Thursday, August 8, 2013

Girls Not Allowed?!

So, I saw this video recently that some geek girls made about the sexual harassment they get because of being a girl in the geek community.  With this male dominant community of males finding safe haven of being unusual and a zealous love of interests, it would be easy for many of them to be threatened by new comers.  That said, I'm really surprised and pretty embarrassed that these girls have gotten this kind of treatment.  Many geeks and nerds have been the target of ridicule and abuse, it makes me sad to know they've treated a girl this way.

(Some slightly explicit written language in the video.)
Also, these guys are totally shooting themselves in the foot!  I would love to have a girlfriend/wife with the same nerdy interests as me.  A girl that can hold her own in Magic: The Gathering and knows what I'm talking about when I talk about the X-Men is really attractive.  One of my friends, that is a girl, really likes Star Trek and I find that it is one of her more interesting quirks and quite endearing.  If these guys acted like gentlemen they could find a great romantic partner for them.
Felicia Day is the iconic geek girl.

Girls totally belong in the geek community.  In fact, I don't know if I would like the geek community without the feminine influence.  Some of the best cosplayers at conventions tend to be girls with high quality costumes.  Look at Felicia Day.  Felicia Day has pioneered online television and has been a voice for geeks around the world.  She's also a great example of balancing work and play and moderation in all things.  Felicia Day was at one point in time very addicted to World of Warcraft and had a very unhealthy attachment to it.  After seeing a counselor she kicked her addiction in the butt.  She didn't quit being a geek or games.  She just found a healthy balance and opened up creative outlets by making the Guild and later making Geek and Sundry.  I'm really glad she's so involved.

Another geek girl I love is my sister.  My sister Ashley is one of my closest friends.  We would play Dungeons and Dragons together growing up. We were even part of the same DnD group before she moved to Arizona.  (We had Tiefling brother and sister characters.)  It's so awesome to have a sister that understands my language when I talk about nerd stuff and shares the same interests as me.  Ashley even plays more video games than me.  In some ways, she's way more nerd than I am.

So with all of these awesome nerd girls in the community, why would guys not want them around?

Well, I think it's because guys like having an exclusive place to be with other guys.  Girls actually like this too and finding that is easy.  I know I've totally been one of those guys that feels threatened by a girl entering in an all male club.  Even though, I love DnD more with at least one girl in the group, I've also felt resistant to women entering a up-until-this-point male space.  What I've found is that an exclusive male space is okay to have.  It's normal for a guy like me to want that.  Girls want exclusive female groups and spaces too.  It's normal for them to have and want it as well.  Just look at all the female only gyms you have out there.

So is it okay to organize an all male DnD group, book reading club, or Magic tournament?  Yes.  State that when you first set up the group.  I get and understand why it's important to have a male space.  But would any of you guys really want to miss out on the joys that come from having women at comic con and FNM?  I know I wouldn't!  So guys, organize your male spaces and then when you go to Hastur's, Blakfyre, Dragon's Keep, Epic Games, or the Salt Lake Comic Con.  Be gentlemen to the ladies there.  They've gotten enough trash from the world outside and are there to have fun.  Don't just be civil, be welcoming and get to know them.  You will definitely find great friends among them and maybe even something more.

So Ladies, great job on being geek despite the backlash you may or may not have received.  Be patient with some of these guys.  Be understanding in how important male space may be to them.  (Or they may simply have insecurities about themselves and that results in them being douchey.) These guys are sometimes jerks to each other too so their actions aren't always because you're a woman.  Even if it is, that's their problem and has nothing to do with your self worth and contribution to the geek community. (Which I, definitely appreciate.)

In the end, if you need guy's/girl's night then go for it.  No one is stopping you from finding that.  When you go to the comic book store, play magic, or go to the midnight showing of Star Trek, there's no need to feel superior in your nerdness because you're a man that knows Vulcan.  The people around you, male and female, know what it's like to feel socially awkward and love unusual things.  They may have also been the targets of ridicule.  You're surrounded by friends at these events, would you really want to put up walls just because of their gender?
Yes, it will be this awesome.
This September 5th, 6th, and 7th will be the Salt Lake Comic Con.  Yours truly will be there.  I have plenty of guy friends that share my interests and some will even be at the con with me.  There will even be speed dating events I plan to get involved with.  Sure, women can be pretty intimidating sometimes but it's them I'm looking forward to meeting.


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