Thursday, November 15, 2012

It is 2012 not 1812, right?

I'm not going to pussy-foot around, I'm very pleased with the outcome of the 2012 Presidential Election. I'm also very pleased that women and people of color were able to largely, vote unimpeded, because this is what the election map would have looked like if we only let white men vote:

Which is why at least one person is saying that women voting is a bad idea. I disagree. That women and people of color have had such an impact on the United States can only mean that things are getting better and that women are finally in a place where they will be treated with respect, no more virgin/whore dichotomies, no more being treated as though our appearances are more important than our ideas. I was about to start dancing in the streets:

Then this happens: Tony Harris Comic Artist Goes Off
Which comes directly on the heels of another comic book creator reposting a meme about women cosplayers. The Whole Shebang for anyone who might be interested. So my subculture just had to fly in the face of the idea that women are more than slabs of meat. It feels like this is coming up over and over again that somehow women have to be called out for not being 'real' fans of gaming, comic books, anime, science or even science fiction. Now they come for the cosplayers.

This is getting really fucking ridiculous.

1. The idea that a person would spend hundreds of dollars going to a convention and creating (most times) a custom costume to wear while there, isn't at the very least a fan of Cosplay, which is a legitimate geek/nerd interest, and should somehow be treated as unworthy because they haven't studied for their tests is just unreasonable.

2. That specifically women who dress up as characters from Comic Books are somehow being awful sluts for dressing in the exact way that comic book creators represent them. So either practically every woman character is a whore or there is some sort of serious disconnect going on.

3. That anyone would ever get to decide who is or is not a Poseur to Geekdom.

4. That anyone gets to be the gatekeeper to the sexuality of anyone other than themselves.  The slurs Slut and Whore are just a way to put women in their place of submissiveness to a man's sexual needs.
5. That attractiveness really is the key to everything. Hot women aren't counted in Tony Harris' rants only 'Con-hot,' whatever the hell that means. That somehow going into commentary on a group of people's breasts is the best way to prove a point on their validness as a group. That somehow being less than perfectly beautiful makes you less of a person, you know, if you're a woman.

Women are people. Not property, not objects or  an attractiveness rating, people who make up 50% of the population. You'd think after we got the vote, job having and education getting situations handled that we could be trusted to know how to watch a movie or read a book and enjoy it.   Might I suggest the the reasons any woman might not talk to a man outside of a convention might be less to do with assumed haughtiness and instead be related to not wanting to deal with some jerk hitting on her inappropriately, something that is all too common.

I personally would love to have a million delighted cosplayers who only know the names of the characters they dress up as, than have even a handful of hardcore members determined to keep the culture pure by sowing hatred and spewing slurs. What else was the point of Tony Harris' Facebook post or Dirk Manning's? Those posts were meant to encourage us to despise women who only 'claim' to be nerds or who dress up in costumes to get attention (because that's a more precious resource than  diamonds, oil or clean water). The posts were also very clear in naming women the perpetrators of the con artistry and men the poor dupes.  Both men also went on to explain that no, really, they aren't sexist. Apparently saying sexist shit doesn't count as being sexist.

Another point to throw out there, my husband is a dyed in the wool comic fan, I like them, he LOVES them. He owns what I consider to be a lot of them and used to spend at least $200.00 a month on them, and he doesn't have an encyclopedic knowledge of every character or even every comic book he owned. He has never been challenged on his knowledge, not one person has ever thrown down a comic book quiz and required him to get perfect scores to cross the bridge of death to enter the fandom.  He holds a comic book and he is automatically assumed to be a fan. I own a lot of comics (for me) but apparently I don't like the right ones as whenever I mention my comics, I hear "figures." As if no 'real' comic book fan would ever own The Guild, Sandman, smatterings of Thor, Spider Girl and a few others but instead would have a massive 200k+ library of every half dressed woman and spandex wearing dude since 1938 at least.

I'm probably not going to do fandom right according to these men, so to hell with 'em. I'm just so tired of this bullshit coming up all the time.

On the other hand watching Wil Wheaton go off on the subject for the fifth time this year was hilarious.

Fuck Yeah!

UPDATE: I updated and edited the hell outta this post. There were entire paragraphs I wrote with my mind that my fingers didn't get the memo for and I added extra Wil Wheaton, because everything needs extra Wil Wheaton. I should never be allowed to write past midnight sort of like a Mogwai shouldn't be fed. However, if water is spilled on me, I will not clone numerous ugly creatures from my back, I will in fact merely get wet.

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