Hey guys! I know it's been a long time. Schoolwork has kind of derailed this little thing. On the bright side, now I can finish Gurren Lantern and get back to Phantom Avengers, maybe. Unfortunately, though, we're not going to talk about something that fun. No, I currently have a large stick jammed up my rear that no amount of Preparation H is going to relieve, and it involves sexism in geek culture. This is going to be something. I know plenty of people more equipped to talk about this than me have done so, but these thoughts will not leave until I weigh in.
The inciting incident for this thought is the appearance of Depression Quest on Steam Greenlight, or rather the response to it. See, Depression Quest was made by one Zoe Quinn, who is a woman, and the association of women with anything involving video games usually brings up a lot of demeaning, sexist comments that would sicken me if I were to actually look them up. This instance is no exception, and my personal opinion on the matter is that of disgust. Now, I've never played Depression Quest, and frankly I'm not all that interested in it (my current gaming desires extend to getting my hands on the Megatokyo Visual Novel beta), but all the vitriol thrown at Quinn for putting this game on Steam is entirely unwarranted. However, the fact that she did get all that vitriol is a symptom of the mindset within geek culture that women do not belong here and those that try to insert themselves within it are faking it to get attention. Thus is the idea of "Fake Geek Girls."
Now, sexism towards women has always been around (the Ancient Egyptians probably found some way to make farming a men only affair), but it's become more of an issue now that such sexism is on the decline. However, you're probably wondering about my opinion on the "horrible plague of women invading our sacred pastimes." Well, my opinion is...
Really, geek culture? This is a PROBLEM? That needs to be ADDRESSED AND FIXED? You know bullcrap like this is why we can't have nice things like Firefly (Oh yeah, I went there).
No, I do not believe that fake geek girls are a problem, or even that they exist. I know plenty of women who I can assure you are not faking their geekdom. What's more, the entire idea is incredibly stupid when you think about it. Why? I've got some reasons.
- Women have plenty of ways to get a man's attention without faking being a geek. Remember guys, they have breasts and other attractive features. Speaking as a man, breasts, and by every logical extension the women they're attached too, have a way of making themselves noticed in a crowd.
- If a woman wanted to attract the attention of a male geek, and spark conversation with him, by dressing as, say, Yoko Littner at a con, she would have to: know who Yoko is; have a working knowledge of Gurren Lagann; know about the culture surrounding the show in particular; know about the overall anime culture and have a working knowledge of that culture, including but not limited to a vocabulary of otaku terms and familiarity with important anime, so-so anime, and anime only 5 people know about; find a con that is cost effective for her to go to; gather all the materials for the Yoko cosplay; assemble the cosplay, including possibly loosing or gaining weight in order to more closely match Yoko's body type; and finally be at the con and find someone. After spending all of that time and money supposedly putting together the perfect charade, said woman wouldn't have the possibility or reason to fake being a geek. To be completely honest, after a certain amount of time, she wouldn't consider this endeavor worth it unless she was really interested in it. And before you say that there's a subsection of geekdom that can be more easily faked, go ask a member of that subsection what it would take to make a facade so good it's undetectable. They'll probably spit out a list similar to mine.
- Why would having women in geek culture be a bad thing? Isn't finding a girl who is not only attracted to you but is also interested in your obsession the DREAM? I know it is for me. Furthermore, if more women came into geek culture, wouldn't we get more enjoyable and thought provoking works that can only come from having a female mindset behind it? For all we know, the next Star Wars or Superman or Citizen Kane or Madoka or Portal could be written by a woman, and lord knows that would be a great world to live in.
In all seriousness, there is no reason that a woman can't be interested in Anime, Sci-fi, Comics, Movies, Games, Sports, or anything else just as much as a man can. This holds true for any activity unless there are actual physical or mental restrictions, and those instances are case by case, not overarching. I can understand why this mindset came about in the first place, but it needs to go away. We don't live in a world where that mindset is useful anymore, and to be quite frank, I'm skeptical as to whether we ever did.