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Wed Jun 27, 2012, 09:05 AM

Geeks, you have a problem

http://pandagon.net/index.php/site/comments/geeks-you-have-a-problem


So, I'm sure many of you have seen this image going around:





This image drew out my most head-patting, condescending side, I must admit. It's just so cute when delusion reaches these levels. Now, I've got a toe in some geek stuff, but mostly I watch the culture from the outside, and I have to say, from an outside perspective, it actually looks like geek culture has allowed a form of entrenched and vicious misogyny to flourish. It's not the majority or anything like that, but there's a loud minority of geek men who have a hate-on for women that's so grotesque that it often gets to fundamentalist Christianity levels. And it spills over into the rest of geek culture, allowing other geek dudes to congratulate themselves loudly for their non-sexism, even if they're really still reaffirming a ton of sexist messages. This image is a good example. That's Lady Gaga on the right, and it seems that the main crime she's committed to keep her from being a good role model is Teh Sexy. Lady Gaga is an accomplished songwriter and musician who, even if you don't really like her music that much, nonetheless has to be admired for her ability to push people's buttons and push boundaries while selling epic numbers of records doing it. She's a great role model, because she models how to exert control over your career and develop a vision, refusing to apologize for it the whole way. Pushing that all aside because she occasionally wears skimpy costumes suggests that a woman's sexuality trumps all other considerations when determining if she's a good person. That's messed up, but I'm going to guess the guy who made this thinks he's pushing back against sexism.

It's also a good example of the fallacy of cherry-picking, as demonstrated by the rebuttal I found here.




The timing of the original image couldn't have been worse, to the point where I kind of wonder if it was made in a defensive posture to remind people that not all of geek culture is misogynist in midst of a bunch of public, outrageous battles within that culture over misogyny and feminism. A sampling:

1) Anita Sarkeesian of Feminist Frequency starts a Kickstarter page to drum up money for a documentary about sexism in video games. She hasn't even made the video yet, but a sea of angry geeks don't need to actually hear her opinion before they denounce it, and so they have mounted an elaborate and mind-bogglingly vicious harassment campaign against her in an attempt to prevent the video from getting made. I don't need to dwell on the details, which can be read at the link if you aren't already familiar with the story. The point is that a bunch of dudes are so utterly attached to the sexist imagery in some video games that they will try to squash anyone who offers a critique of it.

2) Speaking of which, there's a very concerning development in the Tomb Raider series involving the threat of rape of Lara Croft. Alyssa has a rundown of why this is probably not so awesome here, a rundown which caused---invariably---the nasty assholes to come out of the woodwork to fap to the idea of Lara Croft getting raped. This understandably unnerved Alyssa, and her response to it brought out the even more maddening group of men "concerned" that she takes this sexism thing and this violence against women thing too seriously, and wouldn't she just be a lot more adorbs if she could shut up about it and stop ruining their good time? The good news is the whole thing brought out this thoughtful comment from one of Alyssa's readers on just why it is that this group of hard core misogynists find geek culture a good place to hang out, which is they can dress up their misogyny in the clothes of the misunderstood outsider instead of actually have to confront the fact that they're pigs.

...


37 replies, 4098 views

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Arrow 37 replies Author Time Post
Reply Geeks, you have a problem (Original post)
redqueen Jun 2012 OP
dipsydoodle Jun 2012 #1
polmaven Jun 2012 #2
dipsydoodle Jun 2012 #3
polmaven Jun 2012 #7
seabeyond Jun 2012 #8
redqueen Jun 2012 #4
dipsydoodle Jun 2012 #11
redqueen Jun 2012 #13
seabeyond Jun 2012 #15
sufrommich Jun 2012 #9
polmaven Jun 2012 #10
sufrommich Jun 2012 #14
seabeyond Jun 2012 #17
dipsydoodle Jun 2012 #12
sufrommich Jun 2012 #16
dipsydoodle Jun 2012 #19
sufrommich Jun 2012 #21
sufrommich Jun 2012 #5
seabeyond Jun 2012 #6
redqueen Jun 2012 #18
sufrommich Jun 2012 #20
seabeyond Jun 2012 #22
redqueen Jun 2012 #23
seabeyond Jun 2012 #24
BlueIris Jun 2012 #25
redqueen Jun 2012 #26
seabeyond Jun 2012 #27
MadrasT Jun 2012 #29
seabeyond Jun 2012 #30
sufrommich Jun 2012 #32
redqueen Jun 2012 #36
MadrasT Jun 2012 #28
redqueen Jun 2012 #34
sufrommich Jun 2012 #31
redqueen Jun 2012 #33
sufrommich Jun 2012 #35
redqueen Jun 2012 #37

Response to redqueen (Original post)

Wed Jun 27, 2012, 09:14 AM

1. By going around do you mean that Geek Culture is a FB group

like You sick bastards for example ?

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Response to dipsydoodle (Reply #1)

Wed Jun 27, 2012, 09:46 AM

2. Maybe I am misunderstanding you,

but...if not... did someone force you to come into this group and click on this thread?

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Response to polmaven (Reply #2)

Wed Jun 27, 2012, 09:48 AM

3. No

I simply asked an honest question.

Incase you didn't grasp it "You sick bastards" is a genuine FB group.

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Response to dipsydoodle (Reply #3)

Wed Jun 27, 2012, 10:10 AM

7. I see...

so out of all the "genuine" FB groups, that is the one you think would best describe this group.....gotcha!

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Response to polmaven (Reply #7)

Wed Jun 27, 2012, 10:12 AM

8. i dont. i am still totally clueless. lol. nt

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Response to dipsydoodle (Reply #1)

Wed Jun 27, 2012, 09:56 AM

4. Huh?

What gave you that impression?

I didn't write this, but no, I didn't get the impression from anything in this post that Amanda Marcotte was referring to a group on facebook.

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Response to redqueen (Reply #4)

Wed Jun 27, 2012, 10:29 AM

11. You had said

"So, I'm sure many of you have seen this image going around:"

I searched and yes that was "going around" on FB 17th June" doubtless by multiple sharing.

I simply asked if that was what you had meant by ".....this image going around" given that these days FB seems to be responsible for most distribution.

With regard to the other comment above - the group name I used as an alternative example obviously had nothing to do with this group. I could just have easily used Viz or numerous others.

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Response to dipsydoodle (Reply #11)

Wed Jun 27, 2012, 10:32 AM

13. That is part of the excerpt. nt

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Response to dipsydoodle (Reply #11)

Wed Jun 27, 2012, 10:34 AM

15. thanks for the explanation. i think

that is my biggest problem posting on a board. i will read something and in all of it, one thing will stick in my mind. when i post, i answer that one piece. people say... wtf...

to me it is clear.

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Response to dipsydoodle (Reply #1)

Wed Jun 27, 2012, 10:21 AM

9. It would help if you would explain what that

FB group has to do with the article posted.

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Response to sufrommich (Reply #9)

Wed Jun 27, 2012, 10:28 AM

10. I agree.

It does, however, appear to have more to do with the posters opinion of this group, that with the posted article, doncha think?

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Response to polmaven (Reply #10)

Wed Jun 27, 2012, 10:33 AM

14. I don't know, I'm completely flummoxed

as to what a FB page has to do with this subject.

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Response to polmaven (Reply #10)

Wed Jun 27, 2012, 10:37 AM

17. except

dipsey feels to be neutral on our group and post things from across the pond from that perspective. i dont know that it is about a group thing. and i dont want to decide to quickly, lol. so, i am open.

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Response to sufrommich (Reply #9)

Wed Jun 27, 2012, 10:31 AM

12. It didn't

was just a random group I used ,which is easy to confirm it exists, which posts all and sundry - mainly sexist.

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Response to dipsydoodle (Reply #12)

Wed Jun 27, 2012, 10:35 AM

16. OK. I think what confused everybody was

the question. Are you just commenting on where the picture in the OP is being posted?

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Response to sufrommich (Reply #16)

Wed Jun 27, 2012, 10:42 AM

19. Yes but more from the point of re-posted successively

The author had used the expression "doing the rounds" and I just queried where.

I mentioned elsewhere I could see it was circulating on FB 17th June - maybe even before that. That was a buzzfeed link. Sometimes some store stuff from FB and then repost at later date to make a point about something.

Genuinely sorry for any confusion here.

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Response to dipsydoodle (Reply #19)

Wed Jun 27, 2012, 10:47 AM

21. I don't think you offended anyone, just

confused some of us.

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Response to redqueen (Original post)

Wed Jun 27, 2012, 09:58 AM

5. The pushback does seem to be growing among women

in the geek culture:

The panel at Comic-Con was framed poorly, and perhaps that’s why it turned into a goddamn mess, with panelists suggesting the women criticizing sexy cosplayers were “just jealous,” one panelist arguing the women are all a bunch of bitches, another claiming”I can’t help it that some of the characters I like to cosplay are scantily clad,” and the only male panelist showing up 5 minutes before the panel ended and making an inappropriate sexual joke (synopsis from Feminist Fatale). Well, one of the reasons. Another reason is probably that geek cultures tend to think we’re beyond feminism, and Suzanne Scott claims that the panel


devolved into a postfeminist panel, in which feminism was invoked and then discarded as no longer necessary (or too “old fashioned,” or some form of buzzkillery we need to”get over”).

This is unsurprising, if disappointing. Because geek cultures often think of themselves as countercultural, they dont usually believe they are tainted by the sexism, racism, ableism, ageism, ad naseum that infect popular culture. And there are entire blogs that prove that nonsense untrue.

http://geekfeminism.org/2011/08/23/geek-girls-and-the-problem-of-self-objectification/



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Response to sufrommich (Reply #5)

Wed Jun 27, 2012, 10:08 AM

6. i am having to sit in this and do some thinking

because what i am hearing the last day on this, is not really making sense to me. i can really express why, but it is contradictory and i am not see the answer being presented.

your post is not the first. this is from the thread yesterday on the street harassment to. but, it is interesting to sit in it. see if it develops to an understanding.

to say it is not really about that gals that choose to dress in the manner, but those that reward that behavior, is the issue, is making it hard for me to wrap my mind around

being libra, things MUST be balanced.

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Response to sufrommich (Reply #5)

Wed Jun 27, 2012, 10:39 AM

18. I like that blog.

The focus should be on the cultural / societal level IMO.

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Response to redqueen (Reply #18)

Wed Jun 27, 2012, 10:42 AM

20. Yeah, it's pretty interesting. I

admit to knowing zilch about geek culture, it's not my thing, but it's interesting to watch the growing disgust and pushback from women in that culture.

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Response to sufrommich (Reply #20)

Wed Jun 27, 2012, 10:48 AM

22. i dont think it is just the women either. i think there are a lot of men woken up, with the extreme

and how they dont want it in their play, either. i think this has gone so far, that women are pushing back, but the a lot of men are standing behind, saying, ya.

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Response to seabeyond (Reply #22)

Wed Jun 27, 2012, 10:52 AM

23. Ha, a lot? I like the sound of that...

but it seems more like a few to me.

I'd love to be wrong about that though!

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Response to redqueen (Reply #23)

Wed Jun 27, 2012, 11:15 AM

24. the woman making the video really got a lot of people to self reflect and be made aware

those assholes did not get all they did for her, not to mention financially. we have seen articles recently about the women pushing in the industry.

we see the push back against the "wimmin" serving in the conventions and other sexist roles the geek place women in.

and then there is my family, . who are aware and bothered.



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Response to redqueen (Original post)

Wed Jun 27, 2012, 11:57 AM

25. For me, 'geek' has come to mean 'misogynist with marketable tech skills.'

And therefore someone whose woman hating ways can be socially excused with 'but he or she is so smart/well educated/prosperous.'

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Response to BlueIris (Reply #25)

Wed Jun 27, 2012, 12:04 PM

26. Hahahahaha... it does seem to keep blowing up...

http://storify.com/charlesarthur/oh-hai-sexism

And remember the tech company that listed 'beer girls' or some such description as one of the 'perks' at a conference?

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Response to redqueen (Reply #26)

Wed Jun 27, 2012, 12:19 PM

27. permission denied to see the vidoe. YOU are not talking nice enough to ME

for me to actually address the issue.

and the reason this is used is cause he can come up with NO reaason but objectifying and cannot validate it

so it is her fault.

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Response to seabeyond (Reply #27)

Wed Jun 27, 2012, 12:21 PM

29. Kane nailed it here:

How To Silence Women Speaking Out About Sexism: 1. Focus on tone and semantics to distract.


It is what we deal with every damn day on DU.

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Response to MadrasT (Reply #29)

Wed Jun 27, 2012, 12:24 PM

30. It is what we deal with every damn day on DU.

and really, it is totally how RL is, too. even people we love and love us. totally. so to pretend it is not a real thing is..... just pretending.

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Response to MadrasT (Reply #29)

Wed Jun 27, 2012, 12:31 PM

32. +1 .nt

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Response to MadrasT (Reply #29)

Wed Jun 27, 2012, 12:42 PM

36. More like any place feminist concerns aren't framed with the recommended daily allowance of coddling

outside of strictly moderated feminist spaces, that is.

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Response to redqueen (Reply #26)

Wed Jun 27, 2012, 12:20 PM

28. OK that was great.

Love the end bit:

Seriously, though: this whole thread ... typifies a form of thinking that in itself answers the question "why are there so few women in technology?"

You realise that perhaps part of the answer might be: because there are so many men.

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Response to MadrasT (Reply #28)

Wed Jun 27, 2012, 12:40 PM

34. I'm so glad someone looped him in...

it's nice to see this stuff getting attention.

Now I'm reminded of the blowup between the good men project founder and feminists. That was a good one.

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Response to redqueen (Reply #26)

Wed Jun 27, 2012, 12:30 PM

31. Her:"please take it down,it's fucking gross"

Him: "why the agressive tone"



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Response to sufrommich (Reply #31)

Wed Jun 27, 2012, 12:37 PM

33. LOL, yes... tone... that's a new one!

Tone, implied threat, 'I have a family' , but 'feminist Ryan Gosling'...

Fail after fail after fail...

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Response to redqueen (Reply #33)

Wed Jun 27, 2012, 12:41 PM

35. I notice he also finds it necessary to mention

her employment and how his company has a contract with that employer, no attempt to silence there.

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Response to sufrommich (Reply #35)

Wed Jun 27, 2012, 12:44 PM

37. Yeah, that was extra sleazy.

So good to see that her boss supported her.

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