shannonl5
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Why Do Stereotypes Hurt So Much?

It's not just rude... it's bad for our communities.

If you're not familiar with the "fake geek girl" accusation, that's probably a good thing. It doesn't happen all the time, but there are some people in the geek community (an over-generalization of gamers, comic book lovers, and sci-fi readers) that feel the need to act as gatekeepers. And while there's nothing wrong with defending the things you love from people who only wish harm on your community, the practices currently in place end up deterring new fans, which keeps the fandom from growing. Not only that, but it makes it a very hostile place to be, even for those who have been fans for a long time.

Instead of coming together to get excited about what we all love, fan events have become gated communities more concerned with outing the 'fakes' than with the media that brought us together in the first place.

And the 'fakes' being targeted are predominantly- though not exclusively- women. What gives?

The above is, of course, satire.

The truth is that geek culture has become extremely accessible in recent years. There are lots of new comics fans thanks to the hugely popular Marvel and DC franchises. Thanks to Cartoon Network's lineup, there are anime fans left and right. Steam is making it easier (and cheaper) for new fans to become dedicated gamers. Geek is no longer an insult, it's an identity that people are proud of. And why should we be ashamed of our passions? They're a big part of our lives. They're how we have fun. They're how we relate to the world.

So why is there a culture built around punishing new fans?

I've seen lots of reasons tossed around.

But I'm not really sure what the answer is. I've been told that 'fake geek girls' are only interested in sex, that they're only calling themselves geeks because it's trendy, that they're invading male-only spaces to cause trouble and not because they actually care about the medium.
Sure, there are probably lots of 'booth babes' at conventions who care more about doing their job than showing off how much they know about geek culture, if anything. Maybe there have been some trouble-makers at conventions. None that I've ever been to, but I wouldn't say it's not a possibility. But isn't that what convention codes of conduct are for? Protecting fans- all fans- from misbehavior? It seems unreasonable to assume that someone has bad intentions based on their gender presentation or their appearance.

When it comes to bullying or toxic behavior, it sounds like being exclusionary based on the way someone looks is generally agreed upon as unfair and cruel.

So why is this an accepted practice when a new fan is present? Or when a person is expressing their fannishness in a way that's different?

The truth is, we all miss out as a result.

We were all new once. I wasn't born with an encyclopedic knowledge of knowledge of Marvel comics or fandom history. That's all stuff that I learned. Because it was interesting, because it was fun, and because I wanted to hang out with the fans who invited me into their spaces and made me feel welcome. What is so threatening about new fans that makes us so possessive? Why wouldn't we take advantage of their new-found excitement, instead of shunning their enthusiasm?
@RobertMarsh @CarmenMRey @AimeeH @DanRodriguez @ButterflyBlu @melifluosmelodi @DonovanMoore @InPlainSight @baileykayleen @LizArnone @VinMcCarthy @WayneWinquist @MattK95 @ChosenKnight @RaquelArredondo @BeannachtOraibh @chris98vamg @BryanVincent @BiblioLady @purplem00n23 @dustinparson I would love to hear everyone's thoughts on this subject! I know it can be difficult to have these discussions and I'm honestly humbled by the responses I've gotten here.
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I, for one, can speak from experience. This has happened to me on numerous occasions so I'm used to being shunned and bullied online. It is a shame but I've sort of accepted it. I agree with you. It's one thing to be protective. It's another to pass judgement without getting to know a person. I believe that's called segregation.
I think that a lot of it comes from having been bullied FOR BEING a geek. The popular kids always heckling us over the things we liked, trying to make us stop liking them...but now it's mainstream and suddenly they like it too. My own view is that they probably always liked it and were jealous that we didn't care if no one else did, we were gonna like it anyway. Might be why new fans don't bother me as much as they do other geeks I know. I always try to just share what I know, and point people towards things I think they might like.
@shannonl5 The only thing I know to do is be a positive model...to try to encourage others to be more accepting and inviting.
seriously though, stereotypes suck and I love not fitting into any one group and blowing the stereotypes away
@shannonl5 This isn't a concept I had heard of, but it's kind of worrying on one hand, and understandable on the other. For many years 'geek culture' has been marginalised and targeted for vicitimisation because they were different, and the 'mean girls' would target the geeks. I guess there has been a transferral of power and now it's becoming 'hip to be square' (in the words of Hughy Lewis) it's only natural that outsiders want a slice of the geek action. That said, you would think that years of margainalisation would make people within the geek culture more empathetic and less able to vicitimise and margainalise others. Unfortunately psychology tells us what we are seeing is expected behavior.
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Surprise! Girls Have Always Been Nerds
In other news, water is also wet. But apparently J.J. Abrams, director of the upcoming Star Wars movie (and the rebooted Star Trek franchise) didn't get the memo. On Good Morning America last week, he gave this well-meaning but kind of oblivious endorsement of the movie: “Star Wars was always about, you know...it was always a boy’s thing, and a movie that dads take their sons to. And though that’s still very much the case, I was really hoping that this could be a movie that mothers can take their daughters to as well. So I’m looking forward to kids seeing this movie and to seeing themselves in it, and seeing that they’re capable of doing what they could never imagine was possible.” *Sigh* Definitely well-meaning. And I'm completely excited about the emphasis on female roles, from what I've seen so far it looks like a definite improvement. But the truth is that despite the somewhat alienating failures of the original trilogy, female fans have been here all along. It's not like we're quit either! Who do you think was discussing the infamous slave Leia bikini scene? A random bunch of women who had never seen the films? Who do you think has been showing up to conventions, reading the books, and watching the movies over and over and over again? I appreciate what he's trying to do. But it feels a little weird that he's talking about appealing to women when he doesn't seem to know anything about the female fans that are already here. Female fans exist! They like nerdy stuff! They always have! This is just... tiring. I don't really have anything against J.J. Abrams for this (though I have a few bones to pick with him over the Star Trek reboot). He's unfortunately just one of many people in the industry that seems convinced women do not and have never cared for anything that has to do with geek culture. They couldn't be more wrong. The science fiction genre was INVENTED by a woman (Mary Shelly's Frankenstein to be precise). In the early days of Marvel and DC, comics were most likely more popular among girls than boys. When Stark Trek was about to be cancelled, female fans were the ones leading the first letter writing campaign of its time to bring the show back for a third season. tl;dr We're here. We have ALWAYS been here. And Hollywood would know that if they'd start listening.
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I have such respect for this man. His talent is immense and the roles he's brought to life are iconic... and in truth all of these things are easily surpassed by his generosity and kindness - if you are not aware of what I am referencing look up Sir Patrick Stewart's work with abused women and children - and his work with combat veterans suffering from post traumatic stress disorder. He is truly a gentleman and a scholar - so this is difficult because what do I call this illustration? He's Professor X - sure. But he's also Gurney Halleck (one of the most important characters in the Dune Universe). There's no question that he's beloved the World over as Captain Jean Luc Picard. Recently he's taken on the role of Walter Blunt on the offbeat dark comedy series "Blunt Talk" on HBO. Some of his less talked about roles - but roles that are notable for being memorable - He played King Leodegrance - Queen Guinevere's father in John Boorman's masterpiece, "Excalibur". His distinguished voice has brought animated characters to life in films such as "The Prince of Egypt" and "Jimmy Neutron"... and he was the narrator "A Nightmare Before Christmas". He's simply one of my favorite actors... one of my favorite celebrities... favorite people. So I think instead of making this illustration about a character - it'll be about him. Yeah. That feels right to me. It should be finished today. Working on the final touches now. The finished card is here - https://www.vingle.net/posts/1177100-Patrick-Stewart%0APencil-Illustration-Portrait