This video explains the weirdness of the brony culture.
TL:DR version: the My Little Ponies: Friendship is Magic show is watched and loved by kids and adults, men and women alike. For some reason this has become a stigma.
So what’s the problem, anyway? Is it with the show? Let’s do a breakdown of MLP:
Six characters who happen to be female. One is an introverted bookworm nerd. One is the down-home country girl. One is the super-shy soft-spoken animal lover. One is the fashion-oriented glitter-fixated clothing designer. One is the tomboy. One is the spastic random-joke-spewing party animal.
Together they have adventures involving topics like the hazards of babysitting, what happens when you try to please everyone (and wind up pleasing no one), pride going before a fall. And also dragons (although we’ve seen hydras and manticores at least once, too).
As cartoons go, it’s a pretty good one, once you get past the cutesy pinkness.
So what’s the deal about bronies? Oh yeah, there are men who like this show. Like, adult men. They call themselves “bronies”. There’s this whole kerfuffle about “omg My Little Ponies isn’t manleh”. But what is appropriate for men, anyway?
Our culture has this skewed idea of what constitutes masculine and feminine. According to our culture, trucks, jets, explosions, sports, the color blue, and beer are all considered masculine. Conversely, things like flowers, dolls, ponies, interest in clothing and looks, and the color pink are considered feminine.
Nevermind that lots of men like things on the “feminine” list, and women like things on the “masculine” list.
Where did these ideas come from, anyway? As the mother of a boy and two girls, I’m the first to admit that the genders are different. Boys have more energy and express themselves more violently than girls. They love picking on girls. Whereas girls are all about the drama. They enjoy slightly milder pursuits. And they let boys pick on them.
(It drives me mad, but all you have to do is sit on a crowded playground and observe their interactions. Girls always, always play the victim. It’s why they scream so much. It’s how they have fun.)
Just because some boys enjoy dinosaurs, we have this idea that all boys like dinosaurs. Is there something wrong with a little girl who enjoys dinosaurs? Not exactly, but it doesn’t fit the stereotype. Is there something wrong with a little boy who plays with ponies? No.
(Men have ridden horses for thousands of years before the car came along. Before cars, horses were the car. Horses, and even ponies, are extremely ‘manly’ if you think about it that way.)
Taking it even further back, the Bible has the oldest definition of the gender roles available to man.
Notice that enjoying shows about pink ponies doesn’t fall into either classification. Going by this ancient model, My Little Ponies is appropriate for everyone.
Just like how there are men who enjoy Jane Austen and romance novels. They just don’t spread it around, because our culture has skewed views of what is an appropriate pursuit for a man.