February 1st, 2013


Geek girls

I can kind of hear Gaston (the movie character, not our friend): Soon she gets ideas, and thinking...

That's right, we've been Thinking lately. It started because somebody posted something on Facebook about the whole "fake geek girl" thing and how it has to stop at the same time our sister asked us to help her impress her Legend-of-Zelda-loving boyfriend. And now that I've introduced it like that, I'm not sure where I want to start attacking this topic. But I will say that last night we saw a tweet where someone said something about how his friends bought a Superman jumper for their 1.5-year-old, and how outraged he was that the kid had probably never even read all the comics, stupid fake geek baby.

Anyway. So apparently there's some debate going around the internet about whether geek girls are genuine geeks or fake geeks? All our geek friends seem to be like, "Geek girls aren't fake! They're totes real!" And since they're girls, and we're girls who consider ourselves to be pretty geeky, we're pretty sure they're right. On the other hand, there are definitely girls like our sister. She's not a fake geek, though--she's a quasi-geek. She has a genuine interest in geeky things like The Legend of Zelda, but mostly when she's bored or, more importantly, trying to impress a guy. But--and this is important--she really is interested in The Legend of Zelda, to the point where there was a time (when she was completely unattached) that she seemed to think of herself as the family's Legend of Zelda player. If she didn't have a real interest in video games, she would have probably tried to impress her boyfriend with something along the lines of his love of sports (we suspect the boyfriend is also only quasi-geek).

But here's the other important thing. This sister is also the person who was watching some TV show about a famous Hollywood matchmaker or something...? And from this show she learned that some of the most eligible and rich bachelors are to be found at Comic Con. So while she might have had only a vague interest in the convention before, she certainly had an interest now. More than once, in our various strategies to get transportation, we'd suggested the possibility of taking her down there (or to Anime Expo), dressing her in a costume, and leaving her in the hall somewhere for people to take pictures of her while we went off to "boring" panels and shopping...and she was all for it. Though thinking about it now, regardless of any plans to wait for us, she probably would have tagged along anyway. And if our sister, who is more harmless because she has scruples and is lazy, can see this TV show and think, "Hey, let's go to Comic Con and see if I can catch a man!" it seems perfectly reasonable to us that more predatory women would come up with similar ideas.

The real problem is not whether or not geek girls are fake--it's that people have this "all or nothing" mentality where they assume that either all geek girls are fake or all geek girls are not fake. I know it takes time to get to know people, and we like to save time by making snap judgments based on appearance, but very few people have Sherlock Holmes' ability to make those judgments accurately. (Incidentally, I think part of why Holmes is able to make his judgments so accurately is that he has no bias as to whether or not, for example, a brony must be a failure as a man.) ...And that's about as far as I tend to get before I'm like, "What was my point?" I think my point is we need to stop categorizing everything, and stop assuming that if someone has one trait in common with someone else they must have ALL traits in common with that someone else. Even if a girl seems like a fake geek, she might be a quasi-geek. I think we need to use this term more, "quasi-geek." Some people like geeky things but aren't geeks about it--quasi-geeks. (On the other hand, some quasi-geeks might not like being referred to as geeky at all... We know a few Star Trek fans who may not be too keen on it.)

And I think that's about as far as my thinking will go for now, but it seems like it could make a fascinating discussion, so if you have anything to add, please feel free!

Today I'm thankful for Chihayafuru, having our tickets ready for Disney on Ice tomorrow, the cute kitties on our calendar for February, Kuru once again having a bigger part in Elephant Princess, and Sherlock Holmes.