Slave Leias get no respect!
This is a reaction to this post: “Geek girls” and the problem of self-objectification
I guess my biggest problem with this article is the following:
Too often, women in geek cultures are only welcomed if they are decoration, sexy versions of the things geek men love, not equal participants or fellow fans.
Maybe I live in a weird, tiny bubble, but with the folks I hang around with, this just ain’t so. My group of friends in Oakville is fully of nerdy girls, and I hang around with them because they are smart and fun and into awesome nerdy things, not because they are “decoration.” Fully half the awesome friends I made at PAX Prime last year were nerdy girls – at no time dressed up or flaunting themselves. We met on the Harry Potter Pubcrawl and talked about nerdy shit and exchanged numbers and hung out for the rest of the con.
Of all of the nerdy girls I am friends with, the emphasis is on the “nerdy” – they’re into comic books, or games, or loose-leaf tea, or reading. That they’re girls makes no more difference than their hair colour, or height. Are other nerdy dudes so fucking shallow that ladies are shunned if they’re not eye candy? For shame.
Now on the flip side of that – if you are dressed in costume AT ALL, you are emphasizing yourself as decoration and shouldn’t be surprised when you’re treated as such. I’ve never been able to have a meaningful conversation with a lady dressed as Leeloo, BUT the same goes for dudes dressed as Master Chief or whatever. The most I ever get out is “Oh hey, sweet costume, you look great/badass/cold” and then I mosey on. Seriously, I can’t connect with you when you’re kitted out like that, it’s intimidating.
If you want to connect with and gain acceptance within a community, be as you are. Sure, there will be some sexist assholes (and perhaps the nerd community has more than its fair share due to natural high levels of social anxiety in its members), but as with all things, the cream will rise to the top and you will be welcomed. There’s no need to lower yourself to fit in.