02 03 Nerd Lunch: ‘Bully’ is the new ‘Geek’: The Plight of Fake Geek Girls 04 05 15 16 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 31 32 33

‘Bully’ is the new ‘Geek’: The Plight of Fake Geek Girls

Today we've got a special treat. K. Rielly (@riellygeek), a previous Fourth Chair on the podcast, has submitted a guest post to us about the "fake geek girl" topic that's been floating around. It's a topic that I've wanted to address, but have never been able to articulate it quite the way I want to. Kristin does it for me. No...for all of us. –CT

For the last year or so, geek girls and “fake” geek girls have been under attack by the media, social networks, and our community circles. The sole motivation behind all the abuse and harassment is to conclude credibility amongst ourselves with an unsolicited and merciless force.


In grade school I had a really rough time making friends. My humor was off-color and I always seemed to be interested in things that other girls my age didn’t care about. It was so bad so often that I remember running out of school with swollen eyes begging my mother to transfer me to a different school.

An essential tool that I have acquired in my adult and professional life is utilizing the “fake label” girl in order to become an accepted member of my environment. In this sense the “fake” means I omit facts about myself in order to acclimate into an already established social setting. It does not mean I am not being myself, but depending on whose company I am in, I present myself accordingly. Once I make friends and/or prove my employment worth, I am able to share my personal side with positive outcomes.

You wouldn’t behave at work the way you do with your friends at 2 am on Saturday at the bar. Just as you wouldn’t ask co-workers the first day at a new job to join you for a Magic the Gathering game during break. This is practical social etiquette that allow us to move forward with our lives. And for this reason, we have no business judging anyone else for their motives or passions or recreational activities.


The “fake” geek girl does exist and since I have had the pleasure of meeting a few, let me clear up this definition. These are females who show no previous interest in the geek culture, but participate in events, cosplay, or the beautification of our convention halls.

What I find so disappointing in us as a group is how quick we are to slap advisory labels and shun these women from having any chance of appreciating our passions.

What’s the worst that could happen? They learn something from us? They become a fan of a new book, or comic, or movie that they might not have other wised been exposed to? We might gain a new friend who is excited about one of our passions, and wouldn’t that just be terrible.

Additionally, we need to refrain from criticizing semi-geek girls. For example I read comics, but only a few titles and I don‘t stay up on the latest issues as much as I would like to. I have been called out as a fake geek girl because apparently reading comics occasionally disqualifies me from the comic book fandom academy.

My real friends, however, know what I like to read and actually suggest new titles that fit my specific taste in comics. This way we can all still hang out at the comic book shop and enjoy each other’s company and fandom.


I have always struggled to fit in, to survive, and I know so many of us share heart retching stories of geek growing pains.  

Upon first glance, you couldn’t possibly understand what someone else is thinking or what they’ve been through. So to label an attractive girl as “fake” because she decided to bravely adorn a slave leia costume is beyond hypocritical. Maybe she’s only seen Star Wars once, but Leia is her all-time favorite female character. To say that she doesn’t know what it feel likes to be unwanted and rejected because she’s pretty is an ignorant verdict. Maybe among her friends and social circles her looks are severely judged and cosplay makes her feel good about herself. The point is, you don’t know the motivation behind this example female’s actions; in fact you don’t know her at all. Deciding who she is and what she should or should not be allowed to do based on how she looks is exactly what we blame society for doing to us.

One of the most amazing things about being an adult geek today is the acceptance and solidarity that I’ve seen this community radiate. We need to continue to accept anyone who steps into our world. We must welcome any new members who display even the slightest interest in gaming or manga or comics. We must encourage closet geeks to waive their flag high and be proud of their intelligence and their passions. And most of all, we must continue to embrace each other, learn from each other, and remain active and supportive of this awesome community.

Otherwise, we are merely the bullies. And we are so much better than that.

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