Warner’s World: Leave Gatekeeping At The Gate

People Are Allowed To Enjoy Their Preferred Tastes

Charlie Warner, Managing Editor, Copy Editor

     “I really like the Grateful Dead. They’re such a good band and have really cool shirts,” said Person A.

“Yeah, me too. What song is your favorite?” asked Person B.

“‘Casey Jones”’ I don’t know a lot of songs. I’ve only listened to the ‘ Workingman’s Dead’ album, but I have two of their shirts,” replied Person A.

“Well you must not be a real fan then,” claimed Person B. “A real fan knows every album and has listened to every live album they have released. My favorite song is ‘What’s Become of the Baby’ from the ‘Aoxomoxoa’ album.”

This is a prime example of gatekeeping. Gatekeeping is when a person claims someone else isn’t as big of a fan because they don’t meet the standards they have.

Gatekeeping is also when a person sort of hides something they enjoy to keep it underground and special. This often happens with musical artists, TV shows, movies or other types of entertainment. In this example, Person B is holding Person A to a ridiculous standard to listen to every live album released by the Grateful Dead (there are about 167 live albums, according to Guinness World Records).

     Gatekeeping is selfish and bad because it prevents the thing being gatekept from getting more exposure. For example, if a person has a new favorite band that only has 500 followers, and they actively tried to keep
it that way, they are hurting the band by not giving them exposure.

A true fan of a band would try to get more listeners because at the end of the day, it’s about the music and supporting the artists who make the music.

In addition to being selfish, gatekeeping can also be rude and arrogant. Gatekeeping is also when fans hold other fans to a certain standard to consider them a “true fan.” In reality, telling someone they can’t enjoy “Star Trek” because they haven’t seen every cartoon, movie, live action tv show, etc. (of which there are 783 episodes across 36 seasons as of Oct. 7), is just plain rude. And if a person has to belittle someone for trying to enjoy something, they probably need to rethink some aspects of their life.

     Life is too short to worry about who enjoys the same artists and hobbies. People should spend life enjoying what they love, learning more about their interests and exploring new things, instead of just sitting on their interests and puppy guarding it from other people.

It can be hard for a person to see someone else listening to an album that helped them in a hard time, that they’ve spent hours listening to and developing a personal connection to — or seeing what feels like the whole school starting to watch a show that they have loved and watched since season one.

It’s an awkward experience, and it can feel like being cheated on. But all in all, it’s a good thing someone might listen to that life-changing album. It’s a good thing the show this person loves is getting more views because then it’ll get picked up for more seasons.

     It can be hard to avoid gatekeeping. People may not even realize they do it, but it’s truly a bad thing. It can hurt the people who created these projects they worked on and keep them from getting the attention they deserve.

In addition to that,

it just comes across as being a rude person, and most people don’t want to come across as that type of person.

At the end of the day, keep on enjoying what you enjoy, whether it’s music, TV shows, movies or anything else. Learn about some new types of media and enjoy them. Share and create conversation about them.