Thursday, February 22, 2007

This is annoying.

So, someone desperate comes up with a unique idea to get a date:
But really, Comic Book Conventions should be a great place to meet guys. We're talking about a virtually untapped market. In theory: for a smart, (somewhat) attractive girl, getting a date should be like shooting fish in a barrel, no? Thousands of men are gathered in one place (granted, some of them are taken; some are gay; some, undoubtedly, live in their mothers' basements) with a very small proportion of available women around. The statistics alone would lead us to believe there have got to be a few good men in this crowd.
Gee, thanks for perpetuating the stereotype that women only pretend to like "guy things" in order to meet guys. I can tell you that I and my fellow real comic book fans so enjoy being hit on by guys when we're just trying to find our comics, because they think an unescorted woman can't possibly be there to actually buy the Green Lantern statue. We also adore being ignored in comics shops because they assume the guy who walked in after us is the comic-reading boyfriend, not to mention having such a hard time finding female-friendly superhero comics because our presence is minimized by such assumptions. Its a real fucking blast!

Sarcasm aside, the last con I went to, WizardWorld Chicago 2006 and I noticed a lot of women at the panels I attended. My sister counted at one of the Writer's Workshops and concluded at least 25%. I could swear the DC panels were half and half. So, surely someone will set her straight on her misconceptions about Geekdom, right?

Well, let's look at the comments:
You'll be surrounded, consistently cloaked by a nebula of men and stink that, while not leaving you alone to peruse the offerings, won't really be able to muster the courage to speak with you either. You'll be hidden in the midst of a dense thicket of confused nerds unable to ascertain just why it is you're there, but effusively (far too effusively!) happy that you are! What's more, they'll be convinced that the fact of your attendance indicates that the best way to "land" you will be to demonstrate an inappropriately plumbed and reworked body of knowledge, criticism and theory on...that's right...COMIC BOOKS!

I went to the Wizard World Chicago 2005 comic con to see what it is like and I have some bad news. There are actually some very beautiful women at these. You see, the major comic book dealers have booths, big expensive booths. At these booths they hawk their wares to customers, retailers and even distributers. They have also realized they're surrounded by loads of geeky men and capitalized upon it through the use of individuals affectionately known as "booth babes".

I predict success. A lot of comic book guys I know are decent looking, but very shy. They don't have much of an idea about how to talk to women. If you initiate the conversation and work just a little bit to get them out of their shell, you'll meet some great guys. I suggest going after the artists and writers there to get jobs or sell their work. Artists would be super easy to meet. All you have to do is ask to see their work.

I think you may be opening yourself up to a world of hurt in advertising this whole concept. This article has now appeared on the frontpage of Digg, so now I suspect the unwashed masses of geek-dom will be on the lookout for you. Hopefully you don't get inundated with propositions. I wish you luck in your search. Finding a good geeky woman is a task onto itself, so I'm sure you'll do alright.

That's as far as I got before I was overwhelmed with disgust for the outside world.

Bad enough she thinks all the men are troglodytes and the women are nonexistent, but everyone there insists on validating her idiocy.

Oh thank you, Elayne, for linking this and destroying my once peaceful mood.

Everyone else: Her picture is on her site. If anyone sees her at NYCC, please please tape a sign to her back that says something embarrassing, and take a picture for me. I have nothing to reward you with except my laughter. But you get bragging rights. (Note: Do not actually do this)

Now, if anyone needs me, I'll be under my rock.

30 comments:

  1. Oh dear Lisa, believe me, my intent was NOT to upset you, but merely to be snarky to this little chippy. (As you can see, I didn't limit my snarkiness to ComicMix, I posted in her comments as well.) I, um, guess I owe you a drink or something?

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  2. isn't the idea of NOT perpetuating stereotypes based on the principle of welcoming any and all kinds of women, INCLUDING accepting the women who do go to these conventions to meet men and NOT calling out the militant feminist fan girl army to kick her ass (or in this case embarrass her in public)?

    Maybe it's just me, but doesn't calling said army to do what you just asked them to do perpetuate the stereotype of the militant feminist fan girl MORE than a single girl looking for a date in a con perpetuate the stereotype of a single girl feigning interest to meet men?

    Which begs the question, are you really for diversity of women, or do you just want to saturate the female component of the comic book reading population with militant feminist fan girls who, like the Amazons in Y the Last Man, go out of their way to persecute any woman who dares to believe in things other than what you tell them to?

    Take it easy girl, spread the love.

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  3. david: Honestly, it doesn't matter how much you stand up for them, these girls are probably not going to sleep with you. :-)

    More seriously, I don't really have anything against this girl or her ilk, honestly. But I think it's stupid to pretend to like a hobby to land a guy, for whom you'll then have to pretend to like said hobby for the rest of your relationship.

    And heck, if you admit later on that you don't like it, welcome to a relationship of the other person constantly trying to convert you. It doesn't seem worth it. The girls like this would be better off finding something they actually like and pursuing guys there.

    And from the perspective of a female fan, I do find it frustrating when men in certain comic book stores don't consider me a "real fan", so I do harbor some resentment for people who seem out to embody the stereotype.

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  4. Elayne -- Don't sweat it, I was just looking for a way to slip a hattip in there.

    David -- I don't despise women who want to meet, date, and marry men.

    I despise liars, and people from outside my subculture who drag their assumptions and idiocies to my world in the attempt to trick someone into a relationship, and make no mistakes -- pretending you have an interest just to meet someone you feel has no prospects is a trick, and its an insult to all the fine men who read my blog.

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  5. Not to mention, Ragnell, that relationships based on that sort of deception are almost certainly doomed to fail.

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  6. This is exactly why I make all of my potential girlfriends take a thirty-point Legion of Super-Heroes knowledge test.

    Well, theoretical potential girlfriends.

    ...because I'm a comics reader and have never seen a woman before. Get it? Like in the post? GET IT?

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  7. its an insult to all the fine men who read my blog.

    OHMIGOD!!! I'm so proud to read this fine blog that one day I could live my mother's basement and meet some girl!

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  8. I was glad to follow this link. After following a link to a Civil War discussion on Newsarama's forums, I was forgetting that stupidty and ignorance aren't confined to nerd fandoms. Otherwise I would have waited till the weekend when the drunks at work would have reminded me...

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  9. At conventions I've been assumed to be many things...

    A porn fiend. At one convention I recieved 4 invitations to an "adult booth". From the same girl, and I was at a booth working. Which means she saw me four seperate times IN THE EXACT SAME SPOT and decided "Hey that guy needs some porn."

    A pushy yaoi fan. This one is a long long story, one that ends with me and a bunch of teenage girls giggling at me.

    Dating a mentaly handicapped man. This one, saddly, ties into the Yaoi fan one above.

    I have never, to my explicit knowledge, been approached by anyone of the opposite sex, at a con, who thought I was Straight, Nice and Single.

    For me I don't mind because I just want to try something new. :P

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  10. I'm with ya, Ragnell -- with one caveat:

    Do you actually think you'd be hit on less if guys thought you were really there for the GL statue? It seems to me it'd be more, but then again, what do I know?

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  11. There's so much to be annoyed at, from the cribbed stereotypes of comic book fans to the "See, there is hope for you unattractive women, you just gotta settle for these geeks!" tone, so I'll just zero in on this statement:

    Artists would be super easy to meet. All you have to do is ask to see their work.

    Honestly I can sympathize with going to a group meeting or a convention that you're not particularly interested in for social or romantic reasons* - I've done so myself a few times - but faking an interest in an artist or writer's work just to flirt? That borders on cruelty.

    *Now if you have no interest in the topic or organization or medium or fandom in question, that's another matter entirely, I feel, and makes the endeavor rather pointless.

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  12. Ragnell, just to make it clear, I'm not against you finding these people annoying. Posers, regardless of whatever subculture you might thrive in, are always going to be annoying. However, I don't think you and your fangirl army should go all the way and publicly humiliate the poor girl just because she's like that.

    Of course, what you said might not have been meant to have been taken literally, so if that's the case, apologies.

    I just find bullies as annoying as you probably find posers annoying.

    After all, people have a right to be stupid too. :D

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  13. So...wow. All these women blogging about comics...are not doing it to get a man?! You actually LIKE the comic books? Man, I gotta rethink some stuff.

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  14. This is exactly why I make all of my potential girlfriends take a thirty-point Legion of Super-Heroes knowledge test.

    Jeez, Chris. Only 30? We (former) Baltimoreans know that the true standard for love is the 100-Question test on the Baltimore Colts that Steve Gutenberg's girlfriend had the pass in order to marry him in "Diner".

    Since my knowledge of the Colts begins and ends with "Johnny Unitas used to be the quarterback", I clearly needed to move to New Jersey in order to find a proper spouse.

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  15. I've never read that blog before, so I don't know if the woman's a comic book fan or not. She doesn't say one way or the other in that post (although she does drop a couple of names and titles, so she must know something about the field). Certainly she doesn't say that she's hostile to comics.

    I agree that her tone is at times condescending.

    But when you're trying to meet men or women, the key thing to do is to go where men or women are. And that's what she's doing. So I don't see a problem.

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  16. Ragtime wrote:

    I clearly needed to move to New Jersey in order to find a proper spouse.

    Don't knock it -- it worked for me!

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  17. Tragic Fanboy is visably shaken at his premonition of the future of reality shows; Beauty & The Comic Book Geek.....

    ....going back to my mother's basement now...

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  18. I don't know if I'm the only one posting here who'll actually be at the con -- maybe Elayne too? -- but despite possessing the requisite Y chromosome, I will be doing my level best to avoid this lady.

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  19. Those comments seriously make me feel depressed as a male. Do some women seriously think that, by virtue of being a woman, they can talk to any man they want (and presumably get whatever they want from them). The line about meeting writers and artists is really bad, I don't know if it's more insulting towards men or women.

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  20. David -- Fangirl army? You must be new here.

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  21. Our army's kind of busy right now anyway. Hehehehe.

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  22. So what, you're not totally going to jump her when you come back from smoking in the restroom? Some militant feminist fangirls you turned out to be!

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  23. Dan -- We have much more important things to do. Like mobbing the DC panels to demand Devin Grayson put on a lifetime contract for World's Finest, and replacing Green Lantern, the Flash, and Robin with their respective girlfriends. Also, we were going to slash Frank Cho's tires. No time to hide outside the ladies room.

    And yes, that was a joke, David.

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  24. "I can tell you that I and my fellow real comic book fans so enjoy being hit on by guys when we're just trying to find our comics, because they think an unescorted woman can't possibly be there to actually buy the Green Lantern statue. We also adore being ignored in comics shops because they assume the guy who walked in after us is the comic-reading boyfriend..."

    Wait, what? You don't like it when guys pay you attention, but you get upset if they don't? I'm sorry, but that struck me as kinda funny, especially since the opposite idea was right after the other.

    As to the issue of dispising people invading your subculture, I can relate. I've been a gamer for a long, long time (less so, nowadays) and it was always something I could use to tell if I was going to get along with someone or a way to start up conversations with people at the game shop.

    It isn't like that anymore. People who only play Halo and Counterstrike call themselves "Hardcore". Hipsters wear t-shirts depicting conrollers for systems they've never even heard of. Interlopers. It got to the point were I felt they were robbing me of my identity, which was when I realized I had too much of myself wrapped up in my hobby.

    And yeah, this woman's idea is a bad one. Even if she were to find a guy she was interested in, what's she supposed to say? "Blue Beetle? Who's that? I only came here to pick up guys."

    Classy.

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  25. Well in all honesty it seems to me that, when it comes to social interactions, there is a somewhat wide range of possibilities that would fall between hitting on a person and ignoring that person. I can see where someone might find both interactions equally irritating.

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  26. Derek:

    Customer service (i.e., "Hi, can I help you?") =/= Getting hit on.

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  27. Personally I think this is insulting towards the guys. o_O

    It's saying that ppl who like comics and stuff, are so lonely and desperate, that we can treat them like objects. That's what she's doing. It's a giant meat market, and you can just pick and choose who you want, and they're so desperate, they'll obviously say yes no matter who you are. >.>;;

    If I were a guy, I'd be insulted by this, not happy.

    She's treating them like objects on a shelf for her to pick out, or animals for her to shoot. Whether or not THEY want HER, or even WANT a girl who likes comics (srsly, interests are not ALL ppl are), doesn't seem to factor into it. :\

    I am just annoyed by this as I would be if some guy talked about going to a feminism conference and pretending to be sympathetic to feminists, just to get a date. :\

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  28. Ragnell wrote: "I can tell you that I and my fellow real comic book fans so enjoy being hit on by guys when we're just trying to find our comics, because they think an unescorted woman can't possibly be there to actually buy the Green Lantern statue. We also adore being ignored in comics shops because they assume the guy who walked in after us is the comic-reading boyfriend..."

    Derek wrote: "Wait, what? You don't like it when guys pay you attention, but you get upset if they don't?"

    Interestingly enough, there is actually a middle ground between (1) being treated like a desperate boy-hungry twit, and (2) being completely ignored.

    It's called: (3) being treated like a regular comics fan.

    *That's* what Ragnell wants.

    I'm sorry, but that struck me as kinda funny, especially since the opposite idea was right after the other.

    Yeah, it is kind of funny that you can't even imagine any other way that a guy might relate to a girl besides (1) assuming she totally wants you, and (2) completely ignoring her.

    Ragnell is not describing opposites. Follow along: "Girls couldn't possibly be in a comic book store to BUY COMICS, therefore (1) they must be there because they want to be hit on by other shoppers and (2) they do not deserve the attention of store clerks." See how that works? Those are not opposites, they're BOTH irritating ways to be treated and they are both caused by the same stupid stereotype-based assumption: that girls couldn't possibly like comics, even if they are *actively shopping for comics in a comic book store*.

    The ACTUAL opposite of this treatment would be: to walk into a comic store and (1) not be hit on by guys who assume that's all you're there for and (2) actually recieve help/acknowledgement from comic book store employees.

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  29. "(somewhat) attractive girl"

    Wow, if that's the attitude that all comic fanboys have, it's definitely going to earn them hella chicks. *Eyeroll here.*

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  30. Ugh.

    I go to comics conventions. I am a fucking pro. And I still get ignored, because there's NO DAMN WAY I'm not just somebody's girlfriend. At this point, I only go to cons if I'm volunteering or working.

    Know who I'm looking for at cons? Not dates--people with similar interests who will geek out with me over my signed Excalibur #1.

    Women like this give the rest of us a bad name and make it that much harder for us to be heard and taken seriously within the comics industry.

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