Bullying in Geekdom

Last month we held our first contest and after awhile I discovered this post from Kristen, one of the two winners.

“I have this adorable soap shaped like a classic Nintendo controller and Mountain Dew shampoo. I won them in a contest run by @BigDamnGeeks. I would do a covered in suds photoshoot with them but if I posted the pictures resulting from that, I would just be called a slut, a whore, be told I’m trying to get attention and that I wasn’t a true gamer because I would be “just showing off.”

This shouldn’t be a fear of mine. It is. It’s why I don’t post too many pictures of myself online anymore. “This girl is secure with her body, lets take that whore down a notch.” That’s the mentality I have had to deal with from my fellow game communities for years. YEARS. I’ve left all forums and game social networks mostly because of this. I do not know where I am going with this…girl hate, blah blah, all girl clans have the same issues too so shush, real tired of sociopaths blah blah, just because your life is shit at the moment doesn’t mean you have to treat others like shit blah blah jealousy, insecurity etc to Infinity…” 

We’ve all been bullied at some point in our lives, some of us more than others. But to think that adults are petty enough to pick on each other online like a bunch of first graders is amazing to me. I unfortunately see it all the time, especially on Twitter and sadly it’s usually aimed at women. Apparently, according to these ignorant individuals, “girls can’t be geeks.” If a girl is good at video games, she must cheat and be a slut. If a girl likes Star Wars, she probably doesn’t even know what it’s about. Doctor Who? Forget it. She just likes to dress up in bowties. I’ve seen all these statements or something like them on Twitter and it makes me sick. Whether you’ve been picked on for liking something that was “unpopular” or “uncool” or whether it was because you dressed differently or acted differently, the fact that the geek community continues to pick on itself just goes to show you that we aren’t any better than the bullies who picked on us as kids.

When a girl cosplays at a convention, it’s cool and we want to take pictures with her. When she cosplays and takes pictures to put online? People jump to call her a slut. It’s beyond ridiculous that in our society we don’t let people express themselves, be comfortable with themselves or just BE THEMSELVES. This kind of behavior is intolerable to me. Luckily, in today’s society we have the simple ability to block and ignore people on Twitter or stopping them from contacting us on Facebook. But let’s face it, that’s not solving the problem, that’s only making it more manageable. So let’s put a stop to bullying, whether you’re a geek or not.

 

“Being a geek is all about being honest about what you enjoy and not being afraid to demonstrate that affection. It means never having to play it cool about how much you like something. It’s basically a license to proudly emote on a somewhat childish level rather than behave like a a supposed adult. Being a geek is extremely liberating.” – Simon Pegg

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