I had a review all ready to go this morning but wanted to share this instead. It’s a video about “geek girls” posted on Wil Wheaton’s blog. The song is by the Doubleclicks, and features girls sending in their own videos.
I may not be a “geek girl” but it’s taken me years to become proud of being a geek. And it makes me happy that there are now lots of girls who are also proud of being geeks.
What makes me unhappy is the dissension in the geek world about who’s geeky enough, and whether girls fit in to that community. Even the term “geek girl” is controversial; there’s no such thing as a geek guy, and some girls get called “fake geek girls”. My husband and I talk a lot about these issues, whether it’s the comic book or game characters that are all boobs, the lack of good female roles in fantasy and science fiction, or harassment at comic book conventions.
I think a lot about how, when I was growing up in the 70s and 80s, I really had no idea who I was or what I liked. Did “geek girls” exist in the 70s? I loved fantasy, dragons, math, and superheroes. I discovered Star Trek when I babysat two boys down the street, and going over to their house to watch old Star Trek episodes became something I looked forward to, rather than a job. I used to watch Dr. Who in secret on our old black & white TV.
If I’d been a boy I’d probably have grown up playing Dungeons & Dragons and buying comic books, but as a girl that never really occurred to me. It wasn’t what my sisters did, and really I was too ashamed of being a nerd to pursue the things I really liked. Instead I watched the popular kids from afar and wished I could be like them – and I immersed myself in my books.
I’m not trying to sound pathetic — I’m happy for these girls who grow up with a better sense of their own identity. I’m sad they have to face harassment in places they should feel comfortable in and welcomed. But at least it’s a sign that roles for women are stretching and growing. I’m glad guys like Wheaton, John Scalzi, and Adam Savage are standing up for geek girls, because it can’t just be women standing up for women.
What does it mean to be a geek, or a geek girl? How geeky do I have to be? Do I see superhero movies for my husband or for myself? I’ve never been to ComiCon, although we talk about going every year. I’m not a scientist, I don’t look weird, I don’t dress in costumes, and I’m pretty mainstream when it comes to fantasy and science fiction.
But I know who I am, and I’m happy with who I am.
I hope you’ll check out the video. Thanks to these ladies, for showing the world that geek girls are more than their boobs.
We are geeks and proud.