x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

Making women super

Are traditionally male events like comic cons the last glass ceiling for women to break? That point was raised by Breaking Bad actor Giancarlo Esposito at the Middle East Film And Comic Con.

Geekdom – as defined by a state of nerdy intellectualism, often represented in inverse proportion to proficiency at social skills and personal hygiene – has traditionally been a male preserve. That is often the case at events like the Middle East Film and Comic Con in Dubai last weekend, but this skewing was clearly not to everyone’s liking.

Breaking Bad actor Giancarlo Esposito, who played Gus in the drama series, received a standing ovation at the opening press conference when he asked why there was not a single female guest on the stage with him. “I’m going to talk to the organisers,” he added, “and make sure that there are more females up here next year.”

One reaction is that women generally have more sense than to obsessively follow fictional superheroes, collect first-edition comics, dress up like them and play games like Dungeons and Dragons. But another is that, like every other previously male domain in society, this too is ­becoming increasingly gender neutral.

There is a long way to go but as Sylvester McCoy, who appeared in The Hobbit series, explained, 85 per cent of those at a German comic con were women. Maybe geekdom is one of the last glass ceilings.