3 years ago5,000+ Views

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?
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.
Well I can say they is alot of hostile behavior in the "nerd" or "geek" community. Being a female and an minority leaves me open for alot of crew stuff from my fellow gamer community among other "nerd" stuff that I maybe interested in. Some men just feel that certain things women should not be included in. Which it's just bullshit. I tired of constantly having to validate my knowledge about video games or anything period, so people can shut up. I can actually say that Vingle has been the only place that people have not crossed the line.
@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.
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