23 July 2010

ForeverGeek does it again!

Okay, so, ForeverGeek. I've written about them before. I'm not sure why I keep talking about them, except that maybe they seem representative. Like your dudely geek friend who doesn't have a problem with geek ladies, but doesn't understand why it's a problem that he only celebrates them by suggesting that his girlfriend buy Star Wars lingerie. And insists that his actions have no political consequences, like, all the time. The geek dude who, though not an ally, seems fairly harmless, and doesn't seem to warrant the label "anti-feminist," even though that's pretty much what he is. The harmless vibe of ForeverGeek is really what gets to me, I think, so when their single lady-blogger wrote some nonsense about geek feminism, I about cried.

ForeverGeek has five bloggers, only one which is a woman (Dora on that link, but she posts as Noemi). Now, there was an influx of meta things being written about geek feminism the week my interview went up at The Sexist. The one that Noemi read was the great "Geek feminism as opposed to mainstream feminism" over at Geek Feminism Blog (highly recommend it, that blog). And apparently it fell to Noemi, as token lady of ForeverGeek, to blog about it. I'm sure the men there couldn't be bothered.

Anyway, Noemi's post was full of fail, and made me actually cringe:
The blogger, Mary, wrote down some experiences that geek feminists encounter. Here is one thing that stopped me in my tracks and got me thinking: Geek feminists live in a male-dominated world.

I suppose this can be true of “mainstream feminists” as well. However, if you limit the definition of geek to IT-related fields, then the chances are that there are more males in the work place. What made me think more were some specific experiences mentioned:

Hearing how some men talk disparaging about women (especially about women as sexual and romantic partners) when they’re in a space where they feel like they have enough allies.

I suppose that there will always be guy talk – just like there is girl talk (I told you I don’t think I am a feminist). Still, I totally get irritated when guys talk this way. Then again, they can be real idiots sometimes, so who ends up having the last laugh? You tell me!
How has this adult geek woman never considered, when she writes for a blog where she is a token lady, that she is in a male-dominated culture? Seriously. And that last bit, that last bit, friends. In what fucking universe is it inevitable that disparaging talk about women (especially as sexual and romantic partners) becomes "guy talk"? Oh wait, none of them. Because "guy talk" is just talk among guys, which means they could be talking about fucking anything. And I seriously doubt that Noemi thinks "girl talk" is disparaging talk about men as sexual and romantic partners. Probably she's thinking shoes, or something.

So, I guess we better pack up our feminist bags, readers, because Noemi has discovered that, misogyny: totes inevitable! But it's stupid, right, so we get to laugh and feel superior to men, even though they make more money and have more institutional power. Oh well!

Then Noemi decides that because she's had positive work experiences, that's all that's really worth her time in this post:
Being used to being thought of as a woman first, and everything else a distant second.

I think I was lucky enough to have worked in my previous company as women are considered smarter and more responsible than their male counterparts. I understand this is may not be the norm, and there are places wherein geek females may be seen as women first, professional credentials notwithstanding. Does anyone have a similar experience?
May not be the norm? As the sole comment on this post points out, Noemi is brushing aside literally countless stories by women in IT fields (easily found on the internet) with her ignorance here:
Your response, though, sheds your ignorance on the matter: “I understand this is may not be the norm…” May not? There’s no question how women are treated in the variety of professional nerd fields. Read anything, really anything!, where a woman talks about her experience in the video game industry, in music, in science or math related fields, etc. There’s more than enough evidence that it’s just not happening.
This whole post feels like an attempt to not actually engage with why geek feminists are geek feminists. Noemi, instead of talking about the fact that women in geek communitites and jobs are facing the sort of sexism most men abandoned a couple decades ago for something more subtle, just states her (fortunately) positive experience at work as evidence of...what? Why she's not feminist herself? Why geek feminism isn't applicable to her? Neither is really okay here. Not all feminists face My Fault, I'm Female levels of sexism every day (although certainly some do). That doesn't make feminism not applicable to their lives. Just because I'm a privileged, abled, cis woman doesn't mean feminism wouldn't make my life better, although that shouldn't be and isn't the only reason I'm feminist. Just because my partner's a white, abled, cis man doesn't mean it wouldn't make his life better, although that shouldn't be and isn't the only reason he's feminist. And just because you personally are not facing oppression (or aren't facing enough for you to recognize it as such) doesn't mean you just decide feminism isn't worth the effort and leave it to the oppressed people to worry about. When you do that, you're complicit. You're part of a system of oppression. Which may sound like too-weighty a claim for a nerd blog, but I'm tired of the harmless-vibe we allow these sorts of spaces, which send the message to countless geek women that they are only welcomed in the community as long as they embrace objectification and don't get too feministy. Fuck that.


Amanda Stock said...

Thank you! I was hoping somebody would address that horrendous post from ForeverGeek.

The entire thing is so pointless and rambling and self-centered, with no enlightening points whatsoever. Besides that, it just seems like a half-assed attempt to cover geek feminism because they've been called out on their shenanigans and lack of interest in equitable treatment for their female followers.

Fuck that, indeed.

Courtney said...

So, I got in a Twitter rage at ForeverGeek (@geekforever) yesterday, because their response was to patronize me, tell me my opinions don't matter because they get more traffic than me and "nobody cares," and basically be as condescending as it is possible to be in 140-character increments with smilies. Fuckers.

Courtney said...

Basically, it was very satisfying to unsubscribe this morning from their blog feed.

Gemma said...

If anyone else has thought processes like mine, there may be a reason why there's only one comment on Noemi's GUYS R STOOPID LOLZ post.

I had to stop reading it and just leave in case I ended up throwing my laptop into a wall.

Gayle Force said...

My personal favorite is the "You tell me!" part. Because her lady brain couldn't think that out. We ladies, we need someone to tell me what to think, quick!

Sigh. I bet that lady also thinks she is "colorblind," too.

Treehouse said...

I'm a gamer, geek, dork -basically everything a woman isn't 'supposed' to be into, I love. If she isn't seeing the problem then I wonder about her vision.

Her response to the article reminded me of a period in my life where I tried to buck up and shut up. If someone said something sexist/racist I would just go quiet or fake laugh through it. Being a geek I had few people to interact with in my small town so I was desperate.

I thought I could just tamp it down and chalk it up to 'boys will be boys' bullshit. It worked for a little while,but I felt like I was slowly dying inside- everything was just wasting away. Once your eyes are opened (thank you Riotgrrl) it gets harder and harder to roll over and play dead.

Perhaps we should send her a mixtape?