My companion told me that he often felt like guys forget completely that women are at conventions, though, and treating it more like other, more male-dominated fandoms. I countered that sometimes I ran into women who acted as though women are in a serious minority in the anime world-- again buying into the idea that the anime world is more male-dominated out here. (That “out here” is important-- I make no claims to have a strong sense about the gender balance in Japan.)
But take, for example, this Anime News Nina! strip over at ANN. I have been an anime geek for 13 years, and I can't think of a time I've ever had a guy react like that to me, or to my more-attractive-but-still-geeky friends. Not that I haven't met plenty of awkward guys, of course, but I've very rarely run into the “holy shit! It's a female-type who likes anime! SUPER RARE GET!” to any significant degree in the US.
I briefly took part in a round-table blogging project that was geared towards female anime/manga bloggers talking about stuff, but I quickly abandoned the project: as much as I respect those in it, it just didn't feel like our gender mattered. The Anime Vice Squadcast is all-female, but I've always been careful not to make it a “girls on anime” thing, because frankly, it's all girls because these are just the coolest anime geeks I know locally.
How about you guys? Are you boys surprised by your female counterparts? Girls, how often do you run into trouble in the fandom because of your gender? Do you think there's a lot of prejudice here, or do you think it gets attention because of the status of other geekdoms?
In short: do you think gender is an issue in the North American anime fandom?