You can listen to episode “-1” now for a quick primer on the show! Or, if you’re more inclined to read, check out the info bellow!
What is this?
Boy Problems is a podcast where women (or anyone who is comfortable identifying as femme in any way on their non-binary spectrum!) talk about their fandom of male characters. Twice a month, I’ll sit down with a different lady and we’ll talk about a different fictional boy from any branch of entertainment and everything their interest in him might entail.
Here’s the TL;DR of it: women’s voices matter and are valid everywhere in pop culture, not just in work that is directly designed to target them as a demographic.
What does that actually mean? Well, I come from comics, so let me use them as an example. At the time of my writing this about page, there is exactly one male-character focused ongoing book in the publication roster of the “Big Two” comics being written by a women. (The Punisher, written by Becky Cloonan.)
Compare that to the fifteen female-character focused ongoing books put out by the same companies being written by men.
You don’t have to be great at math (lord knows, I’m not) to see that something about those numbers just doesn’t quite add up.
Make no mistake, it’s not just comics. This is a problem that extends to every wing of pop culture. More and more frequently, women are only given the opportunity and the platform to speak about fictional women — and, here’s the thing: that is important! Female voices need to be heard for female characters, and we need more female leads, there’s no debate to be had there. The problem comes in when that’s the only subject in which we are invited to speak while male creators continue to have a stake in…well, just about everything.
The problem is really that more and more women’s voices are only treated as legitimate when we are speaking about the content that is specifically designed for us as a demographic — Which, quite frankly, is pretty not great. The landscape of fiction in it’s many forms is carved by the hard work and tireless passion of women, both as fans and as creators, but their efforts are largely ignored, discredited, or sneered at, and treated as a punchline in anything that isn’t specifically deigned as being “for girls.”
Meanwhile, male voices maintain a “default” sense of legitimacy in just about every niche imaginable.
So, the mission of this podcast is to have conversations, informally and academically, critically and casually. It’s to shine a spotlight on the love and creativity ladies put into carving out their niche in things made by and for men. It’s to openly and honestly take a look into the fan culture that women have built from the ground up without shame or stigma.
We’ll talk about fanfiction and shipping. We’ll share embarrassing convention stories. We’ll dig into the stories we love and the stories we hate. We’ll look at the way these characters’ fictional masculinity intersects with our real life femininity. We’ll talk sexuality, subtext, and smooching. We’ll make dumb jokes, share favorite recommendations, pitch our dream stories and state our case for our best headcanons. It’s all on the table.
Who are you?
My name is Meg Downey. I’m a queer girl-ish type creature who lives in Los Angeles California. I’m a freelance comics journalist and historian who specializes in superheroes, but my interest in fan and pop culture spills out to just about everything.
I like fanfiction, tasteless gore, World War 2 history, and the aesthetics of boys who look good with bloody noses.