So, there’s this thing happening, where a bunch of sad, pathetic dudes get some sort of thrill by harassing women off the internet and away from “their” fandoms.
Seriously, I’d pity you if you weren’t so vile. And not vile in an interesting dark villain way. Vile in the way most evil is vile, by being utterly, utterly banal.
The latest round of sick, sad white dudes desperate for relevance are exceptionally proud of themselves for driving Kelly Marie Tran, Rose in the Last Jedi, off the internet, or at least Instagram, possibly Twitter.
Kelly Marie! Come to Tumblr. We got your back.
Anyway, seriously though, I do not get this mindset that there is only so much enjoyment of a thing to be had, and if anyone other than you (cis, het, white dude) is highlighted in it, or enjoys it, that there is less for you to enjoy. Gaming has the same problem, as do video games.
“But, if we make room for other people to enjoy X, then I won’t have as much X to enjoy!’
Fun is not a pie, jack-off.
Ok, sorry. I got a little off topic. Good thing, as a feminist, that being outraged is my hobby. /sarcasm
Nevermind that they still outnumber the non-cis, non-het, non-white, non-dudes about a million to one when it comes to lead roles, speaking parts, and actual lines of dialogue. Or, you know, not being killed to further someone else’s plot.
Now, part of this problem is one of culture. We currently have and, for the last couple of decades, have had a culture that tells boys that their shit is for everyone, while girl stuff is not for boys, makes them less manly and all that other toxic masculinity crap. That is part of the problem. And evidence of this pops up all the time, from a mother casually telling her son that he doesn’t actually want that Wonder Woman doll, it’s for girls, all the way up to parents killing their 8 year old son because they think he might be gay.
You cannot constantly tell boys that girl things are bad, and expect it to not filter through their brain as “girls are bad.” Kids are binary thinkers for the most part. Something is good. If it isn’t good, it must be bad. And if the things associated with a group, like girls (or POC, or Queer people) are bad, ergo, that group must be bad, too. (This is also why “Love the sinner hate the sin is complete bullshit.)
Coupled with the “girls and girly things” (POC and POC things, Queer folk and queer things) are bad dynamic, we also have pop culture and media treating women as objects to be won, as opposed to thinking, feeling beings who get to act on their own volition. I.e. you do the right things, and she will fall for you. Or, if you’re persistent enough, she will fall for you. Or, if you are forceful enough… Depicting POC as various racial stereotypes, and Queer folks either as predators or weak.
I almost went off on another tangent.
So, we have this thinking that women/girls and their associated things are bad and weak. Coupled with the cultural depiction of women as trophies or prizes devoid of volition of their own, and you get what we have now. Where it’s believable that a world have laser swords, but women in command, or who are as good or better at fighting than the men are is unthinkable. You get worlds where there are giant fucking dragons, but the idea that POC would be included at all, let alone have one as hero, is unthinkable. You get worlds where teleportation is a thing, but queer character who isn’t a flaming stereotype is impossible.
Pair that with the premise that I started with, that these guys seem to think that there is only a finite amount of fun, and that POC, women, Queer folk and others being able to have fun means they are stealing it from cis het white dudes, and you get the toxic bullshit nerd culture is soaking in.
Now, on top of that sprinkle a complete and utter lack of empathy.*
Ta da! You have a toxic shit casserole.
A shit casserole who thinks it’s ok, nay, their duty to keep women/POC/Queer people out of “their” fandom, and in their place. A shit casserole that spawns things like incels and MRAs and GamerGate. Who either “aren’t racist but…” or some of whom will actually own their racism.
So, given all of those influences it really isn’t surprising when they react like toddlers to anyone other than cis het white dudes being shown as heroic.
And this is where all you decent cis het white dudes come in. I know you’re out there, I hang out with you.
You need to call the shit casserole on its toxic bullshit. You need to tell the dude crowing about being part of the group that drives women off the internet, that isn’t cool. You don’t have to go into “Me worthy” diatribes. Just, “Dude, that is really fucked up and sad.” And then go your merry way.
You cannot stay silent about this shit. Because silence equals approval to these fuckheads.
Yeah, it might cost you some friendships. Ethics can do that to you.
But I guarantee you that it will cost you less than it costs the women, POC, or queer people who speak up.
These guys are desperately trying to remain relevant, while feeling the tar pit of culture closing over their heads. They’re panicking because things are changing for the better.
*I have talked at length about the lack of empathy on the part of male nerds before, you can find those on the GeekGirlsRule.net if you really want to, but I’m not repeating myself. Again.
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