I like a few of the ideas, such as geeky nerds may
become more misogynist than non-geeky non-nerdy men because of the bullying >they
underwent as schoolkids. I would say that fits with studies of perpetrators who end up in
prison. That could also be the reason >for >the weirdly harsh language used in some
of the Gamergate battlegrounds.
Sorry for the sarcasm, but as this insight has been percolating around the feminist
Internet lately I’ve been surprised it took this long (I suppose it’s an example that
shows that women can be just as oblivious to a male perspective as the other way around).
It was obvious to me that was part of what was in play during Gamergate.
In fact, having been at one time (not my whole teenage years) part of that geek/nerd
culture, I could have predicted Gamergate years ago. When I was 14 or so, about 1982, I
recall reading an article in Dragon magazine by a male (of course) writer calling on
fellow gamers to be more accommodating to the women involved in D&D and RPG more
(ahem) broadly at the time. He pointed specifically to a woman he knew who, in a major
tournament at a convention, more or less singlehandedly saved her entire party, only to
passed over for the “best female player” award or something like that in favor of what he
described as a “silent, dumb-blond type woman.” But what has really stuck in my mind over
the years was his account of a fellow DM showing him a list of NPCs that populated a city
he’d created for one of his campaigns. The guy noted that he’d given all the women high
charisma and low strength, “so they’ll be easier to rape when their city gets conquered.”
The writer anticipated the likely response (which I’m sure he’d heard in real life) that
that was “realistic” by asking “Does your fantasy world also have high unemployment,
runaway inflation and pollution just like our world does? I didn’t think so.”
Perhaps I was so aware of this that I thought, during Gamergate, that everyone else
opposed to it was, too, and that their remarks were taking this into account. I began to
suspect after a while that they weren’t, and now I know, unfortunately, that I was right.
To bring this back to the Wikipedia gender gap issue, it is useful to remember that
rhetoric treating the nerds as one and the same as the frat guys (so to speak) is likely
to backfire in constructively resolving issues where that is possible (IOW, males who
don’t feel they’ve been allowed to share a great deal, if at all, in this male-privilege
thing are likely to deeply resent being accused of doing so).
I would write more, but I have to get ready to go out and see “Star Wars: The Force
With my wife.
(currently wearing a black T-shirt I bought at Wal-Mart depicting an exasperated
stormtrooper at the Mos Eisley cantina bar framed by the meme-style words “Those were the
droids / I was looking for!”