Why are “nerdy” groups male-populated? Revisiting a debate full of dogma.
by Patch O'Furr
Many corners of “nerd culture” can be guy-heavy. A lot of people are predisposed to look down on that (with double standards if you flip the situation – only seeing the shadow side of one gender and the light side of another.) Recently I shared another writer’s comments about it. I liked them enough to invite her to submit guest posts. She sent a great new one about animation. (More please.)
The topic offers a cure for misunderstanding about Furries and gender.
Amanda at “Deep Fried Pancakes” gave open-minded insight:
In my opinion, it’s very telling that most furries are men… In general, men are discouraged from self-expression. They are coached to hide their emotions… stuff like this attracts a disproportionate number of men because it provides something they have a much harder time getting than women: self-expression. They are encouraged to show everyone their true selves.
There’s an insanely long list of reasons why this is true. It doesn’t even necessarily come from a problem… Stalwartness and self-discipline can bring as many benefits as lacking it brings drawbacks, and there’s no reason why men, women, or others should follow the same patterns as each other (but more options is ideal.) It does vindicate every guy with a positive interest who’s been slandered for sharing it with other guys.
There are fundamentalists who insist that Furry fandom is “sexist” because it’s “male-dominated” (no, it’s male-populated.) Sexism is bad, but behavior is separate from bodies*. Mindless proportionality ignores why people gather in the first place. When you sweep intentions aside, it’s easy to lump people into the same pot and cook up foregone conclusions about their “original sin”. It’s a fallacy of demographics, based on things people don’t choose when they’re born. It happens if you only look for the bad in people. You can find badness anywhere, but that doesn’t mean it’s out of control or worse than elsewhere.
More men than women doesn’t mean that bad behavior drove women out – any more than two male friends are evil, if they get together without a corresponding pair of females to chaperone them.