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Interesting article about Sexism in Geek Communities


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Re: Interesting article about Sexism in Geek Communities

 

My oldest daughter often has problems at the local gaming store where folks refuse to believe she's as knowledgable as she is. Just the other week some guy really annoyed her by refusing to believe she knew what a plasma gun was. he explained what one was to her but was actually wrong in his explanation. luckily my 11 year daughter was there to help out her older sister and corrected him causing many damage points of humiliation.

 

As amusing at that was. My eldest often is assumed to be ignorant by geek types just because she's a pretty blonde gal when she could probably outgeek them all. I'm glad she has lots of geek friends male and female to back her up as well as geek parents and sibs if need be.

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If you feel that people are trying to bully you into identifying yourself as a cis male, you are overly sensitive (I know that commenting on the validity of other peoples feeling is not PC, but I thou

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This is just introverted gibberish. Change a few pronouns and a few activities and the article could have been written by a woman. In fact, I've read very many, very similar articles that were written

Re: Interesting article about Sexism in Geek Communities

 

It's considered patronizing because the onus and blame shouldn't be placed on the victim to prevent it -- it should be on the rapist to NOT RAPE IN THE FIRST PLACE .

 

Why, yes, it should be. That's pretty frakkin' obvious. But that doesn't mean a person can't take steps to maybe, possibly present less of an opportunity for said rapist- who shouldn't be raping any way- to get away with it.

 

You know, be with a group, walk in well-lit areas, maybe learn some self-defense techniques.

 

Because we already KNOW that a rapist shouldn't be raping in the first place.

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Re: Interesting article about Sexism in Geek Communities

 

ANECDOTE UPDATE:

 

I did, in fact, tell the guy at the game store I described WHY I was not going to patronize his store any more, and what I thought of him for treating female customers the way he did.

 

There was no point in telling the manager or owner; that's him.

 

HOWEVER

 

Just today I was talking to the girlfriend of one of my best friends about this very thread, and she said "I go in there all the time. Hes always quick to say hello, treats me and the other female customers there very nicely, and is very helpful."

 

So apparently the message got through to him.

 

I count this as a win! :D

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Re: Interesting article about Sexism in Geek Communities

 

Well you learn things. Socially awkward male geeks being uncomfortable around female customers is almost a cliche. That they could make a female geek uncomfortable in their awkwardness is not surprising. That there are some jerks in every group is expected.

 

My wife is not the type to put up with crap or to be overly sensitive about perceived slights. Watching male geeks bumble about in the classic "ack its a gurl that groks our lingo" when a female geek turns up amuses her, so I did not expect her to say that yeah, about 1 in 4 comic book / game store employees give her the treatment described in the article.

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Re: Interesting article about Sexism in Geek Communities

 

So if a geeky guy recognizes that he's part of the problem--say, for instance, he knows that he wasn't really adequately socialized, and doesn't have much experience with women (in his 30s and never had any kind of romantic relationship)--what should someone like that DO? It's not as though he can say "well, for the sake of being fair to women, starting today I will have different brain wiring and social history."

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Re: Interesting article about Sexism in Geek Communities

 

So if a geeky guy recognizes that he's part of the problem--say' date=' for instance, he knows that he wasn't really adequately socialized, and doesn't have much experience with women (in his 30s and never had any kind of romantic relationship)--what should someone like that DO? It's not as though he can say "well, for the sake of being fair to women, starting today I will have different brain wiring and social history."[/quote']

 

Well, you could start by overdoing it--treat them as if they were there to interview you for a job you really want to get, and they have the power to hire you--and then dial it down towards a friendly interaction as you get a better sense of things. Probably safer to overdo it than underdo it. I'm sure the female posters here have much more cogent advice to offer, but that's my initial .02.

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Re: Interesting article about Sexism in Geek Communities

 

So if a geeky guy recognizes that he's part of the problem--say' date=' for instance, he knows that he wasn't really adequately socialized, and doesn't have much experience with women (in his 30s and never had any kind of romantic relationship)--what should someone like that DO? It's not as though he can say "well, for the sake of being fair to women, starting today I will have different brain wiring and social history."[/quote']

 

"Starting today, I will be aware of what I was and try to improve my behavior for the future. I will respect someone's wishes if they tell me 'no'. I will respect boundaries and be aware of triggers. I will not assume silence means 'yes' or 'OK'. I will understand that willingly changing my behavior will take time and that people around me may not be supportive. I will understand that changing my behavior does not now entitle me to automatic ally cookies or sex. And I will understand that I am not being asked to feel guilty about privilege, just to be aware that I have it. If I offend in ignorance, I will apologize for my actions and not say 'sorry you're offended/too sensitive'."

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Re: Interesting article about Sexism in Geek Communities

 

Well, you could start by overdoing it--treat them as if they were there to interview you for a job you really want to get, and they have the power to hire you

 

Frankly, if that's my option, I'd prefer not talking to them at all.

 

I will respect someone's wishes if they tell me 'no'. I will respect boundaries and be aware of triggers. I will not assume silence means 'yes' or 'OK'.

 

. . . I'm not a monster, I'm just kind of awkward and asocial and bad at reading the unspoken. It's also possible that I have a weaker-than-average "theory of mind" and a correspondingly poorer ability to work out what other people might be feeling or thinking. I'd like to think that my behavior here on the board has shown that I don't do the things you're accusing me of, but if I could accurately judge the effects of my interactions with others, I wouldn't be having this conversation, would I?

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Re: Interesting article about Sexism in Geek Communities

 

"Starting today' date=' I will be aware of what I was and try to improve my behavior for the future. I will respect someone's wishes if they tell me 'no'. I will respect boundaries and be aware of triggers. I will not assume silence means 'yes' or 'OK'. I will understand that willingly changing my behavior will take time and that people around me may not be supportive. I will understand that changing my behavior does not now entitle me to automatic ally cookies or sex. And I will understand that I am not being asked to feel guilty about privilege, just to be aware that I have it. If I offend in ignorance, I will apologize for my actions and not say 'sorry you're offended/too sensitive'."[/quote']

 

You must spread some Reputation around before giving it to Cygnia again.

 

Somebody please hit Cygnia with the rep stick for me, particularly for this sentence: "And I will understand that I am not being asked to feel guilty about privilege, just to be aware that I have it."

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Re: Interesting article about Sexism in Geek Communities

 

"Starting today' date=' I will be aware of what I was and try to improve my behavior for the future. I will respect someone's wishes if they tell me 'no'. I will respect boundaries and be aware of triggers. I will not assume silence means 'yes' or 'OK'. I will understand that willingly changing my behavior will take time and that people around me may not be supportive. I will understand that changing my behavior does not now entitle me to automatic ally cookies or sex. And I will understand that I am not being asked to feel guilty about privilege, just to be aware that I have it. If I offend in ignorance, I will apologize for my actions and not say 'sorry you're offended/too sensitive'."[/quote']

 

This more or less answers the question I was going to pose which is. As a guy, I am incapable of doing more than merely imagining what a gamer geek girl goes through. Being unable to understand the situation, how do I correct it? More to the point, how do I tell if I'm succeeding?

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Re: Interesting article about Sexism in Geek Communities

 

So if a geeky guy recognizes that he's part of the problem--say' date=' for instance, he knows that he wasn't really adequately socialized, and doesn't have much experience with women (in his 30s and never had any kind of romantic relationship)--what should someone like that DO? It's not as though he can say "well, for the sake of being fair to women, starting today I will have different brain wiring and social history."[/quote']

 

Well, first you ask yourself if you're treating everyone the same way you'd want to be treated. The original story had two elements: First, was the customer being ignored. That may be excusable as awkwardness or shyness. The second element was treating the customer in a condescending manner and being outright rude. I'm going to guess you may occasionally be guilty of the first, but less often guilty of the second. If you honestly don't have a grasp on not talking down to people because of their gender, then you should try working on it. I don't know of a method. Counseling of some kind may be helpful if it's affordable. Or, just find someone who's got better social skills and have them shadow you. After you interact with someone, they can give you tips on how to deal with customers (I'm just keeping this in a sales/service context, as I don't know what your job is and the OP is in that context*), and you can likewise shadow them, and they can tell you what things they consciously did to make the customer feel comfortable. That sort of thing is at least partly learned, and can be trained and learned. The next step is to simply talk to more women until you're more relaxed around them. Not with a dating goal, but just general socializing. Find some kind of group activity that has a good ratio of female attendees, and mingle a little.

 

 

 

*And for that matter, a lot of customer service and sales skills can transfer to every day life.

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Re: Interesting article about Sexism in Geek Communities

 

You know, I have a really simple answer. Just treat women like people: they are, you know.

Don't think about "Ooh, she's woman! What do you say to women? How should I respond?" etc. Treat women the way you'd treat another guy: a normal, polite response never goes amiss.

It's always worked for me!

 

cheers, Mark

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Re: Interesting article about Sexism in Geek Communities

 

"Starting today' date=' I will be aware of what I was and try to improve my behavior for the future.[/quote']

 

This is sound advice.

 

I will respect someone's wishes if they tell me 'no'. I will respect boundaries and be aware of triggers. I will not assume silence means 'yes' or 'OK'. I will understand that willingly changing my behavior will take time and that people around me may not be supportive. I will understand that changing my behavior does not now entitle me to automatic ally cookies or sex.

 

This sounds like you're addressing a sex offender, and if you think this will change a sex offender, you'd be mistaken.

 

And I will understand that I am not being asked to feel guilty about privilege, just to be aware that I have it. If I offend in ignorance, I will apologize for my actions and not say 'sorry you're offended/too sensitive'."

 

This part doesn't seem to go with the sex offender/date rapist bit above it. If you take this part and the first part together, they're pretty good all around advice. But you seem to me to be talking past Zeropoint, who seems to be focused more on the original topic.

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Re: Interesting article about Sexism in Geek Communities

 

What does it mean to "be aware of triggers" and how would one go about doing that

 

A trauma trigger is ssomething that triggers a memory of a traumatic event.

 

They are highly personal and extremely varied. It's diffficult to know what may trigger someone's particular trauma.

 

I'm not sure what can be done other than be aware they exist. Exercise some sensitivity - for example, many members of ethnic minorities have experienced racism; it's tasteless to bring a racist attack into your game, even if you intend to show it as a bad thing. Likewise, an alarming number of women have suffered sexual molestation. Think before you include that rape scene.

 

It boils down to tact, sensitivity and politeness.

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Re: Interesting article about Sexism in Geek Communities

 

The third reason is that while all this is going on (and trust me' date=' it [i']is[/i] ongoing) geek culture seems to think it’s actually super-progressive and feminist in comparison to the rest of the world, and is sometimes obnoxiously self-congratulatory about that fact, while misogyny floats around unchecked in our geek content and culture. (Seriously, read that link for some current examples of the awful stuff that’s happening right now, such as the attacks on Anita Sarkeesian, which actually made me shudder in horror.)

 

I wonder if this isn't partly to do with one of the geek falacies, which is "We must accept everyone." I mean, most geeks are used to rejection -- they were rejected by their peer groups back in school. So now, many geeks make it a point of pride to accept everyone. That weird guy who breaths through his mouth? Accepted. That guy who eats nothing but canned chili and mountain dew? Accepted. The fat guy? The funny looking guy? The one with the annoying laugh? Accepted. So, many geeks just don't get that they aren't as super progressive as they think they are, because despite accepting everyone else, they're still (consciously or unconsciously) rejecting female gamer geeks.

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Re: Interesting article about Sexism in Geek Communities

 

You know, I have a really simple answer. Just treat women like people: they are, you know.

Don't think about "Ooh, she's woman! What do you say to women? How should I respond?" etc. Treat women the way you'd treat another guy: a normal, polite response never goes amiss.

It's always worked for me!

 

cheers, Mark

 

Having a heck of a time figuring out how to phrase this. I get along well with people, as far as I can tell, but I spend most of my waking hours in a place where empty smiles and paranoia are inculcated and literally everyone lies about something (In my case, they are lies of omission meant to conceal my home-life from inmates; the omissions spread to other staff because too may of them gossip). It get to be very hard to trust that anyone's reactions are genuine and not merely polite.

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Re: Interesting article about Sexism in Geek Communities

 

Having a heck of a time figuring out how to phrase this. I get along well with people' date=' as far as I can tell, but I spend most of my waking hours in a place where empty smiles and paranoia are inculcated and literally everyone lies about something (In my case, they are lies of omission meant to conceal my home-life from inmates; the omissions spread to other staff because too may of them gossip). It get to be very hard to trust that anyone's reactions are genuine and not merely polite.[/quote']

 

Darned if you just didn't describe my family reunion. They're not criminals, most of them are successful business executives, but you described their behavior to a tee.

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Re: Interesting article about Sexism in Geek Communities

 

Having a heck of a time figuring out how to phrase this. I get along well with people' date=' as far as I can tell, but I spend most of my waking hours in a place where empty smiles and paranoia are inculcated and literally everyone lies about something (In my case, they are lies of omission meant to conceal my home-life from inmates; the omissions spread to other staff because too may of them gossip). It get to be very hard to trust that anyone's reactions are genuine and not merely polite.[/quote']

 

From the point of view of casual interaction, does it matter? If you are dealing with a customer, or a casual acquaintance at a gaming convention, does it really matter if all you do is engage in polite interaction?

I freely admit that I've had to work (occasionally for extended periods of time) with some real prize specimens. I treat them the same way: polite but reserved. It's a heck of a lot better (IMO) than rudeness, condescension or open revulsion.

Genuine affection or interest? That comes with time (or not!) Sometimes a very short time, sometimes a longer time ... sometimes never.

 

cheers, Mark

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