Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Inequality For All

First, a bit of backstory:

The other night in The Secret World, my boyfriend and I were working on some quests we had missed previously while going through storyline. Two players with female avatars were working on the same Egypt mission so we picked them up to get credit together; shortly it became clear it was a mistake. Let's...let's just say they were doing so many newb things that should have been corrected by the time they got to Egypt. Anyways. After quite a bit of frustration, we completed the mission and I immediately left the group. Over voice chat, my boyfriend heard me grumble about those two which also included the statement, "I really hope those two were actually female."

I hope you understand my problem now. The problem being that females are seemingly always the ones victimized. "Fake Geek Girls" come to mind specifically with all the backlash that came from Harris' infamous Facebook post. Yeah, if it comes to labels, I am indeed female who likes geeky things. I do think many ladies get a bad rap for being pretty and maybe having a mild or starting interest in geek culture.

I do agree with albinwonderland that there are various levels of geekdom and that people (regardless of race/gender/etc.) shouldn't be excluded because they haven't passed some sort of snobbish test of credibility or because they look different than the standard. Hell, geeks/nerds weren't the standard to start with. That's why we were social outcasts most of the time. Now it's this highly-sought after "cool club" and the old blood wants the membership to be exclusive or haze the bright-eyed youths that only seek camaraderie and fun. I still believe there is the occasional person who goes with what's popular because it is popular. If you want to label them fake, I suppose that's your right to have an opinion. But my opinion is that unless they are actually doing something to you personally, you can have enough maturity to ignore them.

Fake Geek Girl - by Jemma Salume (click here)

With that said, back to the beginning of the post. I've covered the female side but what about the male side of geek culture? Let's take gaming for the example. Girls have this automatic label that they suck at gaming. Sure, they might be okay at RPGs but give them an FPS and they'll start whining that no one is letting them win. Blah blah. But males have this automatic label that they should be a natural at gaming. It's been a month and you're still in your teens in WoW? Holy shit, what the hell? You have a penis, don't you??

Yup, that's the other side of it. Guys have expectations put upon them as well. And just like female geeks get all hostile on those they consider "fake", guys do the same thing. It's geek on geek violence. And when it came to that instance in TSW, I fell into the same discrimination. While it wasn't on a fellow vagina-wielder, I made the assumption that a person cannot suck at a game because of their gender.

Yes, I said it late at night and I was being a bit of a grouchy dragoness who just wanted to get her missions done and go to sleep, but after making that statement I felt ashamed and it bothered me enough that a week later I had to make this post. I always see so much girl power like we have something to prove but can't we all just be geeks together? Can't we lament how short Firefly is together? Can't we move onto other problems like P2W micro-transactions in games that already cost $60? Can't we share cosplay tips and be able to compliment each other on how awesome their costume is without sweatily groping Black Cat cleavage or Conan loincloths then whining that they're being fake, uppity, or they "can't take a joke"?

Stay classy, Geekdom.


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