I do not actually get this question all that often anymore, mostly because all you have to do is point at CNN, MSNBC, or any news channel, newspaper, website, blog…
There’s a lot to be angry about. And not just in the wider scheme of things. The Nerdiverse is going through some pretty sizable upheavals of its own. We’ve mostly, I hope, weathered GamerGate, now we have Comicsgate because…
Because we can’t have nice things, that’s why.
You’ve got all the #MeToo moments popping up in gaming, comics, anime, as well as Hollywood.
I didn’t always do anger so well.
I wasn’t allowed anger as a child and young woman. Anger was punished regardless of how justified it might be. Punch someone for sexually assaulting you, guess who’d get punished. A lot of women my age and older don’t do anger well. Second Wave feminism did not do near as good a job of unleashing anger, and I don’t know that it meant to.
Now, the Riot Grrls of the 90s. There were some anger icons.
I had to learn how to be angry, a lot of women my age did. And a lot of women are still punished for showing anger, in particular women of color. No matter how justified, if you can’t rebut a screaming dude with a smile on your face and June Cleaver voice, you’re the hysterical one.
I hate to tell you guys this, but sometimes anger is justified.
Anger is a tool, and like any other, you can use it to build a house or burn it down.
And newsflash, some houses need to be burned down. If the foundation is rotten, there’s no saving it.
A lot of houses are going to be burned down, metaphorically speaking, before this is all over. And that’s a good thing. As much as I love old houses, and I do. One day I WILL live in a real Victorian with all the gingerbread. As much as I love them, there comes a time when you have to take a good hard look around and make the hard call.
I have strained several friendships over my insistence on living my ethics as fully as I can. I will undoubtedly strain, and perhaps lose, even more in the years to come.
A lot of houses in nerd culture need to be, if not burned down, then jacked up and a good hard look taken at those foundations, to see if they can be saved.
There are a lot of reasons why someone who has preyed on others may not personally have preyed on you or where you could directly see it. You might be useful to them. You may be the person who hires, fires and pays people. You may be someone in the industry whose opinion matters. You may not be their type (gender, looks, attitude…). You may be close to someone they feel they need or can get some use out of.
There are a lot of reasons why a predator may not have done anything predatory to an individual person, or group of people as a whole.
The same goes for saying racist, sexist, homophobic, ableist or any other -ist you can think of.
These people aren’t stupid. They’re assholes, but they aren’t stupid. They are perfectly capable of behaving well in the presence of someone who they deem as mattering. All of them.
And the reason I know this is because the majority of them have jobs, places to live and navigate the same daily life that you and I do. Many of them even have relationships, some with people who cosign their bullshit, but many of them with partners who have NO IDEA what their other half is up to, which gives them great cover by the way, when a rapist has a wife or girlfriend testifying that he’s never been violent with them.
All of this and so much more is why I’m angry.
I’m angry because I’m still talking about a lot of the same racist, misogynist, homophobic, ableist shit I was talking about when I started this blog more than a decade ago. I’m angry because the bullshit going on in nerd culture right now is just a microcosm view of the larger realm of bullshit going on in the world.
I’m angry because sexists don’t think I should be able to read comics or see movies with female heroes who are not just thinly veiled blow up dolls. I’m angry because people are dying for want of medical care and medications that should be easy to obtain, and aren’t. I’m angry because my formerly pretty rational and thoughtful father is falling in line with a lot of Fox News talking points. I’m angry for a whole host of reasons.
I’m angry because I still have to be angry about this shit.
Because the other option is giving up.
And that isn’t happening.
Not while there is breath in my body.
I might need to take the occasional breather, but I’m not going anywhere.
If you like what you read here, or want to help fund anger management classes, please consider donating using the link at the top right of the page: Keep Us Geeking, or checking out my Patreon. Thank you!
Also, if you’d like to see what sort of fiction I write when left to my own devices, please feel free to check out my fiction Patreon, Nothing Nice Comes Out of My Head.