Can My Little Pony Make the World a Better Place?

As far as I’m concerned, it not only can, it is. 

We have made a lot of strides in the world of gender equality. Little girls are no longer relegated to playing dolls and dress-up; women have held almost every job in the country. We haven’t reached a state of equality; no matter how you calculate it, women still make less money than men, and we have to look pretty while we do it. However, the girls who are more interested in sports than stickers and the women who would rather work in a boardroom or join the army are no longer universally regarded as freaks. That is a huge step.

We have not done nearly as well on the flip side of the coin. Stay-at-home dads face the same trials and tribulations that working women fought through fifty years ago. Little boys who want to play dolls or paint their toenails pink are still considered freaks.

So, what does all this have to do with My Little Pony?

The newest incarnation of MLP revolves around the show My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic. It is an awesome show, and much of that is due to the show’s original creative director, Lauren Faust. She set out to make something that was more than just “girly,” and she succeeded. Kids like it, adults like it, and, somewhat surprisingly, young men like it.

They call themselves “Bronies” (a portmanteau of bro-ponies), and they are teenage boys and young men who proudly proclaim their love of My Little Pony. They watch the shows, they wear the T-shirts, they sleep on the sheets, and they do it with enthusiasm and without irony. There is even a faction of Bronies who write fanfic and create fan art. They are called “Cloppers” and the two groups can be a bit like Sharks and Jets. It is fascinating to me, because it is one of the happiest sub-cultures I have ever come across. And I love the fact that their unofficial motto is “Haters gonna hate.”

Rockin’ out in his Fluttershy shirt.

This is a friend of my son’s. I called him to explain my idea for a post and ask if I could use his picture. When I got to the part about how the Ponies were originally for little girls, he interrupted me with an affronted, “Ponies aren’t for girls, ponies are for everybody!” This is a glimpse of the utopian future I dream of, when there aren’t “girl things” and “boy things,” there are just things that people are welcome to be interested in, or not. As long as we cling to the idea of gender stereotypes, we won’t be able to let go of gender roles. As long as gender roles are a part of our society, true gender equality will never be possible. The Brony sub-culture, and the fact that people who are not a part of it accept it, is another important step toward my utopian future. My son’s friend may not have understood everything I said about how his love of Rainbow Dash was helping further the cause of gender equality, but when I summed it up by saying that Bronies were making the world a better place, he agreed with a, “Hell yeah we are.”

I leave you now with Pinkie Pie, showing us exactly how much she cares about the haters:


Author’s note – I must clarify. Fanfic and fan art is not limited to Clopppers, the Cloppers are the subset of Bronies who take their artwork into adult territory and prove Internet Rule #34. I apologize to any Pony fans I may have offended with my mistake. 

By [E]SaraB

Glass artisan by day, blogger by night (and sometimes vice versa). SaraB has three kids, three pets, one husband and a bizarre sense of humor. Her glass pendants can be found at if you're interested in checking it out.

19 replies on “Can My Little Pony Make the World a Better Place?”

Before I moved, one of the last social functions I went to was an MLP viewing party hosted by the friend who initially exposed me to it. It was awesome. A bunch of twenty-somethings (about evenly split between guys and dolls) making silly hats with glitter pens and feathers and beads, getting drunk, and watching a show about friendship. It’s hard to have a better night.

On a social-commentary level, it really is making the internet a better place to be in the face of nonstop douchebros everywhere else. And when I see a guy wearing an MLP shirt on the street, I feel a little less wary of that guy.


It’s a really nice post, but you’ve got one thing terribly wrong. :)

“There is even a faction of Bronies who write fanfic and create fan art. They are called “Cloppers” and the two groups can be a bit like Sharks and Jets. ”

Bronies create fanart and fanfiction. We love that stuff. On Equestria Daily, probably the most visited Brony page in existence even has a extra fanfiction ‘subpage’. Cloppers aren’t Bronies who create fanstuff. Cloppers are Bronies who masturbate to Ponys. They create.. let’s call it ‘special’ fan art and fan fiction. I’m sure you know what I’m talking about.

You’re right with the point that there is much hatred between the two involved, but many of us, like me, just don’t mind them. I know a few cloppers but hey, whatever they get it off too is their thing. Not mine. I mean there are people getting it of too little kids, that’s far worse.

With that said I would just kindly ask you to correct the point, or just leave it out at all. :)

Best regards, Beastboy

PS: Brony isn’t really a gender specific term. Some female MLP lovers like to call themselves Pegasisters, but many, in fact most of the ones I know, just call themselves Bronies too.

Excellent article, though I feel I have to clarify something.

You mention that the term “clopper” refers to fans who make fanfiction and fanart. That’s true… sort of. The term specifically refers to the minority subset of fans that make (and “celebrate”, in the loosest of terms) ‘Rule 34’, a.k.a. erotic, fan works. There is no other special term for fanfiction writers and fanartists; they’re just that, brony authors and artists.

The “clopper” media is quite easy to avoid with the easiest of filters, however, so don’t worry too much about its existence; that kind of stuff is part and parcel of every fanbase in existence, and does not represent the fanbase as a whole by any stretch of the imagination.

I am trying desperately hard to shield my 2.5 year old from blatant consumerism and materialism.  So far we are doing okay.  No Disney obsession as of yet.  I rarely buy plastic toys but maybe I should make an exception for My Little Pony, which I loved when I was a little gitl.

My youngest son is a brony! He was trying to explain it to me the other day; who was what and how he ‘likes the art’ and that the creative director is married to the guy who does the PowerPuff Girls. I find it refreshing from all of the comic and video game stuff that tends to be sexist or male-centric. My older son enjoys it too, but I’m not sure if he calls himself a brony or not.

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