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Boy Crazy!


Written by C. Fonseca (they/them) | Contributing Writer

Illustration by Neena Contreras (she/her) | Contributing Artist

“Hysterical” and “obsessed” are two words commonly used by society when they see fangirls at concerts or music festivals. Yet, sports fans, who are as excited as fangirls, are seen as “passionate” instead. Because of the stereotypes that fangirls are often female, and sports fans are usually male, gender stereotypes play a role in this discussion.  

As someone who has attended both concerts and sports games, I thought I’d share some of my experiences. In 2019, I attended a Shawn Mendes concert in November. About halfway through the concert, I was told by another concert goer “Please stop singing because we cannot hear him”. As this moment meant a lot to me, I started crying but brushed it off and kept singing.  A couple of minutes later, I was told the same thing again. In 2023, I attended the Ed Sheeran concert at Eden Park. My sister and I were standing and having fun listening to the opening act when we were told “Sit down we cannot see”  from the people behind us. I tried to explain that we were just enjoying the concert, to which they reply, “Sit the fuck down, I will not say it again.”  

Going out to watch football matches has been something I’ve done with my Dad since I was young. The familiarity of that space gained from these memories likely led me to where I am now, having worked at both rugby and football games. During my shifts, I see the same thing happen every time – the men scream, shout, and swear at the players. It’s also not uncommon for fans to throw stuff on the pitch. Sometimes, there are even fights outside stadiums when particular teams don’t win. I don’t understand the point of that, but regardless, it’s from a place of support.

All I wanted to do was enjoy the concert, sing my heart out and lose my voice, yet I was ridiculed for it. At sports games, no one is told to shut up or sit down, yet it is the same experience. People go to support other people. Typical experiences for fangirls include lining up in the morning for concerts and getting merchandise, which is always way too expensive, but despite that, get them either way. Fangirls often also share their opinions online through fan accounts on various social media apps, such as Instagram, TikTok, YouTube and X (formerly known as Twitter). These are all common experiences and they are not harmful to anyone. I know this because sports fans do similar things. They too will go to extreme lengths like getting up before sunrise to be at the front of the grass area in a Formula One Grand Prix to meet the drivers. Sports fans get new merchandise every year when their team releases their equipment for the new year, or when an F1 driver switches teams. They share their opinions on Instagram/X accounts such as 433, clubs’ official accounts, the players’ accounts as well as fan accounts. 

Why are fangirls looked down on? Why are they seen as childish? Why are sports fans seen as reasonable and justified in their actions, but not fangirls? Both groups engage in similar behaviour and activities, yet only one of them is ridiculed.  

It all seems to come down to gender roles and societal expectations. Women are generally seen as inferior and less powerful than men. They are seen as childish, weak, and sensitive. Any time women are faced with a challenge, it’s expected that men will save them. It’s in the books, TV shows - everywhere. Women are expected to stay at home to cook, clean and be there for their husbands who can do as they please. When they move outside these expectations, they are rebelling. It is commonplace for women to be described as “difficult” in these cases. I believe that no one should be shamed for wanting to be different or have a desire to stand out. Everyone deserves to be an independent individual.  

On the other hand, the patriarchy (which was also created by men) has created the framework that entails men to be assertive, strong, and the “breadwinner”. They’re expected to be dominant and take control of situations. They are supposed to be tough and not show emotion. They’re applauded for being loud, and on the contrary, when they deviate from the expectations, they are seen as “brave” instead. They are praised for being different.  

These gender roles play a big part toward the contrasting reactions between fangirls and sports fans.  Once girls develop into women, concepts such as “girliness” and being “over-emotional” are looked down upon and seen as a form of weakness. When these aspects are mirrored in fangirls, the flawed perspective held by a significant portion of society decides to put them down. To mock them. Ridiculing them for being excited about something they are allowed to be excited about! Listening to terrible pop songs. Crying with your friends at midnight. Eating your feelings away. Supporting each other. Being there for each other. It’s all centered around girlhood and nostalgia. Festivals and concerts are supposed to be a time of coming together as one to support artists. So, what if someone lines up to be at the barricade for a Harry Styles concert? What if they buy VIP tickets just to meet their idols? Yeah, they’re a fangirl. What’s it to you? 

The world likes to promote equality, yet in many cases, there is no equality seen.The same actions, yet women and men are given different reactions (this does not even touch on those outside of the gender binary, but that’s a piece for another time.) It’s ridiculous that women have to minimise their reactions for things they are passionate about. No one should be put down for having interests.  Does this negative attitude make anyone feel better? Because I for sure did not – why should I be having a panic attack at a concert instead of enjoying their music? 

It’s a fact - fangirls are obsessed. But is that a bad thing when sports fans can be just as boy-crazy?


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