I got this message in my inbox this morning:
I understand the intention of it and am thankful to have received it, especially because the author did not hide their identity like most men who support women in the geek community, but something about it really bothered me. After some reflection I realize that I’m at point where I’m simply frustrated that people think it’s an achievement within our community for a woman to be on par with men (or “to hang”)
Not only does this reinforced the gender hierarchy, but also the idea that women have to prove themselves whereas men are inherently qualified to be a part of the community.
This isn’t a revelation to anyone but I realized this morning that the reason I am so angry about this hypocrisy is because women have always worked extremely hard to create their own spaces in the geek community and now that our spaces have moved on to a platform (the internet) that are easily accessible to men, men, ignorant of our history, misinterpret our spaces as an extension of their own.
This blog is not an extension of the comic book store I grew up with that literally had a “no girls allowed” section. It is an extension of the incredible dedication my foremothers in the 70s put into creating a network between female fans by creating fandom and slash zines.
This blog is not an extension of the resellers who would not sell me merchandise because of my gender. It is an extension of the barter market that my elder sisters labouringly put together in the 90s in which we exchanged goods through the mail so anyone and everyone could experience the source material.
This blog is not an extension of the dudebros and neckbeards that troll the internet and make self-indulgent RP blogs or rape fanart. It is an extension of my female peers who have built up social media and have made our community mainstream.
Male created fandom is nothing compared to ours. Male fans do not know what it’s like to pay dues like we have.
I am not hanging with you, I am hanging with my sisters. I have not done anything in an attempt to prove myself to the patriarchy, you’ve stumbled across our community and saw that it was greater than your own and misinterpreted the whole situation.
But I have good news! Unlike your community the only thing we require for you to gain access is to show everyone respect.
Unfortunately, very few men are able to accomplish this.