April 23rd, 2010

I HAVE SEVERAL COMPLAINTS

The White Male Nerd & his Cult of Awesome.

So this week I realized that I am not comfortable identifying with, or participating in, the SFF internet community as it exists outside of fandom.

Earlier this week, regarding Gaiman Fail, my friend Cathy & I had a conversation about the aura of worship that surrounds certain male writers like Neil Gaiman, Joss Whedon, John Scalzi, Cory Doctorow, and - let's be honest - male writers in fandom. My issue is not, as a whole, with each of these male writers themselves, though all of the ones mentioned above have done problematic things and manifested privilege, just like everyone else. My issue is with what I have come to call the Cult of Awesome that forms around these people. How many times during the Amanda Palmer thing did you hear people say, "But Neil Gaiman is still an awesome guy, he just has horrible taste in women." (More on the Adam=good/Eve=slutwhoredevil thing in a sec.) And how many times this week during, uh, CemeteryFail/Gaiman Fail have you heard, "But Neil Gaiman is still an awesome guy, he's just made a mistake like we all do!"

Certain male writers, and to some extent certain actors (NPH, Michael Cera, Nathan Filion, Will Wheaton), who tap into a certain level of nerdiness, attract a cult following that seems to manifest in a celebration of said Awesome Guy's AWESOME GUYNESS!!!!!!

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