Geek Girls Rule! #191 – Sexism in Geek Culture

Tramp!

Making the rounds of Tumblr today (Oh, Tumblr, how I love and despise thee) is this darling post.  In addition to his completely charming lack of punctuation, capitalization and atrocious grammar, is the oh, so adorable misogyny dripping from every word.  Because you know, girls regardless of hotness are NEVER into comics, ever.

Oh, but wait, he has so very graciously allowed that HALF of the girls who wear comic shirts MIGHT know something about what they’re wearing.  And that he APPROVES of us!  Oh thank goodness, I had almost thought life not worth living.  /sarcasm

Ok, fine, I get it a little.  I have been known to rail against people who wear Bauhaus or Misfits t-shirts who have can’t name a single song either band released.  However, I would like to note that I rail against PEOPLE, neither men, nor women.  You know why?  Because I don’t assume that gender has anything to do with musical knowledge.  Just as gender has FUCK ALL to do with knowledge about comics.

Captain Clueless’s post has, of course, engendered a round of really awesome responses.

One of the really puzzling things to me is how women who wear comic t-shirts, whether or not they “understand” them, are sluts.

I mean, unless Captain Clueless thinks that these supposed comic-ignorant women are wearing these shirts in order to signal sexual readiness to all and sundry, like some weird cloth and graphic version of the inflamed buttocks of a female baboon in estrus, I’m just not seeing how a Green Lantern t-shirt equals “WHORE!”

Now, I’m not posting this just to mock this sad, pathetic doofus.  I’m actually posting it to highlight a larger problem, which is the prevalence of attitudes like this in Geekdom of all stripes.  This idea that female = clueless.  I’ve talked about this regarding comics, gaming and videogames in the past.  The fact that if I go into a store to buy a videogame and the Geek Husband What Rules goes with me, salesguys talk to him.  If we’re in a strange comic or gaming store, or hell, even in familiar comic or gaming store, guys who’ve never met me will frequently try to explain comics I’ve been reading for years to me.  Frequently, they are wrong.  And I cannot tell you how many times I’ve joined a pick up game of some RPG or other, and had it assumed that I don’t know what all those funny dice are for, in spite of my “Not only do the rules say you’re wrong, they also say you’re a dick!” t-shirt.

Look, guys, I don’t know how to tell you this.  But if you don’t want women in your hobby, you’re fucked.  We’re here already.

And if you do want women in your hobbies, then shut these doofuses (doofi?) down when they go shooting off their mouths and start slut-shaming women for liking comics… which I’m still not sure where that leap came from.*

If you, personally, don’t want to talk to or play games with women, don’t.  That is entirely up to you.  I mean, we probably don’t want to hang out with you either.  But don’t be an asshole about it, ok?  You’re making all nerds look stupid, and I hate that. Also, we don’t need your approval to play games or read comics.

Go read PostcardsfromSpace’s response.  She wins the internet, and should call me for delivery.

Remember we’ve got the GGR TwitterTumblr and Facebook page.

*Actually, I do.  I understand.  Next to calling a woman “fat” calling her a “slut” or a “whore” is one of the ways almost guaranteed to get a reaction.  Unless she’s me.  I have a tendency to respond with, “Jealous?”

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7 thoughts on “Geek Girls Rule! #191 – Sexism in Geek Culture

  1. I was going to ask, what do you make of all the tumblr blog if sexy geek girls in barely anything but a comic/nerd tee and glasses often exposing themselves? I find these types of images guess both male and female geeks. For women it presents this as the only valid way is fitting into person, while for guys it assumes we are all pathetic pervs for whom these ladies are doing a favour as we are incapable of getting a girlfriend.

  2. You know… Maybe it’s just me but… I have met A LOT of guys who have Superman or Batman paraphernalia who have never read the comics. I’m starting to meet some of them who have Green Lantern stuff who have never read the comic and XMen and Spiderman and – due to the movies – other Avengers. But the big three? Smallville, Bats, and Spidey? Yeah, plenty of guys who don’t read comics have shirts or car decals or other things with their logos on them that have never picked up a comic. Or only one or two. But where is the hate for men who don’t know what they’re talking about displaying these things?

  3. Ok, this is a very good question. And I’ve been pondering this myself, as I am a bisexual geek girl who enjoys looking at sexy geek girls (though I think my preferred body type is a little thicker than the norm). And I do enjoy looking at these photos, but I also understand what you’re saying. It’s like fanservice, and in some cases comes across as a desperate “Please like me, see I can be sexy AND Nerdy!”

    And, sigh, I know I’ve been guilty of that in the past as well. I used to wear outfits to conventions that were pretty much pure “fanservice” if you will.

    So, that’s one level.

    However, on another level, I really enjoyed dressing in those outfits that were so very beyond the norm of what I got to wear in my day to day life. Yeah, it was awesome that dudes (and other women) found me hot in them. But it was also just fun to be someone I had never, ever thought I could be because I was “the smart one.” And we all know smart women aren’t sexy, right?

    The problem with these issues is that there are loads of seemingly contradictory things going on:
    Is she doing it because it makes her feel good? Yay!
    Does it make her feel good because men validate her? Not so good.

    I don’t have an easy answer for you, or for me, sadly.

  4. I know! Totally.

    Total double standard.

    Or like I said, sort of oddly in the post, it’s almost like being “apparently male” gives you some sort of credence that boobs mysteriously take away when it comes to nerd culture. If a guy wears that shirt, nerd guys (and some nerd girls, let’s be fair) will automatically assume he knows that fandom without him having to establish his bonafides, like naming all the Robins, or Green Lanterns or whatever.

  5. I have read of others who mocked the ever-loving hell out of this idiot, and it was hilarious!

    And it’s annoying and frustrating that this is still going on. This is also the same attitude that goes hand in hand with some idiots complaining about how there are no geek girls around, and all I can think is that “Well, if you weren’t such fucking sexist assholes, more women would be happy to talk with you about geeky stuff!”

    There’s just no respect. I’ve heard of women quizzed on their geek-cred, and it makes me want to slap the idiots. How about being inviting and friendly and being joyous about someone to share your interests with?

    Or is it too much to hear about how stupid some of the stuff you like makes other people uncomfortable? >_<

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