Author Topic: Sexualization of Nerd/Geek Culture  (Read 357 times)

HumbleRich

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Sexualization of Nerd/Geek Culture
« on: August 25, 2018, 12:45:57 AM »
Hi all,

I just want to rant about something I have noticed now that I am making progress in my reboot.  The sexualization of nerd and geek culture.  I am not going to point fingers.  This isn't a political post.  Secondly, this is not an anti-woman post.  I am not against women in geek/nerd spaces.  As an aspiring science teacher, one of my passions is getting more women interested in science.  Now that I have those frames out of the way.

At what point was it decided that geek culture would be sexualized?  This phenomenon is most obvious on new media such as Youtube and other video sites.  Do you like Comic books?  Well you're in luck because our new host wears low tops?  Do you like keeping up with the latest paleomtological discoveries  and dinosaur news?  Our new reporter just loves showing off her chest.

It is downright offensive how many women presenters in media dress and behave.  I have  seen female hosts outright flirt with male guests during knterviews, actions which, if reversed, would be called sexual harassment.  When did these women ask the public and viewers if they could behave in this way?  The fetishization of geek culture is offensive, as is the connotation that because geek culture used to me almost completely insulated for men, that that made it bound to sexuality.  On the contrary, geek culture was often a way for men to seek refuge from expectations related to their  gender. 

I'll get my dinosaur and science news from online news sources from now on.  Youtube is getting too "progressive"  for me.


malando

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Re: Sexualization of Nerd/Geek Culture
« Reply #1 on: August 25, 2018, 01:23:32 AM »
I think you have a point, Rich. Sexualisation has made its way into practically every endeavour now. It's quite pathetic. As a species, instead of developing towards a higher plane of existence, we are descending into a hedonism where tits and ass are part of everything.

I think this trend started a long time ago in the 80s and 90s when "geek" movies revolved around the main characters being taught to abandon their nerdy ways and discover the true meaning of life - either losing your virginity or making the transition into a jock. Now we don't even bother with the nerd, you just bring in the hot girl who makes science sexy.

We are quite pathetic really. I can see the day coming where PIED is actually the norm rather than the exception.

DoneAtLast

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Re: Sexualization of Nerd/Geek Culture
« Reply #2 on: August 25, 2018, 10:30:20 AM »
All excellent points, but I would disagree with one thing.... your perceived need to apologize or say it is anti-woman!

Yeah, it is out there.  Twitch, at one point in time, had a lot of channels that were basically cam girls.  Some girl would bare plenty of cleavage and play minecraft, doing the normally giggly interactions with viewers.  To create a barrier where women are only accepted in a cultural realm insofar as they can bring sexiness to it is sexism and anti-feminist.  The people who think it creates a positive image for women are probably the same people who think porn is liberating for women.

Of course, plenty of women are not doing this, but either get chased out of the realm, or have to put up with garbage.  Two examples:
I work in the music industry, and music stores are NOTORIOUSLY misogynistic.  Price guides for years featured porn stars.  Sales people are used to working with men only and can be seriously creepy towards women.  I regularly see women feel chased out of places and not accepted if they don't sex it up.  It is like there is some cognitive dissonance with a woman playing an instrument.  At least 98% of my clientele is male, and the female ones who come in are often meek and intimidated.  This makes me extra sad because it is a shrinking industry and women and girls are just flat out better at taking up instruments, sticking to it, and hitting performance level.  In the jazz and classical worlds you'll find women judged on their musical merits, but it doesn't seem to happen anywhere else.  The misogyny is usually justified with something vapid like "that's rock'n'roll!". 
Second, I follow a few video game related youtube channels... one of my favorites is a young woman who is very smart, creates great content, and co-owns a specialty shop in the Seattle area.  She knows her stuff, and is one of the best ones out there.  She does lots of research, which is rare on youtube... most are just recycling content and information from other videos.  She's also young and cute.  The comments sections are always... gross.  Seriously gross.  Some say horrible sexual things, others accuse the creators of "click bait" just by putting her picture in a thumbnail... a picture that is never sexed up or revealing.  Usually just her face.  Luckily she seems to have rather thick skin, otherwise I would expect she would have left youtube long ago.

This got me thinking of a video I saw on this... I don't agree with 100% of what he says, but it is definitely worth watching.  I'd love your opinion HumbleRich since you mentioned you're an aspiring science teacher.  Obviously it has more to do with stereotypical/cultural views of science than the world of science itself... but, maybe the two worlds are colliding in a major way these days.
 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X3-hOigoxHs

Gracie

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Re: Sexualization of Nerd/Geek Culture
« Reply #3 on: August 26, 2018, 10:26:54 AM »
Over hundreds of years men have worn primarily the same clothing shirts and pants.  On the other hand, over the years women have ben aculturated to wear less and less.  Women are taught from birth that we need to look cute, sexy, beautiful, ugly dowdy etc by the clothes we wear.  The same is true of hair as well.   

HumbleRich

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Re: Sexualization of Nerd/Geek Culture
« Reply #4 on: August 28, 2018, 08:13:37 AM »
Hello all,

I'm not ignoring this board and your responses.  I appreciate each and every one.  I am thinking over everything said and will reply soon.

Thanks,

Rich

HumbleRich

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Re: Sexualization of Nerd/Geek Culture
« Reply #5 on: September 12, 2018, 08:56:34 PM »
Gracie,

I do not endorse such behavior, but neither do I see a problem with dress codes, etc.  I feel that sexualization has a particular time and place.  That time is when that adult is somewhere else, that somewhere else is at home.  Sexualization is for two consenting adults.  It is not to be advertised or given away through dress.  I see nothing wrong with dress codes.  They maintain order, and more important, I think, as a future teacher, they send the message that it is not your body that matters, in the professional world, but what is in your mind that counts.  Far from being a prudish, sex-based, or sexist message, it is an inspiring message.  Girls can be whatever they want to be.  The sky is truly the limit.

And that is one reason why I feel that sexualizing geek/nerd/intellectual culture is as bad for those women who are participating in such a way as it is for the men who have long existed in that culture.  Like other people have said, it reinforces the idea that women are sex objects for men, and for women, it emphasizes the physical body, instead of the mind, which is what geek/nerd culture is all about.  Sexualization is bad for both genders, just in different ways.

I hope that I am making sense,

Rich

Gracie

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Re: Sexualization of Nerd/Geek Culture
« Reply #6 on: September 15, 2018, 07:55:37 AM »
Rich,  all women/girls ae overly sexualized.  It is the product of our culture.  We womn encounte t all he time,everyday.  Watch tv sometime and count how many ads are directed at women. And how we should be different. 

TheGreenWizard

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Re: Sexualization of Nerd/Geek Culture
« Reply #7 on: September 15, 2018, 09:28:33 PM »
Personally I think it has a lot to do with making money off the culture too. Thinking of it from a marketing point of view, sex sells and it sells ridiculously well. On top of that there is the stereotype that geek culture is socially awkward, sexually frustrated beta males. That's honey to bears. As a general example of what advertisers do here, look at the commercials about the most interesting man in the world. His purpose is just to sell beer, but look at how it's done. He's considered interesting and he's wanted by women regardless of his age. That's advertisers tapping into your base wants/needs as a male in order to get you to buy that beer. Of course the opposite is true because the more Dos Equis you drink, the less interesting and attractive you become. Yet the truth isn't the point, money is. In online media, the same trick is done intentionally to create a sexual and social stimuli that keeps people coming back. So that's one reason why you see the hosts flirting and cleavage shown in online media. It makes those that consume the media feel not just accepted socially like everybody else but feel desired/sexually enticed by other attractive people too. This all happens on a deep subconscious level that people may not even actively think about yet it's what helps keep the consumers of the media consuming and thus the media making money.
« Last Edit: September 15, 2018, 09:33:28 PM by TheGreenWizard »

Mroctupus

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Re: Sexualization of Nerd/Geek Culture
« Reply #8 on: September 15, 2018, 11:56:34 PM »
Like it not you are a sexual being and they target that need. Mostly nice guys become geek and lack of incongruity make them more likely to fall for marketing gimmicks. It’s not new thing by any stretch of imagination

DoneAtLast

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Re: Sexualization of Nerd/Geek Culture
« Reply #9 on: September 16, 2018, 04:43:49 PM »
Rich,  all women/girls ae overly sexualized.  It is the product of our culture.  We womn encounte t all he time,everyday.  Watch tv sometime and count how many ads are directed at women. And how we should be different.

A bit of a tangent, but I always roll my eyes when people (soft news like magazines and morning shows, usually) make a big deal about different body types/looks/etc being represented amongst models, and how liberating it will be for women.  I have a better idea... how about we don't rely on models to be the standard bearers to begin with?  Instead of pointing young girls to the models that they'll likely look like when they're older, tell them they can aspire to more than just being a model!