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.
I’M A FAKE “INSERT LABEL HERE” GIRL
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
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.
ONE OF US, ONE OF US
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
YOUR ARGUMENT IS INVALID
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
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.