I linked before to an article on Free! Iwatobi Swimming Club, which was composed a few years ago. The thing it’s talking about is technically outdated but the sentiment it’s describing isn’t and could be applied really well to the American comics scene. This writer Shawn James wanted the American comics industry to appeal to women and it already is, just not in a way he expected to.
That might partly account for his disappointment, though understandable yet stuff like DC Superhero Girls manages to sell well in malls and supermarkets from my experience. Even if not all of them become fangirls, at least DC and Marvel are putting effort in making such characters inoffensive and appealing to women. No matter how awkward and stupid, they’re trying really hard at it.
Growing numbers of these disaffected fanboys head to anime instead even though it’s not really always any better either. Ironically, a decade ago it’s the feminist minded fangirls that gravitated to anime (and still do to a lesser extent) whilst sexist fanboys held onto cape stories. It almost reversed itself these days. At least from my observations as I could be wrong.
But it’s also parsimonious that there was already a feminist-minded fangirl community before, especially on Livejournal which migrated onto Tumblr and some of them got to work for DC and Marvel! DC veteran Gail Simone already has a tumblr and interacts often with her fans. They’re getting more vocal and common with some of them being introduced to superheroes via telly and film.
These interactions resulted in a profound osmosis as helped by online piracy, which arguably accounts for a far larger female readership than published statistics would suggest. It’s not that they’re fake geeks but that they have to being so whiny (though admittedly I was like that before).