Does Nerd Culture Have A Sexism Problem?
Start writing a post
Entertainment

Does Nerd Culture Have A Sexism Problem?

"You like video games? And you're a GIRL?!"

503
Does Nerd Culture Have A Sexism Problem?

If anyone knows me, they know I'm a huge nerd. I love all things geeky, especially Star Wars, The Legend of Zelda, Steven Universe, Marvel, Disney, and so many other things. As a matter of fact, I even left work early this summer to purchase a very coveted ticket for New York Comic Con. Anyone who knows me could also tell you I'm a huge feminist. I am extremely passionate about gender equality issues, intersectionality, and equal rights for everyone. Now, it doesn't seem like either of these two interests relate to one another. But I've been pondering this subject for a while and I've decided to finally confront the antifeminist ideas that have worked their way into nerd culture.

As a disclaimer, I am not saying that everyone who identifies as a nerd is sexist. These are simply the unpleasant experiences I've had as a woman when traversing nerd-oriented spaces.

Part of the reason why I love nerd culture is because I really admire the passion people have for certain things. I love exchanging different opinions about characters and plot points as much as I love kicking ass in Super Smash Brothers. I enjoy interacting with the people I met through these experiences and forming friendships. But one thing I noticed about nerd culture is that it's mostly comprised of straight cisgender men. I have experienced ways in which the community excludes women and LGBTQ+ people, which is disappointing, because as a culture founded on being outcasts, it's important to be as inclusive as possible.

In the past, when I traverse nerd spaces, I have found that many men act like it's a miracle that a woman is into video games or anything like that. I've worn Star Wars shirts in public and men I don't know walk up to me and ask things like, "so you like Star Wars, huh? Then tell me what hand Luke Skywalker had cut off in Episode 5 and what color his first lightsaber was."

Female nerds have been around for just as long as male nerds, but because most of these nerdy interests were created by and for men, they have been shoved to the sidelines most of the time. It seems completely mystical to some men that women could possibly have these interests. Therefore, women who choose to engage in nerd culture have to constantly prove that they genuinely enjoy something, which is largely unnecessary. Men just aren't put to the same tests. I personally find that this notion stems from the idea that some men believe that women pretend to have these interests for an ulterior motive - usually to sleep with them.

But this is just the tip of the iceberg for sexism in nerd culture. Women like Anita Sarkeesian, Zoe Quinn, and Brianna Wu were sent death and rape threats by angry male gamers in 2014 during GamerGate. It should seem obvious that no one deserves this, even if you disagree with them or they criticize you. Wu and her husband had to flee their home because the threats were so bad. While I don't necessarily agree with everything Sarkeesian, Quinn, and Wu say, I think it's horrific how they were attacked so maliciously, simply for being women who talk about sexism in video games.

To make a long story short, yes, nerd culture absolutely does have a problem with sexism. The reason why I'm calling it out is because I really do love being a part of nerd culture. I love engaging with people like me, but I can't do that if this kind of misogyny persists. As a culture whose largesse relies on people who weren't particularly popular growing up, maybe people who were bullied, we shouldn't become as vindictive as the people who bullied us. We should all be looking for ways to make the nerd community more inclusive, friendly, and welcoming.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
Health and Wellness

CBD Lip Balm Is The Calming Presence You Need In Your Life, Trust Me

I tried lip balm, sleep gummies, and an oil dropper from CBDistillery. Here's the final verdict.

@lilyjmoe

CBD has been on making waves within the wellness space for the last few years. Generally related to the treatment of anxiety, insomnia, and chronic pain, it's growing easier to find small CBD companies who are making products specifically designed to fit your needs. As FDA rules for CBD production can be a little hazy, it's true that not all CBD products are created equally. That's why it's important to look into the manufacturing of whatever you're deciding to try, especially if you're new to taking CBD.

As someone who has tried a variety of CBD products — some victories, some failures — I was thrilled when CBDistillery sent me a package of their favorites. They included a Broad Spectrum CBD Oil Tincture, their Nighttime Gummies, and a CBD Lip Balm.

Keep Reading... Show less
Politics and Activism

Kamala Harris Is The Biggest Hypocrite Of The #MeToo Movement

A vote for Joe Biden is a vote for Kamala Harris — and no one wants a hypocrite for a vice president.

Joe Biden just chose Kamala Harris to be his running mate against Donald Trump and Mike Pence in 2020. Now, for many reasons, this is hilarious as I think Biden just solidified his fate and gave the election to President Trump, but that's for another time.

Keep Reading... Show less
Nickelodeon

Now, this is a story all about how, "Fresh Prince of Bel-Air" is getting a reboot, and every '90s kid is currently screaming. (Yes, you heard me correctly.)

Keep Reading... Show less
Photo by Risen Wang on Unsplash

Maybe it was the quarantine months that sent you on a quest to finally find a workout routine that works for you, or maybe it was the lack of routine in the world that inspired you to change your habits or -for some- keep them and make an effort to maintain your health. If gyms were not already evolving with the new needs of the 21st-century gymgoer, they are undoubtedly evolving now with the lifestyle mindset that Covid-19 has left many of us with — a desire for a plan for a positive change seeing that tomorrow is not guaranteed.

The experience that an individual gets out of going to the gym should feel worth their time, energy, and should meet their specific fitness journey goals. If you do not already have a reason to go to the gym, here are ten genius effective implementations that will inspire even the couch-iest potato.

Keep Reading... Show less

We've all been there. You see that super cute guy on your dating app of choice, his bio is funny, and then, the gut-wrenching feeling hits when you see their political views don't exactly line up with yours. He loves Trump, you can't stand him, or vice versa.

A lot of people will say you can get over politics, but I know from personal experience, as well as this survey, that politics play a huge role in whether a relationship will work or if we're even willing to swipe right on that profile.

Keep Reading... Show less

With no sign of the pandemic going anywhere, brides and grooms who planned to be married in 2020 are forced to opt for plan B — if not plan C or D. While some are downsizing their in-person weddings to meet coronavirus guidelines and state restrictions, others are choosing to cancel theirs until further notice and some, well, they're embracing the virtual "I do."

A few weekends ago, I had the pleasure of attending a Zoom wedding for my friend and fellow editor and writer, Kristin Magaldi, and the short-but-sweet ceremony left me in happy tears (surprise surprise). In order to get the scoop on what exactly went into planning a virtual wedding, I asked Kristin to share her best tips so other couples know exactly how to have a Zoom wedding in case they're looking to lean into the video chat vows, too.

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

Luxury Fashion Buys Your Bank Account Couldn’t Justify Till This Year’s Nordstrom Anniversary Sale

In case you needed another reason to get the Prada sunnies you've been eyeing all year.

Since I can remember first flipping through my older cousin's fashion magazines as an 8-year-old, I've always had several luxury items on my wish list of items I knew I'd never have, but loved to fantasize about.

As I grew into financial independence later in life, the list grew longer, but the ways in which I could toy with my grocery or travel budget for a month to make room for something I really wanted made the items on it more attainable. Even then, I will (virtually) visit an item online several times in the span of a year to test if I still like it months after eyeing it, and to see if by any chance it may have gone on sale.

Keep Reading... Show less
Lifestyle

10 Curvy Women Of Color On Instagram Who Inspired Us All To Take More Confident Lingerie Selfies

Learn to embrace your body and stop comparing yourself to the "beauty" standard with the help of these beautiful models and bloggers.

It's not every day that you scroll on your timeline and see a body that resembles your own. With a beauty standard that has conditioned the minds of society to exclaim confidence!

When a fuller figure posts on social media — as if it's an extreme act of bravery to show yourself off if you're not under a size 6 — it's about time we take back our power and learn that we are enough just the way we are.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

5 Characters From Your Childhood That Combated The Mental Health Stigma

We deserve to see people like us on the big screen just as much as you do.

Perks of Being a Wallflower

Growing up with a neurodevelopment disorder and mental illness, it's easy to feel isolated from the rest of the world. It is not common to look around and see someone that experiences situations similar to the ones you endure. Even if you do come across a person that is also perceived to be "different" in the eyes of society, the negative connotations instilled in everyday life are quick to silence your voice and knock you down before you have a chance to realize that who you are is more than okay--it's normal. This is a big reason why anything that brings understanding and shines a light on what people with neurodevelopment disorders and mental illness go through on a regular basis comes around a sense of relief and happiness fills the body.

In light of this, I went on a hunt to find characters in television and cinema that accurately portray the complexities of developmental disorders and mental health.

Keep Reading... Show less

First and foremost, shame on you for encouraging the patriarchy and sexism as you police a female's clothing choices. You cannot control our bodies, but what you can advocate for is public health and safety. This includes demoralizing rape, slut-shaming, and protecting society from illness.

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments