Ok, so I’m making an effort to be around a little more. I’ve been playing way too much of the Marvel Heroes MMO, but it’s a lot of fun! I’ve already finished the extant storyline with three characters: Gambit, Nightcrawler and Squirrel Girl. I’m working on Moon Knight right now, and Scarlet Witch. I’ve got a couple others I’ve unlocked with crystal shards that I need to start leveling, I’ll get there. My username is GeekGirlsRule, and I have run into at least one Twitter buddy on there. I also pay zero attention to chat, although if you ask me to join a supergroup, odds are good I will. But at least let me find you so we can actually team up. Nothing bugs me like someone who sends you a team request and then you can’t even fucking find them.
I’ve also been reading Women Destroy Science Fiction, and it is AWESOME!!! I’m through all the original fiction, and on the last of the reprint stuff. I’d never read that particular Tiptree piece before. I’m looking forward to the essays! I really enjoyed most of the original fiction. There was one exception, but honestly, that one was more personal taste and bias than anything to do with the story itself. So, I encourage you to purchase it, if you weren’t savvy enough to get in on the Kickstarter.
So, at Norwescon, and yes, I said I’d do a big thing about my panels at Norwescon and I haven’t, I did the Feminism in Fandom panel, on which was Seanan McGuire who was magnificent. But at one point someone asked all the panelists what we do about the threats and the bullying? We all talked about reporting them to the appropriate authorities, but I think I was alone when I said, “I am very clear and vocal about where I will be when. When I am going to be at a convention, I tell people, because one of my hobbies is picking up heavy things and putting them back down, and I’m usually armed in some way.”
I worry that this response sounds flippant to other women who are bullied on the net, and I don’t want to imply that this is how everyone should handle this. Handle what you have to how you can. Be safe. Feel safe. Take care of yourself first, worry about shitbags later.
I know this sounds weird, especially in light of Isla Vista and the fact that the Seattle police just arrested a University of Washington student for posting that he fully intended to imitate Isla Vista, only more successfully. The fact that we had a college shooting here less than two weeks ago. But that’s for another post.
I’m not afraid of the trolls.
In all the time I’ve been getting threats, I have also been posting my attendance at conventions, including what panels I’m on, when they are, and even what I’ll be wearing. Not one person has ever come up to say any of that shit to my face. Not once.
Earlier today (this is related, be patient) I was on Pharyngula watching the latest Feminist Frequency video, and reading the comments. I’ll probably blog about that later. But what struck me was the fact that we have this very vocal slice of the population who are apparently TERRIFIED that women will like things they like, which will then…? I don’t know, take away their birthday? Cancel Christmas? Force gamestores to stop smelling like rotting assholes and feet?* Make them have to actually TALK to a woman who isn’t related? I don’t fucking know.
Look, fellas, I’ve got some bad news for you. Women have been playing videogames all along. That’s right, the call is coming from INSIDE THE HOUSE!!!!!! I’ve been playing videogames since Pong, bitches. Just because marketing execs are stupid, doesn’t mean you can deny reality. We have always been here, and we will always be here. And you can tantrum to your heart’s fucking content, we aren’t going away, and you are never going to be better than me at Centipede, Asteroids, Ms. Pac Man, or Soulcalibur. Well, maybe Soulcalibur, because I just don’t have the time to dedicate to it I had in college. But I still play it. And Marvel Heroes, which I may need an intervention for. But NOT YET!!!
Just like women have always read comics, we’ve always played videogames and role-playing games, whether you liked it or not, whether you stonewalled specific women or not. Somewhere girls have always done your hobbies.
You’ve all heard my theories on why these dudes freak the fuck out (it isn’t that we don’t ‘get’ your hobbies, it’s that you’re an asshole). But honestly, I don’t care why they’ve got their knickers in a bunch. What I care about is they are giving some of my favorite hobbies a bad name, for no real reason, because girls aren’t going to stop doing geeky shit.
And if you’re pissed because some (a shockingly tiny number) of games/comics might cater more toward a “female gaze,” instead of yours, and that you might not measure up to what women actually DO fantasize about, just stop for thirty seconds and congratulate yourself on feeling what women feel ALL THE FUCKING TIME, except we ARE confronted with it daily, and we CAN’T measure up, because no one can. Not even the celebrities whose photographs are photoshopped and manipulated within an inch of their lives can measure up to those impossible standards.
Are you afraid that women might stop killing themselves trying to live up to those standards? Because if you are, drink bleach.
So stop it. I’m not gonna stop. Kelly Sue DeConnick isn’t going to stop. Gail Simone isn’t going to stop. Anita Sarkeesian isn’t going to stop. Seanan McGuire isn’t going to stop. Rachel Edidin isn’t going to stop. The list goes on and on and on…
None of us are going to stop doing what we’re doing so you can feel better about yourself. No matter how nasty and shitty you get. Got it?
Now shut the fuck up, I have some serious leveling to do here.
If you like the blog or the podcast, please, please, please donate to keep us going, and fund my Marvel Heroes addiction. Donations go to pay for the podcast hosting and website domain, primarily.
Oh, and Honey Badger’s first two songs are available for download here, for free or pay what you want. We’re also part of a larger compilation to benefit a local venue, with a song written by yours truly. Check it out (we’re track 16). We’re in the studio right now and another several songs will be coming out soon.
*Not ALL gamestores, of course, I’ve been in some quite nice ones that smelled lovely. I’ve also been in some where walking by a dumpster on a hot summer day would have been preferable.