I came across this post on Sarah's blog a while back. I've been meaning to post about this here for some time, but it somehow slipped my mind. Anyway, Sarah is a big GRRM fan. You might remember that she's the one who won that contest for a full set of signed ASOIAF books last year. Her thoughts are collected on The Hathor Legacy, and I thought that perhaps many female SFF readers feel like Sarah when they visit various message boards.
As for me, I can vouch for the quality of Westeros, as I have become somewhat of a fixture there!;-) Then again, I mostly hang out in the Literature message board, where you'll find what is probably the most well-read SFF community on the internet. Indeed, it looks as though most people from various other boards (www.wotmania.com, www.malazanempire.com, www.sffworld.com, etc) all congregate there, making it the perfect gathering place for SFF readers. I can't say I've encountered something akin to what Sarah saw in the GRRM threads, but that doesn't mean that it's not present. Heck, I never knew there was such a thing as the "Sane ASOIAF Fans!"
In any event, again on the Literature board, I think that most members police themselves effectively, and the moderators are always there to keep things relatively clean. In my opinion, Ran (Elio) runs a great establishment!
I tend not to pay much attention to fanboys, for trying to argue with them quickly degenerates into a viscious circle that only stirs up a lot of unnecessary shit. What's the use of debating the merits of authors like Steven Erikson or R. Scott Bakker with people who start threads claiming they suck and they don't know why some readers can be stupid enough to buy their crap? Pointless, if you ask me. . .
What I found interesting in Sarah's post (please don't call her "wench!") was that it offered the female perspective on something I never really realized was happening around me. Hence, I was wondering if other women felt the same concerning message boards in general? Looking around, I discovered that there is a panoply of blogs, LJs, and websites where women discuss and review SFF books, which might explain why guys outnumber gals so dramatically on all the message boards I frequent. So I thought that I should just throw this out there and see what people think.
Hopefully we can discuss this intelligently. . .:-)