For the most part, Fem and I’s experience at Geek Media Expo (GMX) was positive. We were impressed with the vibe of inclusiveness and did not witness any overt sexual harassment. Our attending GMX was in many ways an experiment. We were testing the waters, attempting to see for ourselves if the environment at pop culture and technology conventions was as hostile as it is sometimes portrayed. This problem got a lot of press recently when some trolls pinged the wrong woman at NY Comic Con, but this is an old issue. Mags the Axe, gaming podcaster extraordinaire, does an annual panel about sexual harrasment at cons. Not to mention the sad need for CREEPER penalty cards at DefCon , and public push back over emergence of “brogrammer” culture.
Though we had a relatively pleasant time, there was an explosion of sexist incidents within geek culture on or around Halloween weekend when we were pre- and post-gaming our episode about GMX. I wanted to give a quick run down and relate some of the incidents back to thoughts that came up during our GMX episode. Fem tweeted this story about an online BDSM community’s reactionary hostility to one member’s account of public harassment. ‘Geek’ and ‘kink’ are kissing cousins. The same weekend at GMX there was a vampire themed fetish ball here in Nashville. We met the promoter at GMX. Linked in the above story, is SkepChick’s parallel experience within the (thoroughly geeky) skeptics community; i.e., dare say anything about male misbehavior and start receiving death threats. As we mentioned in our episode, also taking place in Nashville during GMX was the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry Conference from which this tweet emerged: Continue reading