Repeat to Yourself, It's Just a Show by popfantastic:
But I am suggesting that talking about social and cultural issues in fandom educates me about how to understand, explore, and respond to them in other contexts. And I'm grateful to those who put in the mental and emotional energy to carry on these conversations, which are often frustrating at best and devastating at worst. So to say that it doesn't "do anything" or "accomplish anything" (in the offline world, in relation to "real-life" events) to talk about racism or misogyny in TV shows is not only beside the point, but also factually incorrect, at least as applied to this fangirl.
I'm still curious how much crossover there is between my RL and OL. RL does affect OL big time, but I've never actively tried to quantify what I bring from OL to RL either. Possibly because my fandom life is better documented, so to speak. I'm not sure if it's even quantifiable, to be honest, but I know it's there. I just don't know to what extent.
Anyway, fascinating post, and some of the comments are equally interesting.