Tuesday, July 20, 2010


I'm not against hooking up at cons, and certainly some of the advice in this article is warranted. Still, I had to stop and read #9 on this list twice before I believed it.

9) Stalk the Smaller Panels

If you want the chance to talk to a member of the opposite sex, sitting in Hall H all day isn't going to help you (although standing in line for it gives you plenty of opportunity to start conversation). Go over the panel schedule again and look for something that interests you that involves few or no celebrities. Something that promotes discussion is a plus. You'll likely be able to get a good look around a room like that and if someone strikes your fancy, wait until the panel is over and ask them what they thought of the topic. Might I suggest the "Geek Girls Exist" or "Where Are the Action Chicks?" panels? I'm slightly biased seeing as how I'm on both, but they really are a good start.

Ignore the unfortunate choice of words in the header and check out the last two sentences.

Might I suggest the "Geek Girls Exist" or "Where Are the Action Chicks?" panels? I'm slightly biased seeing as how I'm on both, but they really are a good start.

Please, please tell me this is not suggesting that straight men attend the panels on lack of female visibility in genre fiction and in fandom in order to pick up chicks.

Please, please, please tell me that this is not suggesting women attend the panels on the lack of female visibility in genre fiction and in fandom to get picked up.

I know, I know... that was a plug for the writer's panel. But you know what? If she's on those panels she should know what she just implied and why it isn't funny in the least.

I mean, seriously. Do I even have to go into what's wrong with that? Do I even have to go into that a good half of the problem of being a girl in a geek-space is that a number of men look at you as someone they can fuck without having to fake "normal"? That not a year goes by without a horrifying story of sexual harassment at a comic convention? That geek women considered unattractive are often disregarded completely because their sex appeal is more important to their male counterparts than what they can add to the conversation? That women in genre fiction are disproportionately sex objects and limited as a result? That women are considered someone the audience needs to "want" rather than "Want to be" and that that is why there are so few high profile genre heroines?

Do I have to say that suggesting the place where you discuss these problems is a great place to troll for a fuck severely undermines the discussion?

Really? After all this time do I still have to go into that? To someone considered knowledgable enough to be on panels about female visibility? Jeez.

You know what? Go to conventions. Have fun. Get laid if you can. Take care of your hygiene. Go to the stuff that interests you, and strike up conversations with anyone you can. Be honest, don't take things personally. Remember a lot of people are not there for sex, so a rejection is not really about you. It's about the situation and tastes of the person who is doing the turning down. If you should happen to meet someone who wants the same thing, at the right time, then practice safe sex and don't feel bad about it.

But above all else, you must remember one thing: Treat people like people. Men are human beings. Women are human beings. They are people. Not things. Not notches in the headboard. Not decorations for your amusement. Not toys for your pleasure. People.

There's nothing wrong with wanting or looking to have sex, but I'm not giving that advice because it will get you sex. Honestly, if you follow my advice in order to obtain sex you are an unequivocally terrible person. You should treat people properly simply because they are human beings and that is the only way to be a decent human being yourself.


  1. This place is surrounded by hotel bars. Go there! Talk to someone you like. Talk about something you have in common. Chances are you both probably like comics. Shocking!

  2. Every article about how to hook up with people should be this: "But above all else, you must remember one thing: Treat people like people. Men are human beings. Women are human beings. They are people."

  3. Iiiii am going to tell myself that the poster was trying to trick dudes into going to those panels so that they could be ninja-knowledg'd. This is the only option that will keep my head wall-free.

  4. I recall many years ago, some friends of mine hosted a panel about how to pick up girls at a sci fi convention. They were young, attractive, strong willed women who were also twins. They played to packed houses at our cons.

    I remember one such panel in particular where there was this guy furiously scribbling notes. He was filling page after page of his spiral notebook, hanging on every word and every morsel of knowledge that dripped from their lips. He drew diagrams that joined concepts from one phrase to another. His activity stood out among his slack-jawed peers like a conspiracy theorist at a UFO convention high on Adderall. He was so desperate, so focused, and so determined to not lose an ounce of advice that he could not see the bigger picture.

    I felt his desperate need to breed was hot-wired past his ability to socially interact. I felt so sorry for this guy who I was sure would later be alone in a hallway somewhere, devastated after an attempt to mate that left him whimpering, "B-but... I did everything RIGHT. I did EVERYTHING I was told: I took notes, I memorized them, I practiced in front of a mirror! For days! What went wrong? What??"

    Like the Cargo Cult of dating; he was trapped being syntactically correct without knowing any of the underlying motivations.


  5. I am slightly stunned. The author may not have actually meant it, but it sure SOUNDED that way.

    Good grief.

  6. THIS.

    In a similar vein, the existence of "How to date a con girl" panels creeps me the heck out. No matter how much the panelists insist that it's in jest, it seems skeevy. Cuz, you know, all con girls are the same and want to date you. Blegh.

  7. Hey now, Crabby Cathy, I think all you Feminazis are just straight up missing the point here! Hell, the lady says it right in the title line "#9 STALK The Smaller Panels"!

    Hello? "Stalk"? Defined by Merriam Webster as "to pursue obsessively and to the point of harassment" - or as me and this lil' lady clearly define it - "hawt"!

    See now, Sugarlumps here is just putting it out there that all you girlies REALLY want is a man to flat-out stalk you - just like Bella and Edward! So romantic, amirite?

    Really, the only thing to be pissed about here is that she fails to go the extra mile. Step #10 is about "Location" but she doesn't specify the most important ones, like where best to corner your Stalkee while staring at her ta-ta's and demanding "Free Hugs". Genuine Stalking takes a lot of time and effort, unlike just walking up to a girl like she's a genuine human being worthy of respectful conversation (or whatever nonsense you Feminazis are going on and on about upthread), so further Stalking Tips would have been appreciated!

    Still, I must applaud Sweetmeats here for her honesty and brave choice of words. I, for one, now plan on DEFINITELY attending her panels so I can stare at her while licking my lips and then follow her out the door (assuming she's got a sweet set of love chunks on her, of course).

    Touched and Hoping To Touch Inappropriately,

    Anonymous Stalker Douchebag In Support Of What's-Her-Tits*

    *If any of you sluts want to hook up, I'll be the guy in the "No Fat Chicks" t-shirt staring open-mouthed at the Lady Death display, like, pretty much all day on Sunday.

  8. The concept that if you are in the same space as a dude, you are fair game bothers me SO MUCH.
    If i am in the comic store, that means i want to be hit on by dudes! Because i am in their space! It was a match made in heaven!
    And if i say no / that i have a boyfriend, stuff turns to anger pretty fast.
    Man, if i was hit on at one of these panels, i would probably lose my mind
    what was that song?

  9. ^^^
    Well, im a guy and i have to say: this may sound horrendous to you (or others) but to me, an interesting/attractive girl is fair game anywhere she is as long as she a) is available and b) is willing. Both of which are quickly determined by healthy interaction.
    Now, i know that is a horrible horrible prospect to live with but i've come to learn males tend to enjoy female company. Statistically i'd even say "the majority".

    Seriously though, i get that infatuated geeks/nerds/whatchamacallit and socially awkward people in general can be a bother and problematic, but that hardly has anything to do with gender. I mean, it's not like us guys don't get the weird stalking chick at these places as well.
    Its called human interaction, and some people have had it, and some others have not. Cons tend to have a lot more of the latter than of the former, but again, gender is not a factor. A socially awkard male will probably cross a lot of boundaries and be sexually agressive and clumsy or come across as sexist or disrespectful, simply because he's had little to no experience with human interaction before and hasn't developed attractive or healthy social traits, not because he's a chauvinistic pig. A socially awkard girl will cross similar boundaries and it can be very annoying as well. And sometimes it does happen at the comic book store as well.

    Now, i'm not trying to talk you into letting them drool over your shoulder or anything like that, i'm just saying that a lot of the flak you're giving us boys in general is kinda unfair, cause yeah, boys will be boys, and i will step on a very cute puppy if that will get me to the girl i like, but just like you gals expect us guys to learn to deal with you as the women and human beings you are (and you should!) as the basis of healthy interaction, then so do we guys expect you gals to learn to deal with our own conducts as a basis for interaction (and we should!). Its just as socially inadequate otherwise.

    So yeah, putting us all in the same bag of creepy weirdos is very unfair, even if i *will* jump over a small pit of moderately intimidating lizards in order to get to the girl of my dreams.

  10. Alegretto:

    Women are far more likely to be victims of stalking, sexual harassment, emotional/physical/sexual abuse. This is a fact.

    It's not just a case of men having a healthy enjoyment of women that Ragnell's talking about here, but the kind of entitlement that men so often feel they have to women, their bodies and their time.

    At events where there's still an air of certain hobbies/interests being a "boys' club", many of which are pretty insular and have sexist attitudes ingrained into them, the likelihood of bad things happening is probably greater. And given the kinds of reports I know Ragnell and I have come across about women and other marginalized people getting harassed, she's not just worrying for nothing.

    It's not just a matter of a bunch of socially awkward people getting together in the same building.

  11. Maddy:
    "Women are far more likely to be victims of stalking, sexual harassment, emotional/physical/sexual abuse. This is a fact."

    Well, sure. I know that. Men, either by nature or nurture, are usually a lot more agressive and active in the pursuit of new relationships than women tend to be. Which means male abusers are usually out there looking for abusees consistently too.

    "It's not just a case of men having a healthy enjoyment of women that Ragnell's talking about here, but the kind of entitlement that men so often feel they have to women, their bodies and their time."

    I'm not sure if i'm getting what you mean by entitlement, but i call those guys Douche Bags,
    and i'm sure there's enough of those to go around, but i honestly don't think that's the rule (though they do seem to be multiplying, if you ask me :D ).
    What i do think is a rule, however, is men trying to get in the pants of women they like. And well, i think that learning how to deal with that is part of being a woman, the same way that learning how to be "a decent suitor", if you will, is part of being a man.
    I don't think us guys should be judged on account of such a thing, because its just the way men are wired. We like the girl, we go for the girl.

    What i do think we should be judged on, however, is on what you mention: harassing, stalking, being overly agressive, oversteping boundaries etc. But that has little to do with gender. Its about civility and knowing how to live in a world with other people. Girls do it just as well, and true, men will probably be at the better end of that weirdo/creepy stick more often than not but i doubt it has as much to do with the poor girl being female than with the weirdo being male. Males are just more desperate to get booty, which is not condemnable. Specially cause sometimes women get just as desperate too, and can stalk with the best of them.

    What i think you're looking for when you speak of entitlement is some kind of gender abuse, where a man feels, well, entitled to do so; but i'm sure those exist well outside of any comicon as much as in one (eg. Douche Bags). I'm sure the average jock across the street isn't all that much more respectful or understanding of women than the average geek at the panels, they're just more seasoned in talking to them. Most of the geeks at the con are just scarier and creepier because they're clumsy and awkward and weird and inappropriate, but i don't see why they should be more sexist or prone to abuse. Which doesn't mean they won't creep the hell out of you if they think it will get them into your hotel room, of course, but that's just them being horndogs, not serial rapists.

    So yeah, these are all males who will probably be a bit more desperate than the average jock (though i think most serial rapists and serious abusers manage to be more charming than the average con attendee), so you probably *should* mind yourself at such a place, but getting all angry about it and implying males are totally sexist because they want to get in your pants is unfair to us guys who are not abusive bastards mainly because we most probably want to get in your pants just as much but are just not stalkers/abusers/serial rapists about it.

  12. Alegretto -- Can you point out exactly where you disagree with me?

    I went out of my way to say that there was nothing wrong with healthy interaction or with seeking sex. That doesn't contradict the statement that advising someone to go to a panel about female visibility simply to pick up girls undermines the purpose of the panel.

    Where exactly is the implication that all men are horrible? Where is the disagreement that demands such a long response?

    What I can gather from your two comments is that either you'd like to present your arguments against a warped version of my own complaints so that they seem more reasonable than they actually are, or you're just writing in a place you know you can find an audience so that you can feel intelligent. Neither one is terribly endearing.

  13. Oh no, not with you Ragnell. I think your post was perfectly reasonable, albeit one could argue that the whole thing is just overreacting to a joke, but again, is all good. I'm only reacting to some of the comments.
    I wouldn't read your blog if i found *you* unreasonable :P

  14. There are days when I want a new way of describing my sexuality, usually days when I read something like the damned list that inspired your post and all the articles like them telling me and all the other straight males “how to get women” that treats every possible social interaction with a woman as a means to an end (or the getting away of an end, I suppose is more the case).

    Four out of the ten points on that list read like hunting instructions: find hunting ground, locate prey, separate from pack and ki-- sorry, shag. Talking to the poor woman? One sentence that gets and not even a point of its own, it has to share space with a woman standing still to attract men like me like heterosexual moths.

    And I’m thinking: this is what my sexuality is in this person’s esteem? Seven thousand years of societal evolution and I am still the caveman with a club? I can’t possibly meet a woman at a con or the pub or the works’ canteen and just meet them, there has to be an expectation of something at the end of it. I can meet a man at a con or the pub or the works’ canteen and nothing is expected there (well, possibly a drink, I’m not ill-mannered) but a woman? Nope, got to be nooky-related thinking going on there.

    And so the lists, the articles and the advice and women who go to these places who I can’t talk to now because the lists and the articles are out there telling me and telling them that it is open season and I’m Elmer Thudd.

    Can I just opt out of heterosexuality now please? Its making it difficult to meet women.