“My Little Pony” was a media entertainment franchise created in the 1980’s by Hasbro that was initially marketing toy ponies to young girls. It eventually spawned multiple TV shows and movies and generally been considered a financial success for Hasbro.
In 2010, a Lauren Faust revived the franchise with a new TV show. As expected, the show was again a success, but a queer and disturbing trend emerged: grown men became rabid, eager fans of the show.
According to the men who would be Bronies, they don’t love the show because of the bright, colorful displays or writing or the quality of production, but because the show celebrates friendship. Think about that. Grown men love a TV show aimed at socializing children into healthy, mature adults has a large and vocal fanbase.
Yet, these men don’t just love the show. No, these men fashion themselves as some sort of progressive gender-benders who challenge traditions of men growing up, excuse me – being masculine.
A video representing a good bit — but not all — of how Bronies see themselves:
This video has been pretty popular throughout the community and has positive references on feminist gaming sites — The Mary Sue — and the sentiment has been echoed on DailyDot, Wired.com and USA Today.
I already addressed his ridiculous gender theory from Judith Butler here.
Before dissecting the untoward psychology of the movement, consider the concept of “New Sincerity.” The movement is a self-professed reaction against the “irony” of the modern age. Irony is classic distancing behavior of a person who wants to be real but is terrified at what people will think of them if they are honest. Honesty is secondary to other’s approval. “New Sincerity” seems to be a fumbling attempt at true expression, but still needs escape hatches to escape social judgment and true, honest expression of the self. These are sorts of people who think treating people respectfully with compassion and decency are “revolutionary.” It’s not.
This is where “My Little Pony” comes in. The men who identify as “Bronies” are not challenging anything at all, but men who are so psychologically weak that they need a portal to their childhood where they fantasize about being a little girl. It is a queer way of reconnecting with a failed childhood, fantasizing about women while pretending your ability to garner the approval of women would be greatly helped by being a woman yourself. It is distancing yourself from your own personal desires and concerns and escaping into a fantasy world filled with the trappings of femininity where a weak man can exist amongst the feminine while simultaneously pretending he is one of them to get their approval and doing absolutely nothing to garner feminine approval in real life.
On one hand, it is part and parcel of female worship and a deeply rooted belief in female superiority and misandry. Bronies take like ducks to water when rhetoric about male hyper-masculinity is spewed, as they are the first in line to accuse men — as a class — of misogyny. These men have no guilt about throwing a fellow man under the bus, if female approval lies on the other side of the bus. They hate themselves more than they hate masculinity. The self-punishment and debasement is born of a society that teaches men they are not true men unless they have female approval. Escaping into a world filled with symbols of femininity is their way of garnering female approval in the abstract without actually having to do that in real life. Imagine a grown man enamored of a purple pony charming a woman on a first date.
On the other hand, it is based out of a false sense of male superiority. Consider this website, Betapedia. As I observed in my review of the movie “her,” these sorts of men have a deep sense of superiority over women that is rooted out of a pure, unadulterated sense of male ownership of women. These men have no game, no real lifestyle and see women as objects – of either worship or control. They don’t understand game, charisma or personal psychological balance. The fact that they worship objects — literally pony-shaped objects — and spend so much time on fictional characters over which they exercise complete control in their fan fiction is supremely telling. Sure, it is pure narcissism. Yet, unlike many functional narcissists, they can’t even convince people around them of their personal delusions. They are so neck-deep in narcissism, they need to fictional characters to meet their thirst for female approval.
These men are representative of the new masculinity: one based entirely on female approval and supremely beneficial to alpha males. Most importantly — as the creators and writers have — is the embrace by the franchise of these “Bronies.” They didn’t expect grown men to embrace the show, but whatever drives revenue is good, right? The rhetoric over gender and challenging masculinity is simply a smoke-screen for the producers of “My Little Pony” to keep selling this ridiculously childish imitation of masculinity to “Bronies.”
If you are watching a TV show geared towards children, you have problems. Further, for a grown man to eagerly consume a TV show aimed at girls is to admit the complete devolution of men into female children. Those men don’t aspire to self-sacrifice or any sort of stoicism, they aspire to…friendship.
Real men don’t spend their time fantasizing about true friendship, as they have that in real life. They certainly don’t fantasize about feminine ponies acting out friendship in a cartoon. Real men carve out their own life according to their terms; they spend time chasing and pursuing concrete goals. These “Bronies” spend their time fantasizing about either being a fantasy pony or “identifying” with a fantasy pony. All within the confines of childish femininity.
“Bronies” are nothing more than a sign of the times: weak-ass betas desperate for a personal identity and female approval so they find a outlet in “My Little Pony.” They are nothing more than a den of ankle-biting losers, but be aware they lurk in your midst. They are men who cock-block with impunity and men who sabotage other men with no remorse.
Just know that if a man has a purple pony on his nightstand, he is a man you can never trust.
Read Next: True Friendship Is About Tough Love