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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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Smeagol

Your inner Smeagol will not help you get invited to parties.

Dear Captain Awkward,

Next Saturday someone I consider to be one of my closer friends is having her birthday party.  I have not been invited.  I can’t help but feel a little bit stung about that.  We have a little bit of ‘history’, I suppose, insofar as I have always liked her quite a bit, and she sort-of-rejected me over the summer, but we’re good friends, and I’ve entirely made peace with the fact that, as much as she likes me platonically, she doesn’t have any interest in me romantically.

I think there are two possible explanations for this failure to invite me.  Firstly, she might just not like me that much.  She has considerably more friends than I do, so while I consider her to be one of my closer pals, I’m relatively low on her list, so to speak.  This is obviously a possibility that I would argue against, since we do talk fairly often and we have had ‘heart to heart’ conversations about how glad we are to have become friends etc.

The second possibility is that I’m just not really on her ‘party invitational radar’.  Yesterday, I attended what was essentially my first proper house party (which I quite enjoyed and at which me and this friend spent a lot of time chatting); historically, I either haven’t been invited or, on the rare occasion that I was, been unable to go.  Because I have absolutely no reputation for being interested in attending this kind of thing, perhaps she either didn’t think to invite me, or considered it, but thought I wouldn’t enjoy it?

Anyway, I was wondering firstly whether you think it might be a good idea for me to talk to her about it, directly or indirectly, and secondly, what such communication might comprise?

FWIW I am a 17-year-old male.

Thanks!

There are a lot of reasons your friend maybe didn’t invite you to her party. The ones you identify are actually pretty good ones. What it’s very important to understand is that they are HER reasons. You don’t have to invite everyone (even people you quite like) to gatherings. It’s not a referendum on how much she likes you, it’s a party that she wants to have for herself and invite whoever she wants.

Normally I’m all for speaking up and using words.  Good for you for asking her out and handling rejection well and forming a friendship!  But I think you’re still hung up on this girl. Maybe it’s not in a romantic/sexual way anymore, but you’re hung up on her affection and attention. For example (bolding mine):

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