The term ‘fan’ is an abbreviation of the word fanatic, which comes from the Latin word ‘fanaticus’, which has religious connotations and refers to devotees and having secular faith, but it quickly assumes negative connotations in society. Henry Jenkins, an American media scholar and lecturer of the second half of the 20th century, deals with different phenomena related to the fan in his book Textual Poachers: Television Fans and Participatory culture. He rejects every fan stereotype such as comic, nerdy fan, psychotic fan and eroticized fan. Moreover, he express the fan as a defensible position within mass culture, in which they are seen as a scandalous category, whose interests are alien to a normal cultural experience and out of any sync with reality, treated as the ‘other’.

The notion of good taste, developed by Pierre Bourdieu, helps Jenkins to analyse how the fan is socially seen and why. The notion of good taste, appropriate conduct and aesthetic merit are not universal or natural, they are acquired and reflect the interests of dominant classes. Our choices have been shaped by experience as members of cultural groups, institutions and social exchanges. This perpetuates class identities and social distinctions, promoting stereotypes and prejudices. All in all, this is a hierarchy that breaks down when the fans transform from consumers to producers and manipulators of meanings, a notion which we will explore later.

Moving on, Jenkins also mention Michel De Certeau in his work. Like him, he poses an alternative conception of fan as readers who appropriate popular texts, or other media forms of Jenkins time, to serve different interests. The readers or spectators transfer the experience of consuming culture into a rich and complex participatory culture.

Respecting De Certeau’s opinion, people are not just passive consumers, but ‘users’, who can be very creative and active in their forms of consumption and behavior. De Certeau distinguishes between strategies and tactics. Of course, producers employ strategies, since they have the control and power and employ a ‘scriptural economy’, which restrains the multiplicity of voices and the circulation of other meanings. Conversely, through tactics, a form of resistance, the consumers or users try to change the limits imposed by producers and conquer their power, through poaching or appropriation. However, they cannot fully overcome them, as one we can see from the Harry Potter wars, the Warner Bros fought against young fanfic authors, or Lucasfilm against proliferation of erotic context including their copyrighted characters. These legal boundaries or lawsuits have opened the discussion that property rights over fiction should not determine how viewers understand it. This endless debate must be discussed between consumers and producers, and the debate now centers around the terms of participation.

What’s more, nowadays, fandom is seen as a series of organized efforts to influence programming decisions. In other words, fascination, adoration and also frustration is what motivates fans’ engagement in media. They struggle with narratives that do not satisfy them, and articulate unrealized possibilities within the original. Through this process, they cease to be mere audience, but active participants. Axel Bruns’ term ‘produsage’ which unites production and usage accurately defines this process previously mentioned. The hierarchy is broken down and there I no distinction between producers and consumers. Fandom becomes a participatory culture which transforms the experience of media consumption into the production of new texts, culture and communities.

Virginia Woolf’s essay of 1939, entitled Three Guineas was not received with much emphasis within cultural studies, where the Leavis called it nasty, dangerous and preposterous. In Three Guineas, Woolf imagines she is replying to a letter sent to her by a successful and respectable barrister who is asking how the daughters of educated men might help to prevent war. Actually, she discusses the general question of how these daughters might help to prevent war within the context of three imaginary requests seeking support and money for different causes. Virginia practices feminist cultural criticism by offering three responses.

1.A reply to an honorable treasurer’s letter asking for money to rebuild a women college.

2.A reply to a letter asking for a subscription to a society to help the daughters of educated men to obtain employment in the professions.

3.A reply to a letter asking that the daughters of educated men should sing a manifesto pledging themselves to protect culture and intellectual liberty; and join that society which is in need of funds.

Virginia Woolf gives a Guinea to each cause, but only under especial conditions. It is important to highlight that Three Guineas was written on the eve of the outbreak of the second world war, when the fascism was perceived as a threat to world peace.

In the first guinea, Woolf’s reply enables her to mount this powerful cultural critique to exclusion and systematic subordination. Many men argued that upper class women should not have the right to earn a living, since working was not dignified and only another kind of slavery. She replies that ‘to depend upon a profession is a less odious form of slavery than depend upon a father’, bringing out what she saw as the basis patriarchy of British life. This patriarchy she talks is related to patriotism including the idea that men claims to fight out for a love of freedom and are driven by the pride they feel of their country. This question enables her to imagine what might mean patriotism to the daughters of educated men. Moreover, she raises the question of national identity, where she said that she has no country since it has made women dependent and treated them as slaves.

Sexual difference for her is not something laid down by ‘nature’ but a product of how sexes experience the world through culture and the possibilities that are available to them. Her identity as a woman is very much a product of cultural differences constructed by a society historically dominated by men. She recognizes that the men and women of her class are divided by a sense of perception.

In the second guinea, she summarized the struggles where were involved the upper class women to win the very restricted right to study. She also showed interest in what we now call representation, making clear that men have represented them as intellectual inferior and better fitted in domestic duties than learning. This historical perspective is something that she tries to offer in relation to everything she discusses, whether education or entry into the professions, including church.

Virginia Woolf claims that the differentiation in terms of gender is a socially construction and not a natural outcome of innate differences. This social constructed difference is observed very clearly even through signifying practices, that is how in a given context, things are made to mean, which are culturally influenced, such as dress, which was, and is, used to express the social position of the gender.

Woolf is not only demanding equality, but she goes a step beyond by asking rhetorically to women if is it worth to aspire to the same world that was dominated by men. For this reason, she recognizes that unless women participated in culture, education and professions, they can never hope to have any influence over society. Also, one of her strongest arguments is that the only way women can help to prevent war was if men allowed women this full participation.

In the third guinea, she replies to the barrister who is asking the daughters of educated men to sign a manifesto pledging themselves to protect culture and intellectual liberty. Here, she points out that women of her class had already contributed to male intellectual liberty for centuries, because all the money which could have been spent on the education of women, has been already spent on men. She says that the feminists must fight against the Fascistic State.