01 November 2013

Nerd Rant: The "Fake Geek Girl" Argument

Oh yes, we're going there with this week's Nerd Rant. I didn't want to do this for a number of reasons, mostly because it has been done and I don't want to give it even more attention so it can just go away, but it feels necessary. So, let's get to it!

There is an on-going meme called the "Fake Geek Girl," normally as a type of argument that some girls are only into certain fandoms or pretend to be geeky in order to garner the most attention they can get from guys. Then this video popped up that was a satirical take on the "Fake Geek Guy."

The geek culture of today is very different from when I was growing up and probably very different from when fellow geek girls were growing up, too. I remember one rather tame instance in grade school where I was drawing a Charizard on my binder and this boy I knew who also liked Pokemon saw what I was doing and loudly pronounced to the rest of the class, "Hey, you can't like Pokemon! You're a girl!" Not exactly getting pushed into a locker but it still stung. When I went out to buy a copy of Fallout 3 many years later, the male sales assistant at the GameStop chuckled and asked, "This is for your boyfriend, right?" When I replied it was for myself, he shook his head and said "Riiight..."

Excuse me, but what?

Currently, females account for almost half of all gamers and still deal with discrimination. The demographic has shifted, all sorts of people like to play video-games (your mom might be playing a game on her tablet right now, gasp!). But, this Fake Geek Girl thing goes beyond the gaming community. It has permeated into comic books, television shows, movies, and hell, even industries like science and technology. What gives? Why such the hostility from a community that tries to promote acceptance?

To give an example, this is a video that a rather popular YouTuber did. Arden normally does beauty and fashion related videos, but she also has a geeky side that shines through. She also just started her own "let's play" type of gaming channel (and her friend in the video also has a gaming channel).

Maybe her video isn't everyone's cup o' tea (I myself normally don't like these types of videos), but do you want to know what a majority of the comments said? Warning, some language ahead that might make your blood boil.

Yeah, because she doesn't know some of the "g4m3r sp33k" and makes a video entirely out of fun she is automatically seeking out attention for Adsense clicks and male attention. Because these two girls happen to like to dress up and put on make-up obviously means they can't also be into video-games because that's just mathematically not possible. Like dividing by zero. Give me a break.

The divide of the sexes, and the divide of any type of community, is downright juvenile. It's what grade school children do. Sure, you're going to get a lot of juvenile comments and experiences in gaming because the main demographic is geared toward those school aged children, but, this doesn't warrant the type of volatile hostility that is being egged on even by adults throughout the entire geek community.

I remember all too well (and cringe every time) when I was bullied, ridiculed, and severely judged because I preferred to write fanfiction or create fantasy worlds with their own languages and beings. I remember all too painfully going into hobby shops and being shunned every time I wanted to jump into a tabletop campaign with the guys or how alone I was throughout my childhood because I was the "weird" kid. It was the same bullying for both sexes. For the most part, we all had to suffer and grow up and it's not good to clutch on to those things and leave yourself feeling bitter whenever someone might be new or doesn't like something the exact same way you do.

For example, Kelly Sue DeConnick is a wonderful lady who promotes equality, introducing new fans of both sexes to comic books, and is downright beautiful to boot. She is also the lady to go to with all of your Marvel questions, especially on her Tumblr. However, she also likes makeup, dressing nicely, and I must say has excellent taste when it comes to red hair. So, dare to say she's doing it for the attention?

This need to be part of a bigger community is a human condition. Wanting to feel included and accepted is not an exclusively male or female trait, it is simply a human trait. We all want to feel accepted and have our feelings be validated and the geek community of all walks of life is supposed to be a place where acceptance is key. The geek community is varied and a huge mixing bowl of different fandoms and all types of geeks and nerds.

What I try to chalk up this "rivalry" to is the fact that the nerd and geek community has changed in a very short period of time thanks to the Internet. Not only that, but it has become quite the mainstream community (not to make everyone sound like a hipster!). There are aspects, like gaming or watching superhero movies, that have more or less become social norms. Some people can feel threatened because of that. After being bullied for these same hobbies many years before, those same people who mocked the geeks and nerds now want to be part of this community? Yeah, emotions can fly. But, this doesn't excuse the sexism for a normally tolerant community.

Who is it to say a girl is doing it for the attention? Just like how a guy might seek out a certain fandom for comfort or simply for themselves, a girl is perfectly capable of doing the same. They can cosplay and game and geek out over things all because it makes them happy. You could say it's interesting being a human, huh?

Instead of pushing away we should be helping one another. Help each other to better understand a certain fandom and if that particular person doesn't like or really understand a certain fandom? Don't hold it against them. I'm not too fond of zombie related games and movies but my best friend (a guy, mind you) loves The Walking Dead graphic novels and zombie games. We seem to get along just fine without tearing each other down. All it takes is having an itty bitty shred of understanding and the willingness to be progressive.

There is so much I can say about this subject but then this would easily turn into a novel. For the TL;DR version: let's be excellent to each other, yeah?

What do you think? Sound off in the comments!


  1. i deal with this a lot at work- because i like to dress nice, wear make up, and don't have a PhD, i must be less intelligent than everyone else i interact...the arrogance of science nerds is the worst! and i have to interact with ~30 arrogant, intelligent on a given day that are so smart they're dumb and no common sense...jeesh!!


    1. It's always so frustrating because it seems no matter how much you do or accomplish, you're still inferior in their eyes simply because you happen to be the opposite gender or don't fit into this pre-determined stereotype. I try not to stoop down to their level (it's hard!)--Gotta put them down with kindness!


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