The difference is between Men and Women or men like to go in mass to the football stadium ( here and overseas) and women go shopping At sports events men like together and in mass on a large scale were women seem to trend towards small intimate gathering with friends to go shopping.
What this difference between men and women has to do with My Little Pony? MLP and its fans existed since 1980 but large scale fan cons, attracting thousands, were hardly heard of. A pony convention was local show local day shows about display and shopping: think antiques shows before eBay. It was until guys got involved the fandom went critical mass and we start to see large scale fan con like Bronycon NY. Once the fandom reaches critical mass then it starts attracting female involvement. Even today I note that transition is happening in the Boy fandom when I seen all of the pony cosplayers and Portland Comic Con are women and girls.
Another insight I have is as a Male Hello Kitty fan, in a fandom that is dominated by women and girls. There a place Hello Kitty junkies. Compare Hello Kitty Junkies and Hello Kitty Junkie to Equestria Daily http://www.hellokittyjunkie.com
Hello kitties Junkies have a membership of 6889 around the world, but only 150 are males. I notice this phenomenon where the post I made about what I acquired but posts were I was more analytical or con report got the least. Furthermore when I became a Hello Kitty fan in 2008, there was attempt to create a fan style Hello Kitty convention; the con did not come to fruition due to a lack of interest.
I would say if wan not for the bronies and the guys, MY Little Pony fandom will still exist but not as the scale as we see today. Guy are not changing the meaning of manhood but approaching MLP as men.