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Geek Girls

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No Need To Prove Themselves In My Book!!

  • Jul 29, 2013
This isn't a review.  It's more like a rant, a rant with some positive vibes in it.  What am I ranting about?  Geeks, specifically geek girls, and how they are treated.

Here we go.

Geek girls are ladies who are just like their male counterparts with the obvious anatomical differences.  You see these young (and old) geeky women all over the place.  Some of them are comic geeks.  Some of them are science fiction geeks.  I'm pretty sure that a few of them are anime geeks.  Heck, I bet that a couple of them are even actual scientists, historians, illustrators, writers, etc.

In actuality, there are a ton of geeky ladies and girls out there who happen to be all of the things I listed above.  Many of them are much better versed than their male counterparts in their respective geeky realms.  These ladies are not only enjoying whatever geeky goodness they identify with, they are actually contributing to said geekiness via work, lifestyle, and fashion sense.

Despite this large (and growing) number of women in the world of geekdom, many of them  have come under attack for their level of genuine "geekiness."  There is a growing trend on the web and in the real world in which a group of people (primarily men, but there are females who fall in league with this group) are accusing women of all ages of becoming "geeky" because it's the trendy thing to do.  This group claims that women have gotten into everything from cosplay to Star Wars because it gains them attention, both positive and negative.

Female cosplayers have really been taking a lot of heat over this subject in recent years.  Some of their detractors claim that they prey on the lonely male geeks and nerds out there by dressing up in skimpy costumes, flirting or taking photos with said geeks and nerds, and selling photographs online and at conventions to any socially awkward male with a PayPal account.  Other naysayers claim that these ladies are "less attractive" or "not 10 material" and enjoy the attention they receive from shy guys at conventions.  I've read in some places where men claim that these girls are a five or six in the real world, but with a Wonder Woman costume at a convention, they rate a nine or ten with meek men.

As a person who attends conventions on a regular basis, I can say this much about female cosplayers.  If they are dressing up solely in order to get attention and/or money from shy men, they definitely don't act that way.  I cannot count how many times I've seen women dressed as everything from Poison Ivy to Hermione Granger happily agree to pose for a photo with a guy and then have that guy either totally creep her out by putting his hand in an area that isn't necessarily a proper place or make some lewd comment toward her.

I've taken photos with cosplayers many times.  The first few times I did this I must admit that I was the uncomfortable one.  I wasn't sure of the proper protocol for taking photos with cosplayers.  As I got used to it, though, and saw how others interacted with them, I quickly learned a few tips about taking photos with cosplayers: 
  1. Let them determine the proximity of their body to yours.  If they reach out to put an arm around you, consider that as a hint that they don't mind if you either put your arm around their shoulder or waist.   However, keep your arm in the "safe zone" of the shoulders or mid-waist.  No cheap grabbing of any bits you wouldn't touch on your mother!  If they flinch or step back a bit, put your arm down!  If they simply stand next to you, just stand there and be happy with the fact that they are taking a photo with you.
  2. DO NOT make rude comments about the cosplayer's weight, attractiveness, or what you would like to do to them.  Again, use your mother as a guide.  If you wouldn't tell her that you'd like to have a Mockingbird/Supergirl sandwich with her, don't say it to a cosplayer.
  3. Ask them for a photo.  Don't be that idiot who follows one girl around all day taking photos of her bum every time she bends over!
  4. DO pay them compliments on their costumes.  If a lady has on an excellent She-Ra helmet, let her know.

Another group of women who take a lot of heat for their genuine "geekiness" are a bit harder to pick out than cosplayers.  This group of women includes ladies who are genuine fans of specific franchises, characters, or programs.  They might be walking down the street with a Star Trek shirt on or have Doctor Who sneakers on their feet.  A few of them might actually have on glasses that they need in order to SEE with!  These ladies are often confronted by men (and women) who are determined to prove that they aren't "geeky" enough to wear said shirt or shoes.  They get asked obscure questions about an actor who portrayed "third red shirt from the left" on Episode X of Star Trek:  TOS.  They get attacked by jerks who laugh at them for mispronouncing the name of a character from The Hobbit.  They get noses turned up to them if they haven't heard about the latest video game in a specific seriees.

These ladies probably have it tougher than anyone because A) nothing they say or do can prove their "geekiness" to the types of idiots who question them about it and B) even if they do answer any and every question thrown at them, the idiot asking them questions will eventually fall back on low ball techniques such as name-calling or making fun of them in some other sophomoric manner.

These ladies are basically in a no-win situation with certain types of fools.  However, if you are reading this and find yourself in a situation where you can speak up for one of these ladies, do so.  Why?  Because geeks always harp on how tolerant they are of others.  Prove it!!!  I'm not telling you to go into "damsel in distress" mode, I'm simply saying that by showing a geeky lady support, she will see that not all socially awkward nerds are jerks. 

Another group that takes a lot of heat for their geekiness are women who are legitimate scientists, doctors, artists, writers, etc. who are looked down upon for the simple fact that they are female.  Blatant discrimination is wrong, and it pains me to see brilliant women get doors shut on them or backs turned to them NOT because of their intelligence, but because of their gender.  Support them by backing their research, artwork, ideas, etc.  This can be done by simply purchasing the fruits of their labor or helpiing to fund whatever project in whatever field they happen to be in.  Simply telling them that you appreciate their efforts is helpful as well.

I think what is most sad about this particular topic is that ultimately the jerks that are making fun of these people or attacking them are doing it simply because they can't deal with the shortcomings and failures in their own lives.  Honestly, how sad of a person must you be if your only source of pleasure comes from demeaning a lady for not knowing the particular year that Batman first appeared in the comics or why Firefly used so much of the Chinese language in dialogue?  Quit being such a pitiful loser and give a bit of respect to these ladies.

Heck, a few of them might even become your friend!

Respect the geeky ladies of this world.  We need them!

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August 05, 2013
Nice article with very sound advice. As to the cosplayers, I think some of it gets blown up into bigger situations almost because that's the very nature of these kinds of situations, sadly. I follow several of them on Facebook, and even they can be a bit harsh and/or cruel toward one or another amongst their growing group. Still, you're right, no one needs to be objectified, and I try to add in something relatively constructive even after I might write "lovely" so's not to offend anyone.
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Kendall Fontenot ()
Ranked #16
Despite looking extremely cool, I have to admit that I'm a dork. I grew up on the outskirts of the small town of Oberlin, LA. I have since relocated to the Lake Charles, LA area.I love my home state … more
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