.

Semester/Year of Award

Spring 2018


Lisa B. Day

Mentor Professional Affiliation

Director, Women and Gender Studies

Access Options

Restricted Access Thesis

Document Type

Bachelor Thesis

Degree Name

Honors Scholars

Degree Level




Department Name when Degree Awarded

English and Theatre