“We were there too, the other geeks and weird kids whose lives were hellish at school, who escaped into books and computers, who stayed up all night scanning obscure forums, looking for transcendence, dreaming of elsewhere. We were there too, but you didn’t see us, because we were girls. And the costs of being the geek were the same for us, right down to the sexual frustration, the yearning, the being laughed at, the loneliness. […] We had to fight the same battles you did, only harder, because we were women and we also had to fight sexism, some of it from you, and when we went looking for other weird kids to join our gang, we were told we weren’t ‘real geeks’ because we were girls.” ― Laurie Penny, Cybersexism: Sex, Gender and Power on the Internet
If you haven’t been reading Laurie Penny’s books and her blog Penny Red fix that now. I read this quote as it appears in Penny’s book Unspeakable Things: Sex, Lies and Revolution and it struck me really hard. It described how alone I felt in middle school. I once read an article by a friend about how accepting and amazing nerd culture was because everyone was a little weird and finally they had this place to belong and it hurt to have to tell him that I never felt that acceptance. I love going to comic con but I still brace myself for the dude that thinks I’m there for my boyfriend. Going to comic shops still means I have to listen to a well meaning dude explain comics I’ve already read to me. The loneliness I was used to. Same with feeling like I didn’t belong but it hurts more from nerds because they should be my people. Getting told I’m not a real gamer because I play “girl games” stings a lot more than a jock calling me a bitch. Being a girl means constantly having to fight to belong and I’m so fucking sick of fighting.
“when the wizard gets to me I’m asking for a smaller heart”
Trout Heart Replica is probably one of my favorite break up songs. Like many of Amanda Fucking Palmer’s songs it’s a raw and emotional. Listening to it makes you feel like your swimming in your sorrow and sometimes that’s all you can do. The song inspired Toby from Little Creepy Crawlers to create the amazing image above. Thanks Toby! Keep making good art and if you haven’t heard the song the image was inspired by get the to a soundcloud you might find yourself inspired too or maybe healed a little.
It’s everything I didn’t know I wanted. Also the commentary on Addy is great.
You probably don’t know that you know Brenna Twohy. She got some attention earlier in the year with her amazing poem Fantastic Breast and Where to Find Them. Which if you haven’t seen go fix that now. After watching that for the hundredth time I went looking for more from Mrs. Twohy and found this epic gem of slam poetry.
Poetry gets a bad rap. It’s been painted by every bad poem that we’ve heard in our 9th grade english class but good poetry is magic and Twohy is a brilliant magician. I’ve known a lot of nerds and a lot of them have panic disorders and/or anxiety disorders, it’s so empowering to see someone use my language, the language of super heroes to say look this is hard and unfair but we’re fighting. The best thing about poetry is that in 3 minutes you can give someone something to hold on to. Something that might make the next three minutes just a little bit easier. I sincerely hope Brenna puts out a book soon because I want something to hand people when they are invisible. I want to give them something real that says look, someone sees you.
Mare Odomo has written a comic that will tear your grew up with a single mom heart out. The 4×4 comic entitled Letters to an Absent Father features 12 little comics set up as letters from Ash to his father written as he tries to catch them all. These comics deal not only with abandonment but with the existential crisis of growing up and following the path you think your supposed to follow and realizing it’s not enough. That sometimes the things we’re told to want just aren’t fulfilling and it’s hard to know where to go from there. If you’re like me and you delight in hand drawn ennui and comics that punch you in the heart this is 7 dollars well spent.
I’ve been avoiding mentioning the dreaded G word because saying it feels like chucking a basketball at a hornets nest and I haven’t felt up to dealing with rape threats this month. But I’m big on the idea that you can not fight something until you understand it and this storify from A Man In Black’s twitter is one of the best explanations of how this crap becomes acceptable that I’ve read yet. Now obviously this doesn’t cover every part of GG, there’s a lot about institutionalized sexism that just isn’t going to fit into 140 character sentences. There’s a lot of necessary critique going on about how women are treated online that takes a lot of factors into account. But this is an important piece of the what the fuck is wrong with these people puzzle that needs to be included in our discussion of cybersexism.