No, FRAK ME, Rachel Bloom!

Well, I’ve got a new favorite song. I can’t even begin to tell you how much I love it. šŸ˜€

It’s not just the utter geekery of the song (including the lines of random Ray Bradbury facts intoned in a voice that seems to be reminding Ray how frakking awesome he is). It’s the unabashed celebration of female sexuality and sex. It’s meant to play as humorous, but it doesn’t really play as mocking geeky sexy fun times. More like, celebratingĀ  geek culture (or co-opting depending on how much of it is gimmick and how much is based on her actual geekery).

It is overtly sexual and plays all the feminine tropes of porn and sexuality (open shirt, schoolgirl uniform, sexy poses, etc). Which opens the video up to discussions about whether this is just another woman utilizing her femininity and sex appeal to take advantage of a niche culture that’s fast becoming popular culture. This sort of thing does happen (although honestly, it’s not something to panic over), and I can’t necessarily say it’s the worst thing in the world.

It makes my inner femgeek kind of bristle with the thought that people who don’t necessarily enjoy the geek culture appropriate it to make a name or career or niche or even just social group for themselves. I guess, in layman’s terms, it’s like if someone forgoes all the hard work of practicing and trying out for an orchestra or football team, then presents their sexiness and gets a fast track to first chair or first string. And starts presenting themselves as an authority or a genuine enthusiast to the public. There’s something just kind of fake about it, even after they start practicing and working to understand and study the culture.

But at the same time, if it’s a matter of combining sexiness with actual geeky interest, then that’s something that happens at cons all over the world all the time. I mean, cosplaying has its fair share of women dressing to make themselves feel beautiful, strong, powerful, and awesome, which should be celebrated and encouraged.

And don’t get me started on the fact that geeks like sex. We like it a lot. All those stereotypes about virgin nerds are so patently ridiculous, it’s amazing that it still holds up in the 21st century at all. Cons and other geeky social gatherings are hotbeds of making out, partying, and hooking up. They’re in freaking hotels 80% of the time. If you think hot-blooded Star Trek and Star Wars fans aren’t duking it out on the convention floor then beaming all that intellectual passion up to a sexy passion in the hotel rooms, then you can’t have realized that geeks are human, too.

And hey, sexiness itself isn’t a bad thing at all. It’s just that geeks, in particular, have been the victims of a culture that places a disproportionately high value on sexiness and beauty. So anything that smacks of taking that societal structure and shifting it over to the geek world just sets off warning bells in some geeks’ brains. Male and female,Ā  though mostly female cuz in popular culture guys still get to be funny and not so good looking but the girl’s always got to be good looking, in addition to be geeky or skilled or whatever. Yeah, there are tons of movies where the men are good looking but notice how they aren’t also hooking up with women who are plain but funny, smart, or skilled. How many times does the plain girl get the guy? Right, so find me as many examples of plain woman/handsome man as examples I can think of the trope beautiful woman/plain guy, and I’ll concede that men have something approaching the impossible beauty/sexiness standards that women have.

Anyways, the whole sexiness married to geekinessĀ  thing makes some geeks nervous but I think, as with a lot of things, it’s all about intent.Ā  So, there’s positive sexiness in geek culture, so it’s possible to integrate the two without having to accuse anyone of being a manslut or whore. And just because someone enters the geek world with sexiness as their tool doesn’t necessarily mean that they aren’t truly interested in the culture. It’s just the instances where people take advantage of geek culture or put other geeks down in order to make themselves seem cooler or basically, indulge in asshole behavior that are problematic. Nobody likes asshole behavior. No surprise that the geeky community especially doesn’t like being made fun of.

Rachel Bloom’s video doesn’t strike me as particularly making fun of the geeky community. It’s certainly taking advantage of the fact that geekiness plus sexiness is always a humorous and engaging subject that has a built-in audience. And it’s definitely got that hipster vibe of slightly ironic. As in, I’m pretending to be a geek totally in love with Ray Bradbury, but I’m also cool enough to poke fun at it at the same time. It’s humor, so yeah, it’s got that sense of “lookit, I’m being funny!” but at the same time it’s a female comedian celebrating female sexuality and making it funny, relevant, and awesome all at the same time, which for the comedy world is a bajillion steps forward. Between her, Kristen Wiig, Wanda Sykes, and Tina Fey, we’re actually getting some fun female humor that points to the female condition as a human condition without buying into as many tropes and stereotypes as earlier examples.

No, it’s not perfect, but it’s progress. If we keep moving at this rate, we’ll be able to have feminist comedians in about another five hundred years or so.



Thinky cap on.

So I’ve got a philosophy of religion exam tomorrow, and in preparation, instead of actually preparing the actual essay questions that will be on the exam, I’ve got Don Cupitt and Stephen Law in my head, telling me what they think about God. Which mostly consists of Non-Realism, which states that God doesn’t exist outside of our human faith and understanding of him. So humans pre-date God.

Religious realism, where God is literally sitting on a throne in the sky with Jesus on his physical right hand, is an outdated notion according to Cupitt.

Good stuff for thinking.

But what really got this post started was an excerpt from Stephen Law’s The Philosophy Gym, the chapter titled “What’s wrong with gay sex?” in which Stephen Law takes Plato’s device of using mock discussions between various characters to illuminate certain aspects to a stance against homosexuality. In the course of arguing against an overly simplistic defense of “homosexuality is just wrong” , Law covers the appeal to the Bible; its unnatural, dirty, and unhealthy nature; corruption of young; promiscuity; and family values. And in its own simplistic way, the chapter manages to put up some defenses. But that got me started on a train of thought I’ve had before, namely, the instinctive feeling of wrongness that people associate with certain kinds of sexuality and sexual relationships.

I’m an avid proponent of gay rights and equality of rights for all LGBT citizens of America. Until recently, though, I’ve attempted to keep my support on the down low when I’m at home because my parents were freaked out enough that I had gay friends. If I “came out” to them as a supporter of the LGBT movement, they’d both have cows and then attempt to use those cows to sell me off to the most hetero-aggressive Korean traditionalist maleĀ  Roman Catholic groom as soon as possible.

Well, chalk it up to a late phase of teenage rebellion or just immature perversity but lately I have been attempting to engage my parents, especially my father in dialogues involving a comparison of their feelings and mine on homosexuality. We never really got anywhere in terms of convincing either my father or myself that we were wrong but it certainly got me thinking about how my father could feel so strongly that homosexuality was unnatural without any logical support to back him up. He didn’t even have the defenses that Law enumerated in his book. He simply and consistently insisted that homosexuality felt completely wrong and unnatural, and that it always would. Which got me thinking about what I would consider unequivocally wrong in respect to a relationship or sexual orientation.

I then thought of the nature of incest. When I think of an incestuous relationship between a parent and child, my immediate reaction is disgust and horror. I tried to think of a situation where I would be comfortable with a mother and child or father and child engaging in a sexual or romantic realtionship, and I really couldn’t.Ā  I can’t help but think that this instinctive and immediate reaction is similar to my father’s reaction to homosexuality.

So, unfortunately, this is the point at which my logic fails me because to be truthful, I have no logical defense for why I feel this way. I could tell you it’s because I subconsciously understand that any reproduction from a relationship of that sort is fraught with genetic peril or that it can be seen as an abuse of authority or some other reason but even if none of those reasons applied, I would still feel somewhere in my illogical and inexplicable little soul that incestuous relationships are wrong.

I’m not sure which side I would come down on if incestuous couples were to look for legitimization and civil equality in the eyes of civilization and the law. I like to think I’d be logical about it, or at least open to discussion but as I just laid out, this isn’t a topic that I’m logical about.

To be fair, I don’t seem to be quite as squicked about relationships between first cousins. I’ve done my fair share of hillbilly jokes and West VA ridicule but I’ve never had the instinctively horrified reaction to cousin relationships that I’ve had towards parent child relationships. I don’t know if that’s because I live in a world where that particular relationship is still prevalent in various societies or if it’s tied to my personal view of various family members. But it bears reflecting upon.