Women

A couple of weeks ago, well right around the last time I got off my butt and actually posted something, I got a like from another blogger.  This happens so infrequently, and I’m so immensely excited when anyone likes my blog posts, that I immediately headed to her blog to see what TK writes about.  Her blog is here, btw (http://chaptertk.com/) and it’s much better formatted than mine.  Honestly, though, I’m a programmer, not a designer, so cut me some slack.

When I checked out her blog, it took me directly to this post, an interesting look at feminism from a geekier perspective than I’m used to seeing.  Usually when you hear about sexism it doesn’t pop up in comic book conventions or other geeky pursuits.  And, yes, I consider myself a geek.  I read comics, I program computers, I play video games.  I’m actually something of a Renaissance Geek.  I was a geek before it was cool to be a geek and spent many happy evenings with my fellow friends playing D&D or Traveller back in my high school days.  So, I know from whence I speak.

Anyway, one of the things about geeky culture is that women have traditionally not been a part of it, but in my day we were certainly open to it.  Jesus, how old am I?  I just used “back in my day,” in an un-ironic sense.

In a way, after I read TK’s post, I kind thought to myself, “Man, that’s fucked up.  Why are people like that?” and moved on.  But what she wrote kind of pinged around in my head and I was reading reviews on Hack Slash on Amazon when I came across this gem from a mouth breather who shall remain anonymous.  At least here.

“Like I reviewed in Red Sonja, females in comics must be relegated only to roles of sex objects and victims. It is so lame to attempt to make them super at all. What a waste of money. Anybody want my copy for free? I need to make room for dust on my shelf.”

I’m hoping this was just a troll attempt.

So, that brought that post back to the forefront of my mind and I spent some time trying to figure out what it was that stuck in me.  Still not entirely certain, but something hit me, so, TK, congrats, you spoke to someone.

Anyway, after looking at the post I made about Men’s magazine covers a lot of people probably consider me a misogynist dinosaur, but I would have to disagree with that.  I actually consider myself something of a feminist, especially if you consider feminism from the classical perspective that says women are people, too.

Geeks of the world and, indeed, people of the world need to get over this idea that 51% of the human population is less important or less capable than the other 49%.  It just doesn’t make any sense and there’s absolutely no reason to keeping thinking women are inferior to men in any sense.  I’ve met women who are better programmers than I am.  I’ve met women who are worse programmers than I am.  I’ve met women who are better fighters than I am (and I’m no slouch myself).  I’ve met women who are worse fighters than I am.  I’ve met women who are smarter than me.  I’ve met women who are dumber than me.

See where this is going?

There’s an old saying that goes something to the effect of “If you go looking for something, you’ll find a way to find it.”  Go looking for the idea that women aren’t as good or smart or worthy and you’ll manage to find a way to prove it to yourself.  It will probably be a fallacious argument, but if it’s truthy enough, you’ll believe it.

Sure, women are somewhat different than men, and, frankly vive la différence, but the differences are less important than the similarities.  So, can we knock this crap off and start treating people as equals?  Especially in our own little geeky microcosm?

Now, I know something like two people are going to read this, but oh, well, I felt I had to say it.

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2 thoughts on “Women

  1. That particular post really blew up. I still get comments on it to this day. The funny thing is, I never intended to highlight my own experience. It was just a discussion of my fears because I have read so many stories about women who are called fake because they haven’t watching the ‘right’ anime or because they can’t remember the same details as someone else. I’ve been blessed to have a number of nerdy friends who fully accept me. A few months ago, I was gushing about how the voice actor for the main character of Bleach used to be the Black Power Ranger. My one friend laughed and said “you just can’t help yourself, can you.” Apparently, I have to be nerdy in every other conversation I have ^_^.

    That’s all very different than being in a room full of strangers. Will I be the right kind of nerdy for them? Will they think I’m ‘fake’ if I know more about Final Fantasy than any other video games? I am going to punch anyone who tries to claim I am only there to impress men. I wish that wasn’t a view that existed in a world where more than 40% of gamers are women, but it does. You don’t need to look further than YouTube comments to see that. The other day, I watched a short YouTube video where a guy started talking about an issue and then was ‘transported’ to an alternate universe where the genders were switched. He spent the video complaining that men were not readily accepting into the gaming community and refuting the idea men played games just for women. Many comments were supportive but many claimed he was discussing a non-issue. I don’t understand how people can claim the problem doesn’t exist when guys like the troll you quote here express that kind of opinion.

  2. I wonder sometimes if some of that is blowback from a couple of years ago when everyone decided geeky was sexy and, suddenly, everyone felt the need to call themselves a geek. Still, there’s no reason to assume just because someone’s a woman they’re faking geekiness, and that seems to be the trend. If someone were to ask me about Anime, I’d probably fail the geek test because Anime’s not really my thing. I can’t cite every story line from some comic book because I haven’t read them all. And yet, most of the geek subculture I’ve come across accepts me as one of their own and, at the same time, feels the need to test you further. It’s almost like the geeky/nerdy subculture is fine with women doing cosplay at Comicon, but balks at the idea that a woman could actually enjoy comics or computers or gaming. In some ways, our society has moved forward on a lot of things, but we still seem to be stuck in the past on others.

    So, I read your post and saw that knot head’s review on Amazon and it proves that there’s still a short ton of sexism out there. Maybe someone will read your post, my post, this conversation, and start thinking a little bit about why they believe what they believe. If not, screw ’em. History will eventually leave them behind.

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