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If you've been on twitter today, (2/15/2021 for those that find this thread after today) you might have seen gatekeeping trending because a guy who is known for his gatekeeping tweets, and keeping company that also gatekeeps got so much attention, that even Funimation put out a tweet about it. While the guy in question was pretty much just being ratio'd, which is normal for his tweets, though never to this extent, I thought now would be a good a time as any to talk about it on here. It's never really come up that I've seen, and while I rarely post here, I do read the forums, and have never seen anyone that was taken seriously, try to gatekeep any particular show or anime in general, as it wouldn't make much sense to do that on an anime forum. I wanted to know what people's general thoughts were on gatekeeping, and if you've experienced any kind of gatekeeping, espeically based on gender in the past. 

 

I know for myself, I tend to have people do that when I say I'm a little tired of subbed anime since so many lines are stereotypes in anime, and because VA work in Japan often has similar voices, hearing those same lines said the same way, by the same sounding voice in the hundreds of anime I've watched over the years, has caused me to feel like all those elements combined cause a character to lose a sense of identity. I could go into it further in a separate thread if anyone wants to see that, but for now, I present a topic that could make for an interesting conversation. Here's the tweet in question, if anyone wants to see it. 

Gatekeeping.jpg

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I feel like people who engage in gatekeeping of any sort are insecure in some way and feel threatened by invalidation occurring when larger volumes of people identify in the way they do. I guess the suggestion here is that if you like "mainstream" or popular things then you're not putting in the work to dig through titles and find the lesser known gems. There are so many different ways to gatekeep, but I think that's the core of it, really. And the more something gains in popularity, the more of it you see, because inevitably you will find individuals who aren't content being categorised with the larger picture of said fandom as it grows and evolves.

If you ask me, I think most cases of gatekeeping can simply be ignored. It's not productive in any way, and at the end of the day who cares? It's just anime. Or music. Or games. Or whatever. If you happen to like One Piece or MHA and consider yourself an anime fan, then who are you hurting except someone on Twitter with backwards priorities and unaddressed insecurities?

That all said, I have seen more nasty gatekeeping toward social issues I consider to be more harmful than gatekeeping a fandom. Bi erasure, breastmilk purists, certain mental health communities, to name some. These can often put toxic and even misleading ideas in a particularly vulnerable person's head that somehow what they're doing is wrong.

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Btw:

1 hour ago, RepentantSky said:

I'm a little tired of subbed anime since so many lines are stereotypes in anime, and because VA work in Japan often has similar voices, hearing those same lines said the same way, by the same sounding voice in the hundreds of anime I've watched over the years, has caused me to feel like all those elements combined cause a character to lose a sense of identity.

1000% agreed.

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6 minutes ago, Wedgy said:

I feel like people who engage in gatekeeping of any sort are insecure in some way and feel threatened by invalidation occurring when larger volumes of people identify in the way they do. I guess the suggestion here is that if you like "mainstream" or popular things then you're not putting in the work to dig through titles and find the lesser known gems. There are so many different ways to gatekeep, but I think that's the core of it, really. And the more something gains in popularity, the more of it you see, because inevitably you will find individuals who aren't content being categorised with the larger picture of said fandom as it grows and evolves.

If you ask me, I think most cases of gatekeeping can simply be ignored. It's not productive in any way, and at the end of the day who cares? It's just anime. Or music. Or games. Or whatever. If you happen to like One Piece or MHA and consider yourself an anime fan, then who are you hurting except someone on Twitter with backwards priorities and unaddressed insecurities?

That all said, I have seen more nasty gatekeeping toward social issues I consider to be more harmful than gatekeeping a fandom. Bi erasure, breastmilk purists, certain mental health communities, to name some. These can often put toxic and even misleading ideas in someone's head if they're particularly vulnerable.

giphy.gif

Btw:

1000% agreed.

As a bi person, I fully feel that. Took me 10 years to come out after I was sure because it got so bad sometimes, and just online but in real life. As for everything else you said, I couldn't agree more. Gatekeeping is never anything but harmful, and some times in some very serious ways. 

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4 minutes ago, RepentantSky said:

As a bi person, I fully feel that. Took me 10 years to come out after I was sure because it got so bad sometimes, and just online but in real life.

I'm bi as well and find it especially frustrating that a bisexual who just happens to be in a relationship with the opposite sex is no longer 'accepted' within the LGBT community itself. If that's not gatekeeping I don't know what is. My experience was similar to yours in that I internalised the idea that the assessment of my own identity was wrong, and it only caused more confusion and self-destructive habits until I was able to reassure myself that it was just bad actors gaslighting me.

Not trying to derail here, just wanted to add that.

I made my points above. Gatekeeping is silly and just don't.

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From experiences in coding communities, I'll just say it gets annoying when newcomers ask the same questions without putting in the effort to lurk already existing posts and documentation. Its unfortunate that people are overly hostile towards casual users like this, but it does help set expectations about what participating in technical communities actually entails.

 

With that out of the way, in communities that are more socially-focused, gatekeeping is an awful thing. We've commoditized culture so much that acquiring specific knowlegde and experience is more important than actually enjoying an activity.

In the anime community, the biggest thing that's stood out to me is the idea that anime is a secret club for socially outcast nerds/geeks/weebs. Anime and Japanese culture has become a lot more accepted (at least in the US)  over the past decade, and that's taken away the stigmatized, but exclusive outsider status these things once had. Its always sad to see literally who's on Twitter and other social media reacting to this growth so angrily... That makes our communities and members seem more negative than we actually are.

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