FangirlsCoffeeShirt-412x550I don’t usually respond to the latest internet outrage but every so often I need to dust off this soapbox I have, climb on that donkey and charge headlong towards a windmill. “What windmill?” you may ask. Well today’s windmill has the words “Gulty of being a sexist internet idiot” spray painted on it (Guilty is spelt wrong as I am afraid we really are dealing with idiots) and is powered by the greatest source of hot air known to man – the internet. I may be living in a bit of a bubble as I only read articles on the internet that are written by or recommended by people who I respect and I have long since learned to never, EVVVEEEER read the comments. Also, the idiot winds have generally never blown into a convention that I have attended. Not that I have noticed anyway. Then again, I am not the target of this kind of wind so that could be a factor. The only gust I noticed was at the recent MCM con. There was a area where gamers were being invited to play some online multi-player game. There was a female announcer looking for players and looking for an equal split of male and female players. Quite fair I thought. She had gotten all the guys she needed and was looking for girls. Ignoring this, guys were still shouting to be picked. The announcer responded to this by saying “Just because you’re gay, doesn’t mean that you are a girl”. The crowd response was a collective groan. A friend who was standing next to me looked at me in shock. I was annoyed but shrugged it off. Sometimes you only notice the idiot wind when it is blowing in your face.

I don’t understand the idiot wind. Maybe it was the way I was raised or who I was raised by. I come from a family of strong independent women and men who treated women with respect. I have three sisters too so I treat women the way I would like my sisters to be treated. One of them happens to be a Game of Thrones and Captain America fan. I tease her that she only likes Captain America because of Chris Evans (which is probably about 90% true) and she says I can’t reference Game of Thrones as I don’t watch it (despite her insistence that I should) and know nothing about it (which is 99% true). I like having another geek in the family to share my interests with and point me in the direction of things I might enjoy like Studio Ghibli. It broadens my world. Why wouldn’t you want more geeks? In a corner of the world that has been often derided by outsiders, why would you deride someone who wants to be like you? More geeks also means more money to keep something that you love going. Remember Firefly? If more people had watched that, it might still be on the air right now. The idiot wind follows no logical pattern.

As many people know, I am big fan of Gail Simone amongst other female creators (Maura McHugh, Jordie Bellaire, Amanda Conner, Leeann Hamilton… the list goes on). Gail Simone is my favourite writer and my favourite person to follow on Twitter. Full-stop. No need for any qualification. No favourite female. Jordie Bellaire was the first colourist to make me appreciate the work that colourists do (seriously comicbook companies, put her name on the cover. It will help sell me on your book). Leeann Hamilton has made me rethink the way I review books and think about comics. Maura McHugh has become another “con pal” who I can talk comics, TV and movies with. The Irish scene has a wealth of great female creators. My point being I want to live in a world where female creators feel appreciated, are treated equally and aren’t being attacked by idiots for having an opinion because I want to see more Gail Simones, Jordie Bellaires and so on. Women often bring something different to the table and often times share my interests more than their male counterparts. Who wants the same thing over and over again?

I am going to be keeping my eye open for the idiot wind at Irish cons and, if I feel even a slight breeze, I will be looking for the source and calling them on it. You should too but you should always remember one my best friends favourite quotes “Never argue with an idiot. They will only bring you down to their level and beat you with experience.”

By the way, I like my coffee extra strong and my fangirls extra geeky.