(Man, you would think that Anonymous would have better things to do than post crappy memes on Facebook.)
If you’ve spent any time in any sort of internet fan community, no doubt you’ve probably come across those delightful people known as “gatekeepers”. These are the fine fellows who partake in the activity of “gatekeeping”, which is defined by r/gatekeeping as being when someone takes it upon themselves to “decide who does or does not have access or rights to a community or identity”.
Need some examples?
I’m a pretty big Star Wars fan.
Oh, is that so? How many of the Extended Universe novels have you read, poser???
Man, I wish I could’ve seen the game last night, but I was on a date.
You reschedule a date when your team’s in the playoffs, you piece of bandwagoning garbage!!!
Holy crap, work and school have been kicking my ass lately.
Oh, is that so?!?! Well I didn’t even go to school when I was your age! I just worked 38 hours a day in the coal mines and tried my best not to die of throat cancer. Cry me a river, millenial scum!!!
Granted that I’ve taken some artistic license (BARF), but I don’t think that these examples are too much of a stretch. Hell, I would go so far as to wager that we’ve all been something of a gatekeeper at some point in our lives. That doesn’t make it good, though.
At best, it’s mildly annoying, but at worst, it’s bullying and it’s exclusionary. Nobody has ever become a fan of Tolkien, for instance, because some keyboard warrior took time out of their day to interrogate them about whether or not they’ve read the Silmarillion. No fan of the Captain America movies has decided to pick up a comic book because some smug gatekeeper suggested that they only like Cap because Chris Evans is hot.
So the lesson to be learned from this is, once again, “don’t be an ass****”. Also, mock these people whenever you get the chance. Do your civic duty.