The term geek applies to anyone enthusiastically and obsessively into something. There are superhero geeks, gamer geeks, Star Wars geeks, Harry Potter geeks, Lord of the Rings geeks, and everything in between. While there used to be some sort of stigma attached to being considered one, the space for geekery is opening up, and it isn’t just inhabited by a stereotype of guys living in their mother’s basements and shunning society. Geek girls have been around for just as long as geek guys, but have not received the same acceptance. Instead, they must prove themselves able to share the title time and time again, as though their gender means they can’t, or shouldn’t, be into the things traditionally thought only for men. They are held to impossible standards, and if their authenticity or dedication is ever questioned, they’re often shunned.
Geek girls are sick of treatment designed to alienate them. There are either those geeks happy that their spaces are being inhabited by a variety of people, or those that will always cry about their beloved fandoms being “taken over”. The irony is "real geeks", female and male are just happy they’re getting more Star Trek shows, more Star Wars movies, and MORE of what they love.
15 “YOU’RE WEARING A SUPERHERO SHIRT, BUT I BET YOU DON’T EVEN READ THE COMIC”
Unless you’re Superman living under a giant rock pile of Kryptonite, you’ve probably noticed that superhero merchandise is literally everywhere. From workout gear (Captain America weight plates!), to kitchen utensils (Thor’s hammer as a meat mallet!), and ubiquitous T-shirts sold from Target to Hot Topic. This means that everyone and their Aunt May has the opportunity to support the superhero of their choice. Yet girls get caught wearing a shirt emblazoned with a superhero logo and have to defend themselves against someone questioning their in depth knowledge of Green Lantern, Batman, or Deadpool.
First of all, you can’t assume they haven’t read the comic, and second it’s okay if they haven’t. They’re allowed to like it because they like it, without knowing everything about it. You know the way to ensure they’ll never read the comic? Say something like that, rather than offering to introduce them to it.
14 “I BET YOU CAN’T NAME ANY VIDEO GAMES EXCEPT CALL OF DUTY”
For the casual gamer, there are a few titles that spring to mind instantly. Call of Duty, Assassin's Creed, and the like are big names in the video game world, played on a massive enough scale for them to be mainstream. However, this question is a loaded one for a girl; if she only does play Call of Duty, she should just give up her Geek Card right now. If she’s not a gamer, the same rule applies (it’s almost as if there aren’t dozens of other hobbies geeks enjoy).
Even if she lists off a series of games, she will be quizzed on what mode she plays them on, what level she’s gotten to, how many titles she’s actually beat, if she has any of the expansion packs, etc. She’s damned if she does, and damned if she doesn’t.
13 “THE ONLY ANIME YOU KNOW IS POKEMON OR SAILOR MOON”
Sign up for Crunchyroll or even just browse Netflix and you’ll instantly be hit in the face with dozens of titles (out of thousands) of Anime series. It’s a daunting task for any fan to tackle each and every one of them, so it isn’t surprising that someone dipping a toe in the waters might want to begin with something less obscure (especially if they want to be able to talk about it easily with other people).
Heaven forbid you watch an English dubbed version! As though you may stream these things while accomplishing tasks around the house and want to still be able to follow the story! However a person wishes to watch Anime, be it Sailor Moon or Pokemon, let them do it in peace.
12 “YOUR COSPLAY ISN’T ONE HUNDRED PERCENT ACCURATE”
It’s often the people who never take the time to put down the controller or the comic that criticize those who assemble a cosplay based off their interest. Cosplay has become a burgeoning hobby, and it ain’t cheap. No matter how many hours spent on it, it’s difficult to get exactly right, and there will always be those that feel the need to point this out to a girl. Some cosplayers have access to workshops where they can cast molds and carve foam. Some only have duct-tape and a prayer. But at their core, they’re the same geek with the same love for their characters.
Cosplay gives many girls an artistic outlet and enables them to make friends. A cosplayer who tries will always trump the naysayers who don’t. Cosplayers that bag on other cosplayers have long since lost the spirit of why geeks do it in the first place.
11 “YOU’RE NOT A REAL GEEK”
It would be interesting to see what questions would go on the ultimate “Geek Certification Exam”. Would you need to match Red Dwarf quotes to the actor that said them? Quote a passage from Dune? Play through a few levels of Bioshock? Watch all the Star Wars movies back to back without sleep? List all of the chronological appearances of Silver Sable? Fill out the entire thing in Klingon?
The point being, that what it means to be a “real geek” seems to change on the whim of the inquisitor, so a girl can’t win for trying. She’s better to not play the game at all, and continue loving what fandoms, games, comics, or movies suit her interests and ignore anyone questioning her right to do so.
10 “I BET YOU CAN’T NAME ANY OTHER COMIC BOOK CHARACTERS EXCEPT BATMAN”
In a recent poll, the most popular superhero character was Spider-Man, followed by Superman, and finally Batman. However, Batman’s symbol is very recognizable, and his merchandise is almost always black, which goes with everything! Seeing as how Batman is pretty damn cool and Bruce Wayne’s a baller, don’t be upset if you see more geek girls cruising around with the Bat Symbol all over their hoodies and undies.
If a girl didn’t know about any other superhero except Batman, does that make her less of a geek than anyone that knows a little bit about a lot of other superheroes? Famous fictional literary detective Sherlock Holmes literally didn’t know if the Earth went around the Sun or the Sun went around the Earth because it didn’t pertain to his interests. The single minded focus on one thing is pretty hardcore geeky in fact.
9 “YOU’RE ONLY INTO SUPERHERO MOVIES BECAUSE THEY HAVE BUFF GUYS IN THEM”
Thank you for pointing out the obvious! Why yes, superhero movies have buff guys in them by the hordes. Buff girls too! They also have lanky British guys, tough hounddog looking guys, and normal folks. Both guys and girls enjoying seeing attractive celebrities 50-feet high, and they also enjoy watching those attractive people fight bad guys and save the world (or fight good guys and laugh maniacally!).
The point is, calling a girl out for ogling the men in superhero movies is pretty hypocritical, especially since guys ogle the women (and the men!) without thinking a second thought about it. However, chances are, geek girls also go to see the superhero movies because they either dig Marvel, DC, or a good action flick and the buff celebrities are just a bonus.
8 “I BET YOU LOVE THE BIG BANG THEORY”
For a large swathe of America, The Big Bang Theory brought geekdom directly into their living rooms. Suddenly obscure and esoteric geek knowledge was bandied about by the lead characters like it was the most normal thing in the world to be discussing. Suddenly the populous was citing things geeks felt they should know nothing about. So-called “real geeks” decided that the show pandered to the mainstream, was ruining “geek culture”, and gave false hope for geek guys that thought they could land the likes of Penny.
For girls who enjoy the show, they do so for a variety of reasons. Whether they like the humor, get the geek references, or just want a window into an aspect of geek culture, they shouldn’t be derided for it. Whether or not it’s actually a quality program that’s reliably entertaining and not formulaic after seven years is another matter.
7 “YOU ONLY GOT INTO VIDEO GAMES/COMICS BECAUSE OF YOUR BOYFRIEND”
If a person enters into a romantic relationship with a member of the opposite sex, there’s probably some interests/skills/ideologies they’re going to pick up. Guys might get introduced to moisturizer, chapstick, and the wonders of a deep pore cleansing routine, and chicks might get introduced to video games, comic books, and classic sci-fi. Often, it’s some strange ratatouille of all of it, with different people contributing different interests because she might like kung-fu, and he may make a killer hollandaise sauce from scratch.
When people say this to a girl, they’re mocking her geeky interests by lessening their worth. Her geek knowledge is measured by how she earned it; either on her own merit, or by tutelage from some other geek, both of which are offensive.
6 “FAT GIRLS SHOULDN’T COSPLAY”
As though geek girls don’t already get enough grief over their geek credentials, heaven forbid they come in a variety of sizes. However they are shaped, they aren’t disrespecting the character they choose to cosplay if the character happens to be smaller than them. They shouldn’t be relegated to only cosplaying characters that resemble their body type just because someone else finds their enthusiasm and effort offensive.
The next time Captain America does a PSA, perhaps he should include the phrase “Everyone has the right to cosplay”. Whether it’s by doing gender bending cosplay, cosplayers portraying characters with different skin tones, cosplayers with disabilities, or larger cosplayers, all should be allowed to cosplay what they want out of shared love for the fandom of their choice.
5 “PRETTY GIRLS ONLY PRETEND TO BE GEEKS FOR ATTENTION”
There is the common thought that pretty people don’t really have to “geek out” about anything because they will effortlessly get a date. They can be blank marshmallow humans with the most basic of interests and people will look past the fact that they’re not interesting because they want to get with them.
Ergo, if a pretty girl also likes geeky stuff she’s obviously up to something. She can’t possibly like what she claims to like because she doesn’t need to pretend to like it in the first place! She already gets plenty of attention from guys, so what’s she doing over in geek space? Must be for attention from geeks guys! These are also often the same geek guys complaining that there shouldn’t be any fat girls cosplaying anything. Go figure.
4 “YOU ONLY LIKE GEEK STUFF BECAUSE IT’S BECOMING MORE MAINSTREAM”
To say that because something is more well known, it shouldn’t be liked, thereby implying it’s merit is based on how challenging it is to discover, is asinine. For the future of geeky things, and for them not to be considered lame and for losers, there shouldn’t be any stigma attached to anyone discovering things via “mainstream” outlets.
With streaming services like Netflix boasting Marvel titles like Jessica Jones and The Punisher, and network television providing shows like The Big Bang Theory, geekdom is in your home every evening or traveling with you on your mobile device. It’s certainly making a big dent in Hollywood, with the superhero genre staunchly responsible for putting butts in theater seats. If anything is becoming more mainstream, it’s that girls are entitled to be geeks too.
3 “YOU WOULD LOOK SO GOOD IF YOU DRESSED UP LIKE THIS CHARACTER I LIKE”
It’s not atypical for geeks to fall hard for fictitious characters they admire in fandoms. Whether they be certain wizards at Hogwarts, crew members of the USS Enterprise, members of the Rebel Alliance, or completely animated, there’s something about these characters that draw us in. This doesn’t mean, however, that anyone should suggest a girl dress up for them like one of these characters just because they’d like it.
Personal boundaries aside, it’s also about respect. Sure, you might like Princess Leia in the slave outfit from Return of the Jedi, but that doesn’t mean your geek girlfriend, the geeky girl in your class, or your geeky coworker is required to appease your fap fantasies by wearing it. They look fine as they are, and unless you plan on returning the favor, you can keep your thoughts to yourself.
2 “WOW, YOU’RE ACTUALLY GOOD AT THIS GAME!”
Put a headset on and log onto any online server for any MMORPG like World of Warcraft, or join a server for Call of Duty or Halo and be prepared for a verbal barrage of obscenities from 12-year olds. Play poorly and be prepared to have your gender and sexuality questioned, along with how often you go on dates. Play poorly and be found out to be a girl?! Be prepared to be told in graphic detail all the depraved acts that will be done to you!
For those geek girls that press on, don’t sweat the haters, and go through a bunch of unnecessary garbage to get good at the games they love, be prepared to field shock and incredulity. It’s not possible for a girl to actually play games long enough to become adept at them, or is it? It’s almost like she likes them or something.
1 “WHAT’S THE CLASS OF DARTH VADER’S STAR DESTROYER?”
Go to a metal show as a chick wearing a patch of a band on your vest and be prepared to have to recite the entire discography, including B-sides. Go to a con as a chick wearing a Darth Vader pin on your backpack and be prepared to explain what class of Star Destroyer he had. Or maybe the name of the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode where Data has intercourse. Pretty much the most obscure question you can think of to quiz a geek on to see if they’re truly authentic.
The thing is, whether a geek girl knows the answers to these questions or not doesn’t make her any less of a geek. Her right to like certain geeky things is not dependent on how much minute detail she knows about them.