Tuesday, April 3, 2012

I am a Woman, and I love Nerd Culture: Zanzabar


Yeah, I know I normally try to steer clear of expletives on this relatively family-friendly blog, but trust me, that's the most mild expletive I can come up with to describe my frustration.

Few things irk me more than when I go to bat for a person, an organization, what-have-you... only to turn around and realize that they've failed in some other, major, egregious way.

In my last blog post, I went to bat for Zanzabar over the idiocy that blew up in response to their (brief) decision to invite only U of L fans to view the game last Saturday. I defended their choice. And I said:

Zanzabar is my favorite place to see live music.  Their food is awesome. Fabulous beer selection. And best of all: TATER TOTS!! I'm totally looking forward to seeing Diego Garcia there again in a couple of weeks (April 14). I am sending the folks at Zbar my very best wishes for a NOT STUPID game day. I really hope that all this shizz is a bunch of online troll bluster. And I hope all this bluster doesn't scare people away from a great venue to watch the game. Godspeed, Zanzabarers!

This evening, the Guy and I were chit-chatting about said flare-up, and he mentioned that one of his female friends was a little bit pleased that Zanzabar was catching some sh*t about something because she was disgusted by their most recent LEO WEEKLY ad.

I had no idea what he was talking about.

But a little noodling on his iPhone produced this image promoting their pinball tournament. (The Guy, who was recently called "the funniest actor in Louisville" said, "But see... you couldn't even play pinball with her straddling the machine like that. She's covering up the bumpers.")

No, I'm not going to import it to the blog. I don't want that crap to grace these pages.

Seriously, Zanzabar? What the holy hell?

I am a woman, and I love nerd culture. And one of the many things I love about Zanzabar is all the nerdy shizz that they engage in. The vintage video games. The pinball tournaments. The spelling bees. The 70's promotional posters for Louisville that grace their walls.

But when they bust out the ugliest, most stereotypical pandering to nerd-dom, they've lost me.

I don't play pinball. But that's not because I am a woman. It's because I was born hand-eye-coordination challenged and that has been complicated by the lingering neuropathy associated with my chemo treatments a few years back. I wish I could play pinball. I wish I could play video games (although, I am secretly glad I can't... I'm just obsessive enough that I could see me getting so sucked in that my "real life" would suffer).

With this ad, Zanzabar is saying "'we assume that most of our players are [heterosexual twenty-something-year-old dudes], so we're not even going to pretend we care about anyone else.' That sucks. That's a problem. And that's what needs to start changing."

The quotes there are because I am quoting a particularly awesome episode of MovieBob's "The Big Picture" vlog called GENDER GAMES. The battle between feminists and nerd culture has been visited and revisted ad infinitum. And maybe I am biased because MovieBob is my cousin, but I think his take on it is particularly brilliant (embedded left).

Zanzabar-ers-- Stop it. Just effing stop it. Gender-ing a game as basic as pinball is lousy and cheap. Why is it that twenty-something-year-old hipsters these days seem to be as misogynistic as my sixty-something-year-old uncles?

1 comment:

Unknown said...

They actually sell that image (and a few others like it) on t-shirts hanging above the bar. I don't know who would buy one, the artist needs to take some anatomy classes.