Hello, Tumblr community.
I am sure that many of you have noticed the same trend that I have, over the past couple of years. The more that women get involved in the “nerd” community, in comic books and science fiction, any sort of event that used to be very dominantly male-centric, the more there are cases of aggressive lashback from some male fans.
Since this phenomena is very closely related to what i have been studying in one of my classes, I think I have a very solid theory, explaining why this aggression occurs and why it presents itself in such a manner towards women. I am currently in the makings of writing an academic paper on the matter. This is the thesis, as a work in progress:
"The comic-book community used to be a strong anchor that settled the gender binary for the cult of masculinity. However, now that women’s interest is raised in this field, their interest is being directed at the same things men used to be the sole fans of. This shifts the gender binary, by insinuating that these comic book fans have the same interests as women. In order to re-establish their gender, male fans are acting more aggressively as a hyper-masculine performance."
Basically, they way men establish their masculinity is either through physical strength, or strictly male interests. Most men of the comic book community are not the “jock” type, so they match jock masculinity with participating in an equally masculine hobby. But if women like comics, it doesn’t make it a masculine hobby anymore. When men part from masculinity, they risk physical violence from other men, emotional and psychological warfare, humiliation, and many other damaging effects (additionally, when men are interested in feminine activites, they are thought of as homosexual, which in this heteronormative society adds additional danger to one’s well being). Because men police other men, to keep the gender binary in line. In this situation, women are victums. Men are also victums. There needs to be a change in how we view the gender binary, if we want to save all of us as a collective. There’s going to be a ton of other points in this paper discussing the cult of masculinity, how it polices itself, women’s history as “seductresses” and their villianization, etc.
But where do you come in?
I need testimony, from you guys!
I want to hear about your personal accounts.
If you are a woman, stories about times when men might have acted aggressively towards you when discussing nerd related things, or seen this happen to other people.
If you are a man, stories about times you have seen this sort of thing happen, friends you might have had who have acted like this, or give me your personal worries about how being demasculated feels like.
Remember, you can tell me absolutely anything! Please, do not feel afraid to rant at me about any opinions you might have, this is a no judgement zone. I am not trying to write about how men suck and need to grow up, or say women are perfect martyers and need help gaining power in the comic book community… I just need to hear real opinions, and real stories, from real people. Even if you don’t have a specific story, I’d love to hear your personal thoughts on the subject! :]
If you have any questions about this, also feel free to ask me! I will give you any explaination you want.
PLease, send me an ask, a fanmail, or email me at Sarah_King@Emerson.edu.