Standing Proud

Hello wonderful friend!  I am glad to see you now that my snow hell is over and we can get down to doing what we do best: Pull up a chair, have a seat, grab your drink and let us banter.  I had this idea to write about how there seems to be this developing hatred of women in the geek culture (more on that in a minute) but the more I thought about it, the sadder I became when I realized it doesn’t stop there.

My tricksey (albeit wonderful) DM had something on her Facebook page that caught my eye.  It was an article on the “Fake Geek Girl” meme that has been going around.  I really should link it here, and I will at some point, but it got me pretty heated.  It painted a very not so pretty picture of how women are looked at and treated in the culture, especially in the comics fandom.  There was a lot of things that related back to it, webcomics where the boy just reads the comics and shows up in the Batman shirt and the girl who read, researched, made their cosplay, dyed their hair only to be told she isn’t a true fan and didn’t put enough work into it.  Posts from a writer, not just a fan, but a writer who pretty much called women who go to cons whores who just go to inflate their egos by having nerd boys pay attention to them.  Yes, because that is the only reason a woman would go to a con.  Thanks for pointing that out, broham. 

I read a blog post prior to that about a beautiful woman who handmade a TARDIS gown.  There were tons of comments about how the TARDIS was bigger on the outside, comments about her appearance (she truly was gorgeous). 

It saddens me that where we are now in time that women are still being treated this way.  I couldn’t understand where it came from, why we are continually looked at as objects.  Women are just as capable of enjoying the same things as men do, on the same level. We don’t have to Wikipedia everything, we may now because we read it, or we watched the show.  We can play Battlefield and Call of Duty, we can tank in WoW, we can RPG with the best of them.  We can even play Dungeons and Dragons, which by the way in the two groups that I play in women outnumber the men in one and we have equal numbers in the other.  We read the Player’s Handbook.  Ok, maybe it took me a while, but I had to play a bit to understand how it worked, but I have read what I needed to!

It got me thinking as a whole about how men could be so cruel, but then a even more horrible thought dawned on me:

We do it to ourselves.

We are taught at a young age what is considered outcast and what isn’t.  I mean in school, even elementary school, there are the cool kids and, well, the geeks.  As you get older, middle school, high school, you start hearing the rumors.  So and So slept with someone and they are branded as a whore.

Women, we are cruel, if not just as cruel as men. 

We say bad things about other women as a whole.  We scrutinize everything about them – their hair, their eyebrows, her nails, her clothes, her shoes.  Goodness forbid if something is out of place.  We make mean girl eyes at other women if they aren’t wearing what we feel are acceptable clothing choices.  We relish when another woman fails because it makes us feel better about ourselves and how we are doing.  We choose sides when it comes to stay at home moms vs. working moms.  Its funny how there isn’t anything about stay at home dads vs. working dads.  You know why, ladies?  Men simply do not give that much thought or care into things like that.

It’s time to stop.  It’s time to stop judging.  It’s time to stop measuring our self worth compared to everyone else.  If someone fails, man or woman, it doesn’t make us better.  We should be picking up and not putting down.  In doing my random acts of kindness it does make me look at things a little bit differently.  It has made me realize that everyone has different circumstances, but we are all on the same team. 

It isn’t just the men that put us down, ladies.  We do it to each other.  I had a conversation with a fellow darling geek girl and she was telling me how when she was in college there was this crazy competition that the women would have.  It wasn’t vocalized, but it existed due to the possessiveness of their place in the social circle.  These things do absolutely exist.  I have been the only female friend of a bunch of guys growing up and when other females enter the circle it can be uncomfortable.  I am guilty of it; I won’t deny that.

Let’s just stop. 

I know it’s easier said than done.  This has been engraved into our very beings.  If we can catch it one time though and think to ourselves that we did it, we stopped ourselves from doing that further damage then maybe we can heal.  I won’t fix the world for my kids; I imagine it will still be a bit broken, but I don’t need to break it further than it is now.  Maybe you can stop yourself from calling another female a whore to your friends or SO just because you heard a story about her.  That would help fix it.  Maybe you can not jump to judgmental if you see someone wearing something that is a little skimpy.  Bigger or smaller, be happy that they have that confidence to do it.  Don’t make assumptions based off of nothing; a girl can read comic books, read fantasy, play video games, watch anime, play D&D, be logical, do maths, and do it just as well as a guy can.

I want to take a moment and say no, I don’t think every guy is like what I explained above.  I am incredibly grateful to all the men in my life from then until now who have never made me feel less because of my gender.  I have never been to a con and felt like an outcast.  I am really lucky.  This is also not a bash against men or women.  This is a bash against ignorance and all who subscribe to it. 

I heard a story about one day while I wasn’t home my girl K was listening to Lana Del Rey and The Boy stated how she must be a wanton woman because of her lyrics.  K was shocked that he would think that and questioned him on how if the lyrics were sung by a male if he would think the same thing.  He said no.  It starts young.  We conversed with The Boy about how just because a woman is comfortable in her sexuality does not make her a whore.  I was saddened because I know I have never taught him that.

I am a geek, and a girl.  I like to game. I like to read all sorts of things and I also like songs with sexual lyrics.  None of this makes me a bad person.

So dear friend, I hope you will help me to just stop it.  If one person does it, and then another, if we start to raise our next generations to not do it (even if it isn’t to do it as much) then we win.  Let’s win.

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