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Feminist Cookie: Meets Minimum Standards of a Decent Human

Feminist Cookie from this set on Flickr.

The shoot went really well today, thanks for all the good wishes. And thanks to Nate & Meredith at Hamburger Mary’s in Andersonville for so graciously letting us use your great space.  We’ll be releasing the completed project on the web, so Awkwardeers will be the first to know when we’ve finished the cut.

And now a question. How novel!

Hello Captain.

I’m having a very hard time getting to know women, and I think that my geeky hobbies are partly to blame. Wait, hear me out, this isn’t going to be yet another rehash of the old discredited “women aren’t attracted to geeks” trope!

The roleplaying and anime communities in the city where I live are crawling with toxic misogynists, entitled Nice Guy ™ types, sexual predators, and other kinds of creeps. Because of that, women who discover through their interaction with me that I’m into roleplaying (the tabletop gaming kind, not the sexual kind), or that I watch anime, often assume that I, too, must be some kind of habitual boundary violator, and limit their contact with me.

A conversation might go like this: (exaggerated for comic effect) 

HER: “Your face looks familiar. Do I know you from somewhere?”
ME: “I think we might have seen each other around at [a local RPG
convention] a few years ago.”
HER: “Yes, you’re right! I stopped going there after I got tired of
constantly getting hugged from behind by strangers and getting
randomly hit on by men who were at least 10 years older than me. Oops,
I just remembered that I have to extract myself from this conversation
and never speak to you again. Bye!”

And I can’t really fault her reasoning in that interaction. People have groped me without asking for permission in this kind of events, and I seriously considered not going there anymore because of that. If
that happened to me, I imagine that women have it much worse.

But it really sucks for me. I’d like to have female friends in my life, and maybe even develop a romantic relationship someday. And I don’t think I can do that if I’m being followed around by the shadow
of all the terrible creepy people who I happen to have a hobby in common with. So my question is, how do I get women to see me as an individual person rather than yet another specimen of notoriously toxic group X?

Signed,
– Same Hobbies, Different Morality

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Hey Captain Awkward.

You might be the wrong person to direct this question to, but I don’t really know who else to ask.
I don’t really like my dad and it makes me feel guilty and weird and anxious.

Part of it is that he makes me uncomfortable in a way that feels sexual. I’ve never been sexually abused by him or anyone else, so that’s not why. I think it’s mostly a combination of the fact that he often wears only underwear around the house (although so does my mother and sister) and accidentally catching him looking at porn a few times over the years. It makes me uncomfortable being nude/wearing little clothing and masturbating when he’s in the house, even at night. I sometimes angst a lot about that being some kind of Freudian creepiness going on there, although I’m pretty sure that’s just me going on an angst trip.

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