The Internet is a Lonely Place

“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.