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17 December 2014 @ 03:35 pm
Superior Virtue  
In 1937 Bertrand Russell wrote an essay entitled "The Superior Virtue of the Oppressed," in which he attacked the sentimental assumption of the title, pointing out that while the oppressed are no worse than we are, they are also no better, and given the opportunity, would act as badly we have. Since then, Robert Heinlein has dramatized the idea (the three-monkey parable in Stranger in a Strange Land), and the State of Israel has given us an object lesson. At a more trivial level, the whole Fake Geek Girl thing strikes me as a marvelous horrible example of learning the wrong lesson from oppression.
browngirl on December 18th, 2014 05:49 am (UTC)
What was Mr Russell's point, that since the oppressed would act as human as their oppressors given the chance, including as badly, that there's no need to work against oppression and only the flawless deserve justice? I ask because I've seen that position advanced; I am torn between going to look up his essay to find out and not wanting to potentially upset myself that badly this close to bedtime.

That suspicion voiced, I definitely agree about the Fake Geek Girl thing being in part about taking the wrong lesson from oppression; I recently fought with someone who said that Gamergate was justified and that disagreeing was anti-geek bigotry, because of course harassing and threatening women online is a move towards the liberation of geeks, or something.
El Coyote Gordo: coy1supergee on December 18th, 2014 10:13 am (UTC)
He was involved in many anti-oppression movements. He just wanted to be realistic about the outcomes.
browngirl on December 18th, 2014 05:34 pm (UTC)
Oh, good. Thanks for answering my impertinent question. :)
*makes note to find essay*
El Coyote Gordo: actualsupergee on December 18th, 2014 06:57 pm (UTC)
Perfectly reasonable question.
Ulrikaakirlu on December 18th, 2014 10:07 pm (UTC)
Tom Jacksonjacksontom on December 18th, 2014 02:15 pm (UTC)
I read the previous "My LIttle Pony" entry but I'm still not quite up to speed on what a "Fake Geek Girl" is; can someone help?
El Coyote Gordo: fandomsupergee on December 18th, 2014 03:15 pm (UTC)
Over on Facebook, orangemike explained: A certain subset of my fellow white male "fanboys"/geeks/wonks/nerds have taken it upon themselves to declare that women who attend comic cons, gamer events, and other geeky venues, can't be "real" geeks/wonks/nerds like us (they only come because it's trendy and cool and they can do cosplay), and have even had the effrontery to presume to put some women through catechisms to prove their true geek/wonk/nerd-hood. It's as if somebody were to declare that just paying your dues was not enough: certain non-traditional members of a union must pass additional tests to be considered REAL brothers and sisters. It's assholery, and many of us have called them on it; but it's still a belief system among a certain element of our culture, some of whom get hellishly nasty about it. Given that (as Arthur tacitly references) we old-school fans, wonks, geeks and nerds still perceive ourselves as a historically-oppressed minority (disdained as pasty basement-dwelling fat or skinny dweebs with no social skills), for any of OUR kind to discriminate against a subset of ourselves is despicable and indeed "a marvelous horrible example of learning the wrong lesson from oppression."
orangemike: speaksorangemike on December 18th, 2014 06:33 pm (UTC)
The "Fake Geek Girl" thing, to the best of my knowledge, has never manifested itself at what I think of as actual science fiction conventions (WisCon, ICON, ReaderCon, Chattacon, Minicon, Potlatch, Balticon, AggieCon, etc.) but rather at visual-media, comics and gaming events (especially the for-profit ones) I married a geek girl, am the proud daddy of a second-generation geek girl; and there's nothing even remotely fake about either of them. 
Ulrikaakirlu on December 18th, 2014 10:07 pm (UTC)
Yes, this is my take also -- it seems to be very much a development of daughter fandoms that have very little cultural continuity with the one I inhabit, and certainly I have never encountered anything like this at any SF convention I've ever been to since I started going in the early 1980s. The comics/media/video-gamer (especially gamer) fandoms seem much more prone to resentment of and hostility toward women than any aspect of SF fandom I've ever been a part of. MUCH more. So much so that I find it bizarre and alienating because it bears no resemblance to my slice of consensus reality at all.
Tom Jacksonjacksontom on December 20th, 2014 02:14 pm (UTC)
Most male fans I knew at actual science fiction conventions seemed grateful when women turned up. What an interesting phenomena.
El Coyote Gordo: coy2supergee on December 20th, 2014 02:24 pm (UTC)
I certainly was.

Edited at 2014-12-20 02:24 pm (UTC)