Geek Feminism – On Catfights and How We Can Possibly Get it Together

I hate the term “catfight.”  It often trivialized when women had genuine disagreements with one another. “Haha – the Ladies are all in a lather! Sexy!”

But, perhaps in the geek world: we women have been guilty of bringing each other down. Meow!

This topic was explored in an amazing post on GamingAngels.com, please read and comment. It is truly a wonderful piece, inspired by geekfeminism.org.

As I stated yesterday, I honestly believe that in gaming culture we don’t do that great of a job at picking up on social issues. Personally, I find that social issues are often hand dismissed as “stupid PC BS by Really Stupid People who Love Censorship.” Now, this isn’t always the case, obviously, but that sentiment is out there.

Some readers and gamers are thoughtful, critical people who engage. Others just don’t understand why these social issues mean more to other people, or why other people see and experience sexism when they don’t. It’s a question of privilege, and I know I can’t change that. Still others, well… are just nasty and condescending: they fight the person and not the issue. Debate on issues I love. Straw-feminist rants: not so much.

I have seen this often, and for some reason, I am always more surprised when it is other women who mock and deride these issues and each other.

I think that by dismissing the sexism you are protected from it. I know I have been less happy with gaming, gamers and geek culture in general since I started to see the sexism that is rampant. Once your eyes are opened to it, you can’t ever go back. And, personally, the lack of decent discourse is even worse. I’m a talker. I need to talk these issues through, yet I sometimes feel like I am one woman fighting this alone.

It was gamer culture and gaming that made me a feminist. Now I stand here, wondering how to proceed and not knowing what to do.

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Comments

  • Joseph Mikhael  On August 19, 2010 at 11:43 am

    I was going to respond something of this sort as a reply to your reply yesterday – that although gaming can be considered art, there seems to me not that many who are into that business. All gaming websites I’ve read rate games on their entertainment value, and not their ‘artistic’ value. Why? Cause that’s where the money is. Is it right? No. Then I started thinking: Philosophy of Art would (or at least should) welcome a new child: The Philosophy of Videogaming. and I think Yelling At Pixels would be the best birth place for this philosophy!

  • violetzombie  On August 19, 2010 at 12:24 pm

    Marcie, we’re all in this together. The louder and prouder we gamer chicks stand up for ourselves and scream, “This isn’t right!”, the more we’ll be taken seriously. We need to band together, stand proud, and make ourselves heard.

    We can do this.

  • glamgeekgirl  On August 22, 2010 at 5:25 am

    You’re definitely not alone! I just think there are no established feminist (or anti-racist, anti-homophobic) structures in the gaming community – yet. Such things take time to develop, and I think in gaming, compared to other areas (work, politics, sports), we basically just got started!

    That holds true for me as well, I’ve played PC games for almost two decades, and yet I don’t yet know where I stand in this great, fast and madly growing “online society” or whatever you may call it. With all that social media stuff going on, I think WE CAN make ourselves heard (you doubted that in your previous post, no?), we just have to figure out how! Talking about it is a good start, so thanks for your post!

    I’m also blogging about, among others, feminist issues in gaming, maybe you want to have a look too!?

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