Geek culture: for generations, it’s been a refuge for social outcasts. People of all backgrounds were welcomed in with open arms to share in their love of geeky fandoms.
But in recent years social justice groups have invaded this culture, painting geeks as violent sexual predators and ticking timebombs waiting to explode.
What happens when social justice and geek culture collide, and who will be left standing when the dust settles?
Men forced to undergo circumcision
Over the past weekend in Mois Bridge, a town in Kenya, Africa, 12 men were ambushed and forcefully circumcised on the road without anesthesia or pain relief. These men were attacked because their wives leaked that their husbands had avoided being cut. Many women in Kenya believe uncircumcised men are dirty and do not perform as well sexually. These men were then given 3,000 shillings, which is US$34, so they could get medical treatment and a balanced diet to heal faster.
This began what is called the “circumcision season” in Kenya, a three-week period in which the Luhyia Tribes will gather all males who have not been cut and force them to have their genitals mutilated. This happens on the roadside without anesthesia or pain medicine.
In January, three boys were hospitalized following such a circumcision ceremony in the Northern Territory of Australia. These boys were evacuated to Darwin from a remote community after being victims of severe cuts during said ceremony, sparking anger and debate over safety procedures surrounding indigenous initiation ceremonies.
Meanwhile, in Kenya, more than 50 uncircumcised men who are near Mois Bridge are camping out by the police station in hopes of refuge from being assaulted and having their genitals forcefully cut. These men either found a way to avoid genital mutilation or have come from sub-Luhyia tribes that do not enforce male genital mutilation. If found during “circumcision season,” these men will be overpowered by a crowd singing songs while a nurse forces male genital mutilation on them.
Man gunned down in a Walmart
A Cincinnati man was shot in a Beavercreek, Ohio, Walmart August 5 after police responded to a 911 call from another customer. The 911 caller told police that the man, identified as John Crawford, was waving a rifle-like weapon at customers, including children. At one point during the call, he stated that Crawford was attempting to reload. What the caller failed to notice was that the gun was fake.
LeeCee Johnson, the mother of Crawford’s two children, who was on the phone with him when police shot him, said that she heard police shoot Crawford before telling him to get down. Johnson reports that she heard Crawford say, “It’s not real” before shots were fired, and then police ordered him to get down.
Crawford later died in a hospital.
Thirty-seven-year-old Angela Williams of Fairborn, Ohio, died of what is believed to be a heart attack while fleeing the incident as the store was evacuated.
Following the shooting, questions remain as to whether Crawford’s actions were consistent with the description in the 911 call, whether the actions of the police were justified, and whether justification or the lack thereof was affected by the aura of panic surrounding the incident. The gun, an MK-177 BB/Pellet Rifle, is exempt from federal laws requiring manufacturers to identify toy guns with distinctive markings in order to distinguish them from real guns.
However, Crawford did not enter the store carrying it, and Walmart’s actual guns are kept behind glass.
The shooting is under investigation by the Bureau of Criminal Investigation (BCI), headed by Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine.
Twelve employees from Elite Daily decided to create signs expressing what they would do if they were a boy. This has started the #ifIwereaboy hashtag.
Here are a few of what these adult women had to say to little boys:
If I were a boy I’d be able to make decisions about my body:
“Only I have the right to decide what to do with my own body: the type of birth control I use or when and if I have sex. Boys don’t have to worry about the government deciding whether or not they can have an abortion.”
If I were a boy I’d be courteous and remember to put the seat down.
If I were a boy I’d educate myself about feminism.
“I think if more people took the time to understand the true definition and motives, the word would stop being so ‘ugly.’ There’s nothing ugly about equality.”
If I were a boy I’d stop posting degrading memes about females across social media.
Because of course they don’t SHAME them. They just try to make them feel like guilty, privileged oppressors by pretending to know what being a boy is like. (Hint: According to feminists, it’s 50% sunshine and lollipops and 50% duty to behave like girls want.)
This should not be surprising to see feminists stoop to such a low, as it’s very well not the first time. It’s like watching a monkey eat its own shit and thinking, “No, no, it must be done,” but then it eats more and more.
Geeks for CONsent
Geeks for CONsent is a feminist anti-harassment group based in Philadelphia formed to combat what they feel is an epidemic of convention harassment. This year the group began a petition trying to force Comic-Con to adopt a “full” harassment policy. They also attended Comic-Con and posted flyers in the bathroom suggesting that cosplayers report the harassment to them.
While convention harassment is a problem, many of these cons, including the San Diego Comic-Con, already have zero tolerance harassment policies in place. A simple look at the Tumblr and Twitter accounts of Geeks for CONsent makes it clear that there is a very strong agenda behind this group.
A good portion of these women are not geeky girls in the traditional sense. They are easily offended women who joined in with geek culture once it became cool. They are not interested in any improved policy that Comic-Con might enforce; they want Comic-Con to submit to their definition of harassment, which includes actions like unwanted compliments and having their pictures taken.
They want con staff members to undergo sensitivity training and post signs that clearly define what these women feel are unacceptable behaviors. While these things might make women feel safe, they would terrify men. Because it’s rather clear that these policies would be focused on protecting women from any harassment, real or imagined. If Comic-Con wishes to improve its policy, it’s unlikely that pandering to these women will help, and it’s even less likely that anything Comic-Con does will satisfy them.
The Milly Makara “assault” case
A 17-year-old cosplayer was found bruised and bloody by con security on the last night of Comic-Con. With groups like Geeks for CONsent in the news, word spread of how the girl had been violently raped and assaulted. Soon, news organizations picked up the story and an arrest was made. Everyone was convinced that this was proof of the problem of convention harassment.
There’s just one problem, however. The cosplayer going under the name of Milly Makara and Milly Massacre was found fully clothed. After a review of security footage and a medical examination, it was determined that she had not been assaulted at all, and that her injuries were consistent with a bad fall after climbing a fence while likely under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
Her 29-year-old companion, a photographer, was still arrested and is being charged with sexual contact and reckless endangerment of a minor. But he tells a different story. He runs an online cosplay group called Project Cosplay and drove her out for the day so that they could both enjoy the con. Later, both of them were invited to a party at the Marriott, where drinks may have been present. He denies that they dated or that they had sexual contact. He also states that he didn’t know she was a minor and had been told by her that she was 20.
It was, in fact, the photographer who called security, concerned for her whereabouts after she took off. He had wanted to go home when the party ended due to a noise complaint, but she wanted to stay. She ran off shortly after that, and was later found injured by the hotel pool.
What is very much a story of he said–she said is further confounded by conflicting information. The girl said they had a sexual relationship; the police say they found a “break-up message” on his phone. All while her Facebook page points to her being in a committed long-term relationship with someone else for more than a year. The plot thickens even further, as the girl’s mother insists that her daughter, who suffered memory loss, was certainly raped, even though physical and medical tests point to the opposite.
If there is a lesson in this, it is not that people are assaulted at conventions, but instead that any incident can blow up in the media if they try hard enough.
Kat Rocha bio
After deciding the life of an adventuring archeologist was just too dangerous, Katapult “Kat” Rocha took up creating art rather than digging it up. She trained for two years at the Watts Atelier of the Arts and then moved to learn digital painting from Josh Finney. Since then she has collaborated with him on such projects as UTOPIATES, a CATWOMAN story for BATMAN 80pg GIANT, and TITANIUM RAIN. Rocha has also produced numerous concept designs for game companies, has had her work featured in Interzone magazine, and started her own comic series entitled LD30: The Adventures of a Swinging Robot.
Rocha has also founded her own publishing company, 01Publishing, written a column, “The F Word,” on ComicRelated.com, and edited the hit Kindle horror anthology Whispers from the Abyss.