In female fandom’s gift culture, gifts correlate to aspects of the self, such as time or talent. This sort of exchange turns one role of woman and gift on its head: the woman is still the gift, but now she can give herself. This permits women agency that they lack under traditional patriarchal models. They construct a new, gendered space that relies on the circulation of gifts for its cohesion with no currency and little meaning outside the economy, and that deliberately repudiates a monetary model (because it is gendered male). The goal of community-building transactions in online media fandom is the creation of a stable space set apart via implementation of rhetorical strategies that exclude outsiders, from what fans call “real life,” to permit performance of gendered, alternative, queered identity.

Hellekson, Karen. 2009. ‘A Fannish Field of Value: Online Fan Gift Culture’. Cinema Journal 48 (4): 113–18.
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