Geek Fandoms by Politics?

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Geek fandoms by Politics? Sherlock: Unbeliever

Sherlock: Unbeliever. Photo of Benedict Cumberbatch filming Sherlock in London, by Fat Les, edited by RanZag via Wikimedia. Unchanged, license: CC-BY-2.0




 
Do different geek fandoms appeal to different political types?

As the UK Election results come in, it's got me thinking: who votes which way and why?

Of course fandoms can belong to anyone, whatever their politics. After all, whatever my views, I like all these shows!

And looking at 'Political Compass', the biggest parties aren't even that far apart: see the UK 2015 Election and US 2012 Election here.

But off the top of my head, here are my hunches for how some fandoms might skew. I'd love to hear what you think about this:

 

Alien movie series:

The Alien movies feature the ultimate sociopathic corporation, evil biological weapons and a distrust of the military, while celebrating the 'common' soldier. I'm calling this series for the left wing.

Geek Fandoms by Politics - Alien: Crew Expendable. Workers Unite?

Crew Expendable. See? Exploiting the Proletarians again: a typical class struggle 😉
Image via Alien Anthology Wiki




 

Buffy the Vampire Slayer:

With a kick-ass female hero, single mother, nerdy NPR listener type librarian, techno-pagan teacher, 'good' demons, a lesbian best friend and a public high school setting, this series screams 'socially liberal' to me.

 

Doctor Who:

This one is a mixture!
 


Classic Doctor Who: Genesis of The Daleks (Amazon UK) Clip via the Official Doctor Who YouTube Channel

 

  • He's anti-authority and anti-military, but also sometimes teams up with UNIT and Torchwood. Given the chance, he doesn't destroy the Daleks, but says 'Do I have the right?'
     
  • He's usually anti-gun and anti-force, with a few exceptions in the recent series.
     
  • He goes to a church, once, which turns out to have been subverted.
     
  • He likes science and technical inventiveness. He's very questioning.
     
  • Oh, and I almost forgot: the interspecies lesbian romance:

I'm guessing religious and military-hawk conservatives might be less keen on Doctor Who, and liberal and libertarian types might like it more.

Interesting Links:

 

Firefly:

Firefly is very macho and anti-authoritarian. It also has a cute female engineer and a well-respected professional 'companion' character.

My guess is it would be a popular show among libertarian types.

 

Harry Potter:

Not one for anyone 'religious conservative' enough to be seriously offended by wizards and magic (Ned Flanders, anyone?), but a good fandom for anyone else.




'Ned Flanders Reads Harry Potter' from 'The Simpsons' (© FOX) via Boatman on YouTube

 
I think Harry Potter would have a lot of appeal for small-c, family minded conservatives, due to Harry's longing for family and the fantastically motherly yet superhero-like Molly Weasley:




Molly Weasley fights Bellatrix Lestrange. Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows Part 2 on Vudu.com (© Warner Bros) via MrMysterCoco on YouTube

 

Heroes:

I'm guessing this might be a good one for conservatives: Individuals have secret hidden powers and the government and bad people are out to get them. Classic.
 

iZombie:

A dead zombie girl that struggles to work around her zombie nature and solves murders? An immigrant boss that accepts and enables that?

This is so beyond inclusive, I'm calling it socially liberal 🙂

Geek Fandoms by Politics - iZombie: Assistant Medical Examiner Eats Brains. Too tolerant?

iZombie: Assistant Medical Examiner Eats Brains. Too tolerant?


Watch iZombie online:

 

My Little Pony:

Geek fandoms by Politics? My Little Pony Cosplayers

My Little Pony Cosplayers: Socially liberal? Photo: Keith Survell via Wikipedia, unchanged. Licence: CC-BY-SA-2.0




Yep. I'm thinking this is a pretty socially liberal fandom too!

Find out more:

 

Sherlock:

"Contrast is after all God's own plan to enhance the beauty of his own creation, or it would be if God were not a ludicrous fantasy designed to provide a career opportunity to the family idiot."

-Sherlock Holmes

I'm guessing Sherlock might not be a show for religious conservatives!

More traditional / history fan conservatives might like him more though, as he's such a classic character.

And apart from that, I've always wondered: how do they have guns on Sherlock?

Where to Watch Sherlock:

 

Star Trek (depends on the series!):




Star Trek: Voyager. Relativity. Janeway Captures Seven of Nine. Star Trek: Voyager (CBS) via BarbarianMichael on YouTube. Rent Voyager from Netflix, watch on Vudu.com, Hulu Plus, or Amazon UK Instant Video

  • Voyager seems the most socially 'liberal', with a female captain, black Vulcan, former convict pilot, and stories like 'Let's go to the Holodeck and tolerate each other' (no that's not a real one - and I admit it: Voyager is my favourite!)
     
  • The original series is the most macho, with all Kirk's fist fighting, but still very socially inclusive for the times, with a black woman and a Russian as ship's officers.
     
  • No one seems to have any personal wealth, except when the Ferengi are around
     
  • I'm not sure Starfleet and the United Federation of Planets would be considered more big government or militaristic.
     

Either way, my guess would be that Star Trek (the series more than the movies) would be more popular among left wing / liberal types.

Find out more:

 

Star Wars:

Geek fandoms by Politics? Star Wars fans in the 501st Legion (Vader's Fist)

Star Wars fans: more conservative? Photo of the 501st Legion (Vader's Fist): Wikiprospies via Wikipedia unchanged. Licence: CC BY-SA 3.0




 
The Star Wars fan base is huge and varied... but:

  • With its invisible, not-scientifically explained 'Force' and slightly fighting-monk-like Jedi order my hunch is that among religious conservatives Star Wars would be the most popular sci-fi fandom.
     
  • Rebelling against the evil empire could be interpreted as anti-big-government, another popular theme with conservatives.
     
  • Lando Calrissian. I'm not even going to go into that.
     

My hunch (and personal experience) is that if a conservative likes one kind of sci fi, it's more likely to be Star Wars. Or it could just be the biggest fandom.

More info:

 

The Prisoner




'The Prisoner' Episode 2, Opening Sequence via 2eyesofhorus on YouTube. Rent from Netflix, or watch The Prisoner - Season 1 on Amazon UK Instant Video

Anti nanny-state, and very anti-surveillance. I'm calling it Libertarian.

 

The Walking Dead:

Another one that's an interesting mixture:

Geek fandoms by Politics? Strong female character: Michonne from The Walking Dead

Michonne from The Walking Dead (AMC) via Wikipedia

  • It's very pro-gun.
     
  • There's an abortion dilemma: Lori would not have died in childbirth if Maggie had got her the pills she asked for instead of disapproving. On the other hand, we wouldn't be able to ask (as we do every time we see her), 'how on Earth is Baby Judith still alive...?'
     
  • A small group seems essential for survival, but the bigger groups all seem to go horribly wrong.
     
  • The priest has betrayed his congregation.
     
  • The group is very racially mixed.
     
  • It also has some very strong female characters, like the clever, tough minded Michonne, with her samurai sword, and my favourite character, Carol. This YouTube video (warning: graphic violence) shows Carol's evolution from abused wife, through bereaved mother, self defence mentor and ruthless though misguided protector of the group. Later she is also an explosion creating badass too 🙂

What do you think? Libertarian?

 
More info:

 
Where to watch The Walking Dead:

 

X-Files:

Mulder believes the government is hiding aliens. Scully believes in science, but also in religious miracles. These seem like conservative sort of themes to me.

Enough!

So, what do you think? Agree? Argue? I'm a fan of X and I'm not Y? Add a fandom?

I'd love to hear it 🙂

Click to post your comments here...

 

 


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13 Responses to Geek Fandoms by Politics?

  1. I love this post, so fun! I would never have thought to decide ones political stance based on their chosen nerdy path 🙂 I am a total Walking Dead fan – don’t know that I would say I am Libertarian but with some issues I lean that way 🙂 And how have I not heard of IZombie? I will be checking this one out for sure – my next binge 🙂 Thanks for sharing!

  2. This is such a cool idea for a post and very entertaining and interesting. I love how unique your blog is.

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  4. This is very cool. I am a fan of all of these shows (except for My Little Pony), but I am way to the left politically. Am I still allowed to watch The Walking Dead?

    What about the politics of the MCU (Marvel Comic Universe)? On the one hand, there’s Shield and Captain America fighting the good fight against communists, people with German accents, and other evil doers. On the other hand, you have Tony Stark designing tools to subvert the status quo. Would religious conservatives like Thor? He is a god, after all.

    • No 😉 Of course you can anyway(!) but the Political Compass also rates views from Libertarian to Authoritarian as well as left and right wing, eg you can be a left wing libertarian (like the Greens)

  5. The policy wonk in me is loving this, even though I really don’t know half of these 🙂

  6. A good idea! However, I don’t think it’s so easy to fit people into political categories based off individual beliefs. For example, I’m a moderate and lean slightly left. I’m a LGBT supporter, and Christian. I’m pro-Government and pro-military. Based off individual identifiers, I could be either conservative or liberal. Also, what someone watches doesn’t always line up with what they believe. I’m a Christian who watches Supernatural, which can be interesting. Overall, good post!

    • I agree, anyone can watch anything (and they do 🙂 ), eg I love Sherlock, but I keep wondering ‘how do they have guns’, and so on. I have a mixture of views too: when I do quizzes I usually come out as Green, but I think I’m more conservative about myself than I am about other people. Live and let live I think 🙂 I do wonder how often the writers are trying to make a point with a story though!

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