How People Explain Female Geeks:
When essayists and reporters do take the time to specifically point out female involvement in geeky subcultures, it is often to make one or both of a couple assertions:
- Women like geeky stuff you might have associated only with men.
- Men might get one thing from geeky pursuits, but women get another thing.
The upshot of either assertion may be an implied question: Are female geeks unusual for their gender, or unusual within their subculture?
In the post from yesterday, I guessed at why there are more male than female geeks, and I think we can similarly hazard some guesses as to why many male geeks are misogynistic. Basically I think this comes down to feeling rejected and threatened by women—either personally/romantically/sexually or in terms of professional and cultural identity—and trying to cut women down to feel better about themselves. Some geeks have indeed turned to coding or gaming or whatever to prove their worth as men, according greater worth to geeky knowledge than to traditional indexes of masculinity; contemplating women excelling in these fields raises questions about how masculine they really are.Elsewhere he links to a WIRED article: Wired's Geekster Handbook, A Field Guide to the Nerd Underground. I don't think they're using "Nerd Underground" in the same way that synecdochic recently did -- the article lists six types of nerds: The Fanboy, The Music Geek, The Gamer, The Gadget Guy, The Hacker, and The Otaku. If this is the underground, what's left for the Nerd Mainstream? The accompanying picture is worth a thousand words on how Wired's vision of geek culture is gendered and racialized. Is there even such a thing as a singular geek culture anymore, or is it really a geek diaspora?
Others may feel resentful about rejection, which gets guys (like in one of the above-linked posts) claiming that the exclusiveness of computer culture is no worse than “stupid fashinista culture.” They are resentful over feeling personally rejected, and frame their exclusiveness and rudeness as a response to women as a stereotyped “other.” On the other hand, some are just desperate and socially inept, and may sincerely think that harassing women online might yield some kind of personal or sexual interaction.
News you can use:
Kai Wright in The Root lays out the cultural & historical context for the acquittal of the police in Sean Bell's killing: If They Are So Scared, How Come We're the Dead Ones?
Via egretplume: Nat Hentoff on the NYPD's record of racial injustice and decreasing accountability under Ray Kelly
Very much related: Marijuana Arrest Crusade: Racial Bias and Policing Policy in New York City, 1997-2007 [PDF] by sociologist Harry Levine and Break the Chains' Deborah Small (related documents here)
About that Democratic presidential primary: rikyrah in Jack and Jill Politics: About This 'Electability' Memo....
And that's all I got.