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Date: 2009-06-04 03:38 am (UTC)
From: [personal profile] dysprositos
I don't know that I actually have the expectations you list

Obviously the idea that we would all have similar expectations is itself a dangerous expectation. Disagree away! ;-)

And I just can't escape the idea (sorry, I'm a bit obsessive) that while SPON are feminist, it's in that "we can all be boys together" sort of way, while PPMB seem to me to be actually doing female-socialisation-based culture.

Obsessiveness is good, when it leads to insights like this! It is true that SPON often label themselves feminist, but it seems like some of the ideas about how to act feminist are somewhat...well, "we can all be boys together." I know much of SPON fandom was against the Open Source Boob Project debacle, but I think the impulse of "let's celebrate [women's] bodies! Obviously since all women are just as hardy as men, they will not react adversely to being asked if we can grope them! And if they do, they will do it in manly assertive ways like telling us off, not by feeling so uncomfortable they leave and never come to cons again or anything like that!" which, um, is a nice thought but completely ignores how women's experiences are different from men's and what kind of power dynamics exist whenever a guy or group of guys asks a completely strange woman (but only the ones who were dressed provocatively! Because that was how we could tell if they were sexually open!) if they can feel her up.

Again, I'd like to stress that I realize not all Scary Ponies Oh No were involved in the OSBP, approved of it, or failed to argue vociferously against it, but I think that the "boys can be boys, and girls can be boys!" attitude (while a step up feminism-wise from more gender essentialist and patriarchy-supporting attitudes) often leads to a dismissal of women's concerns in less obviously fail-y ways, like inviting a well-known sexually-harassing man to convention after convention because he's a famous author and anyway all new con-going young women will surely be warned away from sharing elevators with him by their more-experienced friends, or constantly talking about why there aren't more women among the Scary Ponies Oh No without taking into account the very real dangers women can be in in male-dominated space.

I myself went through a "we can all be boys together" phase but I think it's worth leaving behind. Because some aspects of "being a boy" are privileged asshole behaviours.

You have exactly encapsulated why I am becoming increasingly disenchanted with nerd culture as a whole. Racefail was a factor, but mostly it's being entirely surrounded by people who are mostly straight (or closeted heteronormative) white guys who are all in favor of "privileged asshole behaviors" (because it is EDGY! because the PC pendulum has swung so far the opposite way that they are OPPRESSED as white males and so they are standing up to the (Wo)man with gay jokes and the casual use of the word "rape" and denigration of Africa, Asia, and Mexico! Who knew standing up to the Man could look so much like supporting the kyriarchy?) and totally against things like empathy and self-censorship and basic social skills and etiquette and things.

And some of it's ROTC culture and some of it is flyboy culture, but a depressing amount is nerd culture, and I'm learning to recognize "I've got no social skills and I'm proud of it!" as an excuse to be totally sexist and racist and homophobic (not that Asperger's and so on don't exist, but somehow I doubt that is the problem of all of these boys).

So, in short, yes to "it's worth leaving behind."
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