109 users responded in this post

Subscribe to this post comment rss or trackback url
mygif

You know, I read all these stories about this “war on geek girls”, & I just shake my head. Growing up in a football-lovin town in Missouri, you know who I spent most of my time talking comic books with? Girls. My 3 best friends in high school were all girls. And we talked X-Men & Spider-Man cartoons, manga, & Young Justice all the time. So the idea that nerds out there want to run girls off from this fandom just boggles me. I mean, shouldn’t we be fighting the stereotype that nerds can’t win girls by letting them into the fandom? It just disappoints me.

ReplyReply
mygif

Can I still read your stuff if I hate dogs?

Not that I actually hate dogs, though – some of my friends are dogs! They’re stupid and smelly and obnoxious, but I don’t really have anything against them except when they keep shoving their dog-ness in my face all the time.

And before Rex goes and says that not ALL dogs are like that, I should add that I’m just basing these statements on my own personal observations of MOST dogs.

ReplyReply
mygif
Tales to Enrage said on April 29th, 2014 at 12:05 pm

Jack Pumpkinhead: That’s been a part of my incredulous reaction too. I remember wishing more girls were interested in the stuff I liked too, so we would have real topics of conversation to start with. And to just have more people interested in general, since I never had large groups in any given location that liked comics and scifi and such.

ReplyReply
mygif

Three cheers for that. Just ignoring bigots and the like isn’t doing the job. Trying to set an example of acceptance for everyone isn’t doing the job. Bigots and people who hate should be called out and asked to leave.

ReplyReply
mygif
Ian Austin said on April 29th, 2014 at 1:58 pm

If magic existed in this world, I’d long for someone to put a curse on comic-books that was only activated if a sexist, homophobic, racist bully bought a comic. The second they opened it, they’d get a paper cut and the comic would turn to dust.

Because if you’re a sexist, homophobic, racist bully, then you don’t deserve to read a Captain America comic about a character who fucking loathes you and everyone you represent.

ReplyReply
mygif
James Veber said on April 29th, 2014 at 2:08 pm

It is one thing for Kurt Cobain to have said that and not want to make money from people who he fundamentally disagrees with but for someone who writes about comics and hopefully wants to make comics better it seems almost irresponsible not to talk to these people. You should demand that everyone of them signs up for your tweets and newsletters and reads your blog because they need to know how wrong they are. They aren’t going to go away if we ignore them. In fact, they will probably just get worse.
I don’t know exactly what the answer is and yeah, some or even most of these people may never change their point of view but some might so I don’t know. It just seems to me that by saying “go away” you are in some minor way saying you are entitled to have your opinion and that is ok. But its not.

ReplyReply
mygif

I know I’ve ruffled some feathers here before by stating that I think that A). “nerd culture” is a construct that’s completely and utterly unnecessary to the process of enjoying a comic book or a movie or a television show and B). is rather deeply toxic in a number of problematic ways, but stuff like this (and the recent “Game Jam” incident and like a half dozen other things I’m sure happened in the time between that and this) aren’t really doing a whole lot to convince me that’s not the case.

ReplyReply
mygif

Thank you.

ReplyReply
mygif

It just seems to me that by saying “go away” you are in some minor way saying you are entitled to have your opinion and that is ok. But its not.

I look at it as saying “there is a minimum expectation of behavior to be a participating member of a society; not only are you not meeting that minimum but you are not meeting it on purpose with the intent of causing harm. So: kindly fuck off.”

ReplyReply
mygif

Demonizing people you disagree with is a sure sign of a good person.

ReplyReply
mygif

Demonizing people you disagree with is a sure sign of a good person.

Which is why we’re making efforts not to have to deal with the people that do that.

ReplyReply
mygif

“People who are intolerant of intolerance are the REAL bigots, heh.”

Actually it turns out that calling people on their stupid, bigoted bullshit behavior is a good thing that good people should do more of, and “nerd culture” as a whole would be a lot less toxic if calling people out wasn’t as hugely stigmatized as it is.

ReplyReply
mygif

Girls who are into Batman was the dream, guys. How on earth did they become the enemy?

ReplyReply
mygif

Thank you.

ReplyReply
mygif
tickstander said on April 30th, 2014 at 2:14 am

‘Demonizing people you disagree with is a sure sign of a good person.’

Let me tell you, kiddo, I am 100000% uninterested in whether bigots, sexual harassers and rapists think that I am a ‘good person.’

ReplyReply
mygif

Girls who are into Batman was the dream, guys. How on earth did they become the enemy?

Turns out they didn’t want to just listen to me blather about Batman while looking on adoringly. They had ideas and opinions and they wanted me to listen to them! They didn’t just want to be girls-who-are-into-Batman, they wanted to be people!

ReplyReply
mygif

“Girls who are into Batman was the dream, guys. How on earth did they become the enemy?”

I’m gonna throw an educated guess out there that the rise in “Fake Geek Girl” complaints probably corresponds to the rise in bitter, disaffected nerds flocking to MRA/redpill/”Nice Guy” bullshit. Correlation doesn’t equal causation, no, but I can’t help but feel that beyond the simple elitist gatekeeper stuff (which always exists in any hobby or subculture) lies a bitter undercurrent of “Fuck you Jenny, you wouldn’t give me the time of day back in high school so I’m gonna run you out of MY hobby you fucking whore, you aren’t even a real geek.”

I mean, that really is the root of the “Fake Geek Girl” problem as espoused by the people who first brought the issue to light, the idea that girls are trying to put on geek airs in order to troll cons for guys. That’s not me extrapolating or projecting, there are articles that lay it out fairly clearly that this is why women would pretend to be interested in geeky stuff, so they can get nerdy guys to flock to them. Evil women using their womanly sex wiles to sexily manipulate our brave geeks.

Of course things like gatekeeper behavior, sexism, and general dickishness in nerd culture have existed for way, way longer than the internet has ever been a thing, but this particular alchemical brew feels like an outgrowth of “men’s rights” nonsense that’s become the hot new thing among burgeoning misogynists who’ve discovered the joys of social networking. It’s not exactly a huge leap to go from “women are shallow, manipulate whores who don’t like NICE GUYS like me” to “women are shallow, manipulative whores who aren’t REAL GEEKS like me.”

ReplyReply
mygif
Thomas Wilde said on April 30th, 2014 at 5:28 am

Girls who are into Batman was the dream, guys. How on earth did they become the enemy?

Holy shit, twelve tons of this. I’ll admit I’ve done my share of grumbling about fangirls (“shipping” in general drives me crazy), but when I was a kid playing D&D and reading Marvel, the idea that a girl my age could be into the same things was basically science fiction. If I was actively trying to drive lady nerds out of the fan communities for the things I like, fifteen-year-old me would come forward in time to kick me in the balls.

I kind of get it. For a lot of people, sf/games/nerd shit in general is part of the wall they put up between themselves and the world. It’s something they retreat into in order to not be hurt, and when someone shows up who wants to discuss changing that thing in any significant way, they lash out. You’re attacking the sanctuary.

The problem is that using it as a sanctuary is itself toxic, and the sooner people realize that the better off they’ll be. You could even loop it back into the bizarre conservative instincts in nerd culture, where most of the linchpins in sf and fantasy are shit that started forty or sixty or coming up on a hundred god damn years ago; it’s because of people who don’t want to breach the fortress. It’s getting to the point where legitimately good work is being ignored into nonexistence and we need to turn that around.

ReplyReply
mygif

Well said. Thank you.

ReplyReply
mygif

It is one thing for Kurt Cobain to have said that and not want to make money from people who he fundamentally disagrees with but for someone who writes about comics and hopefully wants to make comics better it seems almost irresponsible not to talk to these people. You should demand that everyone of them signs up for your tweets and newsletters and reads your blog because they need to know how wrong they are.

Maybe, but I see two problems with this…

1. At what point should we just consider a person unreachable? Serious question. There are lots of well-written rebuttals to sexism and racism and stuff out there, and lots of good fiction that isn’t offensive, and yet bigoted assholes still exist. Maybe they’re just one helpful link away from seeing the light, but on the other hand, maybe at this point they aren’t going to change. I would agree with you that any “go away” post is incomplete without at least a brief link to a more substantive rebuttal – which this one has, so this complaint is beside the point – but some people really aren’t going to change. And even if just one more argument could reform the assholes, that doesn’t help with another problem…

2. Content creators. MGK gives them the benefit of the doubt in the last sentence of the OP, but two of the four links are about stupid moves made by Marvel and DC. They and their employees (to be clear, no offense to Rucka) can make all the great arguments they want, and market stuff like Captain Marvel to women and feminist men, but they’re still enabling and happy to profit from the sexist asshole demographic with stuff like the gendered Spider-Man 2 toys.

ReplyReply
mygif

“I mean, shouldn’t we be fighting the stereotype that nerds can’t win girls by letting them into the fandom?”

Jack-Pumpkinhead, I otherwise like your post, so I don’t mean to rag on you. But this phrase stuck out to me, and I just wanted to put this out there:

You’ll really make some progress when you realize that nerd-fandom isn’t something that the boys control and that they “let” girls into.

Girls don’t need for you to “let” them into the fandom — as if to be in fandom, girls need the permission of the nerd boys.

GIRLS ARE IN FANDOM. Girls do fandom. We got there on our own, because we encountered the same works that you did, and we loved them because we loved them (not because it was cool, or would get us guys, or for any secondary reason), and we wanted to find other people who loved them too. We write fic and make art and do cosplay and post in online forums because we have creative impulses and things to say and discussions we’d like to have.

In a lot of ways, whether or not boys “want” girls in fandom is utterly immaterial to girls. We’re not there for the boys. We’re there for the people, the fellow fans. And we’d like to be treated as people, too.

A better phrasing might be, “shouldn’t we be fighting the stereotype that nerds can’t relate to girls by recognizing that fandom doesn’t have a gender?”

(I don’t have any problem with the idea that for some folks, a secondary benefit of being in fandom is finding a romantic partner who shares your interests, no matter what your orientation. Rock on! I’m just saying, broaden your goals a bit, and start with the premise that what you need to do is acknowledge reality, not merely be a generous gatekeeper. The romantic stuff, if it happens for you, is lagniappe.)

ReplyReply
mygif

I know I’ve ruffled some feathers here before by stating that I think that A). “nerd culture” is a construct that’s completely and utterly unnecessary to the process of enjoying a comic book or a movie or a television show and B). is rather deeply toxic in a number of problematic ways

Honestly, I agree. Which is odd because I’m on a Transformers podcast, write for a Transformers news site, and do a variety of other Transformers things… and when I was asked when I joined the fandom on a podcast a couple weeks ago, my first impulse was to say “I didn’t.”

ReplyReply
mygif
tickstander said on April 30th, 2014 at 1:20 pm

‘GIRLS ARE IN FANDOM. Girls do fandom.’

Yeah, but we draw yaoi and write hurt/comfort fic and spend more time discussing the family dynamics and interpersonal relationships in Thor than we do discussing whether Thor could punch harder than the Hulk. We’re silly and irritating and we just don’t GET it.

Also, we have opinions on rape and objectification and the way we’re treated in source material, and fanboys haaaaaate it when you have opinions.

Seriously, though, I owe girl fans so much. From 12-16, the only fictional material I could get my hands on that acknowledged that LGBT people were human beings was created by girl fans. Not to say that fangirl culture is beyond reproach, we’re not, but we’re really so much more important than loser nerd boys realise.

ReplyReply
mygif

A lot of the time, we think of being a geek as being an identity based deeply on being ostracized and picked on. We pride ourselves on being a community of outcasts who come together to make our own space.

And every single “fake geek girl” image you see is of a thin, conventionally attractive woman. The “not a nerd, just a whore who found glasses” line gives the game away.

These guys think, on a very deep level, that you have to have suffered to be a geek, and that there’s no way a pretty girl could ever have suffered.

They honestly believe that their club is only for unattractive, lonely people.

It’d be really sad if they weren’t being total dicks about it.

ReplyReply
mygif

Which is why we’re making efforts not to have to deal with the people that do that.

Ah, self-loathing! You, at least, are clearly a proper nerd. But no, seriously, this is some real sinking-to-their-level bullshit.

Let me tell you, kiddo, I am 100000% uninterested in whether bigots, sexual harassers and rapists think that I am a ‘good person.’

Translation: As long as I get to feel righteous, I don’t care about actually changing the minds of bigots, sexual harassers, or rapists. They need to exist so I can feel good about myself.

I feel like I’m kind of stating the obvious, here. But the solution to a toxic environment is not the creation of additional toxicity.

ReplyReply
mygif

They honestly believe that their club is only for unattractive, lonely people.

I have no comment on other people’s clubs. But that is exactly what my club is. I am unattractive, isolated, and damaged. Attractive people’s problems are not my problems. I can’t relate to them.

ReplyReply
mygif

Uh. Did my comment just get deleted, seconds after I posted it? Is it THAT taboo to speak against the “yeah, sexism is bad!” circlejerk? Do I get to find out why it was deleted?

Either way, here’s a summary of what was lost: using toxic language to fight toxic language is stupid. Sexism is bad, but using sexism as an excuse to go on an internet crusade is, it turns out, also bad.

ReplyReply
mygif

Ex: I’m the tech guy. Your comment wasn’t deleted, just moderated automatically, as an anti-spam measure.

ReplyReply
mygif

1. I fundamentally agree with Kai about “geek culture” being a patchwork beast that becomes more toxic the more people attempt to codify it into something with rules. And one that attracts toxic people to begin with. So anything I say here is colored by this belief.

2. Ex, I really don’t understand what you’re railing at here. You’re either coming from a place of remarkable faith, that even the worst parts of society can have their minds – and BEHAVIOR – changed by some rational arguments and examples of decency; or you’re reading the original post in a way that I’m not seeing. I mean, setting the conditions for your audience is practically impossible in a non-physical venue, but it strikes me here that MGK’s point is that creating a status quo where people widely point out and, yes, ostracize misogynistic and bigoted elements is one where those elements don’t have as much free reign to damage others. Am I missing something?

ReplyReply
mygif

But the solution to a toxic environment is not the creation of additional toxicity.

The solution to a toxic environment is to clean it.

ReplyReply
mygif

The solution to people peeing in the pool is to tell them to get the fuck out of it.

ReplyReply
mygif

“Translation: As long as I get to feel righteous, I don’t care about actually changing the minds of bigots, sexual harassers, or rapists. They need to exist so I can feel good about myself.”

This argument is, and always has been, nothing but false equivalence. A person saying “bigots get out” is not the same as a person saying “women get out” no matter how you try to spin it. The only person in danger of overdosing off their own self-righteousness here is you with this fallacious hogwash that always seems to get trotted out whenever someone points out that calling people on antisocial, toxic behavior is actually good.

We’re not talking about 12 year olds who’ve just discovered swearing for the first time and go around all day saying “shit fuck ass” and need to be told “hey, maybe don’t do that.” These are grown men, 20s and 30s, who think that selling “I hate fangirls” shirts and conventions and emaling women rape threats is okay behavior.

There comes a point where the expectation is no longer “people will endlessly and patiently explain to you gently why what you did hurt someone’s feelings and maybe you should reflect on that” but “you have to own the consequences of your actions.” And if you act like a dysfunctional, sexist, misogynist moron who doesn’t understand why stuff like that isn’t cool then you can fuck right off. It’s not my, nor anyone else’s duty to educate people like it’s Sesame Street.

And if that pisses them off and makes them angry then good, fuck them. It’s not complicated to not act like an asshole and you aren’t entitled to endless patience. If they don’t want people to be pissed at them and telling them to fuck off then they can learn to fix their malfunction.

ReplyReply
mygif
DensityDuck said on May 1st, 2014 at 3:22 am

“Girls who are into Batman was the dream, guys. How on earth did they become the enemy?”

Because they aren’t into Batman. They’re into laughing at Batman, they’re into making jokes about Batman, they’re into saying “underwear on the outside” and smirking at the guy with a copy of Dark Knight Returns. They’re into looking at Catwoman and saying “oh my god, look at her boobs, look at her butt, that’s so sexist, how can you possibly think that’s worth reading”.

And then we say “yeah we know it’s an extreme portrayal, but the character’s supposed to be a sex symbol, she’s supposed to look like that, and in the story she’s doing it on purpose. You’re right that it was originally just about titillation but that character’s concept and personality have changed since she was first introduced, and now–”

“omigod you’re so sexist for saying that, how can you be so sexist

“you know what? If we can’t even have a conversation about this then all right, I’m sexist, now fuck off.”

ReplyReply
mygif
Lurker said on May 1st, 2014 at 6:42 am

There is nothing inherently “male” in comics and superhero hobbies. Having testicles is not necessary to be a geek. Of course, either due to upbringing or natural orientation, men and women tend to have different sub-interests in the area, with women of concentrating on “softer” aspects.

Making constructive criticism (in style of Eschergirls) of unphysical drawing conventions is a legitimate part of geekdom. Art doesn’t evolve only through back-patting, but requires criticism. I am myself into Disney Donald Duck universe, where female characters have a lot more less distorted and much more various drawing conventions. In truly hope that my daughter will get her idea of feminine form from there rather than from DC or Marvel universes. (Although this is mostly because Donald Duck -verse is the most succesful comics franchise in Europe. I’ve been a regular subscriber since birth.)

On the other hand, if you want to have a safe all-male space, that is a legitimate need which can be fulfilled e.g. in male voice choirs, which women can’t participate for physical reasons. Also freemasonry, where the oaths sworn by members prevent the admission of women, is a space where you can interact in a convivial athmosphere with only men, if you feel that you are unable to act with women as social peers. (Although both those environments are places for grownup men who usually already have a good, satisfying family life. Unsure, sulking youth often feel they are not at home after a while.)

ReplyReply
mygif
tickstander said on May 1st, 2014 at 6:52 am

‘Translation: As long as I get to feel righteous, I don’t care about actually changing the minds of bigots, sexual harassers, or rapists. They need to exist so I can feel good about myself.’

Ahahahaha yes, yes, well done, angry little boy. It makes me feel so fucking good about myself to think of all the women like me who get groped and harassed and bullied and terrorised and raped whenever we risk entering a space dominated by men. It makes me feel so fucking good to know that even the act of going to buy a fucking comic book is going to necessitate an interaction with people who stare at my tits and solicit me and award my body points based on how stiff it makes their winkies.

Also, you seem to be missing the point. I don’t want to change the minds of rapists. I want rapists fucking euthanised. Every last one of them. Rapists are subhuman and men who sympathize with them in any degree are dangerous.

Brat.

ReplyReply
mygif
BringTheNoise said on May 1st, 2014 at 8:36 am

Nice paranoia there, Duck.

ReplyReply
mygif
fraser said on May 1st, 2014 at 8:39 am

I dunno, Density. Male geeks can have plenty of arguments over whether Batman/Spider-Man/Man-Thing/whoever is any good or really stupid (I’ve been in plenty of them). And comics have been making jokes about themselves since at least the Silver Age. So I don’t think it’s “laughing at Batman” as much as “women laughing at Batman.”

ReplyReply
mygif

They’re into looking at Catwoman and saying “oh my god, look at her boobs, look at her butt, that’s so sexist, how can you possibly think that’s worth reading”.

Right. That’s totally what all those girls cosplaying various flavors of Catwoman are thinking. Thank you for enlightening us on what all these Fake Geek Girls are really in the fandom for! Also thank you for being the Voice of All Men, and showing just how ubiquitously rational all fanMEN are! Those uppity fake geek fangirls deserve those rape threats and bank account hacks and harrassment and gropes at cons and and and–

FFS, get off that cross, we can use the wood to actually build something more than a He-Man Woman Haters treehouse.

ReplyReply
mygif

They’re into laughing at Batman, they’re into making jokes about Batman, they’re into saying “underwear on the outside” and smirking at the guy with a copy of Dark Knight Returns.

First of all, someone making fun of Batman: so what? It seriously bugs you if someone makes fun of that character or the medium in general? I’m not a wrestling fan, but I think there are some of those around this blog, and I think they could admit if pressed that kayfabe is kind of silly. But apparently comics can only be enjoyed as deadly serious dramas? To anyone saying that, I’d recommend Nextwave, for starters. Maybe also PD’s Young Justice for something from the other of the Big Two.

But OK, fair enough, whether or not she likes the same parts of the genre for the same reason as you, if I ever actually met someone like your hypothetical imaginary woman I’d find her annoying too. She’s an asshole. Good thing she’s imaginary. There’s no way it actually happened. (In theory, anything’s possible, assholes come in all shapes and sizes, but I’d bet money that story has never, in fact, happened as reported.)

And even if something sorta kinda like it happened, that tells you that that woman is an asshole. That’s all. It doesn’t or shouldn’t say anything about “geek girls” in general. Assuming without evidence that all members of a group share a trait you don’t like is almost literally the definition of prejudice.

And here I am, spending time rebutting an argument that I said upthread was probably a waste of breath. Well, I was bored. DensityDuck, if you don’t hold that view and were just trying to summarize it for the discussion (it’s hard to tell), thanks for another window into that mindset. If you actually do hold that view, think a little harder about it, please.

ReplyReply
mygif

Hahahaha, yeah it’s exactly like that. Those dumb broads aren’t really into Batman, you can tell because they don’t take a dude who dresses up like a bat to beat up criminals seriously enough, like we do. Also what’s with all the complaining about sexism? Don’t those dumb broads get that Catwoman is actually a deep and meaningful character?

http://i.imgur.com/erx9aAZ.jpg

Totally deep and meaningful. Those girls should just fuck off and leave comics to the real geeks.

ReplyReply
mygif
Christian Williams said on May 1st, 2014 at 1:29 pm

DensityDuck,

I was raised by a single mother, who managed to foster in her son a love of reading, of art, of science, despite the fact that for most of my life I was in the Public education system of New York which wasn’t strong on any of those things. She is a strong women, who raised three kids, and did a damned good job of it.

I have been lucky, pretty much all of my life, to have been around strong women that share interests in various aspects of geekery. From the girl in Junior High School who shared my interest in ElfQuest, to my first girlfriend (and GM) in college.

If I had to guess, I’d say it’s a combination of these factors and the number of brilliant, creative, and bad-ass women I’ve gamed with, talked with, and befriended over my 41 years that give me my particular dream of ‘nerd culture’ that isn’t so fucking hostile to women.

There are plenty of guys who’ve pointed and laughed at Batman, even comic book fans, even subscribers to DC books, even people who own a copy of the Dark Knight Returns. I have made more jokes about Batman than I can count (good ones too). I have made comments about the sexism in the current incarnation of Catwoman (and Starfire ffs).

But that’s not the problem, and that you think that some frivolous complaint about the way Catwoman is drawn is the issue is part of the problem.

The problem is an industry where an overwhelming majority of the mainstream content is created by men, for men, despite the fact that there are talented female creators with strong voices out there and there are female fans out there to be had.

The problem is an industry that says ‘Girls don’t buy toys’, so they cancel content that is popular but which doesn’t appeal to boys. Rather than trying to figure out how they can actually market to the audienc they have. They simply discard that half of the population as not worth attempting to market to, not having any inherent value, and abandon them.

The problem is an industry that creates products that deliver the message that girls can admire heros, but they can’t be heroes.

The problem is the fandom. Oh. My. God. The Fandom, where:

– If a female cosplayer is attractive, she gives up the ‘priviledge’ of not being made to feel unsafe, because if she didn’t want that treatment she wouldn’t be at the con.
– If a female fan expresses an opinion, criticism, or disappointment with the product, she can expect to be threatened with rape, stalked, and harrased for having the temerity to do so.
– Female creators have to deal with harassment, critiques of their physical attractiveness, and propositions from fans that no male creator would ever have t put up with.
– Female fans are forced to ‘defend’ their fandom. Because after all it’s not enough that they bought a ticket to go to a con, dressed up (or didn’t), and committed their time to go. No… if they can’t pass the pop quiz given by the authorities (read: any male fan), then they’re simply a Fake Geek, there to woo our good boys into trouble. Because obviously, that’s what they’re really into.

If you want to say that MGK is passing up a chance to maybe educate, by telling some of the more frustrating parts of our sub-society to take a hike? That’s a point that can be made. But please, for the love of Buscema, can we not make it out like there isn’t a problem?

Because it’s not just a case of someone being easily offended that Catwoman is drawn as a hooker. It’s a case of an industry, and a loud portion of the fandom, that treats 51+% of the population of the world as if they have no particular value, and have no voice that is reasonably worth listening to and the industry (and our fandom) is the worse for it, every time we collectively convince female fans and creators that we are not worth their time.

ReplyReply
mygif
Christian Williams said on May 1st, 2014 at 1:30 pm

(TL;DR summary of my previous comment)

Geek Ladies are awesome. Maybe Male Geeks should stop being such dicks.

(And also, I love my Mom).

And honestly, I think that’s something that confuses me too. Do none of these assholes have Moms? Because I honestly don’t understand how someone who does, can threaten a woman with rape for voicing her opinion.

ReplyReply
mygif

Re: the whole “why won’t these women stop complaining about sexism, fine I’m a sexist now fuck off and leave me to my funnybooks” thing, I don’t know if there’s a particular Geek Social Fallacy that addresses this or not (it’s been a while since I checked) but something I’ve noticed about nerd culture is that nerds really, really want people in the “mainstream” to take their favorite hobbies seriously. They want comics, nerdy television and novels, video games and the like to be treated like ~true art~ with all the prestige that entails.

The problem is that as soon as you start subjecting their favorite hobbies to critique, which is a thing that true art gets subjected to pretty much all the time, they immediately go on the defensive and start complaining about how you just don’t get it man, comics are totally more than juvenile power fantasies full of violence and pneumatic-chested women with twisted spines, look Lady Seductra is a deep and meaningful character just leave me alone.

You can’t have it both ways. You don’t get to have all the benefits of your favorite stuff being treated as serious, mature, and worthwhile if you aren’t willing to suck up the consequences that come with it. You don’t get to complain about how shallow bitches keep making fun of Batman, then turning around and telling them to fuck off because they keep pointing out that every female character is sticking her tits and ass out for the viewer, and why does that girl on the cover of Teen Titans have breasts as big as her head?

ReplyReply
mygif
Chris K said on May 1st, 2014 at 11:58 pm

Some question the importance of sending the message MGK sends here. It is important, because it might be the only way to convince such bigots that he really, truly does not approve of their shenanigans, and that he’s not just saying he doesn’t because he fears censorship by the leftist media.

It is important, but it won’t matter, because these bigots don’t think they’re bigots. They think they’re the victims. They are just sick of all these groups demanding special rights that straight white males such as themselves, who grew up poor and picked their own switch, never had access to.

ReplyReply
mygif

TL;DR: endlessly hateful stereotyping of guy geeks in pretty much all the ways guy geeks have always been stereotyped.

But it’s okay because we’re only stereotyping the bad guy geeks, even in the multitude of places ITT that we’re not even bothering to specify that.

ReplyReply
mygif

“It makes me feel so fucking good to know that even the act of going to buy a fucking comic book is going to necessitate an interaction with people who stare at my tits and solicit me and award my body points based on how stiff it makes their winkies.”

There is no worse crime a man commits than being attracted to a woman, except possibly expressing that attraction in any way.

No obligation on your own part to consider that maybe your issues are just your issues – those sorts of considerations are only and ever for guy geeks to have to make.

The endless carping about geek guys has nothing to do with geek culture being uniquely toxic towards women and everything to do with geek guys being self-hating enough to continually indulge in these exercises in myopia in a way that guys at every other point in the spectrum of human society generally have the sane sense not to care about.

That and of course that the women being drawn gives moralizers the unique convenience of dumping 100% of the blame on whichever male artist, without the usual confounding variable presented by media image of women in sexualized costumes where the women themselves chose to dress that way.

Except cosplayers, which gives us the continual back and forth about how guys drawing sexualized costumes is bad, but women choosing to dress up themselves in those costumes is good, but guys who are attracted to the women in those costumes – and worse, express that attraction in any way – are bad.

But I’m sure that suggesting that guy geeks deserve a single speck of empathy or, really, anything other than endless scorn and denunciation, or worse, suggesting that women who complain about geeks could themselves be wrong in any respect, makes me the worst imaginable misogynist, “the fleshy little wart on the ass of Life, purely extraneous and mostly unpleasant”, because people who start throwing around denunciations like that tend to be painting in primary colors.

Just as wanting to listen to people trashing other people for being “unattractive” “lonely” “bitter” “unsure” “sulking” etc etc just proves I’m 1. those things, 2. the bad geek who totally deserves to be trashed for being those things.

Unlike the good geek who has those problems, who shouldn’t at all think we’re talking about HIM, no, perish the thought. Unless he complains about it in any way shape or form or does anything less than agree with whatever we’re complaining about in which case no, he’s on the “fleshy little asswart” list too.

ReplyReply
mygif
Christian Williams said on May 2nd, 2014 at 3:17 am

You don’t get to complain about how shallow bitches keep making fun of Batman, then turning around and telling them to fuck off because they keep pointing out that every female character is sticking her tits and ass out for the viewer, and why does that girl on the cover of Teen Titans have breasts as big as her head?

This.

And to bring it full circle, as Janelle Asselin pointed out, DC is actually throwing away money by not trying to figure out a way to market the book other than: ‘Teenage girl is the sexay’.

ReplyReply
mygif

“Unlike the good geek who has those problems, who shouldn’t at all think we’re talking about HIM, no, perish the thought. Unless he complains about it in any way shape or form or does anything less than agree with whatever we’re complaining about in which case no, he’s on the “fleshy little asswart” list too”

But really, won’t somebody think of the men? They’re really the ones who have it hardest in all this.

ReplyReply
mygif
tickstander said on May 2nd, 2014 at 4:29 am

‘No obligation on your own part to consider that maybe your issues are just your issues’

Seriously; slit your wrists, you nasty little cumstain.

If you honestly believe that the way men treat women in comic shops and in society at large is just a healthy expression of sexual attraction, slit your fucking wrists. Open them right up, right now. You are a rape apologist and a potential rapist and you should not be alive.

Also, thanks for implying that the trauma I and other women have sustained at the hands of filth like you is just us having ‘issues.’

Up uppity women folk, with our silly, silly ‘issues.’

ReplyReply
mygif
tickstander said on May 2nd, 2014 at 4:33 am

‘endlessly hateful stereotyping of guy geeks’

I will start to care about the poor, fragile feelings of nerd dudes who get teased for their weight and their acne and their neckbeards when those same dudes stop violating the bodies of women. Until that happens, I honestly could not give less of a shit.

ReplyReply
mygif
tickstander said on May 2nd, 2014 at 4:38 am

‘But I’m sure that suggesting that guy geeks deserve a single speck of empathy or, really, anything other than endless scorn and denunciation, or worse, suggesting that women who complain about geeks could themselves be wrong in any respect, makes me the worst imaginable misogynist, “the fleshy little wart on the ass of Life, purely extraneous and mostly unpleasant”, because people who start throwing around denunciations like that tend to be painting in primary colors.’

20-40yo white straight men have controlled comics for decades, are the demographic comic creators cater to, have worked to make fan spaces actively uncomfortable for women and terrorise women who dare critique their hobbies with rape threats.

I actually do not understand how, with all that power, you assholes managed to cultivate a victim complex this pronounced.

Nature is amazing.

ReplyReply
mygif

It is important, but it won’t matter, because these bigots don’t think they’re bigots. They think they’re the victims.

TL;DR: endlessly hateful stereotyping of guy geeks in pretty much all the ways guy geeks have always been stereotyped.

This couldn’t have been better if the parody was deliberate.

ReplyReply
mygif

A) “Geek guys” and “Misogynistic assholes” are not synonyms. All the people in this thread identifying as the former, seeing MGK and others criticize the later, and assuming they are talking about you and everyone like you? You are serving to illustrate the problem: We have ignored assholes so long that we’ve let people think that’s the norm.

B) To everyone saying “No, we need to keep talking to and trying to sway misogynists over!”: The great thing about the Cobain approach is that it asks assholes to self-identify themselves. MGK is not labeling anyone and asking them to go away. He is asking people who hold the specified opinions to choose to go away. If you read that, and think “yeah, that’s talking about me,” MGK is never ever going to convince you to stop being an asshole. You are too committed.

ReplyReply
mygif
Chris K said on May 2nd, 2014 at 11:29 am

See what I mean, MGK? wat has literally no idea that they are exactly the sort of bigot you are are trying to address. Can’t you see how wat has been victimized by these attractive women who go around begging for attention and the white knight assholes who punish wat for giving them that attention?

ReplyReply
mygif

Hey yo, I think nerd culture is shot through with toxic levels of sexism and I also think that wat is a whiny little manchild, but while I’m in favor of telling whiny manchildren to fuck off out of polite society until they can learn to act like grown adults I don’t think “go kill yourself” in a discussion about, among other things, shitty people sending threats to other people is good behavior either so leave that kind of stuff to the folks on Tumblr.

ReplyReply
mygif
Christian Williams said on May 2nd, 2014 at 1:50 pm

Except cosplayers, which gives us the continual back and forth about how guys drawing sexualized costumes is bad, but women choosing to dress up themselves in those costumes is good, but guys who are attracted to the women in those costumes – and worse, express that attraction in any way – are bad.

Noone is saying you can’t be attracted to the drop-dead gorgeous red-head in the perfect Dark Phoenix costume. Noone is saying you can’t take a second look, or even tell her that her costume is great.

What we’re saying is you can’t walk up to a total stranger and say ‘Hey baby, you make me feel like Wolverine cause I want to pop my claws right now.’

The most ludicrous about this particular ‘Geek Guy’ argument, is the implication that the rest of us are somehow interfering with your god-given right to hit on any woman who gives you a chubby.

The fact that you find a women attractive, and that she’s dressed up to look her best, does not give you any right, privilege, or obligation to hit on her.

Here are some other situations where you might encounter a complete stranger dressed up to look their best:
1: Weddings
2: Funerals
3: Birthday Parties
4: Anniversary’s
5: Job Interviews
6: Sweet Sixteens / Quinceneras
7: Prom

So… would you think it appropriate to walk up in one of those settings to ‘express your attraction’ to a complete stranger? To give them the special gift that is knowing that you’d like to fuck them?

ReplyReply
mygif
Kyle W. said on May 2nd, 2014 at 3:14 pm

Christian W., you can meet people at some of those, but expressing attraction is probably not the way to do it. Also, shooting for the under-aged is a bad idea (as some of those connote).

ReplyReply
mygif
Christian Williams said on May 2nd, 2014 at 3:47 pm

Christian W., you can meet people at some of those, but expressing attraction is probably not the way to do it. Also, shooting for the under-aged is a bad idea (as some of those connote).

That would be, almost entirely, my point.

ReplyReply
mygif
garfan said on May 3rd, 2014 at 6:59 am

Christian Williams- “female fans are forced to ‘defend’ their fandom”

until recently guy geeks had to defend their fandom. After all fandom was stupid and the domain of losers.

tickstander- “20-40yo white straight men have controlled comics for decades, are the demographic comic creators cater to, have worked to make fan spaces actively uncomfortable for women and terrorise women who dare critique their hobbies with rape threats.

I actually do not understand how, with all that power, you assholes managed to cultivate a victim complex this pronounced.”

until recently this was generally undesired power. and it is possible to have power that no one wants. I bet there’s a lot of garbagemen that would rather have a different job in a perfect world, but see a garbage strike and it’s obvious they do have some. So why feel great or important about having it?

ReplyReply
mygif

garfan said:
“until recently guy geeks had to defend their fandom. After all fandom was stupid and the domain of losers.”

And knowing how unpleasant and miserable and horrible that was, why on Earth would you want to inflict it on anyone else? That experience should have cultivated a sense of empathy in you for other people experiencing social ostracism, not a desire to finally be in a place in the pecking order where you get to dish the shit out instead of taking it.

ReplyReply
mygif

“until recently guy geeks had to defend their fandom. After all fandom was stupid and the domain of losers.”

Assuming this is true for the sake of argument, and I’m not really convinced that anyone ever has to defend their fandom unless they go and do something like base their self-identity off of the media they consume which is a bad idea because it leads to you becoming someone like DensityDuck getting pissy that someone made fun of Batman, then why on earth would guy geeks then feel like it’s an acceptable thing to do to turn around and behave that way towards lady geeks?

ReplyReply
mygif

“then why on earth would guy geeks then feel like it’s an acceptable thing to do to turn around and behave that way towards lady geeks?”

Because male geeks don’t live by the golden rule, they live by the iron rule: “Do unto others as others have done unto you.” Remember what happened in “Revenge of the Nerds”? Same thing.

Plus female geeks are trying to take away their sexy cheesecake and quasi-wank fodder and all the other inherently exclusive manifestations of the Straight Male Power Fantasy that are the bricks and mortar of their–as Thomas Wilde said–sanctuary. So naturally they’re going to feel like their very way of life is threatened. It’s like their mom discovering their porn stash when they were thirteen all over again!

For them, it’s their personal place of refuge. Albeit the same way a strip club or a brothel is a “refuge.” You’ll take it and transform it into a feminist co-op bookstore when you pry it from their cold, dead, sticky hands.

ReplyReply
mygif

If my understanding of these guys is correct, being abused and misunderstood is a necessary rite of passage to be a geek. If you haven’t experienced it, you’re just a poser. That’s why they think it’s totally okay to be nasty to women (or anyone, but especially women), and that’s why they’re especially suspicious of attractive women. Because attractive women have never suffered like they — the true geeks — have.

ReplyReply
mygif
garfan said on May 4th, 2014 at 6:43 am

how would you feel about someone who comes into your house uninvited, insults how it’s decorated, attempts to get it redecorated, calls you immoral for liking it the way it is, begins setting rules for how you can interact with them while they’re there, talks about how they’re disrespected because people like them have been while you have no knowledge of how they have been treated personally, while saying that you have not been or cannot be disrespected because people superficially like you have some sort of importance despite you knowing what’s happened in your own life…

ReplyReply
mygif

“how would you feel about someone who comes into your house uninvited, insults how it’s decorated, attempts to get it redecorated, calls you immoral for liking it the way it is, begins setting rules for how you can interact with them while they’re there, talks about how they’re disrespected because people like them have been while you have no knowledge of how they have been treated personally, while saying that you have not been or cannot be disrespected because people superficially like you have some sort of importance despite you knowing what’s happened in your own life…”

“Nerd culture” isn’t your house and nobody needs a invitation to go there. You don’t own it, sorry, and attempts to play gatekeeper just make you sound like a whiny asshole. That’s number one, already your analogy is off to kind of a rocky start.

Number two, “attempting to get it redecorated” is a great way to dismissively gloss over “attempting to root out some of the hobby’s more enduring toxic elements and point out that shit like that isn’t actually acceptable or desirable.” What you’re basically arguing here is “I know that nerd culture is toxic but I like it that way darn it, it really ties the room together when women (and other minorities too, let’s be honest here, you don’t have to wander too far to find examples of nerds being shitty about, say, minority superheroes or homophobia either) feel unsafe and unwelcome.” That’s not a sense of style, that’s you being, again, a whiny asshole.

Then there’s “begins setting rules for how you can interact with them” (don’t ogle people, don’t creep on them, don’t send them rape threats, yeah I can see what a burden that must be), talking about how they’re disrespected (GOSH I WONDER WHY)…

I mean, if your job here is to convince me that I’m completely correct in my assessment that the staunchest defenders of nerd culture are, in fact, its most awful and ignorant representatives then mission accomplished man, you don’t need to keep going anymore. You’re preaching to the choir here.

ReplyReply
mygif
Candlejack said on May 4th, 2014 at 11:57 am

It’s not your house, though, garfan. It’s a public space. Nobody needs an invitation to be there; chances are nobody invited you to be there, either.

[Edit: Kai beat me to it, and better.]

ReplyReply
mygif
Christian Williams said on May 4th, 2014 at 12:27 pm

begins setting rules for how you can interact with them while they’re there,

Fun Fact: Even if it’s your house, if a girl comes over, she still gets to tell you ‘No, you can’t touch me, look up my skirt, or sleep with me’.

So that’s a bit of a metaphor fail there, or it’s an issue to discuss with your parole officer.

ReplyReply
mygif
garfan said on May 4th, 2014 at 4:26 pm

I don’t like you assume I’m talking about me. I don’t do fandom outside of websites. I don’t go to cons, I don’t cosplay and my time at a comic shop consists walking in, picking up my books and talking to the store owner for five minutes IF no one else is and walking out. I’ve never even spoken to a geek girl, fake or otherwise, or had a chance to ogle anyone in a costume.

No, my thing is social awkwardness to the point you know any social interaction is a recipe for pain, and not having a clue how to change it. And all of this feels like looking for an excuse to rip into the people who don’t fit.

I read a lot of these and see a lot of empathy for one group of people, but not the other. Rape threats obviously deserve no respect, but the freak who made that above e-mail is a nutcase. The way I see comments about ogling, I don’t get the feeling that people are asking for common courtesy like not staring at a woman’s breasts while talking, it seems more like saying avert your eyes when an attractive woman is near. And creeping. Define it. What the hell does that word even mean. And my comment is disrespect, is saying don’t expect someone to care if you feel that way when you ignore their feeling like they’ve been disrespected.

1st person: I’m hungry

2nd person: Me too.

1st person: You don’t know what hungry is.

How would you like that?

And if a person’s been reading comics since Marvel’s bankruptcy and the comics crash in the mid 90’s they might feel like they’re a big part of the reason that stuff is even around today

ReplyReply
mygif
garfan said on May 4th, 2014 at 4:29 pm

Christian Williams- And I get to say “If that’s the kind of person you think I am, then get out and don’t come back.”

ReplyReply
mygif

“I don’t like you assume I’m talking about me.”

Buddy, you’re the one in this argument going to bat for shitty people here. What the fuck do you think people are going to assume about you? If you’re socially awkward than guess what? That’s kind of your problem.

I mean, I get that sounds harsh, and I understand that just like not everybody is born a naturally gifted athlete not everybody is born a naturally gifted socializer. But you know something? Even a person that isn’t a naturally gifted athlete can work out and exercise and take up a sport and get good at it, even if they’ll never be professional caliber. And it’s the same with social skills…they’re called skills for a reason. You work at them, you practice, you learn, and you get better at it. That’s all on you, man. “Oh, but it’s so hard.” So’s working out, man. Anything worth doing isn’t always gonna be easy and/or fun, but it’s like you can get off your ass and go to a gym or you can sit around the house and complain about how ugly you are while scarfing down tubs of ice cream, your choice.

You want to know why, in these discussions, there’s more empathy for one side than the other? Because on the one hand you have women who get creeped on, who get rape threats, and who generally get made to feel like shit by a bunch of socially maladjusted assholes. And then on the other hand you have a bunch of whiny guys who want to argue that their lack of interest in honing their own social skills should absolve them of responsibility for their shitty behavior and using a bunch of poorly-constructed analogies and false equivalencies to try and prove that they’re really the victims in all this.

Too many self-proclaimed nerds want nerd culture to be their security blanket that they can use to hide from the onerous task of taking responsibility for their own social development, only it turns out that when you make “nobody should ever call anybody out for any reason ever” and “nobody ever has to actually develop basic social aptitudes” cornerstones of your subculture that it fosters an incredibly toxic environment full of socially stunted people with a chronic aversion to introspection and self-awareness.

ReplyReply
mygif
Brian T. said on May 4th, 2014 at 6:57 pm

I am a 40-year-old straight white male evangelical Protestant, and I have hated Batman for almost half of my life.

Partly, it’s because all that “With time to prepare, Batman could beat anybody” nonsense Grant Morrison started back in the Nineties always seemed like a load of rubbish to me. If you take away fanboy biases, faulty interpretations of “Dark Knight Returns” and really goofy stuff from bad comics by Jeph Loeb, it’s more like, “With time to prepare, he might barely survive an encounter with the dude who can escape Earth’s atmosphere under his own power and fry him with invisible death ray lasers from three blocks away.”

Partly it’s because of how Batman fans seem to think anything he does, no matter how ethically or morally dubious, is okay just as long as the Caped Crusader gets to pwn somebody. This has also been fueled by a lot of lame stuff from comics where Batman did things such as acting like the NSA without any kind of legal authority to help rationalize it, breaking into the White House, coming up with fancy ways to torture Aquaman and the Martian Manhunter, and generally being a more effective supervillain than most of his rogues’ gallery. But hey, Kurt Busiek and John Byrne think he would tie in a fight with Captain America and he shot Darkseid that one time, so it’s all good, right?

Partly, it’s because Batman saves the epic pwnage weapons and gadgets for overrated “widescreen” stories by guys like Morrison and Loeb and then when he goes after the crazy mass murderers in Gotham City, he might not even use his frickin’ batarangs. How about inventing some special anti-Mr. Freeze nanobots instead of trying to find a way to kill Aquaman? The character’s priorities got weird at some point in the late Nineties.

But mostly, it’s because of the way Batman fans react basically the same way Protestants do when an atheist uses strong language to condemn Christianity any time anybody has anything even vaguely negative to say about the world’s greatest detective. Being a Batman fan is like being a member of some really messed up religion that’s all about fake martial arts moves with fancy names, figuring out some sort of ranking system for DC’s martial arts characters, rationalizing all the illegal crap Batman does in the name of pwning bad guys (“It’s okay if Batman does it” is one of their ten commandments) and getting really butt hurt if somebody says something about Batman strains credibility too much (“he could too learn over 127 martial arts in, like, twenty years you big stupid head”).

Whatever love I had from the character died after a few years of dealing with obsessive Batman fans on message boards. After seeing someone insist for the billionth time that Batman could defeat Thor by learning Asgardian magic and then turn around and say that he shouldn’t use that glider cape he used a couple of times because “it’s too much like having a superpower”, I just couldn’t work up any enthusiasm for seeing him beat the crap out of henchmen instead of using one of his “wonderful toys” to subdue them in some less painful way any more.

Sure, I have power fantasies because I’m a guy. But mine don’t involve going full Steven Seagal and beating people who would never stand a chance against me half to death. So, I don’t see the appeal of Batman going around dislocating people’s knees and trying to beat up Wonder Woman. I’d be a lot more impressed if he invented a stun ray or built tranquilizer dart launchers into his gloves or something. If he’s as smart as the plot requires and good at practically everything, why is ninjutsu always the first option?

So… trying to get back on topic… if a woman had objections similar to mine about Batman, I would be like, “I know, right? Thanks for pointing out something that hadn’t occurred to me.” I wouldn’t be like, “I can say that because I wasted my youth reading comics. But you can’t because you’re a girl and you probably got into Batman because of one of the Joel Schumacher movies. Why don’t you go read Strangers in Paradise, you fake Batman hater? Can I see your breasts?”

ReplyReply
mygif
Christian Williams said on May 4th, 2014 at 8:03 pm

Christian Williams- And I get to say “If that’s the kind of person you think I am, then get out and don’t come back.”

Yet here is where your metaphor fails. Because there are a sadly large number of guys in fandom who exhibit creepy behavior. So no, you don’t get to kick women out of fandom because they try to protect themselves.. because the threat is there and it’s real.

As many people are at pains to demonstrate again, and again.

ReplyReply
mygif
Christian Williams said on May 4th, 2014 at 8:22 pm

As for this:


The way I see comments about ogling, I don’t get the feeling that people are asking for common courtesy like not staring at a woman’s breasts while talking, it seems more like saying avert your eyes when an attractive woman is near. And creeping. Define it. What the hell does that word even mean.

Don’t take this the wrong way, but maybe you should educate yourself before commenting on this sort of issue.

Implying that people’s position is that ‘you can’t even look’ at an attractive woman is a willful misrepresentation.

Try looking here, or here, or here.

This is not, ‘You can’t look at a woman’. This is ‘You may not touch someone without consent’, ‘You may not decide to follow a someone at a con late at night, into the elevator, and to their room without invitation’, ‘You may not invade the personal space of someone who has not given you permission to do so’, ‘You may not attack someone as not being a true fan, because of their gender’, ‘You may not threaten assault, regardless of form, because someone points out problematic areas of your favorite fandom’.

In terms of what defines creepy behavior? Anything on that list. Anything that makes the other person look at you, shy away, and look for their nearest friend or authority figure for protection.

Social awkwardness is not an excuse. It’s something that has to be overcome, yes, but it can be. Sitting back and saying ‘I’m socially awkward and don’t know your ways’ is not adequate behavior.

ReplyReply
mygif
Candlejack said on May 4th, 2014 at 8:50 pm

The thing is, garfan, that social awkwardness isn’t an excuse for shitty behavior. I have huge sympathy for socially awkward geeks (they come in both genders, by the way; many people seem to think male geeks alone have that affliction, but no) but I have none for shitty people.

ReplyReply
mygif

And really, the problem people _aren’t_ particularly socially awkward. They hide behind the stereotype of the socially awkward/Asperger’s nerd, but their inappropriate behavior is too well-directed. You don’t see them being correspondingly awkward with other guys, or their bosses, or other people with power over them.

Yes, there are a lot of socially awkward people in fandom, but they’re usually much less aggressive, and when you say “don’t do that” or “back off”, you’re more likely to get an overcorrection to full withdrawl than you are to get active hostility and continued harrassment.

And, of course, there are socially awkward women out there, too. All these people who fight for the right of the socially awkward to be awkward in peace never seem to think of the women for whom it may be _difficult_ to tell that guy creeping on them to back off. Funny, that.

ReplyReply
mygif

“And really, the problem people _aren’t_ particularly socially awkward. They hide behind the stereotype of the socially awkward/Asperger’s nerd, but their inappropriate behavior is too well-directed. You don’t see them being correspondingly awkward with other guys, or their bosses, or other people with power over them.”

You may have a point with this, but on the other hand the very first Geek Social Fallacy is, essentially, “ostracisers are evil and wrong, you can’t ever call someone out for any reason ever ever ever or you’re as bad as that jock Brett who used to shove you into lockers in high school.”

In other words, the fact that shitty nerd guys seem to get along okay with other shitty nerd guys may in part be due to the fact that a lot of nerds (and a lot of people in general, but nerd culture drinks this stuff up) simply will not ever, ever tell a fellow nerd that they’re acting like a dick, for any reason. Even if they actually do think that guy’s a dick and should knock his shit off, they’ll just weakly chuckle and nod whenever Catpiss Steve goes on about fake geek girls and friendzones, then quietly try to change the subject.

What you’re seeing in this instance and other instances is the backlash that results when terrible, socially stunted nerds continue to act with the same behavior that their subculture tacitly condones and run headlong into people who are less willing to tolerate their bullshit.

It’s not that these people are socially awkward so much as socially maladjusted. It’s the same as someone who spends all of high school slinging around “gay” and “faggot” as insults without ever being called on it, then they get out in the real world and they do that and someone tells them to fuck off.

ReplyReply
mygif
DensityDuck said on May 5th, 2014 at 1:44 am

Interesting.

You think Batman is a bad example? Fine, pick someone else. You got the whole Justice Leage, the Fantastic Four, the X-Men, Stormwatch, whatever. The point is not She Insulted Mah Batmans. The point is that she came in and insulted everything I was, telling me that this safe space I’d found to define my self was actually not safe, that it never was, that I was only fooling myself to think it was, and that not only was it okay for her to insult what I liked but I was wrong to defend it. I was wrong to even think about defending it. The only way to not be a Creepy Woman-Hater was to eat shit and grin. And if your grin falters for a single second then you’re a Creepy Woman-Hater, and you obviously always were, and nobody wants to hear your opinion on anything, fuck off creepy, Educate Yourself, learn some social responsibility you fucking asshole.

I’m well aware that you think I’m sitting here just cumming my shorts sodden over the thought of Janelle Asselin getting messed with. That action is evil and indefensible, and I wouldn’t for a single instant think of trying to justify it. But the reaction you see more often is “hey, please stop looking at the most superficial elements and the worst examples” and that gets hit with “stop being such a creep you creepy creep, this stuff is creepy and if you like if you’re a creep, I don’t have to justify myself to you because you’re the one who’s wrong here”.

We aren’t asking you to say that Batman isn’t ridiculous. We’re asking you to accept that we’re human beings with feelings that are just as valid as yours.

I know that’s difficult to accept for someone who’s grown up getting everything they want while continually being told that they aren’t getting anything they want.

ReplyReply
mygif
Sergeant Grumbles said on May 5th, 2014 at 10:17 am

DensityDuck:

Y’know, I could have sworn there were some goalposts here the other day, next to that straw men exhibit. Any idea where they might have gone?

ReplyReply
mygif
Christian Williams said on May 5th, 2014 at 10:42 am

The point is that she came in and insulted everything I was, telling me that this safe space I’d found to define my self was actually not safe, that it never was, that I was only fooling myself to think it was, and that not only was it okay for her to insult what I liked but I was wrong to defend it. I was wrong to even think about defending it. The only way to not be a Creepy Woman-Hater was to eat shit and grin.

Let me see if I translated this correctly:

‘A woman told me that XYZ comic book was silly, and when I called her a cunt people acted like it wasn’t my right to do so because she was questioning my very existence!!! How dare they!’

ReplyReply
mygif

“The point is that she came in and insulted everything I was”

Well maybe the problem is that you went and conflated your self-identity with your hobby to an unhealthy degree, to the point that when someone said some unflattering things about your hobby you took it as a personal attack on you. Don’t do that. You aren’t your hobby, you aren’t the media you consume, someone insulting Batman (or pointing out that nerd culture is toxic and passively accepting of toxic behavior) isn’t someone calling you, personally, an asshole.

That you then went and spun this into a parable about how the problem of fake geek girls is a real and meaningful one does make you an asshole, yes. That you’re dismissing the fact that this stuff happens with considerable regularity in virtually all strata of nerd and gamer culture as people harping on just a few bad apples does too, sorry.

You can call this “eating shit” if you want but hey, again, that’s asshole behavior, along with a healthy dose of that wonderful nerd culture persecution complex where all those women (and minorities and GLBT people who are also made to feel unwelcome and uncomfortable, look at any given comics messageboard around the time that Jaime Reyes or Miles Morales were brand new to see a whooooooole bunch of people talking about how being white is vitally important to the concept of legacy superheroes) who have complaints are just being bitchy and shrewish and looking to be offended and making a huge fuss that’s sullying your ability to enjoy the rich and deep storytelling experience of Batman, which is the real injustice here.

The thing is, you can still enjoy comics if you want. Nobody here in this discussion, or most any other discussion on this subject, has argued that the solution to these problems is for everybody to quit comics and disavow all nerdly hobbies forever or you are the enemy. There are, in fact, quite a few articles and essays and stuff out there all about “It’s cool if you have fun liking stuff that’s got some problematic stuff going on.” I enjoy reading some comics myself. But I’m self-aware enough to understand that comics have a lot of shortcomics (sometimes they rise above it, sometimes they don’t), that comics fandom is by and large full of the sort of people who think nothing of sending anonymous rape threats to a woman for insulting their precious hobby AND/OR willing to make shitty arguments about how this doesn’t mean anything compared to the insidious problem of fake geek girls, and that some woman pointing out these problems is probably doing so for reasons other than personally insulting me via proxy.

ReplyReply
mygif
Candlejack said on May 5th, 2014 at 2:26 pm

“We’re asking you to accept that we’re human beings with feelings that are just as valid as yours.

I know that’s difficult to accept for someone who’s grown up getting everything they want while continually being told that they aren’t getting anything they want.”

So…you’re insisting that others respect the validity of your experience, by telling them that their experience is invalid. Okay, then.

ReplyReply
mygif

Huh. Well that went places.

“Noone is saying you can’t be attracted to the drop-dead gorgeous red-head in the perfect Dark Phoenix costume. Noone is saying you can’t take a second look, or even tell her that her costume is great.

What we’re saying is you can’t walk up to a total stranger and say ‘Hey baby, you make me feel like Wolverine cause I want to pop my claws right now.’”

I think that this is an important distinction to make, and I don’t think that any girl who goes to a con dressed as, say, Bayonetta has any illusions as to what sort of character she’s portraying and/or the fact that she’ll attract attention. The sticking point is and should be the nature of the attention.

I think there are ways to address these issues responsibly (increased security, “zero tolerance” policies, etc.) and there are ways that are overkill to the point of parody (IMO – PAX “Diversity Hubs” being an example).

At the end of the day, I think that the generalization can shift a bit. Nerds who are socially inept, verbally harmful, and/or excessively confrontational (from behind the safety of a keyboard, natch) aren’t “nerds,” they’re manchildren.

ReplyReply
mygif

“The point is not She Insulted Mah Batmans. The point is that she came in and insulted everything I was, telling me that this safe space I’d found to define my self was actually not safe, that it never was, that I was only fooling myself to think it was, and that not only was it okay for her to insult what I liked but I was wrong to defend it.”

Pardon, but why would you give a fuck?

Seriously. What about that scenario up there would compel you to care?

I’ve had assholes walk into my display room and say “What are you, three?” (my working theory is that she disapproved of the dearth of hardbound David Sedaris novels on my shelf) My mom has been on me for years about “growing up” and not reading comics (though the Enquirer and People are apparently A-OK). I got picked on incessantly for ::GASP:: liking comics instead of sports.

You don’t have to “defend” shit. Any moron (regardless of what equipment they’re packing downstairs) who would come in and make fun of someone for daring to enjoy something that they don’t is an asshole. Why would you care about the opinions of an asshole?

ReplyReply
mygif

Christian Williams:

You were fighting the good fight until that last comment, but if there’s one thing the internet doesn’t need any more of, it’s that clumsy “Here’s what you REALLY meant” tactic. DD’s actual comments are good enough (or is it bad enough?) to condemn for what they are, not what you wish they were. (And why would you wish they were worse? So you can be Hero with a capital H, battling against Evil with a capital E?)

ReplyReply
mygif

Kai:

comics fandom is by and large full of the sort of people who think nothing of sending anonymous rape threats to a woman

Basically the same thing I said to CW: please stop pretending things are worse than they are so you can play the lone gallant hero standing against the monstrous horde.

As for DDuck and his ilk, the only reason I haven’t addressed your awfulness directly is others (including CW and Kai) have done so far better than I could.

ReplyReply
mygif

“Basically the same thing I said to CW: please stop pretending things are worse than they are so you can play the lone gallant hero standing against the monstrous horde.”

I’m not pretending anything. Comics fandom, and video game fandom, and other fandoms besides, are full of this behavior. Play a game of Modern Warfare Whatever with a feminine-sounding gamertag and see how many “get back in the kitchen” and “I’m gonna rape you, bitch” comments you get, along with creepy messages asking if you’ll share pics of your tits. I’ve seen the exact thing that happened with the Asselin debacle play out in real-time over at RPGnet when someone brought up issues with an essay posted by Postmortem Studios “game designer” James Desborough titled “In Defense of Rape.” It spawned four fucking straight days of debate and terrible, clueless arguments and guess what happened to the woman who brought it up in the first place? If you guessed “a bunch of rape threats emailed to her” you win a no-prize.

This sort of attitude is exactly part of the problem. “Stop exaggerating, things aren’t that bad.” Yeah they fucking are that bad or shit like this wouldn’t fucking happen nearly as often as it does, the reactions wouldn’t be something you could set your watch by, and it would be called out and shouted down a lot more vociferously instead of frequently dismissed as “just a few bad apples” or people cherry-picking examples in order to “white knight.” So thanks, but I think I’ll continue to consider nerd culture thoroughly toxic until I start seeing a significant reversal of the “nerds having an ongoing competition to see who can be the most terrible, socially maladjusted people contest” trend.

ReplyReply
mygif
garfan said on May 6th, 2014 at 6:22 am

And Kai’s comments are why I choose to stick my nose. Personally, I believe Quis, not Kai, and Kai’s doing a poor job convincing. One thing I hear on the net all the time is how anecdotal evidence, like the offered above isn’t the greatest proof around

ReplyReply
mygif

anecdotal evidence, like the offered above isn’t the greatest proof around

When the thing being proven is that women experience a lot of abuse, endless stories of women relating that they have experienced a lot of abuse is in fact perfect proof of that. Unless you choose to believe that the words and experiences of women themselves are completely worthless.

ReplyReply
mygif

“One thing I hear on the net all the time is how anecdotal evidence, like the offered above isn’t the greatest proof around.”

Unless you can list every single instance that women were made to feel uncomfortable, threatened, or otherwise treated badly, categorized by date and severity, then I’m afraid I can only consider your evidence anecdotal at best.

Meanwhile, let me tell you about how bad I, as a geek guy, have things in this hobby.

ReplyReply
mygif
garfan said on May 6th, 2014 at 2:25 pm

Skemono- the fact that lots of women have experienced abuse doesn’t mean that a lot of men have been abusive. It’s not as though there’s a 1 to 1 correlation with every asshole assigned to only one woman

ReplyReply
mygif

Dang. I guess this means I’m one of the people MGK doesn’t want on his website or reading his stuff? I’m going to miss this site, and the comments, but actions have consequences. At least it seems MGK’s done with “Thursday Who’s Who”s, I would have missed them most of all.

Ciao.

ReplyReply
mygif

“Skemono- the fact that lots of women have experienced abuse doesn’t mean that a lot of men have been abusive. It’s not as though there’s a 1 to 1 correlation with every asshole assigned to only one woman”

I’m not really sure what you think you have to gain by splitting this particular hair into smaller and smaller atomic layers of hairstuff, because it’s pretty demonstrable (with actual statistics and stuff) that while of course not every single man is a slavering rapebeast barely able to keep their rapelust in check, abuse directed against women like rape (and threats thereof), creepy behavior, and various stripes of sexism (i.e. all the stuff that spawned this particular party way up at the top in MGK’s post and beyond) are by far disproportionately perpetrated by men. I’m sorry if that strikes you as somehow unfair but I don’t know what to tell you, man.

But, y’know, there’s more to the issue than “no, see, it’s those guys over there who are doing all of it.” That there are people doing this terrible shit, yeah, that’s a huge part of the problem. Another huge part of the problem, however, is guys who take every opportunity they can to, say, hijack the subject to complain about how they’re really the put-upon ones here. Or who may not do stuff like send rape threats but then go on to perpetuate things like “but fake geek girls are totally a valid issue.”

I mean hell, DensityDuck couldn’t have provided a better bad example if he’d tried. Seriously, go read that first reply of his. It’s literally “Well I’m so tired of women who don’t take comics as seriously as I do and who keep nagging about feminism and why Catwoman’s tits are always on the verge of popping out so fuck them, they should go away.” Like, you don’t even have to go out looking for this stuff, it comes to you.

And unsurprisingly, most of the people complaining about fake geek girls, dismissing the complaints of women as overblown or exaggerated, trying to derail things towards how bad they have it, and so on and so forth also tend to be guys.

Nobody here believes that every single guy is at fault, but what do you want for pointing that out? What’s your end-goal here, that people shouldn’t ascribe this shitty behavior to the group largely responsible for it? When you then go on to cluelessly exhibit some of those very same behaviors yourself? Are you looking for personal absolution or validation or what?

And I’m honestly curious…in every single argument and discussion along these lines (women/minority/GLBT representation in fandom and the shitty treatment thereof) there are inevitably some guys who pop up going “Hey, I don’t send rape threats, I’m not disrespectful of proper boundaries, I’m not the one at fault here, and I’m very unhappy about possibly being lumped in with these guys over here who are the real shitlords.” So I’ve gotta wonder, in every single case this happens why are these guys invariably upset at the people who are reacting to the shitty behavior rather than the people perpetrating it in the first place? Like, if you’re upset that someone had the temerity to call nerd culture toxic, why the hell are you complaining about the people pointing out that the pool is full of pee instead of the people who keep pissing in it?

ReplyReply
mygif

Because I think you’re overlooking the fact this is going to be a case where a lot of people have to judge for themselves there behavior and you’re sure there’s going to be a lot of people who don’t judge themselves harshly enough and need to be forcibly excluded I think there’s going to be a boatload of people who judge themselves to harshly and are going to step back from one of the few things they like and are comfortable with for fear of acting like an asshole or being accused of acting like one.

And your if you’re not part of the solution you’re part of the problem attitude pisses people off. People don’t like to be accused of things they don’t do

ReplyReply
mygif
Christian Williams said on May 6th, 2014 at 11:40 pm

You were fighting the good fight until that last comment, but if there’s one thing the internet doesn’t need any more of, it’s that clumsy “Here’s what you REALLY meant” tactic. DD’s actual comments are good enough (or is it bad enough?) to condemn for what they are, not what you wish they were. (And why would you wish they were worse? So you can be Hero with a capital H, battling against Evil with a capital E?)

I may be confused. It appears that you were offended when I paraphrased DD’s actual comment to render it to it’s intentions… so you paraphrased my comment?

Fun.

I’m no Hero, and haven’t painted myself as one in this thread. There is no claim to ‘Hero’ status in saying: ‘People should be respected, and we shouldn’t excuse those in our fandom who refuse to do so for racist, sexist, or generally assholish reasons’.

That you think that statement is someone trying to make themselves into a ‘Hero’ is kind of disturbing really.

ReplyReply
mygif

@garfan: Are you actually suggesting that people are more likely to be, on the whole, too introspective and harshly self-judgmental rather than not introspective enough?

I mean hell, that’s not even something I can take offense at so much as something that’s just, like, I think the entirety of human history pretty thoroughly proves you to be an incorrigible optimist of the highest caliber in that particular case.

Again though, there are abundant resources out there for people who really can’t help but wonder “am I secretly a creepy dude who makes women feel like shit?” There are plenty of articles and essays that discuss and break down things like “when does appreciation of someone’s cosplay cross the line to unappreciated creepy behavior?” and “why does talking about the fake geek girl menace piss people off, exactly?” If a guy looks at the outcry caused by misogynistic, sexist, toxic behavior ranging from rape threats to the softer “I wish women would quit bitching about sexism in comics and just enjoy them, god” variety and somehow convinces himself that male geeks are now public enemy number one, he has all the resources at his disposal to educate himself out of that fallacy.

And the thing is, plenty of guys out there figure stuff out like “how to compliment a woman without being a creep” on a regular basis without having to use someone’s “How To” guide. What gets a lot of people pissed off about this stuff besides the obvious awfulness of threatening people with rape is that so much of this stuff really is very, very basic human interaction behavior, and unless you’re willing to argue that the majority of self-identifying nerd guys are so socially stunted as to qualify as having some sort of disorder, I don’t think it’s unfair to say that the onus of learning how not to do this stuff, if they do in fact do this stuff, lies on them.

This is the cornerstone of being a mature adult human being, owning your shit. A lot of arguments centered around things like this (toxic cultures in general, not just nerd culture) like to try and present the case that calling people out to own their shit will somehow force all the good people out while leaving the bad people to stay because…I guess because people don’t like being told to step back and reassess their own assumptions in case they’re behaving badly. Fine, that’s human nature.

But every time someone wonders “man, how come more women/minorities/GLBT people/whatever aren’t into this fandom, this fandom is awesome and fun!” you’re seeing the alternative to not making an active effort to detoxify your subculture. It’s what happens when shitty people act shitty and not-so-shitty people throw their hands up and say “it can’t be fixed, it’s too hard, you’ll hurt too many peoples’ feelings, it’s all anecdotal, not every guy does it, etc.”

And to be blunt? Very few people actively think that they’re behaving inappropriately even when they are. Even when they think of themselves as nice, cool dudes who would never do anything to make people feel bad or creeped-on or excluded. I’m sure that plenty of people who believe in Fake Geek Girls like to think of themselves as having noble intentions, protecting the integrity of their hobby and keeping their fellow nerds from being preyed upon by disingenuous women. What’s your solution to that, exactly? They aren’t part of the problem! Just ask them!

ReplyReply
mygif

You can call this “eating shit” if you want but hey, again, that’s asshole behavior, along with a healthy dose of that wonderful nerd culture persecution complex where all those women (and minorities and GLBT people who are also made to feel unwelcome and uncomfortable, look at any given comics messageboard around the time that Jaime Reyes or Miles Morales were brand new to see a whooooooole bunch of people talking about how being white is vitally important to the concept of legacy superheroes) who have complaints are just being bitchy and shrewish and looking to be offended and making a huge fuss that’s sullying your ability to enjoy the rich and deep storytelling experience of Batman, which is the real injustice here.

Well right here in this thread I don’t see anyone calling anyone bitchy or shrewish, but I personally have been called a cumstain rapist and told to slash my wrists, while other people have taken it upon themselves to call whomever they don’t like assholes, neckbeards, manchildren, ugly, “the fleshy little wart on the ass of Life”, etc, etc.

Which leads me to my favorite comment ITT:

At the end of the day, I think that the generalization can shift a bit. Nerds who are socially inept, verbally harmful, and/or excessively confrontational (from behind the safety of a keyboard, natch) aren’t “nerds,” they’re manchildren.

I mean, the irony here is so deep I think reading it gave me the bends

ReplyReply
mygif

I mean I guess the person who told me to kill myself is a woman, so, that’s a little different.

While i’m on the topic of the total void of self-awareness that surrounds these topics:

Noone is saying you can’t be attracted to the drop-dead gorgeous red-head in the perfect Dark Phoenix costume. Noone is saying you can’t take a second look, or even tell her that her costume is great.

Actually, a lot of people say that, and have said that, and the best part is that a lot of the people who say that are people who say things like

What we’re saying is you can’t walk up to a total stranger and say ‘Hey baby, you make me feel like Wolverine cause I want to pop my claws right now.’

and then turn around and treat any instance of those first things as if they were that second thing.

And this is me speaking as someone who’s been involved in feminist-leaning nerdspaces, and who did a lot over the years to make the ones I was involved in more feminist, because I was foolish enough to listen to pepole like you. And found that the reward for that was to have the standard of what counted as an outrage ramped up higher and higher and to be judged more and more harshly until things finally came to a head and I was the one being harassed and attacked by people I’d been naive enough to believe were my friends in ways that have permanently damaged me and my life.

You can go ahead and feel free to rewrite the two sentences just before this one any way that you want, and make any and every bad-faith assumption about what really happened, and go ahead and outright call me a liar if options one and two fail to satisfy. And you will, because everything about your worldview demands that you do.

And that’s why people like you are as toxic as anyone you decry, because sorry, adopting feminism as a banner and attacking other people in its name doesn’t actually make you any less flawed than you were before you did that. It just gives you a catchall rationalization for your own behavior towards anyone on your list of acceptable targets.

All of which is why I need to not be on this website, because as others have ever so helpfully pointed out, disagreeing makes me exactly the womanhating bigot that MGK was talking about in the first place, and when that’s the standard then there’s really no reason to say anything else except my own damaged attraction to exercises in futility.

ReplyReply
mygif

“I mean, the irony here is so deep I think reading it gave me the bends ”

Nah, no irony there whatsoever. If you’d like to take offense to that, that’s on you. 100%, entirely on you.

So…go nuts, I guess?

I’d also love to see your reasoning for the “irony” in my statement. Show your work, and all that.

ReplyReply
mygif

“And that’s why people like you are as toxic as anyone you decry, because sorry, adopting feminism as a banner and attacking other people in its name doesn’t actually make you any less flawed than you were before you did that. It just gives you a catchall rationalization for your own behavior towards anyone on your list of acceptable targets.”

Also, I’m not a feminist or “-ist” of any kind. I’m anti-asshole.

If it makes you feel better to categorize me as an asshole, or to say “GOTCHA! You’re doing the same thing that these put-upon nerds are!” go nuts. I really don’t care.

FACT – I’m not catcalling women as some sort of half-assed pick up attempt.

FACT – I’m not calling women cunts, bitches, or pushy broads for presenting their opinions.

FACT – I AM saying that idiot manchildren like the one in the OP are…well…idiot manchildren. Furthermore, I don’t see how the quoted bit in the OP is defensible in ANY WAY WHATSOEVER.

If you’re “put upon,” then discuss it like a fucking adult and I’ll see if I can reach some common ground with you. If you’re pulling victim shit and lobbing attacks at folks by way of reinforcement, I’ve got nothing for you.

ReplyReply
mygif

“There is no worse crime a man commits than being attracted to a woman, except possibly expressing that attraction in any way.”

Bullshit. Complete, total bullshit.

I’ve expressed attraction for women before and ::GASP:: went on dates with them afterward.

There’s a difference between “Hey, that’s a cool hair color – never seen that before” as an opener and “Hey Vampirella, you can bite me whenever you want!”

Do you legitimately not see the difference there?

ReplyReply
mygif
Christian Williams said on May 7th, 2014 at 11:15 am

@wat It’s going to take me a few different responses to reply to your fascinating missive.

Let’s start here:

While i’m on the topic of the total void of self-awareness that surrounds these topics:

Noone is saying you can’t be attracted to the drop-dead gorgeous red-head in the perfect Dark Phoenix costume. Noone is saying you can’t take a second look, or even tell her that her costume is great.

Actually, a lot of people say that, and have said that, and the best part is that a lot of the people who say that are people who say things like

What we’re saying is you can’t walk up to a total stranger and say ‘Hey baby, you make me feel like Wolverine cause I want to pop my claws right now.’

and then turn around and treat any instance of those first things as if they were that second thing.

Fun fact: For that to be an example of ‘the total void of self-awareness’, then I would have to be one of the people either saying ‘You can’t look at women’, or conflating a compliment with harassment… and I’m not.

Now, if I give you the benefit of the doubt and you’re just using my statement as some example of a misguided advocate who isn’t aware of how mean / evil the people they’re standing up for are. Then you’re still being incredibly disingenuous and raising the same banner the MRA people raise when they say ‘See if you listen to , tomorrow they’re going to make us wear dresses into work and have to ask permission to masturbate!’

I will grant you that there is a minority of female fans (a very vocal, but extremely small minority), that take things to extremes. But that viewpoint doesn’t negate the need for respect in fan spaces for women.

The argument that because some people go over the top in wanting respect for women, you shouldn’t have to pay attention to anyone speaking up for respect for women in the space is the basest form of intellectual sophistry.

ReplyReply
mygif
Christian Williams said on May 7th, 2014 at 11:23 am

And this is me speaking as someone who’s been involved in feminist-leaning nerdspaces, and who did a lot over the years to make the ones I was involved in more feminist, because I was foolish enough to listen to pepole like you. And found that the reward for that was to have the standard of what counted as an outrage ramped up higher and higher and to be judged more and more harshly until things finally came to a head and I was the one being harassed and attacked by people I’d been naive enough to believe were my friends in ways that have permanently damaged me and my life.

You can go ahead and feel free to rewrite the two sentences just before this one any way that you want, and make any and every bad-faith assumption about what really happened, and go ahead and outright call me a liar if options one and two fail to satisfy. And you will, because everything about your worldview demands that you do.

My favorite part of your reply, honestly, is this one. Where you make a vague reference to building safe spaces and getting run out of them by those crazy feminists and then pre-argue that any doubt, interpretation, or other question is clearing just some form of knee-jerk feminist response.

It was artful really.

I’m not going to call you a liar, I’m not going to make any bad-faith assumptions, and I’m not going to ‘change your sentences’.

But I’m sorry, I’m also not going to decide that I don’t care about the respect of women and minorities in fan spaces, because something bad happened to you that one time.

Because even if I give your statement full faith and confidence, there is much worse happening, to far more people in these spaces… and far greater damage is being done.

So, I’m sorry that bad things happened to you, and those people were assholes apparently. Maybe you would have benefited from a less toxic fan-culture or having some form of policy for dealing with harassment and other issues…

ReplyReply
mygif
Christian Williams said on May 7th, 2014 at 11:48 am

And that’s why people like you are as toxic as anyone you decry, because sorry, adopting feminism as a banner and attacking other people in its name doesn’t actually make you any less flawed than you were before you did that. It just gives you a catchall rationalization for your own behavior towards anyone on your list of acceptable targets.

I might have lied before, this might be my favorite part.

First of all, I’m not a feminist. What I am is someone who was raised by a single mother, and has been lucky enough to have known a large number of awesome women in my areas of geek interest.

I am someone who honestly doesn’t understand why this issue is so hard for you, or anyone to understand.

It’s better for us, for all of us, if we have as many bright and divergent voices in this community because it leads to collaborations that go off in new and interesting directions. More creative minds = more awesome movies, comics, books, and games.

That simply won’t happen if nerd culture continues to be such an unwelcoming place for women and minorities.

As nerds, we can’t accept an environment where the go to argument for someone like Anita Sarkeesian’s work on sexism in games is ‘she just needs to be f***ed’ or ‘stupid b*tch, she deserves to be raped and die’.

Janelle Assellin pointed out that the new Teen Titan’s cover was 1) shitty, 2) kinda sexist, and 3) BAD FOR BUSINESS. She has been harassed, threatened with violence, and her financial accounts have been attacked.

What did either of them do to deserve that? Nothing.

At it’s core, all the arguments on the other side are bullshit.

‘But girls were mean to me once too!’
‘But they say bad things about what I like and so they’re attacking me!’
‘But if we can’t touch them, then we can’t even look at them!’

All of that? Is bullshit.

Are there honest cases where well-meaning guys have fallen down the rabbit hole, out of complete innocence an social awkwardness and been painted with an unfair paintbrush? Sure.

But I would bet my life, that for every one of those there have been 50 guys who’ve made someone feel unsafe in fandom, and that’s not okay.

Lastly, you make this fascinating claim, which is pretty frequent on your side of the fence, that people are ‘attacking’ under the banner of feminism. It’s not attacking you, for people to say that fan spaces should be safe, it’s not attacking you to say that personal space should be respected.

Saying that we need to have an inclusive and respectful community does not equal attacking people.

What it does equal is us drawing a line in the sand that says ‘This is where acceptable behavior stops, and shitty behavior begins, why don’t we all make sure we’re on the right side of the line’.

So maybe, you can give me an explanation as to why that’s a problem for you?

ReplyReply
mygif

“What it does equal is us drawing a line in the sand that says ‘This is where acceptable behavior stops, and shitty behavior begins, why don’t we all make sure we’re on the right side of the line’.

So maybe, you can give me an explanation as to why that’s a problem for you?”

I’m interested.

ReplyReply
mygif
garfan said on May 7th, 2014 at 1:39 pm

Kai- “Are you actually suggesting that people are more likely to be, on the whole, too introspective and harshly self-judgmental rather than not introspective enough?

I mean hell, that’s not even something I can take offense at so much as something that’s just, like, I think the entirety of human history pretty thoroughly proves you to be an incorrigible optimist of the highest caliber in that particular case.”

it’s said history is written by the winners. It’s also written by people who think they’re winners.

Everything from self-help books to psychiatry for people without a definable mental illness to people falling prey to cults shows people have a lack of faith in themselves. The idea that “I don’t know what to do, my instincts can’t be trusted, I’ll just fuck things up if I try,” is the root of a billion dollar industry

ReplyReply
mygif

And, of course, there are socially awkward women out there, too. All these people who fight for the right of the socially awkward to be awkward in peace never seem to think of the women for whom it may be _difficult_ to tell that guy creeping on them to back off. Funny, that.

This is a huge problem for shy and awkward women, and a reason why many women on the autistic spectrum are often abused or taken advantage of.

ReplyReply
mygif
DensityDuck said on May 14th, 2014 at 1:14 am

“That simply won’t happen if nerd culture continues to be such an unwelcoming place for women and minorities.”

Nobody gives a fuck if you say “fuck” these days.

But everyone loses their shit if you say “bitch” near a woman, or “nigger” just about anywhere.

Do you really think that teenagers don’t pick up on this?

ReplyReply
mygif
Candlejack said on May 15th, 2014 at 3:08 am

Yes, it’s awful that teenagers might get the impression that directly insulting a person or group of people is worse than swearing that doesn’t hurt anybody. Truly, a crisis of our times. How terrible might it be if they–gasp!–decide that insulting people based on gender or race is not okay?! Won’t somebody think of the children? :)

ReplyReply
mygif
Candlejack said on May 22nd, 2014 at 12:56 pm

So, my brother says I’m reading Duck’s post wrong. My brother believes DensityDuck is saying that teens are using misogynistic and racist slurs simply because that language is taboo, not because they actually hate women and minorities. In which case, the point might be that they want a reaction, and they’re getting one, so to make them stop, people should just shut up about it? I’m hoping that’s not the point, because man, that would be kind of victim-blamey, wouldn’t it?

(Also, I would argue that, to the person on the receiving end of those slurs, it matters very little why the person delivering the insult is using that language. Much as it wouldn’t much matter to you whether I keyed your car because I didn’t like you or if I wanted the transgressive thrill of keying a car and yours just happened to be there.)

ReplyReply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Please Note: Comment moderation may be active so there is no need to resubmit your comments