What it means to be “More Geeky” and Women in our Culture

So you have this awful article and this awesome rebuttal but I gotta put my two cents in.

Geekdom isn’t a score or a spectrum or anything. It’s a hugely complex Venn diagram and even that isn’t correct. It’s a huge umbrella for some related and unrelated interests that can exist together or independently from each other.. My mom like’s Star Wars, Lord of the Rings and Tetris. I like most nerdy things under the sun to some level or another. Between us, where does one become a “geek”? Does it matter? I can talk to my mother about all those things at it isn’t substantially different from talking about it with another geek.

My geekness is empowering. My interests are spread out in so many different directions, I can have a conversation with everyone. Video games? Check. Fantasy Novels and Sci Fi? Check. Star wars and/or/vs Star Trek? Check. Science? Check. Anime? Check. PnP RPGs? Check. Magic the Gathering? Check…. and atop that, tons of things I know just enough about to keep up in a conversation. If I excluded everyone who didn’t come close to my scale of nerd-dom, I’d have like, one or two friends. But my geekiness is a tool that helps me relate to people, not exclude them. It should be for everyone.

An irony to me also is that there are even more “fake” (by the standards of the people writing these ‘Imma ‘fraid of wimmin’ articles) male nerds than female ones. Chris Hardwick from The Nerdist is a favorite. He kinda likes a few big cultural touchstone things (Star Wars, Star Trek) and recently got into Dr. Who. If he was a woman, he’d be called out by everyone for being fake. But who cares? He’s a smart, interesting guy who appreciates the culture even if he’s in the shallow end and knows enough about other topics (Comedy, Bowling) to be really interesting. People would go after Morgan Webb on X-Play, but you see her listing her favorite games as things like Combat and Phantasy Star, and Sessler giving flavor-of-the-month games like Halo or Call of Duty. I’m not saying we should even hassle Sessler about it either — he’s just in the more “normal” area of the Great Geek Diagram. We should celebrate what we all have in common and not the fact that we’re in the more nerdy side of things than he is.

Some nerds might go “Well us down here who are deep into stuff APPRECIATE OUR MEDIA MORE INTELLIGENTLY AND AWESOMELY”. Yeah, right, you wish. I see plenty of hardcore nerds with awful, shallow opinions about the things they like. I could probably have a better conversation about the Merits of the Starwars original trilogy than I could the typical geek who reads the extended series. Most video game nerds can barely have a decent conversation with me because they just haven’t thought about their opinions enough.

Also lets kill the “THEY’RE DOING IT FOR ATTENTION” nonsense with sexy cosplayers. If you’re so insecure in your nerdiness that you seriously think that, I have bad news for you. You probably became a nerd for attention too. You probably retreated from harsh reality into nerdy things to find a safer space where you would be treated kindly. People like attention. I like attention, you like attention, she likes attention. SO WHAT? So if a cosplay girl (who probably is actually pretty geeky. Just doing cosplay and costuming is a cool facet of geekdom by its self), is doing it almost all for the attention, I’m honored she picked some of my interests to use as a vector. Also it’s not like guys don’t cosplay things they don’t know a lot about either. If you’re doing really good costuming, your body type and look severely limits your options. Their fandom involves finding cool looking stuff and bringing it into reality. Deep appreciation for the source material isn’t required — they’re appreciating art and design and not at a shallow level. They’re appreciating it in a way you probably would have a hard time keeping up with because that’s their specialty.

There is no “geek cred”. You don’t go to Geek Credit Report dot Com to find out if you’re geeky enough to go to Comic Con or wear a costume. There are no walls or boundaries. You’re not a better human being, or a more analytic or intelligent human being for being geekier. You just have a set of interests like everyone else in the world. So does she. Stop hassling her over it.