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Scheherazade in Blue Jeans
freelance alchemist
13th-Sep-2010 07:09 am
State of the 'Song
Earplugs fall out. He's looking into a new CPAP. I'm underslept and looking at a 12-hour day.

lovefromgirl asks: "My darling and his darling (so, my darlings) will be in the Boston area week after next, and they are big-time foodies. Have you or yours got any special places they must not miss? :)"

I'll work up a list, but this is the sort of game that's more fun when everyone plays. :) Bostonians! Favorite restaurants? (And who wants to check out Journeyman and The Foundry with me?)

G33k and G4m3r Girls
Okay, so! I have an opinion! It may be unpopular! I don't care! I will do my best to frame it as well as possible. But. Underslept.

So there is this video, which Adam and I both posted over the weekend. We <3 it.

Early comments pointed out that it would be nice to have more body diversity and racial diversity; I agree, that would be awesome, because geek girls come in all shapes, sizes, colors, et cetera. I feel like this is a valid point to make.

But then - on other people's LJs - I started to see a lot of pissiness about "why did they have go get a bunch of fake skinny bitches to sing it? Why not Real Gamer Girls?"

To which I must ask you to apply the damn brakes.

Because y'all? As my husband pointed out in comments here: those are the women who wrote the song. They are real gamer girls. Hell, they brought most of the action figures from home. And telling geek girls that they're not allowed to look a certain way - are we not, y'know, against that?

All shapes and sizes, y'all. All.

So basically yeah. More diversity in representation of geek girls would be awesome. Let's make more videos! But calling actual geek women fake because they don't fit your narrow idea of what a geek woman is allowed to look like is some bullshit, y'all.

Link Soup
* This comic has been rocking my socks.
* Oh, look, DragonCon had lots of sexual assaults this year. I'm shocked. Really. No. This happens every year, it will not change, and it will continue to get worse, because the con doesn't see it as a problem; their attitude is "you buy your ticket, you take your chances", Security is a joke, and they outright encourage a toxic atmosphere. So, y'know, this is me not being shocked.
* haikujaguar pointed these one and I want.
* Cool Photoshop contest: vintage ads for fictional futures.
* I know someone here was having trouble with fruit flies; I just can't remember who. Maybe this will help?
* Dear comic book geeks: for your babies.
* Call for submissions for Jewish gay and lesbian poetry.

Daily Science
Researchers have modeled the likely path taken by Halley's comet in the 5th century BC and compared their findings to ancient Greek texts from the period. They now suggest the ancient Greeks saw the comet, which would make the sightings over two centuries earlier than previous known observations.

Crazy workday again, then a three-hour tabling. For the National Guard, so I am dressed all professional and shit. I have two hours between that and my BARCC peer supe meeting, so if anyone wants to grab a quick and early dinner somewhere on the Red Line (I have to be at BARCC's Central Square office ~6), let me know!
13th-Sep-2010 12:05 pm (UTC)
I tend to agree with the "not shocked" factor about Dragon*Con, inasmuch as it's a bad environment.

What I find interesting is that the post you linked to discusses assault by non-congoers. Non-congoers can have detrimental effects on cons, of course (see also: Dripclave), and the solution is the same--altering the environment to reduce toxicity, by making D*C security and officialdom more alert to incidents it can control, so as to change the perception of D*C vis-a-vis assault by both congoers and non--but it's an interesting note.
13th-Sep-2010 01:57 pm (UTC)
There are stories in the comments about assaults by congoers too.
13th-Sep-2010 12:38 pm (UTC)
I like that the song parody exists. I recognized on of the singers/actresses from her stint on The Guild.

But, as someone who complains about my shrinking undies and "belly plate" in WoW, the video just strikes me as more fan-boy service. On the flip side, a friend of mine purposely dressed "sexy" some days when teaching at a math camp, to show both genders you could be smokin' hot AND a math genius.
13th-Sep-2010 01:21 pm (UTC)
The thing that gets me about it being called "fanboy service" is that we don't know the sexual orientation of any of these women, save that one of them is dating Seth Green. This could as easily be fangirl service - for all we know, the performance could be just as much for each other.

I think doing a video at Wiscon with a wide variety of geek women would be interesting and nifty. I don't have the camera skills, but I'm sure someone does.
13th-Sep-2010 03:05 pm (UTC)
I also think it is a parody of the supersexualization in the video being parodied-there are the pinup shots, but there is no squirting whipped cream out of one's bosom,which I count as a win.

I love the video and I think the ladies who wrote it and put it together are fab-I hope we get to see more from them. However--this may be just me-I have noticed a weird trend online regarding fan/geek/gamer girls in which there is suddenly an impetus and a plus to being pretty where one did not exist before. I do also know that this could be individual bloggers, but the ones who get covered as geeks and culture makers in the geek system are very conventionally pretty, slender et al. These women are awesome and I am proud of their achievements but it does sting because it seems to me like there is a new pressure in the geek/blogosphere/geek culture that to be listened to, one should be pretty.

This is not the women's fault.(0)

Arrgh, I hope this makes sense. I may have just had a bad experience with one corner of the blogosphere, too. But anyway, yes to the video, yay women and is there something up with an expectation of the appropriate girl geeks being sexy?

(0) It reminds me how a few years ago every interview about Cameron Diaz mentioned how she loved burgers and fries and it seemed like each interview had her enjoying a burger during the interview--but that was a cute thing because she was an actress, slender and conventionally pretty. On other women (often in the same magazine) it said no burgers, no fries, told you what not to eat so men would like you and so you'd be thin.
I think geekiness may be portrayed like the burgers and fries, if that makes sense.

Edited at 2010-09-13 03:06 pm (UTC)
13th-Sep-2010 03:12 pm (UTC)
You are totally making sense.

It's a weird icky dual-pressure thing. The female geeks who fir the patriarchal beauty standard are lionized by nongeeks, but within the geek community, it's the complete opposite. Being petite and currently slender, I sometimes feel like I have to work twice as hard to prove that I belong there. (Which is weird to me and perhaps stands out more to me than to other people, because I have been a size 0 and a size 14 in my adult life, so I've seen vast differences in how I get treated that are absolutely connected to my weight.)

There's a big post brewing in my head about patriarchal beauty standards, women's bodies, and presentation. Because it's a massive topic that deserves a lot of thoughtful coverage.
13th-Sep-2010 03:40 pm (UTC)
I think some of it may have a weird crossover with the techsavvy/geek early sex bloggers of the nineties too. It was an awesome way of expression with the personal and the political, but the popular ones were always er, more conventional. This could also cross over with the Suicide Girls imagery coopting that, punk and some early manifestations of what has become known as geek culture.

So yes, to the icky dual pressure:/

As for the geek community body stuff-right on. I've heard about slender geek/poly/more girls getting dissed or getting anorexia comments. Not Cool.

(I went down to a sz 9-10 when I was on unemployment and only eating two small veggie meals a day. I was totally getting the come-on-in eye from shops like the Gap suddenly, which felt bizarre. People told me how beautiful I was (including my grandmother, who is a lovely lady but master of the "You've got such a pretty face":( )

I was starving and poor and I was told I was lovely and now I'm my size and not getting that quite as much in certain groups. So yes, a long story to tell you that I totally get the difference in treatment thing.

Can't wait to read your post.

BTW, you belong like crazy-you are an inspiration:)

Edited at 2010-09-13 03:40 pm (UTC)
13th-Sep-2010 05:39 pm (UTC)
That video was indeed awesome.

I've observed the double standard you're talking about here though (for obvious reasons) I've never been a victim of it myself.

I've also been completely stripped of any tendency I might have ever had to perpetuate this double standard, thanks to my high school experience. I went to the Mississippi School for Math and Science, and there's nothing like going to a school where every girl there - regardless of what she looks like - is also brilliant, capable, and accomplished (not to mention quite willing to hand you your brain in a jar if you even think about being patronizing) to help a guy get his head right.
(Deleted comment)
14th-Sep-2010 01:38 pm (UTC)
There's a big post brewing in my head about patriarchal beauty standards, women's bodies, and presentation. Because it's a massive topic that deserves a lot of thoughtful coverage.

I would very much enjoy reading that.
13th-Sep-2010 03:07 pm (UTC)
Clare and Seth got married in May. :D
13th-Sep-2010 03:13 pm (UTC)
Yay them! Amending my impression.
13th-Sep-2010 02:18 pm (UTC) - My problem with the gamer girls video
Was not the women (like you, I knew they were all actual gamers). It was the men. The perpetuation of the fat, gangly, awkward, nerdy (white) male gamer stereotype in contrast with the hot svelte females was jarring and unpleasant to me.

Had the video been made by men, and stereotyped girl gamers in that way you would be hearing HOWLS. But apparently it's still OK to make fun of nerdy unathletic guys in costumes. Sigh.
(Deleted comment)
13th-Sep-2010 03:21 pm (UTC) - Re: My problem with the gamer girls video
I think the main point of the video was supposed to be railing against sexism, not body image.

Oh, sure, I get that. I'm all supportive of the idea. I just think it should be done without reinforcing _other_ negative stereotypes. As I said in the original comment if you do the role-reversal test this vid would never pass, which makes it probably not-OK in my book.
13th-Sep-2010 03:29 pm (UTC) - Re: My problem with the gamer girls video
I thought he had a sexy Flash costume with a back revealing cut...or I could be totally wrong. :\

But true, that.
13th-Sep-2010 08:03 pm (UTC) - Re: My problem with the gamer girls video
I figured if I read the comments, I would find someone who already said what I was thinking. Thanx, drwex.
13th-Sep-2010 02:55 pm (UTC)


Modern CPAPs are incredibly quiet. The one I got last year is virtually silent according to the people I sleep with.

it's this one, with the humidifier attachment.

13th-Sep-2010 11:54 pm (UTC)
I have the same one. Very quiet. I do have a problem with going directly from "too dry" to "wake up to pour condensation back into the resevior" but that's not a big deal. And if it comes off (hasn't happened), it will blow up to full power for 15 seconds or so, then it shuts off automaticly. If the power goes out, the mask I have is fine for breathing powered down, and when the power comes back, if I am still wearing the mask, it will auto on.

New mask and stuff is covered by flexible spending account.
13th-Sep-2010 02:59 pm (UTC) - fooooood
I'm eating at Journeyman on Sept. 25th. I am also curious about Foundry.
13th-Sep-2010 03:53 pm (UTC) - Dcon
Suddenly, I'm no longer feeling bad about missing DragonCon year after year. It always sounded like fun & someplace a lot of fun people went, but man... Not cool. I can't imagine this sort of shit being tolerable at ICON when my sister was one of the people running it.
13th-Sep-2010 03:56 pm (UTC) - Re: Dcon
Yeah. I know some nifty people who go to Dcon, but they are *vastly* outnumbered.
13th-Sep-2010 04:04 pm (UTC)
Hmm. I'm largely a lurker here, although I am on your friends list, but I have to ask--Shira, do you *go* to Dragon*Con? Or do you just *know* people who go? I'm not trying to be accusatory. Yes, the con is huge. Yes, there's a huge party element. But by and large, among the majority of the actual congoers, Dragon*Con has a 'my tribe/my family' energy that is normally not even found at smaller cons. I've been attending for 21 years, including this year, and this is consistently true. Look at the comments--left by men as well as women--about this subject on the D*Con LJ community. People are pissed off. The most common perception of this problem is that it's due to the moronic football fans the hotels seem to let share the hotels with us every year. But whatever's causing it, I'm not excusing the problem. It's bad, no matter who's doing it. It needs to stop. Security is overtaxed--they're volunteers, and there are not very many of them. I work staff myself--though not security--and there aren't a lot of people willing to give nearly thirty hours of their con to working, even *for* a free badge. I think it's unfair to paint the D*Con powers-that-be as not caring about the welfare of their attendees. Maybe it's not a surprise, given the size of the con, that these things happen--but D*Con is a group of people who tend to bitch about things that they find wrong, and this is already, rightfully, getting bitched about, and I believe it will get fixed. Unsolicited touching, grabbing, and assaulting should *not* go on, anywhere--but I don't believe that, just because Dragon*Con likes to create a party vibe, that they're encouraging the actions of rapists and exploiters. I'm not a chauvinist, or an exploiter, or even a partier, chemically speaking--but Dragon*Con's my favorite place to be aside from my own home. I just feel the need to speak up for the good sides of it.
13th-Sep-2010 04:13 pm (UTC)
I've gone to DragonCon in the past - 1997? 1998? I think? through 2005, and I saw a very sharp decline during those years, which seems to have kept on. I do have good friends who go and *aren't* predators, but even in the late 90s, Dragon*Con was always the most predatory con around. People don't seem to hear "no" at Dragon*Con. Which had me nervous when I first started attending cons in the Northeast! But everyone here takes "no" gracefully in my experience.

So yes, my actual D*Con experience is five years out of date, but the predatory environment described by this year's attendees is absolutely in line with my D*Con experiences of the late 90s and early 00s.

I'm glad people are pissed off, and hope that that actually gets results from D*Con this time - it never has in the past, but concom can change hands. So.

For great "my family/my tribe" energy, good con security, big party atmosphere, and an environment that treats women as people and doesn't encourage sexual assault or let it slide, I recommend Arisia!
13th-Sep-2010 04:50 pm (UTC)
Did you ever attend Atlanta Fantasy Fair or DixieTrek? AFF is probably a better corrolary to D*Con, since it was a fairly large con in its heyday. I was in my early to mid-teens throughout my years of attending AFF--not the most socially conscious time of my life--and I wonder if the atmosphere there was similar to D*Con, in terms of some of these more negative things.

I do remember the atmosphere being similar in the positive respects. Magnum Opus Con is another con that's now gone that seems to me like it could have been a potential hotbed for such issues, but again, I was more concerned with myself in my younger days.

I would hate to think that it's a regional issue. I know I'll keep doing my part to try to change the problems at D*Con from within. And, if I ever find myself with the money and the time, I'll put Arisia on my list to check out!
14th-Sep-2010 12:03 am (UTC)
Magnum Opus was a lot of fun, and felt a lot more fannish to me. It was drunk fandom, at it's drunkest, but that was the point, every con has a focus and MOC was focused on themed party battles. Because of the heavy drinking it had the potential to go bad, but it had that fannish enforcment thing going on that dragon lacks.

I haven't gone to dragon in years, but felt that it very much had the "cute young girls in revealing costumes...for meee!" vibe. More than once I would see a woman in costume, with a cluster of geek stereotypes trailing behind in the "I don't know her but I want her" creepy way. And often that woman was too young to really be called a woman. It's creepier when it's a 14 year old in a sailor moon suit with three 30 year old guys following her backside. It's a grand celebration of media based fandom, but I wouldn't take my daughter to it until she was at least 18 years old and had her adult black belt, plus pepper spray. There are other conventions that would be fine at younger ages, but not dragon con.

I think part of the problem is the fact that one of the founders of dragon con was a well known pedophile, who used it as his personal hunting ground.
14th-Sep-2010 02:21 am (UTC)
I think part of the problem is the fact that one of the founders of dragon con was a well known pedophile, who used it as his personal hunting ground.

For the blissfully unaware, more data. And yes, I agree with voltbang that that's colored the whole con from its inception.
14th-Sep-2010 02:25 am (UTC)
Did you ever attend Atlanta Fantasy Fair or DixieTrek?

Never did! I attended Fantasm, though, which was a big party con, and I definitely felt more comfortable there than at DragonCon. Which is saying something.

I know I'll keep doing my part to try to change the problems at D*Con from within.

Thanks! :) DragonCon really needs people to step up, and I genuinely do hope concom actually listens this time. Much as I roll my eyes and say "well, Dragoncon," I hate the idea of this going on there.

And, if I ever find myself with the money and the time, I'll put Arisia on my list to check out!

13th-Sep-2010 04:16 pm (UTC)
(Also a note: I have never personally been sexually assaulted at Dragon*Con, though I know people who were. I've just been sexually harassed a whole lot there.)
13th-Sep-2010 04:38 pm (UTC)
I'm surprised and then not surprised about the backlash for the music video...

At some point early in the video I had the thought about whether or not these were models that someone had hired for the video, but then, and I don't remember the exact scene - but one of the girls obviously understood what she was singing, and was having way too much fun to simply be a hired actress for it...

Personally, I think they were using both the guys and the girls to make a point about the whole current mythos of sexy geek girl versus not-so-sexy geek guy...

That being said - I would love to see other similarly themed videos that featured a broader range of cultures/colors and body sizes!
13th-Sep-2010 05:27 pm (UTC) - re: Foodies
If they like Italian at all: DaVinci's in Boston.

13th-Sep-2010 09:47 pm (UTC)
I sympathize with the Dragoncon situation, because for the last several years I've watched a similar situation develop out here with Fanime. The incidents of sexual assault are on the rise (though the con doesn't want to talk about them), security is volunteer and very limited in its activities, and the con head doesn't seem to take the situation seriously.

The situation is worse though because at fanime it mainly seems to be fan on fan: a bad "Hah hah sexy teens will be sexy teens" atmosphere has been encouraged with teenage fans encouraged to run around "glomping" and displaying "Will trade poky for hugs" signs.

Frankly, it's one reason my wife and I quit. We saw the direction the con is going, and not enough people are speaking up there. Nobody is interested in preventing a tragedy from occurring.
14th-Sep-2010 02:23 am (UTC)
I'm a hardass about it at my regular cons, but I can't be everywhere, y'know? Someone at DragonCon has to step up. And this has been happening at *least* since the 90s, so clearly this is not a priority for DragonCon. Feh.
14th-Sep-2010 12:17 am (UTC)
I notice the thing about body types a lot. It's great to be massively overweight and saying anything about that is aweful bad, but anyone who is athletic, thin, or even just not big enough, or is any way conventionally attractive, is fair game for snide comments and outright abuse. And as a guy, if I am attracted to women who are not overweight, my motivations are clearly sinister.

Oh, and part of the DC problem, in my opinion, is volunteer security. I don't know if that has changed, but security is something you can't handle on a volunteer basis once an event gets above a certain size. Dragon con tries too much to get the economy of volounteerism, while still reaping the profits of being a for profit growth oriented show.
16th-Sep-2010 08:10 pm (UTC)
"So basically yeah. More diversity in representation of geek girls would be awesome. Let's make more videos! But calling actual geek women fake because they don't fit your narrow idea of what a geek woman is allowed to look like is some bullshit, y'all."

20th-Sep-2010 07:30 pm (UTC)
So basically yeah. More diversity in representation of geek girls would be awesome. Let's make more videos! But calling actual geek women fake because they don't fit your narrow idea of what a geek woman is allowed to look like is some bullshit, y'all.

Thank you. I went to college with Clare (who is in the video- and is the one married to Seth Green). She is and always has been a geek and gamer. She's a great person and doesn't deserve to be beat up on because she's thin or pretty.
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