This guy. This fucking guy. So, okay, CNN has got some kind of blog, and it’s written by this guy Joe Peacock, here, go read this one.
Did you read it? Ahah.
Obviously, I want to talk about this, even though Twitter has been chewing this motherfucker up (“Overheard on CNN“: people think this is some bullshit).
So, let’s be clear: science has proven that a guy who’s got a 1-10 rating system for how attractive women are is basically an unrepentant asshole and, while the test results aren’t all in yet, my hypothesis is that a guy with two context-specific rating systems for the attractiveness of women who is also trying to push a derogatory nickname for women that he doesn’t like is one of those farm-raised, grade A, USDA certified Angus PRIME assholes.
There is literally no reason to ever even consider — EVER, UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES — the opinion of a man who is going to say something like:
[These girls are] a “6” in the “real world”, but when they put on a Batman shirt and head to the local fandom convention du jour, they instantly become a “9”.
There is no reason to ever consider that man’s opinions. If you are in a room and he is speaking to you, you should ignore him. If you have written a blog post and he leaves a comment, you should delete it, et cetera and so forth. But here’s this Joe fucking Peacock, sounding off on CNN of all places — not a legitimate news source, exactly, but certainly the kind of thing that a person might mistake for a legitimate news source (about as close as we get to the real thing these days, I guess), talking about his problem. And what is his problem?
“Poachers”, he calls them. “Six of nine.” Girls who are not attractive enough to be models in the “mainstream” community, and so they pretend to care about “geek” things — like Batman, or videogames I guess — and this makes them hotter amongst guys who otherwise don’t get to see a lot of attractive women.
I’m not exactly sure why they’re “poachers” — this seems to suggest that the “women of geekdom” (the REAL women, obviously, the authentic ones, the ones who actually know about Batman) are owed some amount of attention from their male counterparts, and these jezebels, these false idols, these harpies are swooping in and snatching that attention away with their moderate good looks and their xbox controllers taped to their tits.
That’s obviously crazy, but let’s look at a couple of other things that are…well, they’re also crazy! This is a whole pile of crazy bullshit! Let’s look at this one first, because I’m building to a point, okay?
Case in point: there is a website called Fat, Ugly Or Slutty that catalogs insults, harassment and verbal abuse from male gamers to females on Xbox Live. Reading through just one page of the site made me ill. The big brother in me wanted to go pound the crap out of the thirteen year olds who think it’s cool or funny to demean women for sport.
You’ll notice what he DOESN’T say, and this is going to come up again so pay attention: what he DOESN’T say is, “Gosh, I wonder if there’s some kind of system of dehumanization at play here, some cultural imperative at play that makes guys feel like they’re owed attention and then causes them to act like cockbuckets when they don’t get it? Now that I think about it, I wonder if my OWN system, of judging a woman by her relative attractiveness and then expecting her to prove her authenticity as a human being — like, it’s easy to evaluate her tits, but if I’m going to take her seriously she needs to prove to me that she’s worthwhile — maybe that system is actually part of the problem?”
He doesn’t ask that, of course, because self-reflection is not within the bailiwick of the asshole. That’s not the asshole’s wheelhouse. What is the asshole’s wheelhouse? I’m glad you asked. The answer is: stupid, self-deluded bullshit. Tooooo whit:
The growing presence of these Olivia Munn types in the geek community is creating dialog that isn’t helping anyone. You’ve no doubt heard about a young journalist named Ryan Perez who did something stupid. Really, really stupid. He “called out” Felicia Day on Twitter, asking if she really contributes anything to geek culture other than being a celebrity.
Oh, ho! A dialog that’s not helping anyone! That sounds almost progressive of you, Joe fucking Peacock, excepting, obviously, what Joe Peacock DOESN’T say. He DOESN’T say, “Who the fuck is Ryan Perez, and why the fuck does that guy think he gets to decide who counts as a legitimate member of the community? In fact, how DARE Ryan Perez act like HE is the arbiter, like he’s the fucking gatekeeper of who counts, of which women matter, like his opinions are anything other than a personal predilection and have no fucking bearing on anyone else? How dare that motherfucker?”
Joe fucking Peacock doesn’t say that, because Joe fucking Peacock wants to be the arbiter of who counts. His defense of Felicia Day is not that there isn’t a fucking person around who’s got a right to judge her “authenticity”, because FUCK YOU — his defense is, “No, she counts.” Ryan Perez wasn’t wrong for mistrusting some slutty bitches who are just trying to secretly infiltrate the geek community to steal our hard-earned…I don’t know, semen or something. Ryan Perez isn’t wrong for THAT, he’s just wrong about this particular woman. Ryan Perez’s attitude is fine, it’s just that his slutty-bitch-radar isn’t as finely calibrated as Joe Peacock’s; Joe Peacock’s slutty-bitch-radar, his authenticity radar, is finely-tuned, and he has given Felicia Day the a-okay.
(Twitter suggests that Ms. Day has heard about all this; she was, no doubt, motherfucking thrilled to discover that she had earned the imprimatur of Joe “the Cockbucket” Peacock.)
Self-delusion is the bailiwick of the asshole and that’s why when Joe Peacock is called upon to reason out just WHY these less-than-seven-attractive harlots are sneaking into geek territory to poach our valuable attentions, he can say something so gleefully boneheaded as this:
I think that their rise is due to the fact that corporations are figuring out that geeks have money, and they want it.
I mean. Let’s say you’ve got a
job hobby writing dumb stuff on the internet, and every day you hope that someone is going to say something so utterly and absolutely ridiculously stupid that not only can you laugh at it without fear of contradiction, but you know you’ll be able to laugh about it for weeks and weeks to come. Let’s say that you were me, in other words, and you just read some kind of commenter on CNN saying that.
Joe Peacock you fucking dingbat. When was the last time you bought ANY geek-related thing where the money didn’t, directly or indirectly, end up in some giant corporation’s fucking pocket? Are you kidding me? You’re not talking about some Community Shared Agriculture plot here, this isn’t an artisan pie shop in Brooklyn that closes at four when they run out of pies because they’re all just in it for the pie. You’re not seriously fucking suggesting that Microsoft is just now noticing that there’s money in their billion dollar Xbox enterprise? That all of a sudden Marvel noticed that people were buying comic books, instead of just ejaculating over them?
I don’t want to get to into this part, but we need to be real about this; 90% of what we like — basically everything that isn’t hand-knit by some crazy lady with too much time on her hands (hi mom! I really do like that Doctor Who scarf!) — is part of a consumer enterprise, and it’s masquerading as a culture. Like it if you want to, hoss, but there’s no pride to be found in knowing that someone found a way to sell you back your own imagination.
But more importantly, and what I think Joe Peacock’s dunderheaded, crypto-misogynist rant indicates, is that “Geek Culture” is actually two cultures. Well, no, scratch that, I guess it’s three. One is the regular old consumer culture we call corporate capitalism, which is fundamentally corrosive to everything (if you don’t believe me, ask yourself whether or not it would be cooler to have a t-shirt with the bat symbol on it if it didn’t have that tiny (TM) next to the logo; now, would you be surprised to discover that it is actually a crime to sell a shirt like that?); and then there are two other, potentially legitimate cultures. One is a kind of inclusive culture, meant to appeal to anyone who ever felt like they didn’t fit in somewhere else, and it doesn’t judge people for their weird hobbies or whatever dumb thing they spend their time on. You like to knit Star Wars tea cozies? DO IT, AWESOME. This culture is primarily run by women.
The other culture, which predates modern Geek Culture by…not long, I don’t think, maybe a half a generation, this culture is run mostly by the men, and it is a culture of resentment. It is a culture of long-held grudges, of painstakingly-nursed petty grievances, a culture that obsessively judges and rates and evaluates and systematizes other people and their interests. It is a culture every bit as competitive, cruel, judgmental, and hidebound as the “mainstream” culture it purports to have left.
Because this is how it happened (and I am guilt of this also, I was a part of this, mea culpa. I participated.): we all felt like the world didn’t appreciate us, wasn’t giving us the same rewards that it gave to the handsome, the charming, the athletic. Those guys got good jobs and sexy chicks to take to the prom, and even though we were good at math and had really good D&D campaigns (or would have if we’d ever found anyone else in Norristown High School who was interested in playing), the slutty girls didn’t go to prom with us.
So we created a culture where the kinds of things we were good at were the kinds of things that were admired. And then a bunch of us became writers and nursed this culture with a steady diet of movies and TV that said, “No, no, girls. You’re still trophies (obviously), but the REAL hotness is in guys who know about Batman.” We never changed the system, you see; we’re still mired in that social caste system that we hated, we just changed the rules because we resented that we weren’t at the top.
And so what happens is, you get guys like Joe fucking Peacock, who says that Felicia Day can have her “geek cred” (incidentally, what? What the fuck? Is he the Geekstapo? “Your papers, Fraulein Day. Vee haf reason to belief zat tzere vas an athlete in your family…”), but Joe Peacock resents these other women, these less attractive women, these women who haven’t proven themselves according to HIS standard, because they’re violating the essential compact of his universe. Here, in Geek World, it’s your knowledge of Batman that makes you a real person (pending an accurate assessment of your tits and ass, duh, of course, ranked on a scale from 1 to 10), not your regular old prettiness. You’re STEALING from him if you come from the mainstream culture and don’t get kicked around, if you’re an outsider who expects to be treated like a human.
The psychology of the bully, I think, is the psychology of the petty grudge. People who have real problems try to find real solutions to them. But when you grew up as a geek, and all you’ve got is this stupid, petty resentments against the pretty girls who wouldn’t fuck you in high school, when you grow up you’ve got nothing left to do but turn those resentments around as soon as you’ve got a little bit of power.
Maybe you see why I take so little pride in this thing I call my culture.