Scrolling through Facebook the other day I ran across a video from Cinevore.com’s show called “Society: Why It’s Wrong” arguing why we as a geek society shouldn’t judge and shun “fake geek girls” so easily. They did a fantastic job analyzing this phenomenon from numerous commonly used reasons why some girls aren’t “true” geeks. I highly recommend taking the time to watch the entire video.
The only thing missing is the perspective of how this judgment affects the girls that have to put up with it. That’s where this post comes in.
Before I met Zeke there was very little nerdiness surrounding me. I didn’t know much of anything—but this wasn’t because of disinterest. As a kid I played Mario but since I suck at video games, never finished it. Besides that, the only games I ever played as a kid were Spyro and Crash Team Racing.
Once I got the Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers game, but that one was pretty dreadful. I didn’t have many other “geeky” things in my life. I never even fully saw Star Wars when I was younger. My parents took me to see Attack of the Clones when I was 12, but because I was a kid and the movie was long, I fell asleep. Yes, that was my first experience with Star Wars.
Fast-forward 5 years to when Zeke and I met. Originally he thought that I was into manga and comics for some reason, only to find out later that he was utterly wrong. But instead of shunning me, he welcomed me with open arms and showed me an entire new world. This last year Zeke finally agreed to watch all of the Star Wars episodes with me, and I LOVED THEM (the original trilogy at least). I’ve been dying to watch it all again. Am I not a Star Wars geek because I’ve only seen them all once? Why should my interest be disregarded and considered “fake”?
The reactions I receive while meeting different people is noteworthy. Every once in a while I’ll meet someone (male or female) that doesn’t know or like anything geeky. Typically, they will place some judgment on me. Not to determine if I’m a “true geek”, but simply because I have openly shown my geeky inner core. To these people I’m the same as all other geeks. Meeting fellow geeks on the other hand can be troublesome. When I meet a geeky guy, they typically react with a bit of excitement accompanied by a judgmental expression. Every once in a while I’ll encounter another geeky female and then suddenly it becomes a contest of who is the true geek—though no girl would ever, ever dare to admit this.
How is this productive? What’s the purpose of all this? Why should I have to prove myself and only be considered a geek unless I’m the most knowledgeable? Isn’t the nerd and geek society just about spreading the mutual love and interest in these things that we as a society have labeled as being “nerdy”? Shouldn’t we just be excited when we meet another with a shared geeky/nerdy interest, despite their depth of knowledge or number of the other topics they are geeky about?
There are a lot of things that I’ve only begun discovering in my life. For instance, I literally didn’t understand what comics even were until Zeke thrust one onto me. Then a miraculous thing happened—I uncovered a whole new interest about something I didn’t even know existed. Zeke would try to get me to read his comics but I wasn’t always into the same stories. Instead I found my own that I enjoyed. This is how I learned about my love of Deadpool and even some that Zeke had never read, like Simon Dark and Chew. I also was the first of the two of us to pick up and buy the first issue of Kick-Ass. I may still be a “low level” geek since I have only just begun discovering this entire universe, but why does that mean I should be shunned or even judged by other fellow geeks? Is pushing me out really the best thing to do? No. This would only prevent me from gaining any “levels”.
Thankfully, I have an awesome guy who is completely open to my ignorance and loves to share all of these things with me, filling me in on the details as we go. I have to say one thing though—I absolutely love when he teaches me things about geek culture. I don’t know if there is ever a time when I am more attracted to him. And why wouldn’t it be this way? He’s teaching me about things that I am truly interested in. Of course that’s going to make me love him more. Here’s the most important thing: throughout the 7 years we have been together, I have not once pretended to like something that I didn’t. Zeke can tell you that from the start I told him I don’t like superheroes in spandex. I think it’s cheesy. And yes, obviously I have exceptions (as we have recently argued about Deadpool’s costume) but my point is that I was never pretending to be something I wasn’t. I waned an interest and he opened up the world for me. And despite that, every once in a while he’ll roll his eyes or react with shock and dismay at the fact that I haven’t seen, read, or played certain staples of the geek society. He moves past this original instinct and then helps me “level up”.