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Just to clarify:
        My remark about prodigy BBs and fan groups was not intended as a
policing action and least of all to ridicule fan concerns.  What I was
sayingis what I believe Roberta Pearson expressed well, and what Henry3
agreed with:  sexism is regrettable when it shows up
in such a forum.
 
What I had inmind, but didn't report inthe interest of brevity, was that
my experience with sports BBs on prodigy was that the one I was most
interested in as a fan -- a certain KY vs. Louisville basketball feud --
consisted almost entirely of awful, venomous racist postings being sent
back and forth.  I grew up with this poison as part of my sports culture
in KY, but had hoped that attitudes had softened a bit.  I was very
discouraged to see uncloseted hatred of African-American, inner-city
athletes was still a primary motivator for many fans.  Yes I would hope
that there would be room to speak out against such attitudes.  And yes I
would hope that an academic conversation  would do constructive things and
avoid venom.
 
Fortunately this forum obvious does, as remarks by H3, RP, SC, etc on this
topic demonstrate.  My apologies for not better explaining myself.  My
thanks to those who pointed out the stereotypy.
 
ds
 On Wed, 27 Jan 1993
[log in to unmask] wrote:
 
> At the risk of adding more fuel to an already raging flame war, I want to
> point out how both sides of the debate evoke traditional stereotypes of fans
> to justify their positions. Dan Streible seeks to police or maintain a
 boundary
> between academic and fannish discourse by ridiculing the concerns and topics
 of
> prodigy users. What exactly about this discussion is inappropriate for an
> academic context, apart from what it reveals about our own emotional
 investmwnts
>  and personal lives as they relate to media consumption. I agree with Roberta
> Pearson that the sexism and classism of the discussion is regrettable. On the
> other side of the debate, we have people evoking the oldest meanings of the
> word fan -- as it relates to orgiestic celebration and false worship -- to
>  reduce issues of sexual violence to questions of fan identification. The
>  implication seems to be that fannishness equals a loss of emotional and
>  physical control.
> Just as I think we should be cautious about reducing rape to the issue of
> pornography, we can not and must not reduce domestic violence to issues of
> football fandom. The case of the European soccer fans, as Roberta suggests,
> involves issues of class; the question of American sports fans, as I have
> argued in regard to wrestling, responds to a situation where traditional
> masculinity severely restricts the range of permissible displays of male
> emotion. Sports becomes a kind of melodramatic release for men where it is
> permissible to shout, cry, etc. What is tragic is the ways that a patriarchal
> culture has linked emotion and violence so that the release of one may lead
> to the demonstration of the other. I do not mean to paint the men as victims,
> far from it, but we need to understand how our current gender structures
 creates
>  situations that are profoundly destructive to the emotional lives of men and
> women and which leads directly to acts of domestic violence. Football doesn't
> cause the violence but it can become the site for its practice.
>
> --Henry Jenkins