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Which fandoms should inspire our next shirt(s)?

Are you ready for MORE SHIRTS? So are we!

We’ve been discussing ways to bring you more options for shirts that are inspired by the fandoms you love. So we wanted to know – which fandoms do you love the most? Our goal is to be able to make shirts for ALL THE FANDOMS, but we have to start with a number between zero and infinity. So, will you help us narrow it down?

Here’s a poll that has some of our favorite sci-fi, fantasy and genre TV shows, movies, superheroes and awesome women doing awesome stuff. Vote for up to 4 – and if your favorite fandom isn’t on here, then write it in!

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Fangirling About Women’s Soccer

kids_baseball

In less than a week, I’m taking my three kids to the quarterfinals of the Women’s World Cup soccer tournament in Vancouver. I’m not sure of the wisdom of this, given that they proclaimed the Major League Baseball game I took them to last month “the most boring thing ever,” but regardless, the tickets are purchased and in hand.

pinoe

I want my kids to grow up having been exposed to women’s sports just as much as men’s sports. Having role models is an important part of learning to have one’s own dreams, and my wife and I want our two daughters and our son to look back at their childhood thinking that it was just as exciting to attend the finals of the 2015 Women’s World Cup as it was to attend, say, the Rose Bowl or the World Series.

peteroseWhen I was a kid, I wanted nothing more than to be a major league baseball pitcher. I read books about baseball, watched The Baseball Bunch, and of course watched my beloved Cincinnati Reds whenever I could. When I was old enough to join a team, everyone told me that girls couldn’t play baseball. I would have to play softball instead.

Now, I love softball and still play it to this day, but there’s part of me that vividly remembers being told that girls couldn’t do the thing that I dreamed of doing, and that I would have to give up one of my long-held ambitions from childhood.

This was in the early 80’s, and girls weren’t playing on Little League teams then or pitching no-hitters like they are now. But for all the progress, women’s sports still aren’t on an equal playing field with men’s. Just look at some of the soccer coverage these past couple of months:  while top FIFA officials were being arrested for accepting bribes for where the future Men’s World Cup tournaments would be played, they were also ignoring a lawsuit from the women’s team about playing the Women’s World Cup on artificial turf and turning down offers from the Scott Grass Company to make over all the turf fields into grass, for free.

By the time my kids are old enough to be aware of such things, I hope examples like this will be fewer and farther between. For right now, I hope they manage to absorb a little of the excitement of the days and appreciation for the athletes – and to incorporate that into their own self-image and dreams.

Rebecca read an interview with Christine Sinclair where she said she wears number 12 because it was her idol, Toronto Blue Jays player Roberto Alomar’s number. It’s amazing to think that the current generation of girls will be able to say when they grow up that the reason they wear number 12 is because of Christine Sinclair.

All of this is a big reason why we started Fangirl Shirts – not just to make T-shirts (though we do that too, and we love it), but to make a statement with T-shirts. We love strong women, whether they are TV characters or real-life athletes. By being a part of the chorus of voices out there celebrating awesome women, we hope that we can make the world a little better for all the girls who have dreams – no matter what they are.

Make sure that you follow us on Twitter or Facebook – if Canada and the USA win their upcoming quarterfinal matches in the Women’s World Cup, we’ll tweet a discount code to honor the achievement!

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Of Fandom and Friendship

For as long as science fiction has been around, people have been geeking out about it with their friends. Science fiction and fantasy allow us to imagine what’s possible – advanced technology, life on other planets, and scientific progress, just to name a few things. It also holds up a mirror to our own society – as Arthur Dent said in The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, “From our observations of their behavior we were able to learn all sorts of things about our own.”

Many commentaries on human nature and political systems have been made via storytelling set in other, fantastical worlds:  Star Trek envisioned people of many races working together in harmony, The Day Of The Triffids speculated about the dangers of genetic modification run amok, and, more recently, Lost Girl came along and totally changed the landscape for representation of same-sex relationships on TV. Science fiction and fantasy imagine the world as it could be, rather than being constrained to show the world as it is.

Especially for girls and women – while we still have a way to go, genre entertainment has made some real progress in representing strong female characters. We wanted to do something to help support awesome female characters, the awesome shows that bring them to us, and the awesome women and men who are fans of strong female characters.

Hi! We are Sally and Rebecca. Sally lives in the USA and Rebecca lives in Canada.
Hi! We are Sally and Rebecca. Sally lives in the USA and Rebecca lives in Canada.

When the two of us met on Twitter in 2014, it was because we were both fans of an awesome show called Lost Girl – a supernatural show about a succubus that features many strong female characters and dares to imagine a world where women can be strong, save themselves and each other, and find joy in expressing their sexuality without being shamed for it. If you haven’t seen it, then go watch it now! It’s a great show and you won’t regret it.

We had a lot in common – parenting, running, and an interest in science, just to name a few things. The better we got to know each other, the more similarities we started to discover – to the point where we started referring to each other as clones! Obviously, we had similar taste in television and fangirled about Lost Girl and our other favorite shows, which include, but are not limited to:

…and many others. And of course there were shows that one of us had watched and the other hadn’t, like Buffy the Vampire Slayer, The X-Files, and Xena, Warrior Princess – so we did some cross-pollination. There are some awesome new shows that are premiering later this year, too – Killjoys and Dark Matter, just to name a couple, and we’re SUPER EXCITED about them.

How did Fangirl Shirts come about? Several years ago, Rebecca heard a segment on The Daily Show in which Jon Stewart had used the word “fangirl” in a less-than-complimentary manner. This made her think that somebody ought to get started reclaiming the word, and redefining it as something positive. When she shared that idea with Sally, she was incredibly inspired and immediately realized the potential of the idea to be a positive voice for girls and women in fandom and, more broadly, in their own lives.

Girls and women should be able to achieve their dreams, and part of achieving a dream is being able to dream big. Science fiction and fantasy are a big part of inspiring dreams about all kinds of things, including being a strong woman. Most of the shows we watch have strong female characters that we admire and in some cases, would like to be more like. Ten or twenty years ago, there weren’t very many strong, independent women at the center of a TV series – but these days, there is an ever-increasing number of strong female characters in all genre entertainment – TV, movies, comics, and more. And when the women characters are put in refrigerators or shoved aside, people are speaking up about it.

We think that being a fangirl is something to be proud of. That’s why we make beautiful, comfortable T-shirts that state proudly that we are fangirls, and in some cases, are an homage to the shows we love. Right now we have shirts that were inspired by Lost Girl and Orphan Black, and we’re planning several more for the future (watch this space!). Wearing a Fangirl Shirt might generate a smile and a nod anywhere from the grocery store to a crowded con, and can enable you to instantly recognize a fellow fangirl of the same show you love. After all, it’s twice as fun to fangirl with a friend! We can attest to that.

Check out our shirts and go get your fangirl on! We love seeing pictures of people wearing our shirts, also, so make sure you send us a photo, if you buy one!

We love hearing from people – here are all the ways you can get in touch with us:

Sally and Rebecca high-fiving - this is photoshopped together
Coast-to-coast bi-national USA-Canadian high five!
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Fangirling with FGS

Welcome to Fangirling with FGS! This is our blog where we’ll tell you our thoughts about all things fangirl.

For our first post, we thought we’d start with a couple of the basics.

What is a fangirl?

If you google the word, the definition that comes up is noun, informal derogatory. “An obsessive female fan, (usually of movies, comic books, or science fiction).”

We don’t know about you, but we’re not on board with this definition. So in a time-honored tradition, we are going to reclaim the word fangirl. How about noun, informal awesome. “An enthusiastic female fan (of whatever she wants to be, with a hat tip to movies, comic books and science fiction).”

Why did we create Fangirl Shirts?

We are fangirls. In particular, we love strong female characters in our TV shows, movies and books. They inspire us to celebrate who we are and to dream bigger about who we could be. We wanted to celebrate ourselves, our fellow fans, everyone who loves fangirls, and the awesome characters we loved. We wanted to put something positive out there to help make the world a better place for girls and women.

Also, we love cool T-shirts.

Both of us (Rebecca and Sally, the founders of FGS) grew up being encouraged by our families to believe that we could do anything. That’s not always a message that was reflected in the world, though. Now that we’re adults with children of our own, we encourage our daughters and sons to believe they can do anything, too.

What about you?

Tell us about yourself in the comments. Are you a fangirl? What do you love? How did you happen across Fangirl Shirts?