There’ve been a new round of links on the question of Fake Geek Girls and general sexism in SF/F and online that I’d like to bring to your all’s attention.
First up, Dara has put up this post describing a couple of experiences she’s had online this week, experiences which spell out that there is a non-zero chance that when they try to call out issues of sexism, women will get pushback and be accused of being misandrist. Even if they’re being polite.
And for those of you who read me who don’t already follow Seanan McGuire, she’s got a couple pertinent posts up as well. One is about things she witnessed at SDCC this year, including an Emma Frost cosplayer telling male con attendees they couldn’t take her picture if they couldn’t identify her costume–and more than once, finding that they couldn’t. Some of the attendees respected her wishes and backed off. Others did not.
Seanan’s followup post here reiterates why it has become exhausting for the female portion of SF/F fandom to have to recite their laundry lists of “yes, dammit, I’m a geek, I like X, Y, and Z” credentials.
Katharine Eliska Kimbriel has something to say on the matter, too. She’s yet another woman who’s written SF/F and who’s gotten shit for it because she’s a woman. She’s also got no time for the bullshit of defending her geek credentials, because she can play that game, but honestly, she has better things to do.
And to all of this, I’ll add: all of us have better things to do. So why are we continuing to have this argument?
Because, sadly, it will continue to be necessary as long as female fans are getting the pushback that Dara describes, that Seanan describes, that Katharine describes, that keeps getting described over and over and over and over again. The main difference now is that women are shouting louder about it.
Look, guys? I like you. I want to geek out with you over all these awesome things we have available to us to enjoy in our genre. I love a lot of the words, art, and music you’ve helped create. But I’m saddened, wearied, and angered that we still live in a world where Seanan McGuire can get dismissed because girls couldn’t possibly write a zombie story–which is bullshit of the highest order, because I’ve read the Newsflesh series. Seanan slings her virology like a goddamn boss, and yet because she’s a woman, it doesn’t matter. Because GIRL COOTIES.
If you’re one of those guys who feels even momentarily threatened that women are invading your treasured space of SF/F, if you’re one of those guys who picks up a book in a bookstore and immediately dismisses it because there’s a picture of a woman on the back, and especially if you’re one of those guys who’s started slinging accusations of misandry around because you keep seeing us women pointing out that this shit is not okay, there’s a really easy solution to this.
If you want to stop getting called out on sexist behavior, stop doing sexist things.
Listening to us when we give you data would be a real nice start.