The Rise Of Toxic Fandom: Why People Are Ruining The Pop Culture They Love


Grown men are chanting for McNugget sauce at McDonald’s all around America. Let the recent Rick and Morty sauce fiasco be counted as evidence of the decline of civilisation.


So, this is going to be a long comment, touching some subjects that are controversial for a lot of guys so if you feel that you are easily triggered on the topics of feminism etc, just skip reading this one.

First off, this toxicity is more common among groups that are dominated by men. Yes, you can find female groups that acts like this as well, I didn’t say “all men” but it is worth recognizing that it is more common in male dominated groups. I think that it is cause we are at the braking point between paradigms. And the thing that is shifting the most is the place young men have to conform to in a society vs the lack of need to conform in earlier generations. Is it a good or bad thing? I think that men have been free to not conform to a certain space in society at the expense of other groups.

That certain space is not yet defined, and in the vacuum of first family, then consumer based tribe belonging, fandom makes an entrance. So not only is it the old tribe thinking as we know it, on top of that there’s a generation of men who was brought up in one form of thinking, trying to apply that to a society that starts to say “NO” to that thinking on a massive scale. It makes for the perfect closing of the tribe, an outer enemy, and a toxic, often dated when it comes to equality, tribe thinking.

We have seen this toxic/hate based tribe thinking when it comes to gamergate. And it is more and more common online, especially when it comes to hot topics such as immigration, economics or politics. One group that leads, a large number of soldiers in a tribe who pick and choose what topics to pursue and the radicalized loners. And in between these 3 groups of a tribe, a power play where the individuals can distance themselves from the core on certain subjects.
The biggest problem about this is that once you start forming a sense of belonging based on an outer enemy, or to be simple about it; when you get used to hate, it is easier to fall back on that behavior. I think that if you took a strong stand against women in relation to gamergate, your also more likely to have been upset about both ghostbusters and the female doctor Who for instance.

If we are frank and take it to the extreme without popping the racist card here!); how big of a chance do you think it is that these Rick and Morty fans where faced with a “NO” (no sauce for you) from a person of color and/or female rather than a white (tribes)man? Do I think this added to an escalation of the situation? Yes.


Actually, Jordan Petersen mentioned in one of his talks that groups with one genders tend to act a bit more extreme. So toxicity is pretty much the same in predominantly male groups or female groups and it gets toned down once there is a healthy mix. I do agree it may be acted out differently by males than females, males tend to want dominance and they are prone to violent behavior.

My view regarding this circus is a bit different: Some people must have a wonderful life if they have energy to actually act like idiots. Most of the people on this planet work so hard and face so many problems that the presence or absence of Szechuan sauce is mostly irrelevant. At most it is acknowledged.
We have a few generations of very spoiled self centered assholes who climb on every protected monument to take a selfie, they demand they must be served with exactly what they want, they don’t have patience and demand safe spaces. and so on. I am far from “Back ‘n ma’ days we had to watch TV at the light of the candles” nonsense, but really…some people have no idea how sheltered their life is.

Now a disclaimer: I described a tendency. Maybe idiots become notorious way faster than before, maybe indeed their number increased. I grossly generalized and I understand the overall picture is way more fragmented and complicated. I know there are lots of exceptions.


What kind of behaviour are you reffering to there? :slight_smile: