Okay, now that I’m sober, a more thorough elaboration on the crap we Geek Ladies often get from the guys. It’s something many people have commented on, and I am seeing a marked shift from how things were ten years ago. Still, as last night proved to me, there’s a long way to go.
I was happily blathering on in various forums about last night’s Game of Thrones season finale (omgomgomg), comparing certain plot points to their places in the books, and as usual going on about the glory that is Tyrion Lannister. And then, of course, the inevitable “You’re not one of those chicks who gets into this shit just to get attention from guys, are you?”
Sigh. Even worse, I’m not really surprised by it any more.
It happens more often to me these days when I’m gaming than anywhere else, yet all fandoms/mediums are peppered with it. As soon as a girl opens her mouth/posts her thoughts on something, the barrage begins: ‘You’re just tits, right? Prove to me that you’re not just tits and I’ll accept your opinion as a human being. Maybe.’
Now on the one hand, proving your true geekery is kinda how we say hello. Some good natured swapping of knowledge on a particular geek medium gets a friendship rolling! And we’ll burn each other here and there on facts we get wrong, or movies we haven’t seen (I married a man who hadn’t seen the original Star Wars films! We’ve since corrected this, rest assured), but it’s all in good fun.
It’s different as a woman, though, I promise you. There’s a hostility to the interrogating, or worse, for me anyway, grating condescension.
Playing Warcraft? “Bitch do you even know who Arthas is?”
At the comic book shop? “Hey hun, that deck’s kinda hardcore, have you ever played any card games?”
Wearing my old X-Men hoodie at work? “Ugh, ever since the movies EVERY other girl has Wolverine on her tits.”
And as a proper Geek Girl, I COULD respond at length, as I would when I was a teenager and my list of creds was much shorter, if still longer than most guys’. I could show you the newspaper clippings from when I was the first person in line for Star Wars, AS Mara Jade. I could tell you about how I started watching The X-Files when most of my friends still weren’t allowed up that late. I could tell you about how my mother loves Star Trek and raised me on it, and how I wanted to marry Data when I was 8 (Or Wesley Crusher, or Spock, it changed from week to week). I could show you my Sandman collection, my vintage Storm Barbie, my signed (and doodled all over) American Gods. I could even drop names about the good friends I have in comics, scifi shows, etc. that I met over the course of working where I did, mutual friends, or writing online reviews.
But I shouldn’t HAVE to.
I love This Thing. This Thing that you love! I know things about it. That would make me your friend right away if I were a guy, wouldn’t it? But no, I’m a girl. I must be faking it. Hell, even Felicia Day still gets pompous asses asking her if she’s a “real geek”!
And I do get where some of it comes from. Yes, there are titty-gamers and cock-teasers out there in Captain America tanktops, girls so insecure about themselves that they feel the need to go to a place like Geek Culture for constant male affirmation. They annoy us too, don’t get me wrong! Mostly because they make our life harder.
But to assume that every girl (usually the “pretty” one) is just here to get their ego stroked by you is insulting. I don’t assume every guy in a particular fandom is a virgin who lives with his mom. But a lot of folks do and it grinds your gears, doesn’t it?
You know what happens when you assume.
So next time some girl is enjoying herself at a console, or wanders into a comic shop, don’t give her a hard time, coddle her, or assume. She likes a thing! A thing you like! Bask in the glory of this shared geekery!
Besides, she can probably school your ass.
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