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Geek Women: Your Little Standards-Compliant Fantasy

"Any female[...] has had to work ten times as hard as her male counterpart to be accepted in their organization. She will be more able, will react quicker, and will generally be much more dangerous. Kill her first." -- Starr, "One Man's War," Preacher

Girl geeks may never have had it better, but that doesn't mean we're altogether finished yet. Despite significant advances, glass ceilings and salary gaps persist in the tech industry; so does discrimination. We can still feel uncomfortable at the comic shop, where our custom is frequently a fairly recent development. We're still seen as something of an aberration amongst gamers, despite a nontrivial presence in the community.

"Any female[...] has had to work ten times as hard as her male counterpart to be accepted in their organization. She will be more able, will react quicker, and will generally be much more dangerous. Kill her first." -- Starr, "One Man's War," Preacher

Girl geeks may never have had it better, but that doesn't mean we're altogether finished yet. Despite significant advances, glass ceilings and salary gaps persist in the tech industry; so does discrimination. We can still feel uncomfortable at the comic shop, where our custom is frequently a fairly recent development. We're still seen as something of an aberration amongst gamers, despite a nontrivial presence in the community.

As with any field, this presents some visibility problems. So long as we're fighting for equal recognition, or perceived to be doing so, it's possible to overemphasize the finest examples and oversimplify the cause. In any niche genre, using monumentally exceptional competence as a shortcut to an "empowered" female's characterization is a risk often run by creators. It's a gamble many have taken, and few have beaten. Sadly, webcomics about geek-minded women – sysadmins, programmers, gamers, whatnot – have not escaped the dice. If they're visible, they're usually just too darn good.

Perhaps we have Helen, Sweetheart of the Internet to thank for the trend to some extent. Helen is one of the first, and certainly one of the best-known, hypercompetent geek females to come down the path. Unrealistically skilled and excessively powerful, both her geekery and her gender terrify her minions. She's seen as gorgeous despite androgynous dress tendencies. But she's insubstantial, particularly when juxtaposed against a better-developed self-obsessive.

Helen can't really be faulted for being appropriately cartoonish (geared towards traditional syndication, Helen would eventually run in print and online via uclick). But her influence reverberates throughout tech-geekish webcomics, and not always for the better.

Sometimes, this results in Jade Fontaine situations: admittedly "foxy" females, well-rounded as geeks or as women, but who still occasionally jar the reader with an agenda.

Other times, though, the results skip plausible idealization and head straight into the wet dream.

 

Heavy Metal Plasma Rifle: Wish Fulfilment Characters

"You're drop-dead gorgeous, and you're a computer geek? You must be setting me up for something..." – Fooker, GPF

The empowerment shortcut is very closely linked to the Amazonian Playmate archetype. If you enjoy fantasy or science fiction, you've met her: she's gorgeous, in a very feminine sort of way. (This varies, depending on the current standards for feminine ideal, but deformity-inducing breasts are often involved.) However, she can kick your ass in combat, because she has tremendous [sword / stake / martial arts / projectile weapon / psionic / magical] skills. In short, she's as strong as a man, possibly stronger. She's an Amazon, but not a lesbian; she's feminine, but she's not a femme. She will assert herself, but she isn't so independent as to be unattainable by men. Hypothetically, a straight male can both identify with her (strong, well versed in "manly" skills) and safely desire her (appropriately presented sexual characteristics, drawn to appeal to mates).

Handled properly, this can be the basis for well-rounded, arguably feminist characters. Buffy and Xena are the most recognizable contemporary examples here; they've taken this archetype and subverted it. But Sturgeon's Law applies here as much as elsewhere. For every John Byrne-era She-Hulk, there are a hundred Heavy Metal pinup girls. For every Ripley or Tank Girl, there are a hundred Lara Crofts.

In geek webcomics, the Amazonian Playmate uses computers. (Or consoles, but that's splitting hairs.) And, even if she's a She-Hulk, the nature of shortcuts means that we can't tell her from the pinup girls in a basic character bio; we aren't intended to reckon her on her own merits. We must view her through a glass ceiling imposed by the creator. It's not enough that she's competent and beautiful, or even that she's herself; she only matters in the shadow of men. At the worst, she is basically defined by a simplified sexism, even while ostensibly subverting it.

This can be handled subtly, almost imperceptibly. Take GPF's Ki Oshiro, yet another "born programmer" with a taste for first-person shooters:

"Deep down, [Ki]'s sweet, loving, and a bit of a romantic, but her efforts to make her appear to be "one of the guys" sometimes hides this beautiful side of her. It also plays to her appearance; she puts little effort into trying to appear sexy (although she tends to need little effort to do so), since that would make her appear separate from the gang."

In spite of this, Ki is easily mistaken for a supermodel despite her height. She subverts her assigned nature for the sake of the geek male protagonist, and conveniently shares his conservative sexual morals out of the gate.

But then the chasm starts to crack open. Wide. Old and new comics alike fall prey; User Friendly's and Ctrl-Alt-Del's creators betray their visions:

Miranda is a trained systems technologist, an experienced UNIX sysadmin, and very, very female. Her technical abilities unnerve the other techs, but her obvious physical charms compel them to stare at her...

Breaking the age old stereotype that 'girls don't play video games', Lilah enjoys a LAN party as much as the next guy. She's smart and beautiful, with a passion for a good first-person shooter.

Yes. Women play games. Women tend to computers. But the assertion that a woman can do these things in spite of herself, and somehow still be beautiful, doesn't establish her as a character. It reinforces the idea that the "age old stereotype" is, in general, truth; it makes her a tool, an abstraction. A wish fulfilment.

An object isn't threatening so much as entertaining. An illustration of inequality, but one which maintains status quo, is no challenge.

 

Warning: Women's Experiences Not Immediately Obvious

It would be disingenuous to suggest that the outsider's perspective is a major contributor here, yet all save one of the examples cited thus far stem from exclusively male creators (Bernie is drawn by a woman).

This is not to say that men can't write consistently convincing, believable female characters. They have for years, across many genres and all media, and they're hardly immune to it in comics. PvP's Jade may occasionally ring false, but Marcy just plain works. Each of the girlfen in T Campbell's Fans! is believable and whole (except for the seemingly deliberately flat Union Jackie). Randy Milholland's Aubrey and Peejee strike chords with angry gamer women everywhere, if Something Positive's highly vocal fanbase is anything to go by. John Kovalic deftly handles a love triangle between geek boy, goth gamer girl, and "mundane" woman, giving short shrift to neither female character over the course of Dork Tower.

And, to pull out an earlier example: Chris Baldwin's Bruno, admittedly not a geekgirl, is one of the best developed women in webcomics across the board – and both Baldwin and Peter Zale use her to great effect in analyzing Helen's selfishness.

IGNFF: What kind of agenda irritates you the most?
WHEDON: Any agenda. Any agenda beyond what the film itself is trying to say.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer wasn't an accident; Joss Whedon came from a background in feminist and gender studies at Wesleyan, and was bringing a great deal of expertise to the table. If so many of the geekgirls in webcomics seem like surface extrapolations, perhaps that's the case; rather than having an idea spring forth from extensive study, observation, or personal experience, so many of these characters give the impression of stemming from a high concept. "Women play games too." "Women can be techies." "Girl geeks exist." While this approach is often taken with the most noble, complimentary intentions, those intentions can only go so far.

One shouldn't begin at one's conclusion and work backwards. Any exceptional person of any sort is, by their very nature, the tip of the iceberg, not the foundation. They are cream, not milk. When a strong geekgirl character works, it's because the author has started out by creating a person and developing their attributes over top of that.

Foundations first.

Re: Geek Women -- Your Little Standards-Compliant Fantasy by Wed

Clint Hollingsworth's picture

[quote]And as a guy I can say from personal experience that it is quite hard to write distincly "female" characters,[/quote]

Boy howdy, that's for sure. My heroines aren't experts at tech, but experts of "primitive Tech".

The only ones better are their elders.

Clint Hollingsworth

The Wandering Ones Webcomic
http://www.wanderingones.com

Re: Geek Women -- Your Little Standards-Compliant Fantasy by Wed

What was the point of this article? The opinion combined with the works cited seems to convey the following:
1. There is only one type of ideal heroine.
2. She exists only in relatively popular webcomics written prodominantly by males.

Re: Geek Women -- Your Little Standards-Compliant Fantasy by Wed

Two points:
Something positive
www.somethingpositive.net
This one is drawn by a guy, but has strong female characters that are non sterotypical.
Something Positive was mentioned in the article.
Sabrina Online

This one is drawn by a guy, also a furry comic (yes, you will become a furry if you read it, so if you click, get out your fursuits). This one i think is very well done.

The Fur will Fly
http://ram.purrsia.com/fwf/
Written by a guy and a girl, another evil furry comic. Well done work.

Sabrina online
http://www.sabrina-online.com/thismonth.html
This is a furry comic (and yes you will become a furry if you read it) about a geek girl, who is both tech savy and independent, with problems of her own
You said Sabrina Online twice.

Re: Geek Women -- Your Little Standards-Compliant Fantasy by Wed

I think what female gamers should do is take matters into their own hands. Make your own games.

That's easy to say, but c'mon. How will they publish those games? How will they get them distributed? Get them reviewed by the right magazines and websites? The game industry is too big for an unproven newbie developer to just jump in and expect to get anywhere*. And trying to work for an established company means that your bosses and supervisors--the folks who dictate what you work on--are probably male.

The criticism is valid for webcomics, though. There's such a low barrier to entry that "well, make one that's better" isn't a silly request.

*This isn't really tied to gender, really. Unless you're part of an established development house, or went solo after making a name for yourself in one, your options are not good (basically limited to making shareware games).

Re: Geek Women -- Your Little Standards-Compliant Fantasy by Wed

I didn't even know that this was a problem with gamer webcomics. I'm not surprised in the least, though, I'm thinking gamer comics are only reflective of what gamer males tend to think. I have a lot of girls who are really good at video games, and the ones that are asian have it worse. But it's kind of funny to me as well. They can't see women as just PEOPLE with actual minds like they have, they look at women as another species almost. They say lots of dumb things that just says so much about their ignorance, it's almost innocent. They just don't know that women are people, too. What a strange problem...!

But there are lots of webcomics out there that do have great female protagonists, so much that you don't even think about gender as you read them (that's how it should be really, unless your story IS about gender!). They just might not be gamer comics...

Re: Geek Women -- Your Little Standards-Compliant Fantasy by Wed

for a geek gamer comic written and drawn by a woman, try http://www.10kcommotion.com . And my female protagonist is a fantasy lit fan, but that's not especially focussed on.

Re: Geek Women -- Your Little Standards-Compliant Fantasy by Wed

http://www.lowbright.com
http://cascadia.verunne.net
http://studiocyen.net/comics
http://faith.rydia.net

I'm sure there's more out there, maybe not so much in the gamer genre but outside of it.

Re: Geek Women -- Your Little Standards-Compliant Fantasy by Wed

I think the greatest problem with these female uber-geeks who are both beautiful and super smart is their relationships.

Inevitably, they fall for a geek guy who is usually not good looking, but SMARTER than her. Like Red Sonia being all tough until someone defeats her. This is typical male fantasy here. The girl will be the smartest, the best, and no pushover, but once she falls in love with this guy, she's submissive to him and her character totally changes.

Might as well club her on the head and drag her back to the cave.

Re: Geek Women -- Your Little Standards-Compliant Fantasy by Wed

Yes, the amazon playmate was, but not her turnaround submissive-ness when conquered by a guy. Also, I was referring to the Cerebus character, which is a sort of sendup of the idea, where the ridiculousness of wearing chainmail on bare breasts was discussed.

Re: Geek Women -- Your Little Standards-Compliant Fantasy by Wed

I'll give you that this wasn't the most clear article, but how did you get that first point?? IDEAL heroine? I think what was meant is that there is a phenomenon of this certain type of heroine in gamer comics, though she is not limited to them. Then a discussion of her merits, where she appears, and what it could mean.

Re: Geek Women -- Your Little Standards-Compliant Fantasy by Wed

Al Schroeder's picture

This is one that sort of bothers me---since I write a heroine, reasonably attractive, who is nevertheless hyperintelligent. Of course, in my case, I mean it LITERALLY...she's as far beyond most people, including most genuises, as I am beyond a baboon. I have often wondered if I'll be accused of that sort of sexism, or worse, implying that a woman can't be TRULY intelligent unless she's rendered "super". That only magic/scientific breakthrough could make a woman superior to a man in the intelligence area. There are a lot of ways my initial premise could be read...
And of course, the Lorelei/Mindmistress dichotomy does that even more, since part of the time, my heroine is also retarded/mentally challenged. Literally. Worse, I promote the "dumb blonde" stereotype by having the hair color change with the transformation (as well as eye color and a twelvefold increase in intelligence.)
But such was never my intent. She was conceived quite a while ago, and "dumb blonde" jokes weren't quite so stereotypical. Nor have I ever involved her in a sexual relationship of any sort as MM, and only admitted an attraction and/or love that Lorelei has occasionally had. That sounds lonely---and is---but it's necessary for the plot. She would no more find her solemate among a "sapient" human than I would in an island of baboons. ODD JOHN by Olaf Stapledon had the same problem, until he found others of his homo superior kind...
Besides, I'm working off an archetype here...Athena, in this case, who is rather famously a virgin and romantically uninvolved. All my storylines have been retellings in modern form of some of the myths of Athena.
Some things would be WRONG for the character. The only quasi-sexual relationship she ever had was a fantasy in a fantasy world she created but was trapped in.
In my current storyline, I have her, for the first time, stripped of her weapons and armor, stripped of anything but a sheet to wear---and soon she won't even have that---but she'll be naked in the sense of unprotected, not nude for titillation, nor will any of the nudity be graphic. It just wouldn't fit the character, and it will be a challenge to see her create things without technology, for a change.
Still, my strip MIGHT be open to the charge of an uber-geeky, yet pretty heroine, tremendously unrealistic. The only defense I have is that I think there's more going on than that....that the Lorelei/MM duality, the occasionally musing and showing of how this is more than a genuis, this is someone beyond the range of human thought...lifts it above that. And that I have an archetype to cling to, and I must be true to that archetype.---Al

 Al Schroeder III of MINDMISTRESS---think the superhero genre is mined out? Think there are no new superhero ideas? Think again.

Re: Geek Women -- Your Little Standards-Compliant Fantasy by Wed

The problem is people just don't know how to create a cool heroine anymore.

Going back to the old standby, Lara Croft... people don't seem to know this (of course, it might just be a false memory implant, but I swear I read this) but a male star for Tomb Raider was originally planned... but the resemblance to folks like Indiana Jones and John Rambo was a little too obvious, so they created a female protagonist for two reasons... variety and because a woman carrying guns looks more intelligent (and more apt to solve puzzles) than a man carrying guns. Somewhere along the way, Eidos screwed up... (it was somewhere between the idea I just mentioned and the gratuitously titilating ad campaign for the original game that felt the need to point out Ms. Croft's "killer body") and Croft became a marketting symbol aimed at young boys who are strange enough to lust after a video games character.

("I would never do such a thing!" exclaims Doctor Pants, to his desktop wallpaper of Cammy from Street Fighter.)

Every now and then, of course, somebody is bound to get it right. A heroine who is a heroine in her own right and not some man's perception of a female ideal will turn up every now and then. Fiction, after all, deals with stories and characters... and if people can stop and think and create a decent heroine with her own personality and mindset, then maybe Lara Croft can still find some hope of being saved from the horrors brought upon her by her own bosoms.

Keep working on what you're doing, Al... and, while you're at it, take some time to study figure composition so you can do better justice to your heroine.

Excelsior!

Re: Geek Women -- Your Little Standards-Compliant Fantasy by Wed

But there are lots of webcomics out there that do have great female protagonists, so much that you don't even think about gender as you read them

Show me.

Re: Geek Women -- Your Little Standards-Compliant Fantasy by Wed

scarfman's picture

Interesting to have come upon this article the same day I updated this.

Paul Gadzikowski, paul@arthurkingoftimeandspace.com
Arthur, King of Time and Space New cartoons daily.

Re: Geek Women -- Your Little Standards-Compliant Fantasy by Wed

Yeah but most of the examples used are gamer comics and all genres of anything have their cliches, romance novels have the long haired hyper-handsome rich guy, there is the milquetoast quiet sensitive guy so prevalent in anime, etc. And in a lot of ways it is simply another one of those stereotypes, a crutch to fall back on to avoid attempting any semblance of an original chararcter.

And gaming comics (or webcomics in general) aren't the only medium that has demeaning and sexist femal characters.

(still a good article despite my complaining...)

Re: Geek Women --

Just for the record, the person who wrote this article isn't an American. Not by a long shot.

-- weds, not logged in

Re: Geek Women -- Your Little Standards-Compliant Fantasy by Wed

Well many of these comics are writtem by men so it would make sense that a "typical male fantasy" would be so common...

(not to say it's a good thing though)

Re: Geek Women -- Your Little Standards-Compliant Fantasy by Wed

i may be wrong about this, but isn't the Amazonian Playmate Archetype mentioned in the article an archetype of a woman who dominates the male?

i have to admit that i never read the Red Sonya comics, i only saw the movie. from that i do not recall her being submissive to anyone, ever. as opposed to the stormlord who insisted on making a fool of himself by pursuing the woman instead of accepting no as an answer and going his own way. in the movie she never was defeated by him.

unlike Brunhilde from the Nibelungen saga, who, just like Sonya, refused to accept any man who was weaker than her. she was tricked into marrying a particularly weak man who admired her strength (that would be your geek guy) with the help of a friend. if i recall correctly, she later had her revenge by having said friend killed by her loyal and submissive henchman.

these are not gamer comics, so maybe this is irrelevant.

Re: Geek Women -- Your Little Standards-Compliant Fantasy by Wed

I think a few more webcomics should be quoted before judgement is served.

Queen of Wands
www.queenofwands.net
A strong, attractive woman who is tech savy and independent. This webcomic is about the creator and her life and the fun she has at beating computer salesmen who treat her like she is stupid. A must read.

/usr/bin/woot
http://www.w00t-comic.net/index.html
A geek comic drawn by another girl that is to tell about her life. Pretty good actually despite the art.

Something positive
www.somethingpositive.net
This one is drawn by a guy, but has strong female characters that are non sterotypical.

Sabrina Online

This one is drawn by a guy, also a furry comic (yes, you will become a furry if you read it, so if you click, get out your fursuits). This one i think is very well done.

The Fur will Fly
http://ram.purrsia.com/fwf/
Written by a guy and a girl, another evil furry comic. Well done work.

Sabrina online
http://www.sabrina-online.com/thismonth.html
This is a furry comic (and yes you will become a furry if you read it) about a geek girl, who is both tech savy and independent, with problems of her own

Re: Geek Women --

Moderation, my friends, moderation. Is there a problem when it comes to equality? I believe there is. Is it quite as bad as people make it out to be? No, I don't believe there is.

Glass ceilings and inequality are tough issues to deal with because their existence is ingrained. The people who are in charge currently think that it is ok to pay women less and that it is ok to pass them over when it comes time for promotions. They don't really think about it, and don't see a problem with it.

Speaking as part of the younger generation (I am nineteen), I must point out that this idea is considered irritating and backwards by many of my peers. In fact, I've yet to talk to someone who disagreed with equality of the sexes for any decent reason other than "just because." It is difficult for me to comprehend this issue really lasting for more than another generation.

Now, as for stereotypes:
I have yet to meet a gaming girl. I. Have. Never. Met. One. Ever. It distresses me greatly that this is so. Considering my location (north Idaho), it should be no surprise, but it is... I know a few girls who are interested, but that cap in the female demographic killed any chances of them ever really getting into it. I have met many fans of anime who are of the fairer sex, I have met many rocker girls, I have met many gothic girls, yet I know no girls who know C++ or Halo. I wish this was otherwise. Yet, if I were to meet one, what should I expect?
The reality would not be as pretty as what is portrayed. Female characters are difficult to portray, I agree, but part of the problem is that I don't see many female characters with any serious flaws (except for, say, a psychotic ex or moodiness[stereotype]). Try making a female character with flaws. Then, ask a lady friend, "How would such a character respond?" I've done it several times for stories I have written, and the viewpoint always helps.

Maybe you can even find the extremely elusive female gamer, and ask her.

Apologies beforehand if anyone finds these comments offensive; I do not mean for these comments to be inflammatory beyond my actual viewpoint.

Re: Geek Women -- Your Little Standards-Compliant Fantasy by Wed

"...the greatest problem with these female uber-geeks who are both beautiful and super smart is their relationships...[she] will be the smartest, the best, and no pushover, but once she falls in love with this guy, she's submissive to him and her character totally changes."

Okay, so how does this differ from reality? I have had two romantic relationships with intelligent, strong, independant women, but after successful courtship, they became demure and deferential. I'm not saying I like it (actually that is the primary reason both relationships failed), but it is a slice of reality. I won't go so far as to say that all exceptionally talented women act that way, but some do; at least two did.

Personally, I think that the problem is that women have been fighting for an identity for themselves for the last century, and most of those doing the fighting don't realize they have an identity already, as the submissive, nurturing, homemaker. Instead of accepting that role and working to build upon it or change it, they deny that reality so strongly, that they fail to realize that at their core, it influences their interpersonal actions.

Many, if not all, humans derire to couple with the opposite gender. We rely upon our understanding of that gender from the discourses of our elders. It is that reliance upon our forebears that will keep dramatic changes from being anything more than cosmetic, so the RAWR! female uber-geeks still find themselves wanting to submit. If women want a more dominant role, they can have it, but I am fairly certain that such a change will take a few more generations.

We still live in an era where women are looked at as weak. Even the boom of sexual harassment cases show that. If a woman is a victim of sexual advances, we need to protect her. If a man is faced with sexual advances, he needs to deal with it on his own. Few judges will see a man as feeling threatened, whereas few judges will avoid seeing a woman as threatened.

Regardless, it is obvious that the true nature of women is not yet agreed upon. Until such a time as it is, women will face misunderstanding that, while it comes at them from external forces, stems from their own confusion at what their role in society, inter-personal relationships, and the family.

Anthony
frank_overton@yahoo.com

Re: Geek Women -- Your Little Standards-Compliant Fantasy by Wed

Thank you so much for writing this!

This has been an important issue to me for as long as I've been reading online comics. It would be easy to say that the problem results from most webcomicers never having seen a woman... but that's just relying on an old stereotype. The truth is probably closer to the idea that these guys are still MEN, and as such, tend to know almost nothing about the other gender.

But there is really no need to have such a horrible character as Ctrl-Alt-Del's Lilah... in any comic... ever. Damn it, making a character like Lilah is like taking all the advancements of feminism which have taken place since the invention of video games, putting them in a bucket, and then having that bucket crapped in by one of those shameless young women from a scatro fetish site.

Out of all the women I know, only a select few of them don't play video games... which may or may not be a smaller percentage than the men I know who don't play video games.

The problem comes from the same wang-centric chauvenism that has underlied everything in our culture from the beginning of time... women have been seen as inferior and thus were thought to not be worthy of taking part in what men do.

Women took two approaches to fighting this.

Group A said, "they're doing what they're doing so we will do what WE do! Girl power forever!!" and there was pinkness and frilly things all around and their daughters were given dolls and toy cookware and images of unicorns, fairies, and princesses.

Group B said, "it's not fair that they should do what they're doing! We can do it better because wome rule!!" and there were buzz-cuts and masculine clothing all around and their daughters were given action figures and toy guns and images of death and destruction and "empowered" women beating the crap out of stupid guys.

The major corporations saw this and said, "we will give group A dolls and pink things and annoying pop music and sell them things that play on age-old stereotypes of femininity."

The corporations tried to think of what to give group B, but became horribly confused. Thus, they were given roughly the same things that were given to men, including scantily clad large-breasted women... but at least these women could beat the crap out of you.

Then, we have the video games industry... which is a long way from getting its act together.

Basically, I'm just angry at society.

Re: Geek Women -- Your Little Standards-Compliant Fantasy by Wed

A lot of the comics reffered to in the article are written by men, and so perhaps they are simply incapable or unwilling to create realistic/"good" female characters. And as a guy I can say from personal experience that it is quite hard to write distincly "female" characters, so perhaps it is simply out of laziness that these characters are lame.

Also if women want good female geek characters, WRITE SOME! Not to say that this article doesn't have good points but for someone who has seen life from a male perspective an article telling me to write better female characters can only help so much, there were some examples of well done female characters in comics but how about a few more? How about some geek comics created by women? (since the examples given in the article are pretty much all guys)

Re: Geek Women -- Your Little Standards-Compliant Fantasy by Wed

The reason the video game industry doesn't have much in games that are suited to women, is because the video game industry is predominantly male. I don't think the video game industry needs to get "its act together" since being a male member of the species, I love most of the games out there, and there already more great games than I could possibly play, even if playing were all I would do 24/7.
I think what female gamers should do is take matters into their own hands. Make your own games. Us men will never understand you to the extent that you want us to. We don't know what you want.

Re: Geek Women -- Your Little Standards-Compliant Fantasy by Wed

for a geek gamer comic written and drawn by a woman, try http://www.10kcommotion.com . And my female protagonist is a fantasy lit fan, but that's not especially focussed on.

I've actually read that, and it was very well written. The author seems to have a very realistic understanding of her characters. But the whole thing about being so serious with a video game dancing tournament looks so silly to me, but I was informed that people really did act that way in competitions. But all of it still seems real though.

Re: Geek Women --

Am I the only one on the planet tired of women--- AMERICAN women, the one group of females with the best standard of life and the most avidly protected rights on the planet--- bitching about how oppressed they are?

I get really really tired of women who make at LEAST twenty times what I do annually whining about how haaaaaard life is. Or that noone thinks girls can be both smart and beautiful. Or who start reeling off the whole "glass ceiling/lower salary unfairness/misogynistic stereotyping" bullshit once again, whenever they think that the men in their immediate vicinity aren't burning a pinch of incense to her perpetual victim status.

First off, there is no glass ceiling, and the lower salary problem is an illusion. The reason there are fewer women in high power is because fewer women are TRYING for places in high power. One of the throwback feminists' major problems is that they can't seem to acknowledge the fact that so many of their "sisters" got into the workplace, decided the corporate ladder wasn't as fulfilling as raising their own children, and betrayed the sisterhood by opting out. Or that most of the women are in the workplace for SUPPLEMENTAL INCOME--- to feed and clothe their kids, and maybe have a little fun money for themselves--- and not with the goal of clawing their way up the ladder to being the first Bill Gates in a bra. THAT'S why fewer women are in the much-vaunted halls of power, and THAT's why women generally earn less than men--- because there are few of them interested in joining the workplace, and even fewer who give a shit about climbing the corporate ladder.

(And who the hell, may I ask, told you ladies that work was "fulfilling?" Sure the hell wasn't any of the men out there trapped in cubicle hell and begging God for either an early retirement or a swift death. Work is not a fulfilling life, it's what men do to AFFORD one! There's a REASON people state that noone on their deathbed ever wished they'd spent more time at the office.)

And as to STEREOTYPES.... if 99 times out of 100 the techie is a male, how again is it MY fault if I'm surprised #100 isn't?

Okay, tons of cartoonists have gone out of their way to create female characters who are smart, strong, competent and tech-geek savvy, and also personable, feminine and physically beautiful.... which is not only non-stereotypical but frankly nonrealistic and statistically unlikely. Tell me, how many strong, masculine, greek god hardbodied "beautiful people" do you find among technogeek MALES?
The author's complaining that they're somehow "reinforcing the stereotype" by creating female characters that are both beautiful and competent. I can guarantee that if the cartoonists' work reflected the REALITY--- femgeeks who are fat/scrawny, unkempt, haggard, physically unappealing, antisocial and socially inept (in other words female characters who were REAL GEEKS), she'd be bitching that THAT was a stereotype too ("Oh, so women can't be good-looking AND smart, huh?")

Good GOD. Talk about a stereotype.... the impossible-to-please woman.

Re: Geek Women --

To the first person who posted

Feminists are not all man hating, doll hating, make-up hating and shopping hating people, that's a sterotype. Feminists have a name for people like that: feminazis. We wish they'd realize they're idiots, or at least stop being so vocal so we can get things done.

To Anonymous who on Jun 22, 2004 - 06:53 AM

American women complain of being opressed because in America they are allowed to stand up for their full rights which they haven't recieved. Things wont change by waiting look at African Americans after Reconstruction; almost nothing changed for almost 60 years and when it did change it was b/c they made the change happen.

I also doubt there are less women trying to get into power. More women are going to college than men, and they're getting into better colleges. Yeah, some of them will decide to be stay at home moms but most wont. 60% of women work now, they make up almost half of the general work force (1) yet there are far fewer in managment (2). The salary difference exists (3), and you'd be pissed as hell if you earned less than a woman who worked the same amount of hours, and I'm tired of hearing men complaining about women wanting what's fair.

The reason the article was made was to show how unrealistic the majority of femtech characters are. They're idealized versions of women. See this article to find out why it's misogony. http://www.heartless-bitches.com/rants/niceguys/misogyny.shtml and notice that it was writen by a man.

1. http://www.dol.gov/wb/stats/main.htm
2. http://pittsburgh.bizjournals.com/pittsburgh/stories/2004/06/07/story6.html
3. http://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/1999/may/wk2/art02.htm