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Jenica

Gender and geekdom and KoN

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So, one of the reasons I keep giving time and energy and money to KoN is that I love the community. Part of why I love it is that I've never felt like I had to deal with most of the bullshit wrapped up in being a woman in geek culture when I'm part of this group. In specific, this made me think:

 

This is not a problem unique to nerds, of course. It is just an extension of the same in-group presentation policing that every aspect of society does. However, once again, it’s coming from a community that delights in being offbeat, in being accepting, in being interesting. But only interesting within the narrow margins of what white male geeks consider “real geekdom”. Once a woman decides she wants to dress up as a character, or decides that she’s going to wear an awesome outfit even though she’s heavier than what society says should be acceptable, or, heaven forbid, decides to speak up on nerd topics, she is immediately ostracized, ignored or objectified.

From here.

 

And that doesn't happen here. Yes, we do our fair share of Tits On Display, and of Damsels In Distress, but we the women of Novitas do it by choice or we don't do it, and theres no judgement either way. We also work hard to make heroes and villains out of both women and men in our storytelling. Speaking socially, I've never been touched without consent, Tits On Display or not, I've never been made to feel less valuable because I'm a woman, and I've never felt unsafe in our social space because I'm a woman. And, frankly, I'm proud of that. I like us.

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To be fair, we do our fair share of nekkid mens, too, as Scotty and JaiQuan will attest. :)

 

But I'm glad you feel that way. It's something I've always taken pride in too. I mean, we just did a major event where both the faction leaders were fully-dressed females. Most other games would have made those NPCs either big bad-ass men, or scantily-clad females.

 

Even when we do delve into "iffy" rules and subjects, like our "no gender bending" rule, they're there to assist with suspension of disbelief, not to coddle anyone's prejudices. I view our "no gender bending" rule just like I view our "no playing dead" rule.

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I've been relatively content with my treatment on both sides of the gender fence here. :3

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@Jenica: Thanks for posting a link to the original article, it was an interesting read. I never realized that sexism in geek culture was a "thing". I think i will ask some of my female, LARPing friends if they have ever had any problems with that.

 

Apart from that I imagine that the reason for not encountering such things at LARPing events (such aus KoN) might be that participating takes quite a bit more dedication (studying rules, buying or making equipment, training, going to events often, etc.) than just buying a ticket to DragonCon, walking to your local gaming store or joining a friend's tabletop game, so the suspicion of "not being a true LARPer" hardly ever arises.

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You are all awesome.

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Sadly, I've played in D&D games where the new to gaming female is given magic items such as the dress of invisibility or a wand of vibration as a joke. It was somewhat funny when I was 16, but as I've gotten older I realized that was a horrible impression to give a female expressing interest in gaming who was new to the concept in general, let alone an experienced gamer. Still, that was probably a whopping 1% of my gaming experience, so I've been very lucky. When we were living in Kansas, roughly 1/2 the local gaming community were women and 1/2 of the White Wolf Wolfpack beta testers in our area were women as well.

 

I love that every group I've been associated with in my adult life has been as inclusive as KoN.

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