Geek girls – Real or Fake?

The idea of the “Fake Geek” – usually a girl – has popped up on my radar recently and I did some searching and found this article:

Dear Fake Nerd Girls, Go Away

Basically, the article says that if you want to call yourself a nerd or a geek, you’d better know EVERYTHING about whatever it is you are geeking – be it coffee, sewing or whatever.

Did you get that – EVERYTHING?

Her article, in essence, says that you can’t say you are, say, a sewing geek (which I am, by the way) if you don’t spend your Saturdays taking sewing classes and didn’t make the dresses for your entire wedding party, while designing your own sewing machine.

I find that ridiculous. If you like to sew, if it makes you happy, if you love fabric stores, call yourself a geek. How does that hurt anyone?

This article has gotten up the ire of many in the Geek community. For good reason.

Here is one video response:

Apparently, this is something that tends to happen when guys see pretty girls at cons. They don’t believe these girls are there for love of the fandom, but to get attention.

I love this response:

And then there’s this:

Of course, geek girls are just as “real” as geek boys. The whole conversation is silly. It is, to me, like saying Male Authors are inherently more “real” than Female Authors.

Maybe that’s a bad example. The world is filled with people who stand in line to denigrate romance, a genre that is primarily written for and by women. I’ve actually had a “friend” (a male) on Facebook call romance novels “shallow missives” and put the word book in quotes when discussing them. Of course, he also called Amish romances “Christian porn,” which totally baffles me.

Back to the topic at hand. I’ve never experienced this first hand, but I have seen enough evidence on YouTube and in other places on the Web to know that “Geek Girls” are often not considered real geeks. At some cons, when a guy runs into a girl “claiming” to be a geek, he’ll test her knowledge of his favorite fandom to see if she is worthy to be considered a geek. I highly doubt he does the same thing to any guy he happens to meet at the same con.

What if her fandom is not his? What if she might not know EVERYTHING about it?

I love the X-men, but I freely admit that I never read any of the comics. I do have three graphic novels written by Josh Whedon, but I don’t know the origins of most of the characters, nor many of the numerous incarnations. My frames of reference are the 90s cartoon series and the movies. Does this mean that I’m not a “real geek?” If I dress as Storm to a con, will I be considered a poser?

I adore Josh Whedon’s work, especially Firefly and Serenity, but I don’t know the schematics of Serenity, nor could I give you the translation of the Mandarin used in the series (and I even spent a month in Beijing). Does this somehow make less worthy to wear a Browncoat t-shirt or knit a Jayne hat?

I don’t watch anime and I don’t own a high tech expensive gaming system. (I would spend all day playing games and ever get any writing done – I have a computer game addiction I fight every day.) I have never been to a big sci-fi con and I couldn’t name a comic book artist if my life depended on it.

I play Guild Wars 2 with my husband and a few other guys online (including my brother) but I don’t do PVP or spend enough time on it to appreciate the story line. See comment above on game addiction.

I write epic fantasy (two books in that area published – one out of print, one co-authored with my husband – and one coming out in Feb 2015), but I haven’t read any Robert Jordan or Brandon Sanderson. I have only finished two of the Song of Fire and Ice, but much of my reading time is dedicated to writing.

I am a geek. I am proud to be a geek girl (I love being called a girl when my church says I’m old enough to join their senior citizen group – although I doubt they play Magic the Gathering at their meetings).

I promise I won’t give you any tests if I see you wearing a Firefly t-shirt or hear you quoting Buffy. In fact, I may try to start a conversation with you.

Why can’t we all just accept each other as kindred spirits, instead of setting up divisive rankings. Don’t we have enough people (jocks and people who wouldn’t recognize a good book if it fell on their heads while they were in their tanning booths) trying to make us feel bad about ourselves?

Geeks are geeks, regardless of gender or knowledge. We all love the same things and we live in the same world. Maybe we could learn something from one another.