The Mary Sue, a new geek culture blog, just launched a hot second ago, and in one of the very first posts, a staff blogger explains to readers why a geek site “for women” is really necessary. It was an explanation I needed, frankly, because at first blush, I saw an Oscars roundup and a pic of a little girl dressed as a princess next to an R2-D2 and I wondered what made this site different from existing ladyblogs like The Frisky, Jezebel or The Hairpin — really, what made it needed. (By the way, the phrase “the Mary Sue” is a term used to describe a cliché, idealized female character often found in “dude literature.) After reading Susana Polo’s thoughtful first post, however, I can see why some of the existing spaces online don’t work for many geek girls who dig comics and “Star Trek” more than eyeshadow and “The Real Housewives.” For a variety of reasons I can completely understand — mansplaining chief among them, personally — that “dude” sites can be inhospitable to the ladies. There are some things dudes just don’t get about being a chick, just like there’s some things I’ll never get about being a dude, an African-American or a member of the Tea Party. “Even if we want to play with the boys,” Polo wrote, “there is a value to having our own space.” I feel much the same way about the Internet needing feminist blogs like, say, Feministing.
But it’s not just “dude”-ish geek sites, like Gizmodo or io9, that aren’t doing for Polo and women like her — regrettably, The Frisky isn’t doing it for her either:
“The only thing “women’s” sites and magazines make me feel regularly is the distinct impression that I’m not in their demographic. Even though I’m a woman. Not coincidentally, this is frequently how I feel whenever a game advertisement or comic book cover assumes that I am male. Even though I am a gamer/reader. Ideally, The Mary Sue will become an exception to the above comic: a women’s site for women who don’t feel accepted in the mainstream’s idea of what women want.”
Fair enough! Every blog is different and The Frisky just so happens to be dripping in estrogen, nail polish and that-time-of-the-month chocolate. (Is that why it smells in here?) And that’s fine! I’m happy we live in a media market economy, so to speak, where lots of different stuff for lots of different people can flourish.
So, welcome into the ladyblog fold, The Mary Sue! Give us a call if you’re looking for nude pumps or Oscar-winning titties. And I’m so psyched I have a geeky chick to turn to when my MacBook Pro is on the fritz. Best of luck to you. [The Mary Sue]