It started when Brother H noticed us standing along after Thursday Night Activity and came over to chat. The reasonable thing to do when instigating a conversation is to bring up something interesting you discovered lately, and that's exactly what he did. He said his family had discovered a disturbing new trend. He then went on to tell us about the guy who had recently asked his youngest daughter out on a couple of dates. The guy asked her what TV shows she watched, and after getting her to list a couple, he said he really likes retro shows, and he's a big fan of My Little Pony. We did facepalm over the retro thing, because we didn't really consider Friendship Is Magic to be retro (though I guess it could be, depending on if you define retro as actually old or like "neoclassical" (oh wait, Athena reminds me that the guy is reported to have said he's a big fan of My Little Pony, but not the old My Little Pony, which means his retro description is completely void)), but we were like, "Oh yeah, bronies; we've heard of them. Now go on..."
It took us a while to realize that it was the brony phenomenon itself that he was referring to as disturbing. I mean, having seen Friendship Is Magic, we enjoy the show, but we're still a little confused on why guys apparently get obsessed with it. I admit, my reasoning is a little sexist. I can understand why a girl might be really into it--there are six main characters, each with her own unique set of personality traits, thus giving just about everyone someone to relate to and say, "She's my favorite!" And the fact that there are six means you and your friends can each have your own favorite, sharing your love of the series as a whole without having to share your one favorite. Plus the character designs are cute and the writing is usually pretty clever. But I guess I've just been surrounded by the type of men you tend to get around here for so long that I can't see why any man would get over himself long enough to enjoy watching a show so obviously aimed at girls.
...And I just sidetracked myself into forgetting my main point. Right. Bronies are apparently the disturbing trend. Brother H said that when investigating the matter, they asked his son-in-law, who reported that, having watched the show with his daughters, he can't understand why any grown man would watch it, and that's where we should have replied, "Oh, there's a disturbing trend, alright, but it ain't new." What we find to be more disturbing is the way men behave toward girl-geared programming. To be fair, it's possible that our theory about the son-in-law in question is wrong, but here it is anyway. We think he "watches" the show with his girls, but really he just means he's in the room while it's on, and doing as much as he can to avoid paying any attention to it. We've seen this happen when we tried to watch Robin Hood at Mom's house. Steve came in with a newspaper, which he didn't put down for at least half the movie, probably slept through the other half (it was a long time ago; we don't remember all the details), and then, after not having actually seen any of the movie, declared it to be boring.
What was even more disturbing was that Brother H had shared their findings with a fellow ward member, who observed, "Maybe gamers aren't so bad after all." What. As people who are familiar (unlike these two men) with both My Little Pony and video games, I am offended by that statement, even though I tend to prefer video games. The sweeping generalizations are only part of what's so annoying. First, there are so many different game genres that you can get a wide array of personality types (or disorders, if you prefer), all covered by that one term "gamers." That's just somebody who plays video games. We don't know what kind or how many, or how addicted they are, or how socially inept they are, or how non-addicted or socially ept they may be. But if we're going with the completely uninformed definition of gamer--which, in my uninformed opinion, I assume to be somebody who sits around in the dark playing first-person shooters 24/7, shunning the light and the real world--then I would say that a brony is vastly preferable.
Let's think about it. People who are against video games seem to be against them because they promote violence, sedentary lifestyles, and antisocial behaviors. People who are against bronies are against men watching TV shows that promote anti-violence, active lifestyles, and social behaviors. Or maybe, because they haven't seen My Little Pony, they think it's violent or something. Not likely. More probably, their problem is "the man likes girly things." Regardless of the actual girliness levels of Friendship Is Magic (which I don't think are really that high, but as a girl, I'm probably too close to the situation to tell :p), do you realize how disturbing that is? We're training men to hate all things girly, and then we're surprised when they don't want to settle down and marry girliness incarnate--an actual girl. In a church that's all about marriage and families, I see this as a huge problem.
Maybe we should write an email...
Today I'm thankful for getting to spend the day working on Missions of Love, having time to spot and fix typos (although we probably missed some), getting to go to Home Evening Group last night for the first time in a while, getting lots of shipping confirmations today (Athena's new B flat whistle is coming!), and remembering to text people about Disney on Ice.