Frankly put. I am a FAKE GEEK GUY. I admit it. I like geek stuff, but I don’t love geek stuff. Not the way most geeks do. I’m an interloper on the geek scene. I’ve seen the movies, but I don’t know the canon. I am not a true fan.
All those things about not really loving the source material and “just watching the movies” or only reading the one book that everyone has read. That—all of that—applies to me.
But here are some things that have never happened to me. I have never been quizzed about who Data’s evil brother is to prove I like Star Trek. I have never had to justify my place in a midnight line to see Spider-man II by knowing who took up the mantle of Spider-man after Peter Parker’s death. (Peter Parker dies? Really? That’s so sad!) I have never had to explain who Nightwing is in order to participate in a conversation about Batman. (Nightwing is like….Robin on steroids, right?) I have never been asked how battle meditation works in order to voice my opinion that Enterprise shields would probably make a fight with Star Wars technology one sided. (Battle meditation is something that was in that Jedi role playing game, wasn’t it?) I have never had to beat everybody in the room (twice) at Mario Kart to prove I liked video games. I have never had my gender “honorarily” changed by having enough geek interests to be accepted (“you’re one of the guys now”). No one has ever insisted I tell them the difference between a tank and DPS in an MMORPG before allowing me to discuss raiding Molten Core. I have never been dismissed as a faker at a prequel screening because I didn’t know which admiral came out of light speed too close to the planet’s surface in The Empire Strikes Back. I have never been quizzed about Armor Class in order to get past someone who was blocking my path to the back of a game store where my friends were waiting at the tables. I have never been told I’m not a real fan. I have never been shamed for coming to a convention despite my lack of esoteric knowledge. And I have never, ever, EVER been invited to leave a fandom because I didn’t like [whatever it was] enough.
Every one of the things I have listed, I have personally witnessed happen. To women.
That’s not elitism. That’s sexism.
yeah but, cartoon women, any drawn women, aren’t wearing those skimpy and sexual clothes out of choice, they’re wearing it because someone drew them that way, normally for a reason. so so don’t go “oh maybe she chooses to fight crime in a bikini and high heels” bc a man sat at a desk and decided she was gunna wear those clothes, for a reason, for the audience or his gaze. so no, its not slut shaming, its creepy man shaming
dont tell me you didnt see this coming
If you were a computer-loving male child who took a lot of shit from your peers, I suspect you heard something similar from the adults in your life. Maybe it was “Sure, things are bad now, but when you’re a little bit older, women will LOVE guys like you!” Or maybe it was “That kid who makes fun of you now will be working at a gas station when you run a big fancy computer company and marry a supermodel!” If you were once young, nerdy and male, it is not unlikely that your future sense of self-worth was funded with a non-consensual IOU from the world’s women. It’s taken me a long time, but at this point I genuinely believe that much of this “GEEKS SHALL INHERIT THE EARTH” rhetoric is little more than patriarchy’s bespectacled wingman. It excuses the pain that systems of power exert on children by promising little boys future dominion over little girls. It is deeply and massively fucked.
Lavoisier is having none of your shit.
Heeeey so fun fact: the woman in that painting is Lavoisier’s wife, Marie-Anne Pierrette Paulze, who not only acted as Lavoisier’s lab assistant but also translated English and Latin texts into French so he could read them. But she didn’t just translate, she pointed out errors in the chemistry in some of the texts. Her observations of these errors convinced Lavoisier to study combustion, which led to his discovery of oxygen. She was also critical to the publication of Lavoisier’s Elementary Treatise on Chemistry in 1789. She kept strict records of every experiment they conducted together and drew detailed diagrams of all their equipment. She also threw amazing parties and invited all the brightest minds in science so her husband could pick their brains. After Lavoisier was guillotined she secured all of his notebooks and equipment for posterity.
In short: NOBODY KICKS MADAME LAVOISIER OUT OF THE LAB.
Also, a side note: My historian husband-to-be pointed some things out to me about this painting. Notice that Madame Lavoisier is looking at the viewer, and all the light is on her, while Lavoisier himself is physically smaller than her, in shadow, and looking up to her in reverence. This isn’t a candid photograph- all of these choices are deliberate. The painting isn’t of Lavoisier- Madame Lavoisier is meant to be the central subject.
I can just imagine Lavoisier telling all his colleagues that his wife is really the one with all the clever ideas, and them patting him on the back and telling him he’s sweet for saying so.
I LOVE IT
follow for more straight erasure
Practice with Pronouns is a site that lets you practise subject, object, possessive, and reflexive forms of English third person pronouns. It comes with a few of the most common options, but you can also fill in whatever pronouns you like. Useful for both English learners and people wanting to practise using nonbinary pronouns.
As if it couldn’t get any more delightful, it often uses quotes from Welcome to Night Vale in the practice sentences, which is definitely far more entertaining than See Spot Run. The feedback sentences are also very cute.
(Hm, I’m pretty sure the second blank in that screenshot should have said “xyr”, in retrospect.)
Four lists, arranged in columns, describe traits commonly associated with “men,” “women,” “dominants” and “submissives,” respectively. The column labeled “Act like a man” bears striking similarities to the column “Act like a dominant,” while the column labeled “Act like a woman” closely resembles the items in the list marked “Act like a submissive.”
This image is the heart of a post called “The intersection of performative masculinity/femininity and dominance/submission,” published today by Dev. It’s a brilliant piece illustrating the hegemonic prejudices plaguing both the mainstream and the BDSM worlds. Reading it nearly brought me to tears:
As you can see, how to act like a man neatly maps onto how to act like a dom, and how to act like a woman neatly maps onto how to act like a sub. In this way, heterosexual M/f couples (male dominant, female submissive) wherein the man is a sadist (enjoys giving pain), and the female a masochist (enjoys receiving pain) can easily perform their two roles flawlessly at the same time. This is exemplified by the wildly popular Fifty Shades of Grey. This book is able to be so easily consumed because it doesn’t trample on anyone’s preconceived notions of what it means to be male or female, dominant or submissive. The M/f couple then, can be at the top of the BDSM hierarchy, with the male dominant on top of course because he’s dominant (and dominants are supposed to be superior).
Where do female dominants and male submissives land in this hierarchy? Female dominants get a higher place in the BDSM hierarchy than male submissives because even though they are stepping outside of the ‘act like a woman box’ 1) they too are dominants, which are intrinsically better than submissives according to our boxes, and 2) they are taking on masculine traits, which lifts their status rather than lowers it. Therefore, the hierarchy is topped by male dominants, then female dominants, then female submissives, and then male submissives. The latter group find themselves at the bottom of the heap because, like female dominants, they cannot reconcile their two roles, but unlike femdoms their new role takes them down a peg rather than boosting them up the ladder.
(Link in the quotation added by me.)
I rarely blog simply to say, “Go read this other thing,” but this is important enough to do exactly that. Please, please, please go read Dev’s post. It not only contains further analysis of the sexism inherent in mainstream BDSM culture (yes, even subcultures have a mainstream), it offers some generic advice for “throwing out the bad” and “keeping what works.” Just the other day, I published a "PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT for submissive men" (and other marginalized peoples) that I feel is equally important to associate with this post:
The BDSM Scene is an abusive social institution that provides structural cover for rapists, has economic incentives to silence survivors of sexual assault, and contains numerous for-profit businesses actively invested in the exploitation of its own members. Unfortunately, many assailants hold positions of power within the community, which makes it extremely difficult to talk about without being ostracized from the community.
No matter what they say, the BDSM community does NOT hold a monopoly on your sex life nor on your ability to play safely, or to find partners who you love and who will love you. The BDSM community is by and large only supportive of people who are white, heterosexual, class-privileged, cisgendered, conformant to hegemonic societal ideals of beauty, able-bodied, and so on.
The BDSM Scene’s whiteness is classism at work supporting sexism and racism. Anyone who tells you otherwise is selling something. I strongly urge everyone interested in BDSM sexuality to AVOID AND DISASSOCIATE with any and all formal leather/kink/BDSM/fetish organizations in your area.
This is even more important for submissive men, trans people, old women, and fat women, all of whom are routinely used and discarded in both mainstream culture and the BDSM community as nothing more than a butt of a joke.
We deserve better. You deserve better. These people have no interest in doing right by you; most of them are nothing more valuable than privileged shits.
I urge you, from the bottom of my heart and a deeply personal place of empathetic experience, let their world burn. They’re doing it already; they don’t even need the media to make them look bad. Their behavior, abuse cover-ups, and rape apologism mimics the catholic Church, now.
None of this is hyperbole. As I said in a comment on Dev’s post, the “links […] provide details about each assertion made.”