When I wrote the article I published yesterday, I didn’t have a clear thesis. I knew that the idea of Sexy Geeks pandering bothered me, but I didn’t know why. I wrote the article in a much different way than I usually do, by just dumping my feelings out onto the page without any real “point” to support. SDCC was becoming old news and I felt that if I was going to say something, I’d better say it now.
I’m not a feminist blogger, I’m not an activist, I’m not even a professional writer. I’m a mom who worries about these issues because I have a young daughter. There are some fantastic articles written out there that address this subject from a similar viewpoint in a much more eloquent manner and I’ve linked to those below.
Now that I’ve had a little more time to read those articles, to consider my audience’s well-thought out comments and emails I’d like to clarify some of my ideas and statements.
1.) I found my thesis. It’s that I’m pissed off that this topic (Are “Sexy” Geeks pandering?) implies that Girl Geek=Ugly. This is offensive to ALL women. Either I’m a “real” geek and I’m unattractive, or I’m pretty and therefore disingenuous and whoring myself out for attention. It’s sexist and ridiculous, but a prevalent view point.
2.) It’s the PREMISE of the panel that bothered me, not the participants. I love all the ladies that were on the panel. I am a fan of all the women who sat on it. I think they are all highly-qualified geeks. And I would love to continue the conversation they started at Comic Con. I used this panel only as a specific, recent example to talk about the issue.
3.) We all have different ideas of sexy. Bonnie Burton isn’t a waif and Jill Pantozzi is in a wheelchair, I know this. But to me both of those women still fit into the category of “Traditionally Good Looking”. To you they may not and in your eyes the panel may have seemed inclusive. This is part of the larger conversation that was only briefly touched on during their discussion. I would love to have a more in-depth discussion about how outside influences shape our body image, how we perceive others and how that affects our self-esteem.
4.) I am just a jealous fat girl. I was surprised to see this sentiment in my inbox. First I was mad, and then I was hurt, but I’ve done a little self-reflection. It’s hard to be plus-sized in our society. I spend a lot of time dealing with preconceived notions that I’m lazy or stupid; that I eat unhealthily; that I could change this easily if I just tried harder. I’ve lost out on jobs to less qualified competition based on my looks and have encountered men who think I’m not worth talking to because I’m not attractive enough to sleep with. I occasionally work at a comic book shop and once overhead two customers:
Guy 1 : “I wish girls were into this stuff.”
Guy 2: “There is a lady working here.”
Guy 1: “Yeah, but she’s fat. Doesn’t count.”
I don’t count. And I’m not even that fat and I’m pretty cute. I know there are girls out there who have it even harder and it’s simply because of how we look. That’s messed up. Am I jealous of the pretty girls? Yeah, a little.
5.) The world isn’t going to change overnight. I am just trying to start a discussion. Thank you to my awesome readers for helping me down this path. I’ve read all of the comments you’ve left here, all the Twitter responses and all of the emails. I’ve thought a lot about what I really wanted to say and know that as we continue talking about this I will continue down the path of self-discovery. I welcome your comments and I hope to hear from more of you on this topic.
- Kristin McHugh's response at Nerds in Babeland.
- IFanboy: SDCC 2011 Panel Report
- Participant Jennifer K. Stuller's (Ink Stained Amazon) Panel Summary