Directly relevant to the some of the more godawful questions at the GeekGirlCon Feminism, Race, and Geek Culture panel: “But what if I’m a white chick planning to write characters of color and I don’t want to take the time / effort to do the ethical minimum of research?”
No one is hurting you when they wear superhero t-shirts without memorizing every title the character has appeared in. They’re expressing enthusiasm—novice enthusiasm, but enthusiasm nonetheless—for something you care deeply about and have done your damnedest to evangelize. That they don’t have the same degree of geek cred does nothing to diminish yours.
Yeah, but we all still think you’re a dick? Because you’re that person who thinks that a woman in a superhero t-shirt is somehow a ‘slut’ (the most realistic leap of logic I’ve ever witnessed) until it’s proven that she can tell you that Superman’s…
It’s a shame because I see female comic book fans doing this to women as well. If a girl is wearing something comic related, but isn’t really a fan, the hate comes out. Who cares if they’re wearing a comic book shirt to look cute, or to get a guy’s attention!? Last time I checked, it’s a free country and we can wear what we want.
I’m clearly a huge Batman fan. I’ve been reading the comics for years, and know pretty much most of the cannon, characters, and storylines. My younger sister likes the movies, and she likes what Batman represents, but she doesn’t read the comics and she doesn’t know alot of the canon. We both wear Batman tshirts and collect Batman memorabilia. I feel that she has just as much of a right to do that as I do, even though she just started getting into it, and hasn’t really read the comics. She’s not a poser, or a slut, or a bimbo, just because she doesn’t know everything about Batman. I see people(guys and girls) rant about girls like my sister, and how they’re pathetic and stupid for wearing something that they don’t know anything about. Stop judging, seriously…this life is too short to be so petty.
Thanks for the post about girl geek cred. I have a hard time talking to guys about comics because I'm always afraid they'll quiz me on all the mainstream comics I don't follow. I've read some mainstream comics, and I do know SOME things, but it's hard to have a conversation when you feel like your knowledge is constantly being judged. So thanks for the post, you're speaking for a lot of us <3
Oh, sweetheart, you are so very welcome. I’m sorry you’re having to deal with that bullshit—and really glad that you haven’t let it chase you away from comics.
Something that made a big difference for me was finding geeky communities and friends who were both feminist and novice-friendly. In real life, I’m lucky enough to live in a city where the comics communities, fan and professional, skew female, progressive, and welcoming, but I’ve also found a lot of really wonderful folks on the internet, first via Girl-Wonder.org, and then through more and more channels and grapevines, on Twitter and elsewhere.
And even outside of explicitly feminist circles, I’ve noticed that for every competitive minutiae-monger, there’s are half a dozen geeks eager to share the stuff they’re passionate about and help newcomers navigate those tricky inroads. And the brilliant thing about that kind of welcoming enthusiasm is that it’s wildly self-propagating, while the status-grubbing, territory-marking circles end up dying of sheer insularity.
(TL; DR: Don’t let the bastards grind you down or scare you away, and don’t settle for communities where bullying and casual misogyny are the norm. There is better stuff out there.)
Yeah, but we all still think you’re a dick? Because you’re that person who thinks that a woman in a superhero t-shirt is somehow a ‘slut’ (the most realistic leap of logic I’ve ever witnessed) until it’s proven that she can tell you that Superman’s real name is…
I don’t fucking care about your approval. I do care that you’re making the geek community that much more toxic for and unappealing to women.
Women don’t avoid comics and the comics community because they don’t like superheroes or don’t find comics interesting. Women avoid comics and the comics community because of assholes like you, and the fact that you’ll offer your grudging “approval” to the few who pass your arbitrary standards (while of course, the hordes of dudebros in Batman and Hulk and GL and Superman t-shirts get a free pass without having to prove anything) doesn’t win you a single goddamn bonus point.
Incidentally, the fact that you made that criticism gendered to begin with is really shitty. What pisses you off so much about not-up-to-snuff geek girls in particular? Is it because you assume we are trying to dupe you with our fancy superhero shirts so that you will… insult us? Tell us about your fancy comic-book collection? Think we are sexy? Did it occur to you that maybe ladies, like dudes, can like the idea of a superhero, and a superhero t-shirt, without knowing the excruciating details of continuity? Fuck you.
Here’s why: You know what is goddamn EXHAUSTING? Caring about something, and working your ass off to get good at it, and then never getting to engage with other enthusiasts (or, often, professionals) because EVERY GODDAMN CONVERSATION has to start with you jumping through hoops to prove you’re the real deal, because unless you can juggle three cover variants while reciting the clone saga backwards in French, your tits disqualify you from any subjects more advanced than “Condescending Comments about Vertigo 101.”
So, fine, you whip out your party tricks and minutiae and business cards, and by the time you’ve proven yourself to their satisfaction, either you’re so tired and discouraged that there’s no longer any point to that original conversation you wanted to have, or they decide to tell you how HOT it is that a girl like you is a genuine geek, and the sheer fact of your gender STILL fucking eclipses the actual thing you are trying to talk about. Because, GOD FUCKING FORBID that I am here to have a conversation about something I’m interested in, rather than to earn your approval of my brain-rack combo. Seriously, I LIVE for that. You’ve seen through my clever ruse: everything I do, I do in desperate hopes that someday, an anonymous doucheweasel on the internet will tell me how much he wants me to talk about the dark phoenix saga while he does me from behind.
No fucking wonder so many girls and women give the geek community a long look and then decide not to bother.
Am I ranting? Sorry—wait, no, NOT sorry. Because I just went to this amazing, explicitly girl-focused con where it wasn’t that way, where everyone just assumed that if you were there you were a geek, regardless your gender or color or what-the-hell-ever, and we could have conversations that didn’t have to start with a yardstick, and it was not only awesome but REALLY GODDAMN EASY. So I know that this bullshit is neither compulsory nor unavoidable.
Which means that you have no. fucking. excuse.
Get over yourself. We don’t care what you think. We don’t care whether we pass muster. Just stop pissing in the drinking well.
(TL:DR You’re an asshole, and you’re ruining it for everyone. Grow the fuck up.)
1. If you work hard, and become successful, it does not necessarily mean you are successful because you worked hard, just as if you are tall with long hair it doesn’t mean you would be a midget if you were bald.
2. “Fortune” is a word for having a lot of money and for having a lot of luck, but…
Wow, and speaking of adolescent fantasies, here’s one of my favorite Nine Inch Nails songs (“We’re In This Together”) soundtracking the Avengers trailer. We’re two for two today, high-school Chris! IT GETS BETTER!
This, and this. On days when everything was fucked up and awful and overwhelming, I used to turn out all the lights, close the blinds, put on the Fragile, and pretend the world had ended outside and my room and the sound were all that was left.
…although, to me, it was always the soundtrack to the X-Men fighting the Shi’ar Imperial Guard on the moon.
These are purely personal, and being ON so many panels and events, I missed a lot of stuff. So this is just from a very limited perspective.
This event could have been a failure. It could have flopped. And if it had, it might have been years before anyone attempted another female nerd con of this…
This, this, this. I’ll probably be saving my official write-up for Sequential Tart, but suffice to say, I wish GeekGirlCon was every weekend of the year. (Actually, given my work, friends, and community, it kinda is. Rock!)
When somebody says, “I don’t think women should be raped for wearing short skirts, but what do they expect when they do go out like that?” what you are actually saying is that if a woman in a short skirt is raped, you will be less likely to hold her rapist culpable. Which makes a woman in a short skirt really appealing to a rapist. That’s something that you did. That’s not something the woman in the short skirt did, or something the rapist did. You made that woman a more comfortable target by making it clear that if she got raped, you would be less upset about it, less willing to see the rapist go to jail, less willing to support the woman.”—
The Tantalus Theater Review needs you! I’m putting together a new zine dedicated to FFIX, probably one of the greatest and most underrated games of all time! It’s going to be a full color, digest sized zine (which is about 5.5 x 8.5 inches), and it will feature drawings and comics by yours truly as well as the work of a TON of other amazing artists.
PLEASE SUBMIT BEFORE THE END OF OCTOBER, IF YOU’D LIKE TO CONTRIBUTE! TO SUBMIT JUST SEND ME A LINK!
So, following the immense popularity of my 5 Essential Character Redesigns post, I decided to take a more thorough stab at revamping DC Comic’s Justice League. I’ve already mentioned before that I think their current “New 52” reboot, aimed at gaining new readers, is terribly ineffective,…