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Dept. of We've Got Nothing To Prove

There's Nothing So True As This, Right Now

I know I'm going to be dealing with The Twelfth Doctor, (and glad I am that the bookies were right, because Peter Capaldi is excellent, and I just hope he decides to wear the dashing mustache and goatee I've seen in recent pictures of him) in another post, but that can wait.

Right now, this:

Because I know it was bad enough feeling the weight of the world's opprobrium in being a skiffy reader, back as a child. I know it was bad enough feeling alone in the world when I wanted to watch skiffical television and had no one to talk about it with. And I remember how great it was to find fandom in the 1970s.

To be that lonely, to find fandom - and then to discover that there are members of fandom that don't think you're a real fan? Because you're a girl? That's truly horrible.

Now, there have always been would-be judges of All That's Fannish, which includes those who used to sit in judgement of who were real fans; but in my day, I saw less of that aimed at gender and more of it aimed at what type of skiffical or fantastical stories you consumed, and in what fashion. (For the record, if you read skiffy, you were a real fan. If you watched it, you weren't, or were at best suspect. If you liked hard skiffy, you were in, if you liked soft skiffy or - ghu help us - fantasy, you could see yourself to the door. If you called it science fiction or SF, you were of the True Faith. If you called it Sci-Fi, get thee hence) That's why I call what I love skiffy, because I got over all the foolishness of litmus testing and wanted to spit in the eye  of the judges of my subculture. I wanted to call it whatever the hell I wanted to call it (and thanks to the much-missed Jan Finder for giving me the term.)

I suspect I was lucky, though; I suspect that gender-based judging, all the way from fanboy fear of GURLS!!! to outright, miserable misogyny, existed in fandom and I just didn't run into it.

Right now, there are hundreds and probably thousands of girls across the globe who want to get into the tribe, or who feel they're part of the tribe, and who love whatever part of the tribe they love. And they're getting shat upon.

And this is a wonderful way for all of them to spit in the eye of the judges who are trying to hound them out of the tribe.

This entry was originally posted at http://kaffyr.dreamwidth.org/265979.html?mode=reply, where there are currently comment count unavailable comments. You can comment there or here; I watch both.


( 21 comments — Leave a comment )
Aug. 5th, 2013 02:20 am (UTC)
I saw this on Facebook, it's such a great video. :D
Aug. 5th, 2013 04:32 pm (UTC)
Isn't it just? (In many senses of the word, too!)
Aug. 5th, 2013 06:15 pm (UTC)
I esp. loved the Who Died And Made You Batman sign. :p
Aug. 5th, 2013 06:48 pm (UTC)
Her face was priceless!
Aug. 5th, 2013 03:17 am (UTC)
That is beautiful
Aug. 5th, 2013 04:33 pm (UTC)
It certainly is; I've watched it several times, and I still get a thrill from doing so. And giggles, lots of giggles.
Aug. 5th, 2013 04:53 am (UTC)
Dude...there are people hating on women because scifi?! Really?! I dunno...I guess I am so very, very lucky because I was raised in the arms of scifi/fantasy and have always been open about who/what I like and it has always just BEEN. This is just...mindblowing. Thank you for sharing, sweetie!!

Aug. 5th, 2013 04:36 pm (UTC)
Some of us are lucky like that - in fact, I got tremendously mixed messages from my family; my brother would tell me that what I read was garbage, my mother would wonder when I was going to read other things as well - and then they'd get together at Christmas to get me all the remaining John Carter of Mars books that I hadn't managed to collect. And Star Trek was the first show that allowed me to stay up beyond 9 p.m.

In the end, though, it's their supportiveness I remember. I wish other kids, especially girls, had that kind of support, and it's this kind of video that helps out a great deal.
Aug. 5th, 2013 07:38 am (UTC)
Love it. It's so ME.
Aug. 5th, 2013 04:47 pm (UTC)
Yup! So very true: it was great to see older women in the video, because hey - we're here! Get used to it!
Aug. 5th, 2013 08:22 am (UTC)
Yay, that rocks.

I'm getting terribly riled up about sexism online and in the media in general atm - see Mary Beard, Caroline Criado Perez, Marion Bartoli...

... so to see women (and men) banding together and having the confidence to say "what a load of crap" is really heartening, thanks :-)

(My own particular corner of my own particular fandom being, if my LJ is anything to go by, almost entirely populated by women, I happily have never personally run into this stuff; and one thing you can say for t'Interwebz, they make it easier to discover that there are an *awful* lot of other people who like the stuff we like, out there, somewhere...)
Aug. 5th, 2013 04:46 pm (UTC)
The interwebz do indeed provide a home for many of us, and this corner of The Large Country is populated by women, genderqueer, allied men and folks all along all the various axes of gender and sexual presentation and identification. It's tremendously challenging, but tremendously supportive, and it's a place I could happily live in and never venture out of.

It's both the strength and weakness of The Large Country that we can be in this province, and never see the putridity, the toxicity, of various provinces of 4Chan or reddit or various game sites, or even some Who sites. Because if we know where we can be safe, we don't venture into the danger zones. And perhaps we should be there, supporting the girls and women who want to be there, and who shouldn't be denied their place at those tables and threads. They need support.

I'm a coward, mind. I don't think I could be like Mary Bears or Caroline Criado Perez. (I'll google Marion Bartoli, since that link appears borked.) But I'm glad there are people out there who are braver and more assertive than I am.
Aug. 6th, 2013 08:10 am (UTC)
Bother, sorry 'bout the link, can't fix now of course.

Marion Bartoli is this year's Wimbledon (tennis) women's singles champion. During one of her matches a middle-aged male commentator made a derogatory comment about her appearance, which quite rightly brought him a *lot* of flak - but was, sadly, nothing to the torrent of appalling abuse directed at her on Twitter during the final; entirely, it seemed, from male viewers who were personally offended by her failure to titillate them, because she didn't have long blonde hair or play in a revealing low-cut dress while heavily made up.

(She then, incidentally, appeared at the Wimbledon Champions' Ball in a figure-hugging dress and high heels with glossy hair and looked absolutely *stunning* - but that should be entirely beside the point. Those idiots on Twitter weren't wrong to abuse her for her appearance because she is in fact attractive, they were wrong to abuse her because she was there to be the best bloody tennis player in the world and what she looked like was none of their damn' business. She, when asked later in an interview, said: "Have I ever dreamed of being a model? No, sorry. I dreamed of being a Wimbledon champion.")
Aug. 12th, 2013 03:26 pm (UTC)
Oh, heavens, I hadn't heard about that media foolishness. *eyeroll*
Aug. 12th, 2013 08:53 pm (UTC)
Wimbledon is a huge deal over here even for those who don't follow tennis the other 50 weeks of the year - and it followed on the heels of a number of palavers about sexism in TV sports coverage - so it was briefly a Big Thing. But it was when I foolishly followed a link to some screencaps of the Twitter coverage that I got really steamed up and started wearing my Grumpy Old Woman badge a lot...

Edited at 2013-08-12 08:54 pm (UTC)
Aug. 5th, 2013 12:14 pm (UTC)
The whole "us vs. them" gender thing (men not wanting women in fandom) is ridiculous. Hello? As you and I know from personal experience going back almost 40 years, women were pretty much running some areas of "organized" fandom all along. If I was ever to encounter one of the new generation boys unwilling to share the toys, I'd be happy to say, "Dude, get over it. I was fannish when your parents were kids."
Aug. 5th, 2013 04:50 pm (UTC)
"Dude, get over it. I was fannish when your parents were kids."


Or, as some of my friends put it when they saw a sign up at a con, one that thought to dismiss a group with which I was involved by calling us "older than dirt" ...

they just penciled in two messages: one, on one sign said "and still hipper than the room."

The other was a little more rude: "and still cooler than you."
Aug. 5th, 2013 10:08 pm (UTC)
I'd also have to say to them, "How old is Doctor Who? How old is Star Trek? Guess what? Fandom and fans existed waaaaay before you were born. So say 'thank you,' very nicely."
Aug. 6th, 2013 08:11 am (UTC)
Oh YES. WORD. Cheeky whelps ;-)
Aug. 6th, 2013 09:29 pm (UTC)
Has been weird reading all this stuff about "fake geek girls" since it's both alien and familiar. But then I know the history of fandom and such. And I was reading Scalzi's recent post about gatekeeping (and the comments on it) and really . . . it's all the same dumb stuff you see in any special interest group or community.

Stupid jerks wanting to be the hip ones who were there first and know all and feel threatened by newcomers or just want to show off their knowledge or something. You see it with music fans who were fans early on of a band that became popular later. I suppose nerd and geek culture and SF fandom is having one of those surges again where it's increasingly popular and mainstream so some of those that were in on it earlier feel the need to be jerks about it.

And of course when you're a woman interested in something that someone somewhere considers more of a "guy thing" you run into it even more. As a sports fan, I've been quizzed by guys to see whether I actually know stuff about baseball or am just a fair weather fan. Idiocy.

Granted, I roll my eyes at fair weather fans of all stripes too, especially if they're being obnoxious and causing a ballgame or concert or party or con to be less fun for others. But of course when old-timer hardcore fans are jerks to newbies, that's another kind of disruptive obnoxiousness. Harmful. Isn't it better to be welcoming? Pass on tales of the old days with fondness, without being a jerk? Teach people the rules, show 'em the ropes? The fact that there are some guys who don't want women around their playgrounds is just dumb too, of course. Good to see them getting called on it.
Aug. 12th, 2013 03:22 pm (UTC)
I suppose nerd and geek culture and SF fandom is having one of those surges again where it's increasingly popular and mainstream so some of those that were in on it earlier feel the need to be jerks about it.

I definitely think that's a large part of it. I never know whether to laugh or cry when I see people who love something inordinately, as SF fans do, who want everyone to know that it's worthwhile ("Oh, why won't they take SF seriously?" we ask), and yet, when it's taken seriously — for how else do you define mainstream acceptance and participation — we whinge about strangers coming to the party. And make no mistake, I include myself in the perpetrators. I don't do it as often as I once did, but I used to make not very nice jokes about the mundanes, and side-eye people who I automatically assumed were coming to conventions just for the beer. (And, yeah, some of them were, but I shouldn't have assumed everyone was there to laugh at us, just because they dressed in polo shirts and khakis.)

And of course when you're a woman interested in something that someone somewhere considers more of a "guy thing" you run into it even more. As a sports fan, I've been quizzed by guys to see whether I actually know stuff about baseball or am just a fair weather fan. Idiocy.

Sadly, I think it's even more than idiocy, although it's that, too. It's a minor, but mean-spirited, reflection of our weird gender power-structure imbalances, and the apparent lack of ability to communicate between sexes and genders that we've been fighting for years.*

*which, in the language of my people, is pronounced "millennia." Sigh. But I'm still hopeful. I refuse not to be hopeful.

( 21 comments — Leave a comment )

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