REVIEW: Tits or GTFO…So That Happened

I’ll admit it – I’m kind of a fake geek girl (I can talk the talk but when I walk the walk, I fall off my handmade cosplay heels), and I wasn’t sure whether Tits or GTFO was going to expose me or reveal hidden depths. It’s two hours later and I’m still not really […]

I’ll admit it – I’m kind of a fake geek girl (I can talk the talk but when I walk the walk, I fall off my handmade cosplay heels), and I wasn’t sure whether Tits or GTFO was going to expose me or reveal hidden depths. It’s two hours later and I’m still not really sure.

Tits or GTFO is described as “a journey into female pop culture obsession”, and I wouldn’t say that’s what happens in this show. I had expected this to be kind of a verbatim theatre experience (the actual text from real interviews recreated by actors, down to the last ‘um’), with points of view from different ‘internet women’ (women from the internet? What’s the PC term here?) painting a picture of female life on the internet. I expected we might discuss the early days of Live Journal or back when 8 bit was the pinnacle of gaming.

Instead, it’s more like someone reading their Live Journal out loud. “Hi peeps, today I went to a LAN party!” I can definitely respect that thinking back to your early days as an emerging geek brings back fond reminiscences, and I cannot tell you how much I identified with the moment the character finds herself reading her first Harry Potter fanfiction (right in the feels, man), but I also felt like, why am I being told this?

This lack of direction would be the biggest issue I had with the content – I felt like there were so many fantastic opportunities to really get into some of the more interesting aspects of internet culture (we hear the word 4Chan and everyone sits up but then it’s, “But I didn’t get into that” and we sit back down again) which went unexplored. I’m not sure if this piece was intending to be a bridging piece between nerds (who know what a guardian is) and non-nerds (who have to have even the title explained to them), but it straddled the line somewhat awkwardly. It almost felt like an Intro to Geekdom seminar – a very high level overview of some of the things you might learn if you step into the next Supanova expo.

I have a lot of respect for a performer who can memorise an entire 45 minute monologue so I tip my hat to Ms Ackerman. A few teething problems caused some of the jokes to lose their impact, but the one major thing I noticed is that I did not feel much connection between performer and content. Moments that called for high drama were delivered flawlessly but mostly the storytelling felt like reciting lines.

However, if this show intended to raise questions about the treatment of women in nerd circles, I’d have to say that it did. There is a trigger warning on the show (which, warning: possible triggers), which made my companions and I think we would be taking a deep dive into some intense sexual assault scenarios. A LAN party is mentioned and we wonder is this it? But the moment, when it comes, seems anti-climactic. Discussing it afterwards, the word only is used. She only experienced that one thing and it wasn’t that bad. And I thought, what do we mean only? This event made it into a show, many years later, so it is not an only to the person that wrote it.

I also really enjoyed hearing how fanfiction had helped the character to find some clarity of mind about their own sexuality and gender identity. Fanfiction is mostly laughed about (including by the participants, guilty as charged) but I was really pleased to hear that fanfiction had influenced and helped someone else the way it’s often been a sounding board and refuge for me.

If you are looking for an analytical, impartial, well-researched piece, this is not for you.
It is for you if you’ve ever typed <emotion>!<character>, if you’ve ever lost a whole day in front of a console, or if you’ve ever wondered what other geeks were doing when you were clicking ‘Post’ on your first story on fanfiction.net.

Reviewed by Beck Newton