Wednesday, October 01, 2003

We Need a New Social Class

Oh yes, my friends, it is only 3 days now until the FallCon in St. Paul. For all of you out there who aren’t avid comic book geeks, this is a convention of comic creators, dealers, and fans. It’s a great time to meet writers and artists, while at the same time get some good deals on comics from the varied dealers that will be there.

Kristin and I plan on being über-geeks for the day so please don’t make fun of us too much :-) You wouldn’t believe some of the weird looks and responses we’ve received from people here on campus that we’ve told we were going to a comic book convention. Most often people will ask me why I’d drag Kristin along to something so dorky. It’s at that point that she so kindly explains to them that she actually wants to go. I really think that it’s hard for people to see girls as liking some things that are stereotypically male in our society.

Comic books are a great example of this. I didn’t know any girls before Kristin in my entire lifetime that read comics. I often wonder what the actual percentage of comic readers are female? I would guess it’s extremely low. We’ll probably find out this weekend when we see the prevailing gender at the show. Are comic books simply something seen as a male, computer geek, “I don’t have a life” hobby? Unfortunately, that stereotype rings true more often than I want to admit. For that simple reason, I’ve often hid my “inner dork” so that I wouldn’t be lumped into that category of guys that stay up, talk like half-elves, watch Star Trek religiously, and spend more time on their computer than socializing.

Oddly, I love half-elves…well, actually full elves (they’re my character of choice in most RPG’s), I did watch Star Trek religiously (up until Voyager, which blew horrendously), I do love to play video games, and my job over the summer had me spending around 8 hours a day in front of a computer. Still, I don’t consider myself a dork. I play on the ultimate frisbee club team here at college, play volleyball three nights a week, work out, put in about 10 miles of running a week. If you knew only that, would you lump me into the category of jock?

Beyond that I am going to school for my philosophy degree, I participate outside of class in many philosophical groups, I read philosophy and classical literature for fun, and to pursue, eventually, a master’s degree in this field. Knowing only that, would you classify me as an intellectual? Now, knowing everything, what category do I necessarily fall into? I guess I’m just a part of each category and depending on the situation, I’m judged according to which category I appear to be a part of at the time.

Now let’s get back to the topic I was discussing before, are some things simply odd for women to do, like read comics or play video games? That’s another think Kristin does, and does well as evidenced by her continual domination over me in a good portion of fighting games (especially Tao Feng). I was initially very surprised that Kristin had a “boy-ish”, “dork-ish” side to her and it caught me off guard, but now it just seems so natural for me to come home and she’s sitting down playing Bloodrayne or reading the latest issue of Exiles.

I guess what I’m trying to get at is that I have come to really dislike the constant grouping of people into certain categories. We all do it every day, but that doesn’t change the fact that I don’t like the concept of it. I wonder if there will ever be a group of intellectual jock-nerds to surface in the near future? Maybe I’ll have to start that stereotype……

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