Podcast on Feminism and the Fandom

One of the core aspects of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic is how it strives to provide empowerment for young girls through a medium that is typically unfavorable to women. As part of the content blitz for International Women’s Day discussed in more detail in our previous post, and in collaboration with The Round Stable, we have invited fellow fans to discuss femininity, feminism, and women’s issues in the context of MLP:FiM and its fandom.

  • Sonya Lynn, convention chair of BABSCon.
  • Factory Factory, moderator emeritus and contributor to the TRS Forums.
  • Lilli, a regular poster on the TRS Forums.
  • TechPhek, writer for Derpy News and Pickle Barrel Kumquat, and editor of the MLP G4 Merch Tumblr.

Celebrating International Women’s Day 2014

My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic is special in how it strives to go beyond the commonly accepted boundaries of girls’ entertainment, providing a wide diversity of role models and conflict-driven story lines that do not only encourage cooperation but also celebrate individuality. When “girly” is too commonly used as a pejorative, FiM rejects many attributes associated with girls’ animation not to be closer to gender neutrality but to use overt girliness to embrace the many facets of femininity.

It is no secret that this show has garnered a large adult following of both female and male fans, and that the existence of the latter has often sparked strong reactions—much stronger than against women watching a boys’ cartoon. While it is indeed important to claim the right of both men and women to pursue their interests regardless of gender roles, we must fight the core reason behind such a backlash—the internalized preconception that femininity is weaker than masculinity, that girl things are inherently lesser than boy things, and that a work targeted toward girls cannot possibly have value. In fact, this is another testament to the necessity of such works as FiM, and how important it is for us to not downplay but embrace its girliness and champion the show’s core message of empowerment for young girls and women.

Today is International Women’s Day, this year’s theme being “Inspiring Change.” We would like to encourage all of you to reflect on not only femininity and gender roles as they pertain to this show but also take advantage of this opportunity to research women’s issues and gender equality, to discuss it with your peers both within and outside of this fandom, to try and inspire change. It is true that many people and groups tend to be hostile to feminist discourse, to react defensively to any discussion on the issues women may face, as if it was an attack on the integrity of an entire group that it needs to be defended from above all things, and this may be intimidating. However, we firmly believe that discussing any problems we may have as a group is healthy regardless of how widespread or uncommon it may be, not as an accusatory debate on who should be blamed but as an attempt to fix issues that arise. To inspire change is to refrain from claiming not to be part of the problem but instead work actively to be part of the solution.

To encourage reflection and discussion, for the next few days we will be posting regularly on @BroniesForGood and our dusty Facebook page various resources and opinion pieces relevant to women’s issues both in the context of all things ponies and the world at large, as well as host a podcast as a platform for various educated individuals tuned to the fandom to discuss and express their opinions on the matter.

To kick this off, we encourage you to check out A Step Forward Too Late: The Impact of Femininity and Pony, a piece and testament to the importance of representation in girls’ media by Rarietty on The Round Stable!

With much love and solidarity,

Bronies for Good

On Bullying

First of all, I would like to voice once again my support of Michael Morones, who has suffered through hardships no one should have to endure, and of his loving family. There are some additional thoughts regarding the overall issue of bullying that I would like to share. This is something most of you might agree with, but some things are healthy to discuss and remind ourselves of, and I think now is a good time for that. A few days ago, a Daily Dot article was published. It is a sensationalistic piece that generalizes the behavior of the few in order to vilify the many. This post is not directed to the few but to the many.

After seeing a particular kind of discourse in several places in the fandom, I believe this is something that is worth discussing. Comparing two instances of bullying should never happen. There is a point beyond which asking which is worse should not have any relevance, because neither are tolerable and both must be fought with all our might. A certain episode of a popular cartoon has taken the task of teaching children that bullying even your enemy is never acceptable, and maybe as adults we should remember that.

Disagree with her ideas, with her methods, with her actions, think ill of her if you must. Do not downplay, minimize, belittle, excuse, or justify in any way or even only in part the organized harassment of an individual. Harassment that, in this particular case, goes as far as graphic depictions of rape and the public disclosure of her name and address. “It’s not the same as …” is not acceptable. “She isn’t innocent” is not acceptable. “The other side also …” is not acceptable. “Some people went too far, but …” is not acceptable. There are no shades of gray here. Bullying is always black, and must be condemned without restraint. It’s easy to support your allies, but bullies rarely attack the popular, and we can’t pick our fights here. Even if you disagree with the victim, even if the topic makes you uncomfortable. We can’t pick our fights.

It also saddens me that much too often, the first and sometimes only reaction to criticism against the community is to claim that “we are not all like this.” Of course not. It should go without saying for anyone with an ounce of common sense that far from all members of such a large and diverse fandom share the traits described in that article, or any traits for that matter. Rather than looking inward and making it known that we are not part of the problem, we should more often look outward and try to be part of the solution.

I don’t claim to have the solution to our problems, but I do know that it will take each of us to build it. Here, the best I can do for now is to voice my support for Michael Morones, PinkiePony, and everyone else who was bullied anywhere, anytime. When most if not all of us were either bullied ourselves or know a close relative who was, we at Bronies for Good hope that the majority can stay united against all harassment and bullying.

With much love and solidarity,

InC

Bronies for Good

Seeds of Kindness 2 Launch!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FvDAZs_FCKI

 

It is our great pleasure to announce the launch of Seeds of Kindness 2: Faithful and Strong! Dozens of musicians from the pony fan community over at My Little Remix have completed a 2.5 hour long charity album, Faithful and Strong, to be offered for every donation. Moreover, the most generous donors following these instructions by December 25th will receive unique Christmas gifts donated by artists from the community!

All proceeds will go towards funding the Safe Project in Uganda, an HIV-stricken country where more than 2.3 million children are orphaned due to AIDS. By expanding the orphanage and building a chicken farm to guarantee its long-term sustainability, this project will provide to this lost generation care and education and guarantee them a brighter future.

 

Today, September 23rd at 11am PST, the album will premiere on:

 

Everfree Radio

Everypony Radio

Fillydelphia Radio

BronyState 

 

More info:

How to donate

The gifts

The album tracklist

 

Now, let’s go do some good in the world!

Love and Solidarity,

The Bronies for Good Team.

 

You can learn more about our non-profit partner Your Siblings, in their FAQ—it’s a good read. Sustainability, transparency, local roots, need, and urgency are their primary criteria, ensuring that they only support the projects with the strongest long-term impact. Moreover, their policy is to cover all travel and personal costs as well as money transfer fees independently from donations, so that 100% of what you give will be spent exclusively on the projects.

Prizes Needed for Seeds of Kindness 2: Faithful and Strong

Hello everyone,

Thanks to the contributions of so many musicians and artists and to the generosity of you all, Seeds of Kindness has managed to raise over €37,000 ($47,000) and fully fund three Your Siblings projects: a clinic in Uganda, the Green Village for street children in Burundi and the expansion of an orphanage in Tanzania.

Following this success, dozens of musicians from the pony fan community over at My Little Remix are now close to the completion of another charity album, Faithful and Strong. All proceeds will go towards funding the Safe Project in Uganda, an HIV-stricken country where more than 2.3 million children are orphaned due to AIDS. By expanding the orphanage and building a chicken farm to guarantee its long-term sustainability, this project will provide to this lost generation care and education and guarantee them a brighter future.

To help support this cause, we are looking for gifts and prizes to be offered to the top donors, such as custom figurines, plushies, paintings, commissions for any of these, or electronic items such as games. With the previous iteration of Seeds of Kindness, the sum of all donations from the ten prize winners added up to as much as €9,800 thanks to these generous contributions! If you would like to offer such items, please contact us at broniesforgood@gmail.com.

 

Update: The album will be released by the end of the week, so have a teaser and a full song performed live!

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FvDAZs_FCKI

 

 

Thank you all so much once again for your amazing ongoing support,

Bronies for Good

Lisa’s Thank You Letter, Green Village and Tanzanian Orphanage Project Funded!

The Seeds of Kindness fundraiser has reached two major milestones almost at once: The Green Village in Burundi, and the orphanage in Tanzania are now fully funded!

Not only can Mawanda Johnbosco and his team realize their dream of a medical facility in Katerera, Western Uganda, but thanks to everyone’s generous donations, the Green Life association and the Human Revelation Organization can also realize their projects in Burundi and Tanzania. Thus giving many orphans and street children an opportunity to a future without hunger and crime, an opportunity to a proper education, and a new family. Thank you!

Like all Your Siblings projects, these too are completely self-sustainable after this initial impetus and independent of outside help.

Lisa Wiese, founder and first chair of Your Siblings, has put her gratitude in words. The video is her thank you letter to bronies, pony fans, and all who have helped make this become a reality. Spread it around, so every last one of us can hear it.

All further donations will benefit an orphanage in Uganda, which also cares for children of the so-called lost generation. Whose parents have died of AIDS, and who would otherwise be left without money for food, school, medical care, and without anyone to call family.

Please continue your generous support!

Every donor can download both My Little Remix albums. The current one, Seeds of Kindness, and the previous one, Smile! (The link is right on the thank you page you’ll see after you donated.) Moreover many prizes are still up for grabs!

Massive Smile Project Released!

Hi everyone!

A little update with two good news : one, Seeds of Kindness just reached $4,500 in a single day! Only $5,500 more to go to complete the clinic!

Two, we are glad to relay to you the release of the Massive Smile Project, a cover of the Smile song performed by 11 soloists and over 160 choir singers! No matter where and when you listen to this, it will make you smile.

Once again, thank you so much, to all of you guys!

Musicians and artists needed for Seeds of Kindness

As introduced in our last update, we are currently working with My Little Remix toward another event, Seeds of Kindness, to help save lives by building a clinic in Uganda and a village for Street Children in Burundi. To make this happen, we need help from you musicians and artists out there! Many generous bronies offered wonderful prizes for Smile! and helped raise more than $26,000, and we hope to make this success repeat itself! If you either make or own custom pony art (or even non-pony stuff such as Steam gifts) and want to use your talent to make the world a better place to live, we would love to collaborate with you, so feel free to check out this page here for additional information on Seeds of Kindness and ways you can participate:

 

http://broniesforgood.org/?page_id=485

 

If you have specific questions, feel free to shoot us an email at broniesforgood @gmail.com

 

You can learn more about the clinic,  the Green Village and our partner, Your Siblings, on their FAQ – it’s a good read. Their policy is to cover all travel and personal costs as well as money transfer fees independently from donations, so that 100% of what you give will be spent exclusively on said projects !

 

Thanks again to everyone making all of this possible, and spread the word !

 

 

Smile! event is over, over $26,000 raised !

 

 

 

Twenty. Six. Thousands.
That’s how much you guys raised in one month. Indeed, the tips to GlobalGiving got back to the CCA in the form of a $3,000 bonus! All going straight to the Children’s Cancer Association, all to make this world a happier place to live in, all to help children in need smile and live again ! This is so amazing, THANK YOU SO MUCH ! Really, we couldn’t even begin to thank you all enough for making this happen !

 

To all the musicians who made such an amazing album.

To Piquipauparro, whose prize was chosen by the most generous donor, who donated as much a $1,250.

To Xofox, who offered a handcrafted wooden pony commission. To shytalon, who offered several art commissions.

To the whole Cutie Mark Crusade team, who will give extra thanks to donors in their upcoming game.

To RoarinRoy, who offered an awesome set of Pinkie Pie headphones.

To MasterTortilla and Futtashy here at Bronies for Good, who not only helped setting this up but also offered a pony scarf commission and an original painting, respectively.

To Tsutanai-Neko, who offered a Nurse RedHeart custom.

To RinellaWasHere and Pen Stroke, who both offered fanfic commissions.

To Equestria Daily, DerpyHoovesNews and everyone else who helped spread the word.

To all of you, thank you so much once again for making this happen !

 

 

 What’s next ?

 

Even though the actual event and prize contest is technically over, we will still be keeping the fundraiser open for a while for those who may have missed it and still want to get the album. However, we don’t plan to stop there, as there will always be even more good to be done ! We are now working on another event that we shortly announced a little while ago : Seeds of Kindness.
This next event is aimed towards funding two major projects of the non-profit group Your Siblings :

 

- The first $10,000 collected will be used to complete the building and supplying of a clinic in Uganda, where there is less than one doctor per 12,000 people, and life expectancy is only about fifty years. After this initial impulse, the clinic will be self-sustainable and able to provide free emergency care without any external help for anyone who can’t afford to pay for it.
- When the clinic is fully funded, the next donations will be used to build a Green Village in Burundi, where street children who lost their parents to the civil war can find a home and learn to earn their subsistence without having to resort to crime.

 

You can learn more about our partner, Your Siblings, on their FAQ – it’s a good read. Their policy is to cover all travel and personal costs as well as money transfer fees independently from donations, so that 100% of what you give will be spent exclusively on said projects ! Cool fact : their web server hosts Ponyleaks, as their second chair and lead developer is no other than Telofy, also author at DerpyHoovesNews !

 

Anyway, if your interested in getting involved with the project, or would like more information on how Seeds of Kindness will work, check out the page on projects!

 

Thanks again everybody! None of this would be possible without your continued support and effort!

 

Love and solidarity!

 

-BfG team

Smile! breaks $21,000 & Introducing “Seeds of Kindness”

Amazing news everybody!

 

We just broke the $18,000 bar on the donation page! In fact, we all even raised more than $21,000 for the Children’s Cancer Association, because all of the tips to GlobalGiving got back to the CCA as an extra bonus, so that they actually receive $3,000 more than what is shown!

 

There is only one week left until the 25th, when the winners of the prizes are decided, so be quick if you want to be one of them! As of now, the two top donors are tied for first prize, and the four top donors after them for the second, so I want to make sure everything is clear on what will happen if they don’t make other donations by the 25th. As explained in the initial post, donations are cumulative and in the event of a tie, the donor whose last donation was made the earliest will get priority.

 

Thank you so much to all of you for your generosity, and a big shout-out to all of the artists who contributed to this! We will still be taking taking donations for a while, but be sure to follow the instructions to get the album.

 

 

Introducing Seeds of Kindness

 

Because good things do NOT end, we are currently working toward an even bigger event, and we are looking for artists willing to lend their talent and help a worthy cause!
This next event, “Seeds of Kindness”, will fund two projects:

 

- The first $10,000 collected will be used to complete the building and supplying of a clinic in Uganda, where there is less than one doctor per 12,000 people, and life expectancy is only about fifty years. After this initial impulse, the clinic will be self-sustainable and able to provide free emergency care without any external help for anyone who can’t afford to pay for it.

 

- When the clinic is fully funded, the next donations will be used to build a Green Village in Burundi, where street children who lost their parents to the civil war can find a home and learn to earn their subsistence without having to resort to crime.

 

The policy of our partner, Your Siblings, is to cover all travel and personal costs as well as money transfer fees independently from donations, so that 100% of what you give will be spent exclusively on said projects.

 
How you can help:

 
- My Little Remix is currently working on another charity album, which will be instantly sent to every donor. If you’re good with music and want to contribute to this cause, you can find more info here.

 

 

- Just as with Smile!, we would like to offer extra prizes to the most generous donors! We can’t say exactly how much before the event ends, but we received HUGE donations, and their sum is several times higher than the sum of what each individual prize would have sold for on eBay. If you either make or own custom pony art (or even non-pony stuff such as Steam gifts) and want to use your talent to make the world a better place to live, we would love to collaborate with you, so shoot us an email: broniesforgood at gmail dot com!

 
- If you are more versed in the digital arts and can’t make any physical gift, you can also contribute with a gift to charity and the whole community: We are also looking for various kinds of media that can be released to celebrate major milestones! If you are up for the challenge, email us with your ideas and we will contact you with further information and advice.

 
Once again, thank you all so much for making all of this possible!
Love and solidarity to you all.