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San Diego Comic Con - You Sexy Geek - Hawk's Eyrie
It's all about releasing your inner sociopath
merhawk
merhawk
San Diego Comic Con - You Sexy Geek
10:45-11:45 Oh, You Sexy Geek!— Does displaying the sexiness of fangirls benefit or demean them? When geek girls show off, are they liberating themselves or pandering to men? Do some "fake fangirls" blend sex appeal with nerdiness just to appeal to the growing geek/nerd market, or is that question itself unfair? And what's up with all the Slave Leias? Action flick chick Katrina Hill (ActionFlickChick.com) asks Bonnie Burton (Grrl.com), Adrianne Curry (America's Next Top Model), Clare Grant (Team Unicorn, "G33k & G4m3r Girls"), Kiala Kazebee (Nerdist.com), Clare Kramer (Buffy the Vampire Slayer), Nerdy Bird - Jill Pantozzi ("Has Boobs, Reads Comics"), Jennifer K. Stuller (Ink-Stained Amazons, GeekGirlCon) and Chris Gore (G4TV's Attack of the Show!) to discuss whether fans can be sexy and geeky at the same time -- and if they should! Room 6A

That sounded like a very interesting panel.

It was incredibly disappointing.

One statement in particular by Chris Gore needs to be called out. He came late to the panel, came up, looked at the rest of the audience, and said to the males in the audience that he was there to represent them because "...like all you guys out there, I want to put my penis in them."

Not cool, Chris. Completely and utterly Not. Cool. If you really don't understand why that's Not. Cool. and that you should apologize to the other panel members, I feel incredibly, incredibly, sorry for you. And any other female that you ever interact with.

Taking Chris out of the equation, the reason why the panel was disappointing was because this was not a 101 discussion, this was a 51 discussion. Other than Jennifer Stuller (and possibly Kiala Kazebee, she didn't speak much), the discussion was about how we want to dress like our favorite characters, it's not our fault that the costumes are so skimpy, and it's not appropriate to hate upon the women who dress like that.

True.

What the rest of the panelists missed was that we shouldn't have to dress in skimpy outfits just to dress like our heroine. That the artists should be giving them actual clothes, not strips of cloth that might, if they're lucky, cover their chests and groin. We should be telling the media how we want to be represented, not letting the media continually dictate to us how we should be represented.

We don't need to change the men's costumes to be scantily clad, as Bonnie Burton suggested. We need more of the women's costumes to be fully clothed. If I was out there fighting crime? I would have some kevlar costume over my midriff, not leaving it exposed the way Huntress does.

Seth Green also deserves a shout-out. He was in the audience, and started talking with the panel. He was doing his best to talk about how some of the problem is not that there's "Women coming to my Comic Conventions!", but how it's more of an oldbie's vs newbies. "I was at Comic Con when...." vs "This is my first Comic Con. Isn't it exciting!". The older fans need to be elder statesmen, not crotchety old men, waving their walkers and demanding that the kids get off of their lawn!

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Comments
jim_smith From: jim_smith Date: July 22nd, 2011 12:06 pm (UTC) (Permanent Entry Link)
To me the broader question is why there has to be this gender role for women doing nerd stuff. He goes to a comics con and just does what he wants. She needs to be wearing a gold bikini and blogging about the woman's point of view on geekgrrrlzwithboobs.com. And by that I don't mean to dismiss cosplayers or the "Yes I am a woman" class of nerd blogs--they're all cool people doing what they like. But it seems like society (or maybe just subculture) is expecting every girl geek to always be Olivia Munn, whereas the guys only have to be slightly better than Comic Book Guy.
merhawk From: merhawk Date: July 22nd, 2011 04:16 pm (UTC) (Permanent Entry Link)
That is an incredibly good point. Unfortunately, we're not even close to being to that part of the question. We're still at justifying that it's okay for women to even be here, and that they are there for themselves, and not their boyfriend.
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lbmango From: lbmango Date: July 22nd, 2011 02:39 pm (UTC) (Permanent Entry Link)

Re: UGH.

I think that he was probably on the panel to present the douchebag point of view, in the spirit of "Balance". It would have been nice if there had been someone to present the non-douchebag male PoV. OTOH, the gender balance of 8:1 is probably correct for that panel.

Did the woman from America's Top Model actually say anything? I can't imagine anyone from that show knowing a whole lot about fandom. (the male models OR the female models (there are male models on the show, right?), so I think this says more about my view of models in general than anything else)
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lbmango From: lbmango Date: July 22nd, 2011 03:16 pm (UTC) (Permanent Entry Link)

Re: UGH.

Agreed. I didn't mean to support the view I expressed.

I was just equating it with news shows which present a whacked out right wing view as equal to a reasoned center-left view in order to "maintain balance"
merhawk From: merhawk Date: July 22nd, 2011 04:11 pm (UTC) (Permanent Entry Link)

Re: UGH.

Yes, she did. And she is a huge MMO geek. And she was one of the ones who *really* didn't get that they were looking at this on a superficial, "I should be able to do anything I want" level, rather than a "The reason why people hassle me for doing what I want is..."
lbmango From: lbmango Date: July 22nd, 2011 04:25 pm (UTC) (Permanent Entry Link)

Re: UGH.

Huh. I see that from her Wikipedia article. That totally goes against my stereotype of models. And nothing that I saw from ads for "My Fair Brady" implied that she didn't match my stereotype of models. Which I guess goes to show you how TV targets itself. (In addition, of course, to going to show that when you make assumptions about people, you have to keep looking for evidence that the assumption is incorrect.)
merhawk From: merhawk Date: July 22nd, 2011 04:10 pm (UTC) (Permanent Entry Link)

Re: UGH.

True, but no one spoke about his comment after it happened. It was just the elephant in the room. I would have mentioned how uncool it was, if I'd been able to get to the front of the question line.

I'm wondering why most of those panelists were there in the first place, other than the fact that they might be friends/friendly with the moderator.
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merhawk From: merhawk Date: July 22nd, 2011 04:26 pm (UTC) (Permanent Entry Link)

Re: UGH.

There were some shocked looks/gasps, but nothing else.
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merhawk From: merhawk Date: July 22nd, 2011 04:15 pm (UTC) (Permanent Entry Link)
No.

No one called him out. Jennifer had a horrified look on her face, but it was the elephant in the room after that. I tried to call him out, but I was too far back in the question line.

Propagating this post/incident can be a minor bit of call out, but it didn't happen in the panel.
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merhawk From: merhawk Date: July 22nd, 2011 04:19 pm (UTC) (Permanent Entry Link)
Yes, it is. And it illustrates how the underlying systemic problems, that most of the panelists didn't seem to even see, are stacked against them in the first place. It's not helping to equalize the playing field just by demanding it's okay to dress sexy. It's not the dressing sexy part these males object to. It's the not being there just for their fantasy that they don't seem to understand.
lbmango From: lbmango Date: July 22nd, 2011 04:30 pm (UTC) (Permanent Entry Link)
Not being a feminist scholar, I'm not sure if what I'm saying actually makes any sense, but maybe this is an (unfortunately) necessary stage?

Just like woman's rights in general went through a "free love" phase which really just meant that women could act sexy if they wanted to, which was exactly what men wanted anyway, before we reacted to that and brought it back to more actual issues... maybe women's fandom is going through the "I can be a member too, and this is the easiest way to express myself" phase, and eventually, the culture will react to that. Maybe this is part of that reaction?
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lbmango From: lbmango Date: July 22nd, 2011 06:04 pm (UTC) (Permanent Entry Link)
No, I didn't mean to say that either. Any more than "Free sex" was part of feminism is general.

However, it is highly likely that I'm over-analyzing. And your distinction between "some of us like wearing skimpy clothes" and "our favorite characters all wear skimpy clothes, and so so do we" is well taken.
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19 talons or Rake your talons?