On the list of “things that annoy me” bros who are patronizing towards me about D&D rank very, very high.
Like, yeah, I haven’t memorized the entire 5E monster manual, but I have been playing D&D and RPGs of some kind or other on a nearly continuous basis since I was literally 7 years old. I have played AD&D, 3E, 3.5, Pathfinder, 4E, 5E, the freakin’ board game based on the animated cartoon, and a weird homebrew that my mom designed based on what she remembered from playtesting AD&D in college when her group got mimeographed preliminary rules straight from Gary Gygax. And that’s not counting the other tabletop RPGs I’ve played or actively run. This is not my first encounter bro. If I ask for a clarification on rules, it is not because I am a fake geek girl who is unaware of the vast history or lore. It’s not because I am too much of a newbie to bother learning the game. It is because I genuinely do not care.
I’m here for the narrative, not the stupid minutia. You know all the things that provoke an attack of opportunity in Pathfinder? Good for you, you have memorized literally the least interesting part of the game. Now can we please go on an adventure? Great.
From the very beginning science fiction was very male-focused or male-controlled. There were a few women involved, but an awful lot of them were just the wives of the fans. So when Star Trek started, it had a very large female component, which I think the networks never really understood…they persisted in feeling that all Star Trek fans were sixteen-year-old guys with acne who wore eighty-seven buttons on their shirts. I mean, we tried to tell them, but they never listened. A lot of people were drawn into fandom because of Star Trek, many of them women, and the old-line fans started to feel like they were losing their grip on their own hobby…
I’m not being very polite about this but, again, it was just a question of, ‘I want to talk about Asimov and you’ve never even heard of Asimov, so why are you trying to take over? There are so many of you!’ I mean, we had about four thousand attending the Worldcon in 1967, and then when Elyse Rosenstein and I decided to do our own convention, it was so many more people. So the science-fiction fans sort of felt overwhelmed and there was a certain amount of hostility.
Devra Langsam, quoted in The Fifty-Year Mission Volume 1 by Mark A. Altman and Edward Gross.
Interesting to hear from one of the key women figures in early Trek fandom on the dynamics of SF cons after Star Trek debuted, and how the resistance to Trek fans in SF was gendered.