My head has been down the last few weeks as I tried to finish costumes for Salt Lake Comic Con and continue the decluttering project I’ve decided to do on my entire house. I still check Facebook and one pattern of posts struck me as really strange and kind of bothersome.
The Harley Quinn Haters.
Let me explain, these are not fans who hate Harley, quite the opposite, they claim to love her but in the same breath, they make memes that shame new fans of the character. I saw several of these memes in various geek spaces online, and some were in regards to the many girls and women at SLCC that dressed up as Harley Quinn and how they needed to stop. Some of these memes were accompanied by images of Margo Robbie as Harley Quinn and the original incarnation of Harley Quinn from “Batman the Animated Series” claiming that if you weren’t a fan of Harley from the start, don’t start now. Because gasp! then you’ll be a fake geek girl. Apparently, we can only like things if we liked them all along.
What I found even more odd is that I found saw lots of Leto Joker cosplays at SLCC and yet, I saw no memes whatsoever shaming those dudes for their expression of fandom.
Harley Quinn holds a very special place in my heart and if her story resonates with other women, I say there’s plenty of room at the table for more fans.
It all boils down to this for me though: It’s okay for people to like things. It’s okay for them to start liking something only once it becomes popular. Not everyone had awesome parents who took them to the comic shop every Saturday, or bought them an NES when it was first out.
I grew up loving all things DC, but in my early twenties I dove deep into Marvel comics. I have a collection of West Avenger and Defender comics I cherish, and no one is going to tell me I can’t like something just because I got into it later in life.
Personally, I want more people who love geeky things in this world, not fewer because we shamed them out of their adoration.
So let people like what they like. Geek culture should not be a test or a competition of who can prove they liked something first, or know the most about it. That’s a competition we all lose, because we miss out on awesome new folks joining our geek community.