shannonl5
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Does Nerd Culture Have a Problem?

Are nerd spaces hostile to LGBT+ and female fans?

I don't want to give anecdotal evidence, because one person's experience isn't going to be the experience everyone has, but I will say that I personally have avoided a lot of 'nerd' spaces because it didn't seem like there was any institutional support for people who were on the receiving end of any kind of abusive behavior. And since so much of 'nerd' culture is based on this idea that we are outsiders, or that we're a family brought together by our niche interests, it does really disappoint me to hear that someone in the community has experienced harassment.
So instead of anecdotes, here's some of what the above Youtuber is talking about:

This... doesn't feel isolated.

It feels a lot more like the culture (and the conventions/institutions that help sustain it) has a serious problem. Do you feel like the suggestions Justin Denis made were helpful? Do you think there's more that we can do as a community to stop these things from happening?
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I actually catch a lot of strife for being a female gamer, nerd etc. So many guys have asserted dominance towards me because I'm a woman. Those who give me problems think just because I have ovaries, I shouldn't play. I can hold my own when it comes to games or anything classified as nerdish. I had to school a kid fresh out of high school about the atari, Sega, SNES, Nes, etc.
The terms my friends have coined for those people are "gate-keepers"; I prefer to call them a series of title not acceptable for Vingle. Basically these people only seem to validate their nerdiness by putting othets who would otherwise be allies down. They like to ridicule you for not knowing the obscure facts and love the phrase " not a real gamer/fan". I'm a guy and still get these creeps. However, the extend that minorities and females are abused in these groups is beyond simple gate keeping. This post talks about nerds being a family brought together by their love or nerdy things or by their shared experience as outcasts and it should be. Yet for some reason the extremes on the spectrum try to and create a form of segregation of class ranking and they're the same ones that then complain that "if minorities or women want to play games then they just should." it's baffling and upsetting. @LAVONYORK I echo your thoughts that Vingle is the one place where I haven't experienced or seen that line crossed and I'm not entirely sure why that is. I'm glad but what about Vingle prevents the same crap from spreading? I've even been in emotional and passionate debates where as soon as things started to go that route someone else came in and shut it down. Maybe that's really it. Vingle has groups we join and the people shut down the gate-keepers and worse. Somehow we need to have the same thing in reality. @TehDL @AimeeH this occurances astounds me. I see it everywhere that people are surprised or skeptical of female gamers. True story: I'm terrible at most competitive games. I suck at first person shooters and fighter games. I have been picked over women trying to play for teams despite them wanting and clearly proving they're leagues better than me. Big shock, my team begins the rage train when we lose because of how bad I sucked. I seriously don't understand.
I think it's unfair that even though I know well that I can hold my own while playing games games online and off, I still shy away from gaming group because of fear of not being accepted.
@KyleBerke I think you made a lot of good points. I want to say that censoring or altering pre-existing characters or media is not the way to go. Not because I don't want to see change, but by altering those works, people are basically trying to ignore that they happened. That is not going to help. They need to acknowledge the faults in that work and by leaving those unaltered it shows the growth of the mediums and steps being taken to aim for the better standard. Altering or censoring the last just tries to cover it up and actually causes more harm by not acknowledging it. We do need to push for better more accurate representation in our mediums and I think in several cases the fans have spearheaded big changes on that front. But that is the core problem, the fans and the community dictate how the culture develops and what changes. Not only do we need to push for future changes we need to point out the past and current problem still present. When a gate-keepers is doing their thing or a fellow nerd is getting harassed, it's up to us to stop it and fight against it.
I don't understand this. I think female nerds are attractive. I would welcome a change. Getting my ass kicked by a girl would suck but a guy doing it sucks too. Talking gaming with a girl would be a refreshing change of pace in my opinion.
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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. Via Tara Tiger Brown, Reddit, Joe Peacock. 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.