Geek girls deserve some respect

(Published September 30, 2014 in The Chronicle and online at : http://chronicle.durhamcollege.ca/?p=1748 )

geek

We are in your comic books, we are in your video games, we are in your stores and we are in your conventions.

We are geek girls.

I’m not going to give you my credentials or give you proof that I am one because I shouldn’t have to.

“Geek boys” are not the only ones who fought off tormentors or the stigma that they are all weird, obsessed and socially awkward. Girls have that same problem only now we also fight a fake stigma.

To be a “geek” means that you have a passion for something. This passion can be for superheroes, for anime, video games, art, comic books or movies. It can be for anything. To be a geek means you are not afraid to show this passion to anyone. You will freak out over a long lost episode or a comic book you finally found after years of searching. It’s not about what you love its about how you love it when it comes to being a “geek.”

Wil Wheaton, an actor and self proclaimed “geek” or “nerd” once said: “Some of us love completely different things, but we all love those things so much that we travel for thousands of miles … we come from all over, in some cases all over the world. So that we can be around people who love the things we love, the way we love them. And that’s why being a nerd is awesome.”

But lately this freedom is being limited because the boys at these conventions or comic book stores are condemning women for joining in. A lot of boys at these places will claim that a girl who is scantily clad in a costume or who is just plainly a beautiful girl is only there because she is faking it to get attention.

Even famous geek girls are getting ridiculed. Felicia Day was subjected to this ridicule on June 30. A fellow gaming journalist, Ryan Perez, drunkenly tweeted, “Does Felicia Day matter at all? I mean does she contribute anything useful to the industry, besides retaining a geek persona?”

Day is the writer, director and also starred in “The Guild,” a web series about MMO (massive multiplayer online) gamers which has now expanded into a comic book. She also created Geek and Sundry, a web channel with different shows that also acts as an online community for other “geeks.” Day has done many great things for the geek world and shouldn’t have to prove she is one.

Since when do we have to prove that we are geeks too? I’ve grown up in a society where I had to hide my geeky tendencies to get through school. Now I have to prove myself in a place that is supposed to be my safe haven?

How is that fair? If you saw a “geek boy” at a convention in costume but it wasn’t 100 per cent accurate would you call him fake or accuse him of just wanting to get the attention of “geek girls?”

I’ve been to stores where they ask me if I am lost or if I am there to buy my boyfriend or brother a gift. I tell them I am there for myself and they laugh. Why? Is it because they can’t believe a girl would be interested in the same things or is it because they are afraid of a girl knowing more than them?

I have jumped for joy and even shed a tear for a great find and then had looks of disbelief or disgust from other “geeks” who are watching me. Whispers follow “Wow, can she be anymore fake?” or “Someone finally found that present her geeky boy toy wanted.”

In a world where acknowledging being a geek is no longer a horrible social suicide why are geek girls still fighting for that same equality?

Whether it is intimidation, fear or just ignorance, geek girls are here to stay. We are just as knowledgeable (if not more), we are just as dedicated (if not more) and we deserve the same respect as geek boys.

We are the Wonder Womans and the Invisible Girls. We are the ones beating you at the newest Call of Duty. We are the ones yelling at the movie screen because they screwed up our favourite book in the movie adaptation.

We will continue to fight for our equality and we will be victorious.

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