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No girls allowed

Girl geeks are often shut out of nerd culture

On the heels of the San Diego Comic-Con, the internet has been buzzing about “fake” geek girls and how these attractive women, usually in skimpy costumes or photographing themselves posed provocatively with their console controller, are supposedly ruining things for the real geeks (read: the boys). Because really, there is no way that an attractive woman would be interested in anything nerdy like comics, video games, or sci-fi movies even though those things now dominate a good chunk of popular culture, right?

I mean, come on, ladies belong in the kitchen making sandwiches, not participating in things that are objectively fun! If you read some of the posts on “Fat, Ugly, or Slutty”, a website devoted to seeing the humour in the abuse and unwanted sexual advances hurled at mostly female gamers, then you have to believe that there are boys out there who really think that a girl, actively engaged in a videogame or part of nerd culture, is not there for the fun of it; she is there because she clearly wants some dick.


"Nerd culture is changing … Everyone is embracing a more diverse and accepting fandom where hopefully one day we can stop talking about gender in geek culture because we will all just be geeks geeking out together."


This ‘boys’ club’ attitude that girls can’t be geeks is still a major stumbling block for feminerds and girls who want to break into geek culture. The idea of ‘geek cred’ that permeates the culture is an arbitrary distinction on some sort of nerdiness hierarchy system, and it helps no one. Maybe these girls aren’t “fake”, they simply haven’t been involved in geekery for all that long so they don’t know as much as you. Chances are if they were a man, they wouldn’t get called a fake, just given a light joshing for being a noob before generally being accepted anyway. I’ve seen pictures of guys at cons wearing little more than body paint and a loincloth and no one that I know of has ever accused them of being fake.

Nerd culture is changing; gaming is now something your grandparents do and there are graphic novels to suit anyone’s tastes. Everyone is embracing a more diverse and accepting fandom where hopefully one day we can stop talking about gender in geek culture because we will all just be geeks geeking out together. All those little boys desperately clutching their ‘no girls allowed’ signs and harassing or degrading any woman they come across while hiding behind their gamertag will hopefully be in the very small minority in just a few years time.

With the rise of famous nerd girls like Felicia Day, more and more women are getting into the geeky game and more men are realizing that this is a really good thing. Don’t you nerdy guys want girls who share some of your interests and can hold a conversation about why the Mass Effect 3 ending was just. So. Bad? Stop judging, stop qualifying, stop making every conversation a geek cred inquisition, just treat us like human beings so that we can all get along, pull together and push out the real threat to geekdom – the Twihards. 

Jessica Bickford
Contributor

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2 comments

  1. down, I say, with these arbitrary and debilitating hierarchical structures!