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Dear Geekdom,

April 23, 2008

Why aren’t there more women in our hobby/at our gatherings?

Who knows?

Why aren’t there more people of color in our hobby/at our gatherings?

Couldn’t say.

Geekdom is fun. Lovable even. But asshat behavior is not. And every social scene has levels of crazy and stupid in it. The question is how does the community as a whole deal with it?

The thing is, when a community that generally is willing to get up in arms over (a game design idea, a lame plot twist, the death of a fictional character, a piece of comic book art, whatever) is completely silent when it comes to certain crack-headed behavior towards some of it’s members, it becomes clear that the silence is either an assent and agreement with the crack, or else that you just don’t care about those members enough to protect them from the crazy. It’s even worse when you defend the crazy behavior.

Guess what happens then?

People leave.

And in the end, you are left with nothing but the few you’re willing to protect and the crazy, having successfully driven out the middle ground and narrowed your doors. And then you wonder why certain people are absent for mysterious, unfathomable reasons.

This is a truth in any social circle- music, poetry, martial arts groups, and in human resources.

All those absent people are making a choice, one that you should ask yourself as well:

Do you want geek or crackheadedness?

ETA:

The whole boob thing I linked? A couple of my friends are talking about the fact that as women of color, they have already been dealing with people coming up touching their bodies even without this magically stupid “movement” powering the invasion of space and body rights.  One even pointed that out as the prime reason she stopped doing conventions.

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