I’ve been a geek for a long time. I played D&D in high school, read countless books and comics, liked computers before they were mainstream, you get the idea. I’ve met with lots of weird looks along the way, what, a GIRL? This happens to lots of us. And right now, the war around gender and geek fandom is being waged. Women are taking a stand and I love it! The real men are standing with them and behind them, and I love that too. I’m still shocked that a simple thing like girls liking video games can be considered weird in this day and age. But I was raised to ignore that crap. A lot of parents have put a lot energy into teaching their daughters that they can like what they want to like, be who they want to be, and don’t have to accept limits. Now a lot of us are grown up, and we’re being who we are, and it’s freaking some people out. And some people just plain haven’t noticed us at all yet.
My friend Kate runs a family-friendly fantasy football league. We have men, women, and children competing pretty darn equally, and smack talk is rampant. Last year I won the season (cash!), and an 11 year old came in second (he got cash too!). I can’t tell you why I like football. I mean, it doesn’t go with most of my loves in life. It’s not peaceful or deep, but I like it. I watch the games, follow the plays, yell at the refs on TV, keep up on the changing rules at least a little, pay attention to the players, injuries, coaches, etc. An awful lot of my female friends are the same way. An awful lot.
So why is it when I went to look up player stats for this year’s fantasy draft, every single site assaulted me with visions of barely legal boob jobs vaguely attached to women who were leaning in and utterly inviting me and everyone else to play a different kind of fantasy game? Why were there NO pictures of women fans or fantasy players anywhere? Why are we invisible??
Look, I know there’s some kind of crazy stuff going on, and there’s people using rape threats to silence women who have found their voices. I get that football may be considered one of the last “holy” grounds for the man’s man. I get that there are men who think women are nothing but playthings. But are they the majority of football fans? Hint: the answer is no. I’ve pretended for years that this crap doesn’t bother me, because I want to be “cool” around my male friends I guess. But I’m about sick and tired of being put in “my place” by all this BS. How the hell can we raise our kids to be anything they want to be when the message is clearly not true in “certain” areas like geeks and sports, and related fandoms? And why do I have to pretend to not be offended by the objectification of women in geek stuff and sports in order to be “cool” enough to participate? Time out… I’m ready for some rule changes of my own.