liz writes stuff down
18Dec/13Off

A geek feminism anecdote

Only a fraction of my blog is about technical or "geeky/nerdy" things. Then again, my blog isn't intended to be about a specific topic—it's just full of what I feel like writing at the time. Perhaps, more technical things will follow in the future.

Some friends and I randomly thought about the gitionary game that Nelson Elhage and I created a few years ago, and it reminded me of the Slashdot thread on the topic. Sadly, a large portion of the comments devolved to discussing that I, one of the creators, might be a girl ("Pics or it didn't happen"), that at least one person thinks I'm "cute", and that I am probably "a real live dike". I thought about responding to it then, but I didn't really feel comfortable doing so at the time. Reflecting now, I am saddened about how uneasy it made me feel to respond.

Threads like this are one of the reasons I am not a fan of spending time discussing technically-related things in many online communities. These experiences are hardly unique to Slashdot—plenty of other experiences can be found on Geek Feminism. Quite frankly, the denial of the existence of a "geek girl", as many of my friends would describe me, makes me feel unwelcome in self-proclaimed and other "nerdy" places online. This appears to be especially rampant in online spaces where no one is truly held accountable for their othering via anonymity. I also wish that my attractiveness or lack thereof was irrelevant to my technical merit and spare-time technical proclivities, silly or otherwise. Finally, my sexual orientation is unrelated and candidly not the greater public's business.