Estrogen Brigade

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An enclave of female fans within a traditionally male-dominated fandom. They tend to focus on a particular character or actor, rather than the entire series. Occasionally both sides butt heads over largely superficial reasons, with buckets of opposite-sex awkwardness, which can get defensive. It should also be noted that not all female fans within such a fandom are necessarily of the Estrogen Brigade.

Unfortunately, it is because of this phenomenon that female fans are sometimes regarded with suspicion—especially if she admits that she does, in fact, happen to find some of the male cast members to be physically pleasing to the eye. However, finding certain members of the cast to be pleasing to look at does not necessarily preclude a fan from liking other aspects of a particular work—and, thus, should not automatically invalidate her (or him) as being a "true fan".

An Estrogen Brigade is easily attracted by hints of Ho Yay, since most members of such brigades seem to be Yaoi Fangirls at heart. See also Multiple Demographic Appeal.

Not to be confused with Amazon Brigade. Its Spear Counterpart is the Testosterone Brigade.

Examples of Estrogen Brigade include:

Anime and Manga[edit | hide | hide all]


Comic Books[edit | hide]

  • The Green Lantern Corps has a surprisingly strong following in the Feminist Comics Blogosphere, only in part because of the franchise's 50-year tradition of spandex-clad butt shots. Hal is "endearingly sexist", John is "the serious one", Guy is the "gruff den mother", Kyle is The Woobie, and Alan is the sexy older guy, and, Great Galaxies, I think I'm about to make a Five-Man Band entry about the GLC.
  • Deadpool has had an estrogen brigade of fun, quirky, female geeks for a few years now, mostly because they get a kick out of his Black Comedy sense of humor. Now he's getting a more traditional estrogen brigade, since he's being portrayed by Ryan Reynolds.
  • The female Batman fandom is still very small, but type any combination of male characters into the search bar on Deviant ART some time, if you dare. With all the Foe Yay, the fact Bruce Wayne is generally depicted as a rather handsome fellow, ass-kicking female characters, Nightwing, and a huge cast of interesting villains, many of whom are just begging for Draco in Leather Pants treatment... it's sort of a wonder the Estrogen Brigade for Batman isn't bigger.
  • Nightcrawler and Gambit are probably the two most popular Marvel characters for fangirls.
  • Another Testosterone Brigade example can be found in the fandom of Witchblade, a comic whose main character is a Dude Magnet who also has Les Yay moments with her Lancer.


Film - Animation[edit | hide]

  • The Lorax made the Once-ler a human. A very cute human. A very cute human with a sympathetic POV. Cue the fangirls.


Film - Live Acton[edit | hide]

  • Darth Maul has an estrogen brigade.
    • At least one "estrogen brigade" site for Darth Maul that was done mostly tongue-in-cheek, and it was brilliant.
    • Han Solo, Obi-Wan Kenobi, Luke, and Anakin can also be considered this
  • Pick a male from The Dark Knight Saga. Any male from The Dark Knight Saga. They will have fangirls. Especially the Joker.
  • Rumor has it that the only reason those of the female persuasion agreed to sit through 300 with their boyfriends was the highly buff, almost entirely-male cast who seemed unaquainted with the concept of a shirt.
  • Pictured is the cover to a FoxTrot collection, showing how a good portion of Lord of the Rings viewers were fangirls oogling Orlando Bloom (many others differed chiefly in that they preferred Viggo Mortensen).
    • Then there was the embarrassing fawning over an extra that female fans christened "Figwit."
  • The "mud wrestling" fight in Thor does a lot for the ladies in the audience, I'm told.
    • Thor has fans, but Loki's (and by extension, Tom Hiddleston's) Estrogen Brigade is incredibly vocal and devoted. They call themselves "Hiddlestoners." You can read a (very profane) Affectionate Parody of their behavior here.
    • Tom Hiddleston's fanbase just exploded into existence after Thor, even though the film mostly presented Chris Hemsworth as the default hunk totty. However, thanks to Loki's characterisation and his Bishonen looks (and Hiddleston's Mean Character, Nice Actor personality), Hiddleston became the Ensemble Darkhorse at least where the ladies were concerned. To the point where it took Marvel and the rest of the world by surprise. At the NYC Comic Con 2011, with plenty of stars and producers from the Avengers attending a panel, 99% of the audience questions were directed at Hiddleston, with audible gushing from the lady fans. And with plenty of awkwardness for the hosts and the rest of the panel members. It's notable because the hosts and the co-stars were clearly not expecting it, and even Hiddleston himself seems to have been overwhelmed by it. See it yourself, here.
  • In the previews for Captain America: The First Avenger, Chris Evans is acquiring an estrogen brigade.
  • Prince Nuada, from Hellboy II, also has an estrogen brigade. There's even a community to bring him back in a prequel movie.


Literature[edit | hide]

  • Harry Potter. Have you seen the fangirl hordes? Mere death is no obstacle to Remus/Sirius.
  • The Aubrey-Maturin book series is about the adventures of a naval ship captain during the Napoleonic Wars. Readers come for the history; they stay for the massive Ho Yay between Captain Aubrey and his best friend, the ship's surgeon and resident Badass Bookworm, Stephen Maturin. (Even without the slash, Stephen's pack of loyal fangirls would still give the Aubreyad a decently sized Estrogen Brigade.) It doesn't help that they call each other things like "my joy", "my heart", "my soul"...
    • The movie also comes with Russell Crowe, Paul Bettany, and a scene with a half-naked injured!Stephen moaning in a way that sounds a tad erotic. While Jack's hands press down on his naked abdomen.
    • Stephen's LOVE INTEREST even says to him that "anyone would think you were married to that man"!
  • While perhaps falling short of this trope, Terry Pratchett says in The Art of Discworld that Greebo (yep, that Greebo) garnered a lot of female fans after his first appearance in human form.
    • He also says of Vetinari "I hear he has his own, all-female, fan club." (The "Sisters of Vetinari").
  • Les Misérables' Amis de l'ABC: A group of 9 young revolutionaries, some of whom are very close, results in a pretty much all-female fandom. While there is a preference for Enjolras, fangirls often write slash involving any pairings of these.
    • Hell, an almost entirely male cast of charecters pretty much guaruntees fangirls will find someone to Squee about!
  • In the first volume of Ivanhoe, the narrator spends a lot of time repeatedly pointing out how much the ladies enjoy tournaments and matches between knights even more enthusiastically than many men. Lampshade Hanging or just Genre Savvy?


Live Action TV[edit | hide]

  • The David Duchovny Estrogen Brigade (The X-Files) and the Peter Davison, Paul McGann, and David Tennant Estrogen Brigades (Doctor Who) are two (four?) of the most famous examples. The episode "The Shakespeare Code" even had the eponymous playwright joining the Tennant Brigade.
    • It got to the point where there was a one-hit wonder by Bree Sharp called "David Duchovny, Why Won't You Love Me?"
    • There was a Sylvester McCoy Estrogen Brigade on rec.arts.drwho.
      • Christopher Eccleston still has his own, slightly more mature, college-age, following. This might seem odd, considering he only got one season, but consider that Paul McGann only had one TV movie, yet still got a Brigade.
  • The John Crichton Estrogen Brigate was very vocal during the run of Farscape'.
  • For an example of this phenomenon at its peak, go visit a Supernatural convention. Guaranteed at least 90% women. One notable convention, Wincon (formerly known as WinchesterCon) used to have a women-only policy—male fans were only admitted if they were accompanied by a female fan. They've relaxed that restriction, but still maintain a strict anti-harrassment policy to create a "safe space" for female fans to express themselves.
  • The Sliders fandom came to be referred to as JODSers, short for "Jerry O'Connell Droolers Society".
  • The Star Trek franchise has had one from the beginning—in fact, Chekov was added to the show specifically for just such appeal.
  • Jamie Bamber, most recently of Battlestar Galactica fame, has a posse of girl fans known in the community as "The Bamber Bunnies", and yet people still misspell his name as "Barber".
    • Not mentioning, of course, "Baltar's Nymph Brigade." Note that by the final season, he had gained an in-show, religiously fanatical Estrogen Brigade derided as a "nymph-squad" by the President.
    • And "Trucco's Troops".
  • The Colbert Report, being primarily political satire, has more or less equal gender appeal—but Colbert's personal Estrogen Brigade has to be seen to be believed. There are threads on the show's official forum dedicated solely to collecting pictures of his fingers.
    • Jon Stewart gets some too, usually in response to the latest episode where he rips some douchebag a new one.
  • The Marcus Cole Estrogen Brigade, honouring the Ranger from Babylon 5, is still in existence. It doesn't talk about Marcus very much any more, but it has a distinctive voice and staying power.
  • Vincent D'Onofrio has acquired a brigade based on his work in Law and Order: Criminal Intent, though his recent weight gain seems to have caused a lot of internal friction among them.
    • The beard has also led to raised eyebrows.
  • One of the earliest Estrogen Brigades was David McCallum's, which sprang to life when the 60s spy series The Man from U.N.C.L.E. introduced us to minor character Illya Kuryakin. Kuryakin almost immediately caught the attention of (mostly) female fans, and McCallum went from mere Recurring Character to series regular to second billing (behind series lead Robert Vaughn) in the first season alone. By the second season, McCallum shared equal billing with Vaughn.
  • All three presenters on Top Gear (Clarkson sometimes jokes about Hammond being on the show solely to attract female viewers). And The Stig. And producer Andy Wilman. And James May's blue-patterned flowery shirt...
  • The Magnificent Seven has seven of these, one for each character. They are: Larabee's Ladies, Buck's Babes, Vin's Vixens, Josiah's Jezebels, Nathan's Nightingales, Dunne's Darlins, and (the only non-alliterative one) Ezra's Brigadears.
  • Angel and Wesley have the biggest Brigades from Angel.
  • The men from Mystery Science Theater 3000 all seem to have their own little pockets of fangirls if one puts enough effort into finding them (i.e.: head onto Deviant ART or Live Journal, for starters). Joel, Mike, Forrester, Frank... even Torgo has his fangirls.
    • And if you look on youtube, you will find that Crow and Tom both have their fair share of fangirls too. Despite (or because?) being robots.
  • Iron Chef, particularly in the later years. Sakai, Chen, Kobe, and Morimoto all have their fangirls. Kaga's got some as well, naturally, but surprisingly there are quite a few for the announcer, Kenji Fukui.
    • Its successor, Iron Chef America is the same way.
  • Methos of Highlander the Series had/has a Boxer Brigade, due to his appearing in his underwear in an episode.
  • During the run of Beauty and The Beast, Ron Perlman acquired one.
    • On account of Perlman rarely giving interviews and being a virtual nobody at the time. Most viewers didn't even know what he looked like out of makeup and the Brigade was therefore based on sheer romanticism.
  • Peter Capaldi of The Thick of It has a sizeable Estrogen Brigade, including plenty of women who want to be bollocked by Malcolm Tucker. Most of them seem to be around half his age, and many are also fans of Jamie. Angry Scots seem to be very attractive for some reason.
  • Sherlock's Benedict Cumberbatch and his loyal Cumberbitches. After all, dirty, dirty girls love Benedict Cumberbatch.
  • "The Giddies", a group of female The Goodies fans, described in The Clue Bible as having a shared interest in the shortness of Graeme's shorts in "Scoutrageous".
  • Conan's HCPN (Hot Coco Picture Night) Wenches. Go to the Team Coco Facebook page on a Sunday night to witness lots of R-rated drooling over photos of him.

Music[edit | hide]

  • The Beatles, especially compared to their indie years.
  • A rather unconventional Estrogen Brigade, but Rammstein has one as well.
  • Most men in Heavy Metal bands tend to have rugged looks and long-flowing hair. Do the math.
  • Some historians credit Elvis Presley with advancing the feminist movement because his concerts were places that female fans could go crazy and it was totally okay.


Professional Wrestling[edit | hide]

  • Tends to be rather obvious in Professional Wrestling, and tend to have their own favorites apart from the rest of the crowd. Ever notice how the cheers for a Jeff Hardy, or a Randy Orton, or especially John Cena are much higher-pitched than the cheers for any other wrestler? Especially when Jeff takes off his shirt...
    • Randy, to be fair, makes all his matches overflow with Ho Yay. He has a rather... "intense" battle stare, no?
    • This can certainly be traced back to Ricky Morton of the Rock 'n' Roll Express, who was one of the first wrestlers to be continually beat up to appeal to the mothering instincts of female fans.
    • "Clique"-era Shawn Michaels was blatantly marketed at female fans, to the point of doing a spread in Playgirl. Of course, the result was the male fans turning against him in a way that makes the current reaction to John Cena seem positively tame, culminating in Madison Square Garden rabidly cheering Sid of all wrestlers at Survivor Series 1996. In the pre-Attitude era, that type of fan revolt was shocking.
      • Many male fans take great pleasure in the stunned reaction of a female fan in the front row of that match when Sid pins Michaels clean in the middle as MSG erupts in cheers.
      • This seems to happen to any wrestler that has tha many fangirls. They usually get a lot of hate from the male fans.


Sports[edit | hide]


Theater[edit | hide]

  • Roger from Rent definitely has one! As does Mark to a lesser extent.
  • The title character of The Phantom of the Opera has a pretty large one, resulting in an almost all-female fandom. And if you don't like Erik, there's always Raoul...
  • Les Misérables probably got its initial female fanbase almost entirely from Michael Ball (the West End's original Marius), Michael Maguire (Broadway's original Enjolras), and/or Colm Wilkinson (the original Jean Valjean).


Video Games[edit | hide]


Web Original[edit | hide]


Western Animation[edit | hide]

  • Ben 10 and its sequel are both aimed at preteen boys, but the shows have garnered a fair amount of teenage-and-up female fans. Some of them enjoy the show as an entity, but others just watch it for one of the male characters (or for the Shipping...). Kevin is the most popular (particularly when he grows up), but some girls prefer Grandpa Max.
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender's target demographic is 6-11 year old boys, so how do they explain this?
    • Perhaps to answer this question one should partake in a bit of a drinking game. Whenever you see a male character on Avatar lack a shirt take one shot. If you can see their chest but they still have their clothes on, take half a shot. There is your answer.
      • Don't go through with this drinking game. Your liver will die before you're halfway through the episode.
    • Although, it is Live Journal and Most Fanfic Writers Are Girls.
  • Transformers has always been aimed at boys, with female characters in the franchise few and far-between. Despite this, the series has a female fanbase—which is commonly portrayed in the fandom as being full of fangirls who ship Megatron/Starscream.
    • Starscream in general seems to be fangirl bait, no matter the continuity. Nobody's really sure why.
  • Dragon Booster was also aimed at boys, with only a smattering of female characters. The message board which provided the nexus point for most of the fandom, however, has a substantial female population.
  • The Warden from Superjail, and by extension, David Wain in Wainy Days.
    • David Wain recently joined deviantART. He spends his time there adding sexy fanart of his character to his favourites. It's... unsettling.
  • Fan Art of South Park tells a lot!
    • Parodied in the episode "The Ring", where they point out that most girls for the Jonas Brothers (or any boy band for that matter) just go to their concerts to look at them rather than listening to their music.
  • In King Arthur's Disasters, Lancelot has his own little cult of ladies following him around in "The Yodeling Dolphin of Kirkwall" and "Mission: Implausible." Hell, some gaurds were hired in one episode to drive 'em away.

Random girl takes a lock of Lancelot's hair
Random Girl: I'VE GOT SOME OF HIS HAIR!!!!!!

  • Similiarly to Avatar: The Last Airbender, Teen Titans, despite being originally aimed at boys aged below 12, has attracted many older female fans, mainly due to a crapload of characters serving the role of Estrogen Brigade Baits.
  • Danny Phantom apparently has a huge college age female following. A lot of that has to do with Vlad and Dark Danny.


Real Life[edit | hide]

  • Robespierre is SOOOOOOO hot!
    • Saint-Just fans. Enough said. Show up for the Knight Templar, stay for the Bishonen.
    • Camille Desmoulins also qualifies in a slightly cuter, revolutionary-next-door way. Shouting love letters to his wife while he was being led to the guillotine? Awwwwwwww!
  • Vic Mignogna, arguably. Originally famous for his English voice-acting of Edward Elric, not something originally aimed at preteen girls, Mignogna has an enormous fandom that may or may not be for anything other than his looks (he's not bad for a guy in his forties, which may add to to Squick factor of twelve-year-olds loving him) and voice.
    • Arguably nothing. It definitely helps that the majority of characters he voices are Bishonen. His fans call themselves the Resembol Rangers, btw.
  • Barack Obama, his chief of staff, and for that matter most of his administration. Yes, it's true.
  • The Founding Fathers, anyone?
  • Johnny's Jimusho. A whole company full of pretty boys who sing, dance and act just for the sake of this trope
  • Vladimir Putin, what with him being a Magnificent Bastard, hunting tigers, and posing shirtless.
  • Dr. Oz's fans. The audience is always at least 80% female; some days it's hard to spot a guy at all.

Notes

  1. Kotetsu, for example, was written to draw in older men