#FFF Fake Fangirl Friday Follow-Up: Oh, You Sexy Geek! San Diego Comic-Con Panel Reactions and Controversies

"Watching the #GeekGirl panel with @bonniegrrl & my love @ClareGrant #SDCC2011" - twitpic by Seth Green.

Our heroine’s “Oh, You Sexy Geek!” panel at San Diego Comic-Con was a big hit – and a big controversy, but that comes as no surprise. There was NO way for this topic to make everybody happy. None.

Here are a few of the many things people had to say online. We’ve left out bloggers who reacted to other people’s articles without seeing it themselves, and likewise with tweets – only to limit the length of this list, not to begrudge any of them for taking up the topic and running with it. Dialogue is great!

site: Comics Beat
post: The Comic-Con Virgin Diaries
by Ali Colluccio: “I felt very proud being a girl at the Oh You Sexy Geek and Women of Marvel panels.”

site: Defective Geeks
post: SDCC 2011, Lady Geeks!
by Space Pirate Queen: “It was great to see these lady geeks on stage and speak their minds. I feel that in a lot of ways, we have a long way to go before ladies are completely accepted into the geek community without others doubting our  ‘geek cred.’  Honestly, we are on the right path if we have women like Bonnie Burton to look up to.”

site: Fangirl the Blog
post: Ladies Rule the Day at Comic-Con Thursday
by Fangirl: “Katrina also brought into the discussion a recent photo she had received of a seven-year-old dressed as Slave Leia, and asked where was the line? Bonnie and Adrianne were definitely the most vocal of the panelists, but they both, with the help of the Katrina’s moderating, encouraged others to speak…a majority of the room was engaged and positive about the discussion…Years of cultural shift had to be summarized and discussed in the course of one hour. I saw this panel as a start of a discussion, one that will continue over the next few years as geekdom moves toward the mainstream and new people discover what many of us geeks have known all along – that scifi and fantasy are really cool.”

site: Feminist Fatale
post: Comic-Con Recap: Oh You Sexy Geek!
by Rachel: “The only good moment during the entire hour, was when the moderator called out Seth Green, who was looking disappointed with the discussion, sitting in the front row of the audience. Katrina Hill asked if he wanted to contribute or share his thoughts, and he unexpectedly took the mic for about fifteen minutes. As Hill explained to the audience what the audience would know him from (Robot Chicken), Jennifer Stuller mentioned that she had seen him promoting media literacy for the Girl Scouts.”

Clare Grant watches Clare Kramer help Adrianne Curry with her Leeloo wig.

site: iFanboy
post: SDCC 2011: Panel Report
by WonderAli: “At the end of the day, the spirit of the panel was about embracing the diversity of geek culture, being self confident, and celebrating strong, empowered women (both fictional and real). Burton concluded by encouraging the audience to “Show your geek in different ways.” I went to a fair share of panels at San Diego, but this one was my favorite. All of these women are smart, articulate and strong. And it was an empowering experience to see them in action.”

site: Mining the Nooks
post: Distilling my one day at SDCC
by G: “interesting. And disturbing. Supposed to be a critical discussion of the sexualization of fangirls, instead I think some folks just read the title and came thinking they would see sexy chicks. Case in point: While I was waiting for the panel to start a guy came up, sat *right* next to me, pulled out his Jabba the Hut action figure and told me he was hoping he could get a Slave Leia to ‘do the dirty’ with it. Um…?”

site: MTV Geek
post: Woodsy’s World of Star Wars: Oh You Sexy Geek Panel at SDCC 2011
by Laurel Woods: “This was a great panel, amazing women and so inspirational. I came away with a lot of takeaways, and know that I can feel sexy in whatever I wear whether it’s my Slave Leia costume or Jabba the Hutt! What a way to start my day! Sadly though, I don’t think Seth recognized me from the hotel elevator this am!!”

site: Musings of a Geek
post: Oh You Sexy…WTF?
by : “She had a hard job wrangling the egos of some very strong and awesome women. Burton and Curry seemed to think that the problem of that “anti-sexy” geek (“I can’t believe she’s wearing that Slave Leia outfit” crowd) had to do with the girl on girl hate and jealousy which women sometime have. Stuller put forth the idea that women need to be more concerned defining themselves by and taking cues from the media. There seemed to be some dismissiveness of both points of view…Finally, can we have an honest discussion about this if the discussion itself comes across as not serious?…For me, I hope Con does a sequel to this panel next year. This is one that I won’t be missing.”

site: The Pleonistic Rants of C. S. Daley
post: Geeky Sexy
by C. S. Daley: “They talked about sexy women proclaiming their geekhood for marketing purposes, you know the p word (pandering). They spent some time on cosplay (wearing costumes) and empowerment. It was primarily focused on women in geek and how they are treated. Both by geeks and the media. It really made me think long and hard about the word sexy. I know there seems to be some sort of consensus in mass media on what is sexy but I just don’t buy it.”

Poptimal Pic: Seth Green wants answers!

site: Poptimal
post: Comic-Con 2011: Oh You Sexy Geek! Panel: We Pander to No Man
by Desiree Neall: “Moderator Katrina Hill quizzed an insanely funny panel…While it sounds like your typical pseudo-feminist panel mixed with a little geekery, it was a whole lot less pretentious than you’d imagine. The girls were smart, funny and, most importantly huge nerds, and discussed with the Comic Con crowd topics like geeks in the media, dressing up for conventions and being honest with yourself, all from the female perspective.”

site: Possible Impossibilities
post: Oh, You Sexy Geek: The Responses
follow-up to Comic-Con 2011: Oh, You Sexy Geek Recap)
by Jennifer de Guzman: “While I do feel the disappointing and downright offensive dominated the discussion, there were some comments by Jill Pantozzi, Jennifer Stiller, Clare Kramer, and Kiala that deserve attention…All in all, I didn’t envy Katrina Hill her job. It seemed like it was a tricky panel to wrangle. I may have thought it was disappointing, but others got something from it, and that’s definitely a start to a good discussion.”
Includes G4 president Neal Tiles’ response to her previous post.

site: Re-Orientation: Sex and Gender in the Modern World
post: Oh, You Sexy Geek: SDCC Panel, Gender, Sexuality, And Feminist Waves
by : “So, what is ‘acting like a real man’? If acting like a real man involves degrading jokes about women, then I’d like to meet some fake men…I would suggest that our heavy critique of scantily clad women serves to reinforce the idea that the female body is somehow dirty and that female sexuality must be contained.”

site: Revenge of the Fans
post: San Diego Comic-Con 2011 Recap (Episode II: Attack of the Princess Naked)
by Suzanne Scott: “The ‘Oh, You Sexy Geek!’ panel was at capacity, so if/when it makes a return to SDCC in 2012, here’s what I’d be interested to see/hear: – A more focused conversation, to avoid getting mired in generalities. Focus on one ‘pandering’ controversy, or one costume, and really dig in. Take a position and argue it, propose change, something to make this a bit more concrete and constructive… More from Katrina Hill on gender/genre bias (or presumptions surrounding gender and genre).”

site: Tor.com
post: San Diego Comic Con 2011: Day One
by Alex Brown: “To be frank, we were only there to catch the next panel so I could geek out on Brandon Sanderson, but this one turned out to be pretty interesting.”

Geek Girls Network also ran a live blog during the panel:

The House of Pop Culture covered it in their 7/27/11 podcast:

Panelists on the aftermath:

site: CLARE-ified
post: Oh, You Sexy Geek! – Comic-Con 2011
by Clare Kramer: “Sadly, some people only hear what they want to hear.  This was a panel of artists, giving their personal opinions as if they were standing in front of a mirror.  Not to harm, disgrace, insult and certainly not to degrade women…Objectifying women has always been a serious and sensitive subject, one that I take very seriously.  However, I’ve also learned to choose my battles.”

site: Ink-Stained Amazon
post: Oh You Sexy Geek! Panel Recap from the Ink-Stained Amazon
by Jennifer K. Stuller: “The most memorable and praised part of a panel of women is something a dude said. – Seth said many things I’d been attempting to say through the entire session. Thing is, many of my comments were talked over, and suggestions deflected with humor, but Seth was listened to and respected because he’s a celebrity.”

site: Newsarama
post: SDCC 2011 Wrap Up – I Survived!
by Nerdy Bird Jill Pantozzi: “Everyone I spoke to in person loved it but online there has been some debate that the real issues were glossed over and that some of the voices on the panel weren’t heard…we touched on a lot of great stuff but, as I said, with the time limit we couldn’t go into detail on all of them. I really wished we had two hours to sit up there, discuss more and take more audience questions.”

SFX video with Bonnie Burton: http://www.sfx.co.uk/2011/07/22/sfx-columnist-bonnie-burton-at-comic-con/

A few of the many tweets:

aboynamedart: Hey @actionchick, there’s already a line for #SexyGeek! #sdcc http://twitpic.com/5tjvw1
geekyjessica: The “Oh, You Sexy Geek!” Panel is fantastic. @ActionChick @bonniegrrl @adriennecurry @ClareGrant @kiala @TheNerdyBird
PhysicistLisa: Agree RT @geekyjessica The “Oh, You Sexy Geek!” Panel is fantastic.
girls_on_film: Panelist @bonniegrrl tweets pic from #sexygeek panel: http://twitpic.com/5tl915
iheartfatapollo: you can’t be pandering if you’re sincere”. Final word from @SethGreen we can’t penalize new #sexygeek girls seconded by @bonniegrr

amy_geek: The crowd loved the sexy geek panel! #SDCC
CapSteveRogers: @InkAmazon I only wish you would have had more time…and that the haters would have heard the ENTIRE panel, not just excerpts.
EvlBert Evil Bert: !ActionChick I view sexy geek as the marketing cliche which it is. Sex sells, best way to sell more tix to comiccons add sexy girls, simple
geekgirldiva: Well @ActionChick, people are definitely talking about your panel. ::grin:: I’ve seen a lot of chatter!
HijosDeAztlan: @ThatChrisGore: @candacebailey5: @saraunderwood..I think G4TV should do a special on #SexyGeek(s)..Beautiful Woman who happen to be #GEEKS!!
HughesTheForce: Girls should embrace & be empowered by their passion: Geek Girl Panel w/ @bonniegrrl @ClareGrant @AdrianneCurry http://twitpic.com/5tov6k
ivanctorres: @ActionChick Great job at the sexy geek panel!

Left to right: Katrina H., Clare G., and an inquisitive audience member.

-igeekgirl-: Loved all the ladies + geek girl fan and support Seth Greene on the #ohyousexygeek #sexygeek panel at #SDCC Thanx for an awesome Q&A!!!
_iGeekGirl_: #ohyousexygeek Tough topics and issues deserve dialogue and conversation, and I took away points from both sides
iheartfatapollo: It was frustrating at times, but worth attending. Tons of good recaps sparking good debates! #ohyousexygeek
ImDMous: Sexy Geek panel was amazing! Very inspiring chicks! Thanks so much! @AdrianneCurry @ActionChick @bonniegrrl @ClareGrant
KittyKate19: @kiala I LOVED the panel! Great job all of you 🙂 cc @ClareGrant @AdrianneCurry @bonniegrrl @teamunicornftw @SethGreen
madmechanic78: I hate to say it. But I do kind of find all female geeks #sexygeek.  Might be coz I’m English.
nikolai528: @ActionChick your panel this morning was amazing!
realityfree: @ActionChick it was the first panel I ever attended at SDCC and it was a great way to start my con experience. Thank you.
rvgenaille: @ActionChick Whatever the commentary has been around ur panel, you have a lot of people considering the subject, which is a good thing.
Synystyr1: @ActionChick There were negative reactions?! It was one of the best parts of #SDCC for my wife and me this year.
tishalulle1: @ActionChick People seem to be picking and choosing what they want to from the panel to back up their points instead of taking it as a whole
theonetruebix: In the end, the problem with the Sexy Geek panel is the moderator mostly emphasized panelists with which she agreed. Propaganda, not panel. {Note: No, she didn’t call on any individual panelists. Panelists emphasized themselves.}
TonyaJ: @ClareKramer @claregrant @sethgreen @adriannecurry & other panel members; thank you so much for the great CC “Sexy Geek” panel! Smart/funny!
WillTurc: @ActionChick May I say that you have handled this whole brouhaha very well
xaede: @ActionChick Mad props for mod duty on the “Oh You Sexy Geek” panel. I didn’t agree with ALOT said, but you and Seth were tops.

kwallpolin: What is with people trying to decide what objectively empowering? Empowerment is a personal emotion. @ActionChick
Joshwaddles: @ActionChick @kwallpolin that’s not true, power is always empowering 🙂
Richard450: @ActionChick @kwallpolin So true so true!
PhysicistLisa: @ActionChick Nothing seems less empowering than someone telling me how I am allowed to be empowered
geekyjessica: Perfectly put. RT @PhysicistLisa: @ActionChick Nothing seems less empowering than someone telling me how I am allowed to be empowered
kwallpolin: @agirlcalledbob As far as I’m concerned, if someone says wearing a slave Leia costume is empowering to them, it’s empowering. @ActionChick
Yuricon: @PhysicistLisa @ActionChick No one can empower you. Power is something you take for yourself.
zenvar: @ActionChick @PhysicistLisa No such thing as being “allowed” to be empowered, you just are. That arrogant s*** infuriates me. Sorry.
WillTurc: @kristenmchugh22 @actionchick Wait, sexy/empowered can’t coexist? That screws up my whole universe. My sexy/empowered friends are in trouble
NerdRage42: @geekyjessica @physicistlisa @actionchick I have to find my own empowerment. I only ask my friends for encouragement.
Pat_M514: @geekyjessica @PhysicistLisa @ActionChick Did u try kicking said person? Then they can tell you to stop kicking and you can ignore that too.
Polymorphicone: empowering or pandering, glorify or objectify, accept or judge. Why can’t both genders allow all individuals to just be?

BonnieGrrl: After my Oh You Sexy Geek panel at #sdcc, approx 30 people stopped me to say thanks & 2 angry girls called me a fake feminist. Yay?
shellsonthesand: @ActionChick @bonniegrrl Huh… #irony since a chunk of that panel was about whether it’s fair to say someone’s a fake anything…
ThatChrisGore: @bonniegrrl After my comments on the Oh You Sexy Geek panel at #sdcc, 25 people said I was funny & helped lighten the oh-so-serious mood.

The Gore-iffic moment
DVD reviewer Chris Gore arrived late, having told Katrina ahead of time that G4TV duties would make him late – which gave her the opportunity to quip at the beginning that he was probably just intimidated by the rest of the panel. When Chris arrived, he introduced himself by saying he spoke for every man in the room in that he wanted to stick his penis in every woman on that panel. Some chuckled, more cringed. For the most part, the joke fell flat with that audience. One panelist turned her back to him. Moderator Katrina replied, “Are you trying to get kicked off this panel?” It was a brief moment and quickly turned to other things when Seth Green started the audience questions, but it has received a disproportionate amount of the panel’s buzz.

Bkquinn: Was I the only one who thought the dude from G4 was a total douchebag?? #SDCC #ubersdcc #OhYouSexyGeek
ElleCue: Chris Gore from G4 added absolutely nothing by showing up late to the Geek Girls panel. #SDCC
geekportland: @kiala Doesn’t seem like there was anything questionable about Chris Gore’s offensiveness. How did he get invited in the first place? #eww
Heart1lly_: @kstar1785 @lealaturkey I’m still just so disturbed that Chris Gore still thinks his comment was totally cool and helped lighten the mood.
MikeRoe: Takeaway from #sexygeek panel: Chris Gore’s a perv, I should be paying more attention to Seth Green, and @kiala is a mute. #SDCC
TheStephThorpe: so Chris Gore & Seth Green have jokingly offered to double team all the panelists #itjustgothotinhere #sdcc #lxlsdcc
ThatChrisGore: @kkjordan @bonniegrrl Do they not understand satirical humor when they hear it? And Bonnie baby, you were funny!
InkAmazon: I get that it was a “joke” but inappropriate given context of panel, not knowing sexual history/orientation of other panelists
shellsonthesand: @kiala @InkAmazon @actionchick Ditto. I didn’t have a problem with anything else anyone said on that panel, but I was disgusted by his line.
kristenmchugh22: I’ve just caught up with some of the criticism. Chris Gore, yes. Yuck. Arguing that sexy/empowered can’t coexist: BS.
NerdRage42: Thank goodness I have a sense of humor & don’t take life/what people say TOO seriously. @ThatChrisGore #sexygeek

The Fake Fangirl Friday #FFF series:
* What ARE the Issues? Leias, Boobs, Thrones, and Gore
San Diego Comic-Con Day One Schedule! Sexy, Geeky Feedback
* MTV Geek and the War on Geek Girls – Reactions!
* Miss USA Alyssa Campanella Wins Crown, Forfeits Geekhood
* Geek Girls Exist! Do Fake Geek Girls Exist Too? Is It Fair to Ask?

Panelists left to right: Katrina Hill, Bonnie Burton, Adrianne Curry, Clare Grant, Jill Pantozzi, Clare Kramer, Kiala Kazebee, Jennifer K. Stuller. Not pictured (running late): Chris Gore.

Examples of other related posts:
* Oh You Sexy Geek! Our 2011 Comic-Con Panel
* So You Want to Throw a Comic-Con Party?
* Comic-Con Panel: Best Superheroine Movie? No, the ONLY Theatrical Superheroine Movie
* Our Comic-Con Panel: Where Are the Action Chicks?
* Our Comic-Con Panel Video: Where Are the Action Chicks?
* You’re No Geek!
* Interview: Why Seth Green Loves Geek and Gamer Girls
* SFX Magazine Interview by Bonnie Burton – Cosplay or Can’t Play
* How Do Fan Convention Experiences Differ for Women & Men?

* Girls’ Guide to Comic-Con with Ninja Tricks

Related posts:


13 thoughts on “#FFF Fake Fangirl Friday Follow-Up: Oh, You Sexy Geek! San Diego Comic-Con Panel Reactions and Controversies

  1. Pingback: Rocket Llama HQ - » #FFF Fake Fangirl Friday Follow-Up: Oh, You Sexy Geek! San Diego Comic-Con Panel Reactions and Controversies

  2. The One True b!X

    Since only my tweet apparently required editorial comment, I should explain, especially since the editorial comment precisely illustrates one of my issues with the panel. The moderator’s job, to my mind, is to serve the audience. When there are quite clearly some voices on a discussion panel that are not getting an adequate hearing because other voices are dominating the discussion by sheer force of personality and outspokenness, it is the moderator’s job to ensure that the audience is not being deprives of a wide-ranging, well-rounded discussed by going out of their way to draw those voices out. It’s not their job to be a bystander. The discussion exists to helpfully inform and enlighten the audience on the topic at hand, not to merely serve as a platform for pronouncements and clever remarks by whoever has the loudest voice.

    So, it’s quite accurate that the panelists emphasized themselves, but that was exactly my point (although overstated somewhat by my statement that it was because the moderator agreed with the loudest voices; I have no idea what the motivation was). This wasn’t debate club or public speaking class where people should be graded on how well they drew themselves out of a social shell or rose to the outspokenness of opponents. It was a discussion panel where the audience deserved to hear from all parties, and didn’t, because the moderator didn’t ensure that that happened.

    Disclaimer: as I also said on Twitter, I myself would be a horrible moderator because I’d have no earthly idea how to adequately manage a panel of opinionated people of different degrees of outgoing personality.

  3. Pingback: Ladies Rule the Day at Comic-Con Thursday « fangirlblog.com

  4. Elaine of Kalilily

    I’m speaking/writing as a somewhat marginalized geeky female (71 years old) who has been a fan of powerful kick-ass, attractive (notice that I didn’t say “sexy”) female characters since I discovered the original Wonder Woman back in the 1940s. Halloween was my favorite holiday long before there was such a thing as cosplay because I could dress up as Barbaraella or Xena or a vampire (depending on the decade) and not be considered a fruitcake (now, there’s a dated word!) This whole discussion has drawn me in because I also fought in the feminist wave back in the 60s and learned much from the struggle of us females to balance the power of our sexuality with the power and respect that we deserve to have in the realms of social , political, and personal relationships. It’s a little too easy for us females to confuse limited sexual power with the other kinds, and, for whatever reasons, unenlightened males too often get off on all of the sexist implications of the Slave Leia kind of sexiness. And while being sexy is not a bad thing, it needs to be kept in perspective. An it’s not all all the same as “attractiveness,” although the two can overlap. I understand why male comic artists pander to the adolescent fantasies of pubescent males, but I nonetheless urge all of you attractive geek chicks to keep pushing for less emphasis on the visual sexiness of female comic book heroes and more on their strength, independence, and overall attractiveness. (At least more realistically proportioned and less exposed boobs and butts!) I look forward to watching the evolution of the geekgirl con, especially the panel on how to raise geeky kids. (Since I already seem to somehow have done that – both male and female. And they are both feminists as well.)

  5. Pingback: Kalilily Time » Blog Archive » kick-assing at age 71

  6. Dom

    I enjoyed the idea of the panel, and hope next year you are on the panel…instead of just moderating it. I also appreciate you not trying to recap the panel here. Focusing on some of the points brought up on various websites seems like a smart idea…especially as the panel’s moderator.

  7. Pingback: Ink-Stained Amazon » Blog Archive » Oh, You Sexy Geek! Panel Recap from the Ink-Stained Amazon

  8. Rick Swift

    Kat, I wish I had been there, for many, many reasons. Sounds like some of these folks weren’t too friendly . . . of course, we both know you don’t need a man to stand up for ya. Still, I am old fashioned and buy into all that chivalry garbage, knuckle dragger that I am….

    Incredibly motivated comments from Kaliliy – she was a geek girl well before it was chic. AFC, you are still my favorite geek, girl or otherwise and a great friend too boot!

  9. David

    Definitely my favorite panel of the convention. Not sure why it was so controversial (apart from Gore). Maybe it’s because I’ve been discussing these issues with my female friends for years, so nothing really surprised me. I do think it was a little dominated by two of the panelists and would have been nice to have heard more from the rest, but overall a great panel. Hope these types of panels continue at other cons.

    Regarding Gore, interesting that he’s now trying to blame the audience for not getting his joke. Because it’s never the comedian’s fault when a joke bombs. Making a bad joke is one thing. You can forgive one for that. But trying to insult those who found it in bad taste is lame and the sign of an immature personality.

  10. Pingback: Action Flick Chick - » GeekNation Comic-Con Video: Oh, You Sexy Geek! Oh, the Notoriety!

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