I keep coming back to the Dell article. Possibly because, while female wrestlers are mainstream enough for non-fans to be aware of their existence, while female fans, prior to the Vince McMahon era, were rather off my radar.
As noted in the article (and, again, the movie), the postwar period was extremely conflicted in terms of gender roles, since the war necessitated pulling women out of the domestic sphere, and after V-J Day, it seems a rather concerted effort was begun to get them back INTO the household. (On a related thought, it seems the black community faced a similar experience. It's interesting to think of how much social progress ended up being contingent on Pearl Harbor dragging us into a war most Americans had sought to avoid.)
Dell suggests that one of the ways in which women played with this tension was by engaging with wrestling at a participatory level. All right, makes sense so far. Thing is, it seems ALL media have been moving toward increased participation for quite a while, and the behavior associated with women in the article seem commonplace enough among wrestling fans in general now.
We've noted several times in class how unusual it is to see well-dressed and well-behaved audienced at wrestling matches. Could the fans Dell writes about be trendsetters for the fans in general? It's not entirely without precedent--modern fan fiction seems to be almost entirely a female practice in its early, pre-internet days. Is it possible that Hatpin Mary represents not only a change in gender roles and wrestling fan culture, but the beginning of what, in CMS, we are legally obligated to refer to as convergence culture?