Magic. Have fun at geek prom, gang.
(And give Ardella a sub, she’s Awesome.)
However. Online communities. For some reason, guys (and to be honest, some girls too), get in front of the computer screen and lose track of reality. Or maybe it’s the joy of being anonymous, so you can troll as much as you like. The only time this line is blurred is at conventions, but perhaps because it is a geek haven, internet anonymity rules still apply.
When I first started going to conventions it was because, obviously, I love sci-fi. Going to a place with like-minded people, where I can buy rare fandom related goodies, meet people whose careers formed my childhood and subsequent years that actually, formed who I am today and on top of that, I can dress up as someone from my favourite series. It was all so positive positive positive. The first time I didn’t dress up, I wasn’t going to just jump right in there. I had to check it out first, see how it’s done, what you do. See what the protocols were. I was also all about meeting Leonard Nimoy, nothing else mattered. I was mostly ignored, I was just yet another person in the masses churning round the rugby stadium temporarily converted into a sci-fi haven. But then I started dressing up with my friend. Suddenly things weren’t quite so fun and innocent.”
I’m not so unrealistic that I think for a moment that the shop’s shirts should be split 50/50 between stuff for girls and stuff for guys. The fact is that, yes, more men than women will want to declare their love for Wolverine in public, men’s shirts are less expensive to make than women’s, and girls do have the option to wear a boy-cut shirt if they don’t mind looking a little boxy. I know all of this. I get it, really, I do. I’m ok with there only being a handful of shirts for women in the Marvel Island shop - it’s frustrating, but sound commerce. But what’s not ok is that the few shirts available are all about presenting women as nothing more than vapid stereotypes. Besides being insulting, it’s completely at odds with what Marvel superheroes stand for. Storm was worshipped as a goddess, and you want to slap her on a t-shirt that makes her a member of some sort of Cosmo-sipping femme cabal out for dancing and window shopping? Pathetic. Men get to proclaim their admiration for Captain America or Spider-Man - or even pretend to be them - while women get to tell everyone how happy they are to have a sexy boyfriend. Yeah, ‘cause that’s what the women of Marvel are all about.
I know there are times when true equality isn’t really the smartest choice, but how about we start small, by accepting for a moment that a woman has more to be proud of than the guy who chooses to be seen with her? Or, hey, let’s be totally crazy and own the fact that not every woman is even into men. Let’s not devote half the shop to the small segment of women who are nerdy and proud, but let’s make sure the stuff we do keep in stock isn’t actually insulting and shameful.”