Amanda Marcotte is familiar with the problem. She doesn’t stare in bewilderment if you mention it. She doesn’t tell you to lighten up or to ignore it or to grow a pair or to stfu.
I’ve got a toe in some geek stuff, but mostly I watch the culture from the outside, and I have to say, from an outside perspective, it actually looks like geek culture has allowed a form of entrenched and vicious misogyny to flourish. It’s not the majority or anything like that, but there’s a loud minority of geek men who have a hate-on for women that’s so grotesque that it often gets to fundamentalist Christianity levels.
That’s the problem. Amanda is familiar with it.
She lists six examples of battles within geek culture over misogyny and feminism. Number 5 will ring a bell.
5) Let’s not forget the ongoing battles over sexual harassment at geek-intensive skeptics events. It appears that women who speak out against sexual harassment with an eye towards making the conferences better and more fun for everyone can expect to be dismissed, minimized, and even directly lied about at Psychology Today. Apparently, a whole lot of people would far rather preserve their right to be hostile to the few women who show up at their events rather than create an atmosphere where more women show up and actual fun is had.
That first link is to the video we here at FTB did a week ago. The second is to that horrible article by Doctor Marty Klein telling a prettied-up version of how the swingin’ couple approached Elyse Anders.
There do seem to be a whole lot of people who are desperate to preserve their right to be hostile to the few women who show up at their events.