• Wed, Dec 5 2012

YouTuber Speaks Out Against Sexist ‘Fake Geek Girl’ Rant, Anti-Female Geek Culture

Last month, American comic book artist Tony Harris posted an extremely poorly-written statement on Facebook revealing his extraordinary disdain for women who go to conventions such as Comic-Con. Because while he “appreciates a pretty Gal as much as the next Hetero Male,” he is “so sick and tired of the whole COSPLAY-Chiks.” For those of you who don’t know, cosplaying is when people dress up as characters for events.

He goes on to call them “really pathetic” and states that they “are willing to become almost completely Naked in public, and yer either skinny( Well, some or most of you, THINK you are ) or you have Big Boobies. Notice I didnt say GREAT Boobies?” He states that women (whom he calls “girls,” naturally) in these geek scenes are somehow “preying” on “virgin” men–seriously–and ”the thought of guys pleasuring themselves to the memory of… your glossy open lips… just makes your head vibrate.”

Look, besides the fact that if you’re over 12 and still use the word “boobies,” you’re probably not a very stimulating person to be around (Harris is around 42), it’s clear that he has had some pretty negative experiences with women–particularly considering he says, “You wouldnt give them the fucking time of day. Shut up you damned liar, no you would not. Lying, Liar Face.” How very, uh, not embittered.

I apologize for not posting it in its entirety, but it was about 400 words; just believe me, it was incredibly obnoxious. Many of Harris’ fans seemed to support his claims–including many females–but one rightfully angry woman decided to speak out.

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  • Fabel

    I can’t watch the video right now, but thank you for calling attention to this kind of attitude– I see it all the time, & it always makes me feel deeply uncomfortable/self-conscious. Because, although I’m not into comics, I am a bit of a gamer… while also being pretty hot & presenting my looks in a classic way (not in a obvious “nerdy” way in order to clue people in to how serious I am about my hobbies, or whatever?) So I’ll often get people saying things like “Oh, for real? You play that? No, do you…ACTUALLY play that?” to me. Which is frustrating.

    • Samantha_Escobar

      1) The “Oh, SERIOUSLY?” attitude has always annoyed me. When I’ve explained this frustration to some people, they seem to think that being consistently asked, “Oh wow, really??” is supposed to make me feel special or something. All it does is irritate me that people still find it surprising when women play games. For fuck’s sake, it’s not like we have to do anything besides log into our computers, same as every guy playing.
      2) Nevertheless: yay, gaming! I’ve always been much more into gaming than into comic books, so I’m biased.
      3) Unrelated, but I love that you identify that you are pretty. I can’t tell you how much it makes me happy when people call themselves attractive.

  • JennyWren

    I feel like this isn’t even directly about women, it’s the “get out of my tree house!” Syndrome. Let’s be honest, a lot of us (though certainly not all) who are into general nerdary found our particular niche, be it gaming,comics, fanfiction, cosplay, whatever, because it was a retreat or a haven from mainstream culture. We found friends and support from people who were “like us,” and maybe we developed a weird pride in being somehow different.
    Except now of course “our” things are becoming more mainstream…you have massive franchises like Twilight and Harry Potter represented at Comic-con now. And who’s to say they don’t belong there? I think a lot of people are just pissed off because they don’t get to feel so special anymore, and are adopting a very hipsterish, “I liked such-and-such BEFORE it was famous” attitude towards the whole thing. Lashing out at women with some fairly pathetic justification is easier than having to admit you just don’t want to have to share your toys.

    • Guest

      That actually makes a great deal of sense. I think since more women are finally feeling comfortable going to these events–primarily because there’s more of us going–it might appear to

    • Samantha_Escobar

      That actually makes a great deal of sense. I think since more women are finally feeling comfortable going to these events–primarily because there’s more of us going, not because we haven’t been interested–it also might appear to members of that type of community that women are the ones making it more hipsterish, or something along those lines, even if that’s not accurate. While I’m not really one to be upset about things getting mainstream (I love Harry Potter and too many RPGs, both of which are huge in their own individual ways), I can see how that would be a motive to simply lash out at females. Thanks for pointing that out!

    • Cee

      I kinda understand this. Being a geek myself, I often hear this kind of reasoning. Along a similar thread (the one I sorta agree with) is the fact that the geeks “before geeks were cool” were often made fun of and excluded from many social groups because these type of interests were only for losers/basement nerds. Now that its becoming mainstreamed, geeks are sorta going “wtf?! All these years I was shunned at school, dances, peer groups and so on and now EVERYBODY goes to the conventions?” It is a bit annoying to the people that suffered from bullying because of these interests to see it become now the badge of coolness, however, it is NO reason to be a jerk about it, particularly a sexist jerk.

    • http://helloalle.com/ Alle

      I can absolutely attest to this. There are a group of girls who live on my block ranging in age from 8 to 16. I spend a lot of time talking to them because they LOVE my dog. One day, one of the older girls told me that she liked the shirt I was wearing–orange, with a cat wearing glasses and reading, text: BE NICE TO NERDS. I said oh, thanks, I’m a nerd myself so I like it. And with the kind of authority that only very popular twelve-year olds can command, she said “Yeah. Being a nerd is cool now.”

      This is a long way to say that there is a small part of me that wishes being a nerd and loving Lord of the Rings would have been cool when I was twelve, rather than something to be bullied, shunned and ostracised about. Growing up would have been a lot easier! But that’s secondary to the immense relief and happiness I feel that these girls, and others just like them, are growing up in a world where being smart and having “unusual” interests isn’t immediately met with disdain or complete social rejection.

      These dickhead guys who complain about girls at cons or gaming online or WHATEVER they want to cry about are a dying breed. Sure, they still have their little misogynist treehouses now, but in ten, fifteen years it’s going to be girls (and boys!) like my neighbours who make up the majority of the culture. It doesn’t mean we just sit back and wait for them all to die; we still have to agitate for change in whatever fandoms or bigger subcultures we are a part of. But I’m glad to do that if it means that the next generation of aspiring geeks and nerds have it better.

    • Cee

      YES… Totally agree on all the things you said. It is why I said I sorta agreed with that way of thinking because, while I and many people I know were bullied or ostracised for being geeks (and that shunned kid inside us is going “wtf where was this coolness when I was growing up?!” ) this mainstreaming is benefitting this youth now. As someone who works with kids, I couldnt be happier about that.

  • Cee

    I blame Olivia Munn (well, Attack of the Show) for this! She pretty much played this role on the show talking about a game while in cosplay while she gets slathered in whipped cream or stuffing was it hot dogs? in her mouth. That show perpetuated this stereotype strongly through her, geeky gamers like him watch the show, behold this train of thought.

    • Samantha_Escobar

      I’ve never seen that show! I know it’s on G4 but for some reason, I’ve never tuned in. But I suddenly totally understand why I’ve heard several whipped cream jokes about Munn in the past…

  • Elizabeth

    Okay, I totally agree with the sentiment, but right now all I can think is HOLY SHIT THIS WOMAN IS BEAUTIFUL HOW DOES SKIN EVEN DO THAT I’M CONFUSED.