One of the most frustrating things about being a female geek is the tendency for everyone to disappear you from the discourse. As I said in the caption of a photo for my last post, in the first forty entries for Geek on Wikimedia Commons, two had women in them. TWO. People still have a tendency to code all things geek as male, which is annoying as hell, particularly when people who should know better do it.
In the wake of the Alyssa Bereznak thing, and Sady Doyle’s little internet dust up over the George RR Martin books (with which I happen to agree, even not really being that much of a Sady fan) and all of the fallout from these little internet kerfuffles, there have been several lady bloggers talking about Geeks and women. And oddly enough, these two things never quite seem to be one and the same in the way they’re being written about. And I’m not the only one getting really fucking sick of being ignored in the discussion. I can jump up and down and point out that while I agree that geek culture has a long way to go in terms of equality and sexism, that equating “geek” with “male” is wrong and pissing off a hell of a lot of us out there.
EVERY time one of the mainstream feminist bloggers starts talking about geeks, it’s the guys. And usually, granted, when they’re doing something asinine, but it’s always guys. Guys, guys, guys… “Geeks are all Nice Guys ™” or whatever.
Look, I am telling you again, and again, and again, “HI, THERE!!! I IDENTIFY FEMALE AND WEAR GIRL CLOTHES AND MAKE UP AND EVERYTHING AND I AM A GEEK!!! THERE ARE A LOT OF US OUT THERE AND WE WOULD REALLY LIKE YOU TO QUIT TALKING AS IF WE DIDN’T FUCKING EXIST. KTHNKSBYE.”
Look, I can even point you to other female geeks:
No More Invisible Girls (psst, the name’s a hint!)
Sequential Tart (for which I wrote VERY briefly before my life exploded a couple years ago)
Four Color Heroines Podcast
When Fan Girls Attack (comics news aggregate site)
Inside Out (she hasn’t updated in a while but a tumblr post by her is part of what spurred this post)
And Skepchick, duh!
Look at all those shiny blogs, written by geeky women, some of them by multiple geek women at a time! I mean, really… Look, we’re out there. We like gaming and comics and videogames, and Pokemon and True Blood and Hard Sci Fi and fluffy Fantasy, and Urban Fantasy and Paranormal Romance, and regular romance and Legos and board games… And we write games and books and videogames and computer programs and all sorts of stuff… And we also talk about feminism and sexism in comics and gaming and RPG books and videogames, and we try to beat some sense into our male counter parts and make them think about shit like why saying, “Well, I’d be flattered if someone cat-called me” is NEVER a good idea. And we do it while being ignored, because geeks being a poorly socialized male minority or some shit makes better copy or something.
And it’s from both sides, because when the Pick-Up Artist jackoffs start whining about “poor unsocialized geeks and nerds” they only mean male nerds. Because apparently we don’t exist for them either. No one cares if the chubby girl with the Sisters of Battle t-shirt gets a date to prom with the man of her dreams. And when they say they’d love it if women propositioned them, they don’t mean geeky, nerdy women in techspeak t-shirts and no make up and ratty ponytails they tied back with the zipties you use to control cables in the server room. Because women who do not meet their standards of beauty are not women.
So, really, both sides, the jerk off sexist men of both geeky and non-geeky flavors and the non-geeky feminist bloggers can bite me.
Look, non-geeky feminist bloggers, as we have said repeatedly, the many geeky women of the internet, it isn’t that she didn’t want to date Finkel, it’s that she wrote a really nasty, geek-shaming article naming him (and at least you guys admit the naming was offsides). Yes, it’s great to have dealbreakers, and no one says you can’t. As one of my friends said in the comments here, “No, seriously, the only thing wrong with being a world champion of MtG is that probably means you don’t have time for RPGs. And THAT’s a deal-breaker.” And, as I said, I found it bizarre that Magic was the dealbreaker, given that he took her to a play based on Jeffrey Dahmer’s life for their first date. None of us (geeky women on the internet, or rather most of us, I’m sure you can find one) is arguing that she didn’t have a right to not date a guy she had no connection with. But seriously, as far as raging nerds go, Magic guys are pretty fucking pedestrian. Seriously, try hanging out with guys who not only fan-rage at Star Trek plots, but can point out on the schematics of the Enterprise (which they own) why that plot sucks.