The Post That Had To Be Written

There’s been a lot of talk on the interwebs and sundry media about calling out “fake fangirls.” You know, those tarted-up floozies who stalk different cons and post pictures of themselves in their incredibly detailed, accurate, elaborate, lovingly-crafted costumes just so they can bathe in male attention and taunt the true fans with their luscious, unobtainable selves. It’s about time someone heroically stood up to women who have the temerity to enjoy a fandom, or worse, participate in a fandom in a way that’s different from the true fan‘s participation. I mean, good god, ladies, how dare you dress in the scanty outfit of a superhero exactly the way in which the superhero’s scanty costume is drawn? And if you’re going to dress up that way, you’d better expect, nay, hope that a fanboy makes inappropriate comments or physically harasses you. That’s what you wanted, right? Not to enjoy a fandom, or cosplay, or take on the persona of a character you like and admire. AMIRITE?

Now it’s time for me to take a stand against another fandom threat. We’ve been silent for too long, but no longer. It’s time to call out


Ugh. The very mention of them makes my skin crawl. You know the type. The ones who coo and squee about how “bangable” Mr. Darcy is. The ones who show up whenever Masterpiece Theater airs another adaptation of Emma and salivate over Mr. Knightley or think Emma’s “totally clueless.”  They wear Austen-inspired shirts like this:

And drink their venti soy lattes out of this:

And don’t get me started on those men who show up at Jane Austen-themed dances, parading around in these provocative ensembles:

Dude, have you even read Mansfield Park?

Okay, maybe some of these fake Austen fans may have read a book of hers or two. Pride & Prejudice, or, for extra credit, Persuasion (the latter probably because they drooled all over Adam Carter, I mean, Rupert Penry-Jones, as Captain Wentworth).

But none of these Austen fans are true fans, like me. I’ve read all six published novels, and, yeah, I didn’t read any of her Juvenilia, that only means I’m interested in her polished, mature, professional work, not her youthful or unfinished scribblings. I don’t need some brooding, cravat-wearing British actor to make me care about Austen. Most of the fake fans think Austen is romantic. WRONG. It’s social satire, and if you interpret it differently, then you need to loosen your stays and get some blood flow to your head. There’s only one way to like Austen, and that’s my way.  So all you fake fans, y’all better step off the Austen carriage and find yourself some other 19th century British female author to contaminate with your wildly inappropriate enjoyment, like, say, George Eliot.

P.S. Just so we’re clear, this blog post is satiric. I SAID GOOD DAY.



The Post That Had To Be Written — 7 Comments

  1. Quite right! They should sit QUIETLY with one of her novels and not taint Austen’s memory with any of the dramatised versions. They are frankly too enjoyable. GOOD DAY TO YOU TOO.

  2. This made me haz a smile. I mean… this post illicited a marked change to my countenance.

  3. LOL! Love it, Zöe!! But hey, what’s wrong with a britches wearing, gambling, swearing, manhandling, cheroot smoking woman whose commentaries on Victorian life are better than a sleeping pill and a scotch!?! A little SILAS MARNER anyone!?! And GOOD DAY TO YOU, too, my dear!! *wink*

  4. Well I tried to read all the novels, but Emma was one of the most rage-inducingly painful reading experiences I’ve ever had, and after finishing it, I decided to go back to more fun ways to spend my leisure time, like DIY root canals. So I probably count as one of those fake fans, especially since I liked The Jane Austen Book Club, and Aisha (a Hindi remake of Clueless)

  5. Why don’t I have that coffee mug?

    Confession: I haven’t read Persuasion. Mostly because I don’t like the idea of there being no more Austen books for me to read. I know that’s stupid, and I just read it already.

  6. I am a Fake Austen Fangrrl. I read the books because I think they are HILARIOUS! I like to point and laugh at Mr. Darcy. I think the BBC versions of Austen’s books are boring.

    I’m also a Fake Fangirl. I like gamer jokes, but don’t have time to game. I like comic books, but don’t collect them. I don’t like the original Star trek with Shatner.

    Now excuse me while I cuddle with my million and one military sci-fi books and daydream about a my literary boyfriends: Miles Vorkosigan and Nyls Jessan.