Get A Clue


Take a look at the drawing above.  You can find it here.  I post it after reading yet another post like this, in which people who enjoy fantasy, science fiction, and comics – commonly self-identifying as “geeks” – lament the blatant sexism not only in the stories themselves, but in the community of fans and creators.

I have a family member who was and probably is a “geek” in this technical sense.  Let’s just say not only am I not surprised, but it should be patently obvious why this is so.  Take a group of young men already feeling different thanks to adolescence, hand them stories in which the different ones are those who have the abilities to understand what’s really going on, add in special powers – and what is adolescence, after all, but the discovery of special powers? – that give these same strange kids the ability to defeat evil (usually a souped-up version of the jocks/popular clique at school) and you have a ready made audience for a morality tale that gives these awkward kids something to sooth their otherwise savaged psyches.

And it’s de riguer the female characters are hyper-feminized, with more than a hint of Oedipal lust in the oversized breasts and tenderness with which they treat the heroes, especially when said heroes are injured or feel at a loss.  In short, the creators of these stories are vomiting their neuroses across the pages of comics for others to work out their own neurotic complexes.

With the exception of Tolkien, whose politics and religion fill the spaces between the lines, despite his insistence no such thing is happening, I don’t read fantasy.  I have read a little science fiction, however, and am appalled at the fascism (pick a Heinlein novel at random; I stopped reading Stranger In A Strange Land about a third the way through I was so horrified), the lack of understanding of things like history (The Foundation Trilogy, for all it purports to be “historical”, demonstrates that while Asimov might write slightly better than the average sci-fi author, he doesn’t get history at all), and the general misanthropy on display.

Yet, time and again, posts such as the LGM one appear bemoaning the sexism, the barely-controlled rage-filled misogyny, and the paucity of open-minded men in the geek community.  I will avoid these posts in the future, because all I really want to say is, “Really?  For people who pride themselves on their intelligence, you really are quite stupid about something that should be so obvious.”


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About gksafford

I'm a middle-aged theologically educated clergy spouse, living in the Midwest. My children are the most important thing in my life. Right behind them and my wife is music. I'm most interested in teaching people to listen to contemporary music with ears of faith. Everything else you read on here is straw.
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