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Geek Girls, Like Unicorns, Don’t Exist

The talk is out there. The theory that the majority of girls who call themselves geeks aren’t geeks. They’re just chicks who wear extra small Green Lantern T-shirts to show off their boobs, not because of the logo but to get attention at cons. They’re girls who think they’re geeky because they can work a lap top well enough to get a webcam working.

Example: the following formspring exchange between @TheNerdyBird and someone who chose to remain anonymous because he pretty much assumed he’d be villified by the geek girl community.

Done reading?

Here’s a guy who’s assuming that just because a geek girl has the word “boobs” in her blog title, she’s exploiting herself. Forget that she’s being ironic or that it might be her way of addressing the idea that she can’t be a girl and read comics.

Nope. She’s doing just what Hooters girls do. She’s using her boobs to sell the geek girl brand.

Yeah, I’ll admit, I got all “rawr”. I wanted to go off on a rant about how I’m a geek girl and I want to be taken seriously. But then I would have been affirming the whole reason he chose to remain anonymous, right?

But what really bothered me last night was the fact that this argument seems to come up again and again. Geek guy gets mad because geek girl gets attention. She must be using sex.

So, I grabbed one of my fave geek guys and asked him about it. Because I wanted to understand his perspective on why geek guys might have a kneejerk reaction to a geek girl’s request (sometimes demand) for respect in the geek world.

Just a few things he said:

  • Male geeks have to work harder to be noticed than female geeks.
  • If he had two Twitter accounts (one male, one female) and tweeted the same way on both, he’d gain more followers on the female stream than the male.
  • If a geek had a penis instead of boobs, would she be as ‘popular’, or would she be just another pithy comic book geek in the crowd?

They’re all good thoughts and questions.

I even added that, when it comes to Twitter I have may have more followers because I have a lot of girls who follow. Geek boys and geek girls both like geek girls. I don’t know if geek guys get that sort of crossover.

Which led me to wonder if part of this is about guys being “guys”. If that makes sense?

Problem is, I’m not a guy. I have no understanding of the male side of this situation, which means all I have are assumptions — and you know what they say about assumptions…

Bottom line, it bugs me. And so I had an idea — maybe even a challenge– for the guys and gals out there who have geek followings on Twitter and in the Blogospehere.

What if we did some kind of round table discussion/summit/whathaveyou at SDCC? Get an equal number of guys and gals together and have the conversation? Like really have the conversation? Blog it, report about it. Make it a cross over conversation.

Maybe we can find a way to come to some sort of consensus. Maybe not.

Either way, it’d be pretty dang interesting.



  1. Nevaiyr Nevaiyr

    Honestly, most girls who are geeks still know how to clean up well and be socially accepted. However, (not all) geeky guys assume that, as geeks, looking/behaving socially tasteful is a waste of time and that it nullifies their geekiness. Of course that is a majorly vague and broad opinion and it doesn’t apply to every person. It does apply to most people I know though.

  2. I like to think the way to stand out is to express your thoughts and personality as honestly as you and to write well.

    If you do that and offer thoughts based on your experiences and find links to seemingly unrelated things that you love, you can’t help but stand out as unique.

    You’ll notice male or female never entered into my equation.

  3. Interesting post and discussion following :) In my daily life, and I do consider myself a geek since the age of 11 or so, I feel like I constantly have to proof something. Proof that I am smart enough, geeky enough, proof that I really do play the videogames I constantly talk about.. sigh. Most people judge by looks and first impressions and I know that mine is probably not “geek” enough. I stopped giving a shit, but reading some of the feedback it is frustrating! We geek girls shouldn’t have to proof anything, but just be proud of who we are and continue being awesome geek girls :) Even if we wear a cute outfit and maybe even fit in with other types of people..

  4. May May

    Geek guys saying stuff like this really upsets me because I’ve been a geek for long before I had developed breasts. But once I did develop breasts, all the geek guys I was friends with assumed that I would be ok with them ogling me and clearly lusting after me because I’m a girl and they’re guys. To me, they are the ones who have created this atmosphere of geek girls getting more attention, so I feel no sympathy for them being upset about it now.

  5. Anonymous Anonymous

    I am glad to hear some of those things and I hope you do not think I am pointing a finger at anyone.

    My last two posts in a nutshell basically is that I don’t like fads and trends. If a female truly is a geek girl, that is wonderful. Be proud of it. There is no reason not to.

    One point I failed to mention is that there are a lot of guys that put on a geek show for fashion reasons as well. I don’t like that either.

    There is a certain dishonesty to a person creating a look which implies a lifestyle they don’t live and it sends my BS detector buzzing out of control.

    And as far as the ones fighting the hardest to deny your existence, I would be more concerned about the posers diluting it’s value (even redefining what a geek is, which is what I am arguing against)than I would about geek guys. They are going to accept you if they get to know you. But what they are gonna curse is the wanna-bes (the ones that I have been talking about)and you are gonna take some collateral damage from that. It is not fair and it is not fun, but that is the way it is.

    Finally, yes, seeing below the surface is important. I would never go on a blog and make personal attacks like the one that started this discussion. Even if I had read every post in your blog, I would still be in a situation where the only thing I know about you is what you have shared. That does not put me in a position to make any judgments.

    Finally, regarding the whole self appointed title thing, I have always been a bit offset by that. I think it started with that whole BBW thing. Of course a woman can be both big and beautiful at the same time. One does not exclude the other.

    But is it really her place to say that about herself? I mean one’s beauty is an opinion held by others and not a fact written in stone.

    I don’t find geek girl nearly as offsetting as BBW, but still the whole self appointed title thing as a whole just bothers me.

    I have enjoyed this discussion and I hope you have not found anything that that I have written to be a personal attack, because that was not my intention.

  6. @Anonymous

    Well, as a self christened Geek Girl, I can give my answer — it’s the only one I have ;-)

    If you go back and read my blog, you’d see a lot of what you wrote about. I didn’t read comics, but I did have my geek pursuits when it came to books and movies. Encyclopedia Brown being among them.

    There was a lot of pressure on girls when I was growing up to like “girl” things. I’m not much older than you, so maybe it’s generational. Man, I hope so.

    As to your defining points:

    I was socially awkward and, in many ways, still can be. I’d like to believe I’m intelligent. ::wink::

    Maybe it really does all come down to a Venn Diagram of Geek/Dork/Nerd. Who knows.

    But there’s something else I’d like to offer.

    The internet changed many things for me as a geek and as a girl. Because I found out that I wasn’t as alone in the world as I thought. I’m more outward online than I am in real life. I flirt, I play. Because in cyberspace — my mind had free reign.

    I call myself a Geek Girl because it’s my way of owning what I am and joyfully so.

    It took me a long time to understand I wasn’t a freak.

    I just find it painful to think that geek guys — the guys I’ve always liked best on the planet and who I feel the most kinship with — may be the ones fighting hardest to deny my existence.

    I’m just saying that we -all- want people to look below the surface instead of making judgments on names and looks.

    Geek girls deserve that just as much as geek guys.

  7. Anonymous Anonymous

    I am a guy. I apologize, I should have made that clear in my post.

    I make a lot of sweeping generalizations here so I should state that I am sure that there are geek girls out there. Just not the great population that professes it today.

    I don’t think being a geek is a fad. I think being a geek girl is a fad.

    As an example, none of my female friends as a child took much interest in my geeky pursuits like comic books or battleship models or Encyclopedia Brown books. And I would not have expected them to. Those were considered a boy’s pursuit. And not because girls were dissuaded from purchasing and enjoying those things (or maybe they were if daddy frowned upon it), but because girls as a whole simply were not interested.

    And as I grew up and maintained and expanded those interests, females simply were not involved. And believe me, as teenagers with overactive hormones, any girls who wanted to participate by my friends and I.

    They were not interested and I don’t the stigma attached to geeky behavior at the time appealed to them.

    So yes, I think this sudden interest in being called a geek girl is more about fashion and image than any true interest in actually being a geek.

    They weren’t interested before and now they are because the nerdy glasses and converse low tops make them look “cute”.

    What do I think qualifies as a geek girl?

    Assuming that there are geek girls and geek boys, there must be some similarities between them. I think defining these things would be more important, as it defines the geek and ignores the gender.

    No one of these qualities defines a person as a geek, but a combination of some or all of them.

    The primary defining quality of a geek is social awkwardness. I think that has to be there. Geeks tend to either be very solitary or run with a small group of people with similar interest because social situations make them very uncomfortable.

    If you have ever been on a date with a geek, you will know what I mean. Interacting with the opposite sex is not their strong point.

    Secondary is intelligence. Geeks are the people behind the scenes who make it possible for us to visit space, make revolutionary discoveries in chemistry, mathematics, and technology. They tell stories in a way that no one else has done before, on paper or on film. They decide that they don’t like the constraints of commercial software, so they create their own.

    Of course not every geek reinvents the wheel, but for the ones that do, there are a ton of other geeks working behind them.

    I learned a lot about my own thoughts as I was writing this and was beating my brains trying to think of more, but it wondered off course.

    So what is at the heart of a geek? It seems it is social awkwardness and intelligence.

    Much more simple than I thought it would be, but there is a lot between the lines there.

    I also realized while writing this that I am a mid-30s guy who grew up in a very geek unfriendly time. I have to make the assumption that, if I were that kid today, times would not have changed all that much.

    And I also want to state again that I don’t deny that there are geek girls, but I also don’t think that christening oneself a geek girl actually makes it so.

    Being a geek was not always so fashionable. It fact it could be pretty lonely and uncomfortable. Where were the great masses of the geek girls then?

  8. @Anonymous

    1) If being a geek is a fad, then will the guys dwindle along with the girls? Or are you saying only the girls have jumped on the “bandwagon”?

    2) As a goth club regular, the scene’s not dead. It’s just stopped being “in vogue”.

    I have to ask. What are your qualifications for a geek girl? As a geek babe who has a blog, I’m curious.

    And because I’m intrigued by the answer, are you male or female?

  9. Anonymous Anonymous

    For the most part, I think the whole geek girl thing is more about fad and fashion and less about actually being a geek.

    Just like the whole punk scene in the late 80’s, and the goths of the 90s, the geek girl will die out as well.

    The women who want to call themselves geek girls participate in just enough activities associated with neredery to maintain some sort of credibility for their blogs or Tweets or YouTube channels.

    But in the end, they are making a fashion statement. You will rarely find them managing corporate networks, pursuing Cisco certifications, or even writing their own HTML to create/maintain that blog that gets them so much attention.

    I am not saying women don’t do these things, because they do.

    But I am saying that the majority of women who need to identify themselves as geek girls through either name or appearance are doing it because it is cool at the moment.

    My guess is that within five years, their numbers will have declined significantly as the majority moves on to the next fashion.

  10. The reason female geeks get so much attention is because geekery is generally seen as a male-oriented pursuit and so a woman being involved is different and exciting to the men who are involved.

    The same may also be said of men who engage in typically-female pursuits. For example, in the bellydancing community, male bellydancers (especially the straight ones) get a lot of attention from women just because they’re male and they bellydance.

  11. Proportionate to the rest of my body mind you, not each other. Fickle genetics. :P

  12. Well, it was only a matter of time before my actual breasts came into the conversation. For the record, I’m very proud of my proportionate bosoms. :)

  13. I hope what I’m about to say will make sense.

    As a geek girl… who is uhmm… well endowed in the breast category, I could never use a slogan… Has Breasts, Plays Video Games.

    Anyone who would see a picture of me would automatically assume that I use my big boobs to promote the blog I write. It would never be considered as ironic or satirical.
    It would only bee seen as calling attention to the fact I have boobs.

    Now when you look at a picture of Nerdy Bird, she is.. no offense.. but not a chesty girl… so her reference to her boobs at least to me is an indication that she’s saying she’s a female and not using them to gain readership among males.

    I’m discriminated against by both male and female geeks for various reasons. My geekness is often questioned because of how I look. If I had a penny every time a guy tells me “but you don’t look like a geek” I would be a rich woman.

    I’m the girl that sits at home having LOTR marathons or 18 hour gaming thons and I format my HD like my life depended on it, and was one of the few girls in computer science classes in college, but you won’t know this from just looking at me. Because honestly, who da fuck knows what THAT girl looks like.

  14. Clearly, I need to be on this panel :) Ok, my perspective, from having attended Con since the 80’s, and having worked there is as follows: Most of the women that attended back then, with a few notable exceptions, were there because their guy dragged them along. They did what they needed to do, to either, get noticed in their own right (rite?) or, alternatively, dressed not to be noticed. There were very few women, say maybe 1% of the total women attendees, that were there actually to enjoy the Con itself. This percentage has grown over time to what we have today, Olivia Munn wearing revealing costumes over a glass ceiling. There was a sign going around last year about how Twilight has ruined Con, but then someone else pointed out that it’s brought “Normal” girls to the party.

    There’s a lot of salient points to be made for both arguments, and it would be cool to have a panel discussion.

    As long as I’m on it :)

  15. I’M A GEEK, or i consider myself to be, and i’m a guy, i would definately love to join the discussion, but given my situation that i live in a country (Iran) where geek stuff is not known atall and there are a few of us here, and much less geek girls, i’ve only met a 2 geek girls in my whole life here, i don’t think it’s fair to make a whore out of a geek girl just because they wear thongs or anything, it’s not bad at all, i think they need as much respect as others, the ones you said who missuse the geek stuff for their own agenda just to grab attention, well that’s pretty stupid to me, but it’s natural, we have it in all stuff, from nascar to comics, to presidential campaigns and everything, these people exist in every community, we should bother ourself with them, i think it’s the goal of each comunity which is important, male or female, once they join a community they should hace equal respect for each other, despite the gender,and help each other to improve that club or anything that they are participating in, maybe those who nag about other’s sucsess or attention grabbing should work their asses off better, hey! JIM LEE AND STAN LEE DON’T WEAR BIKINIS! RIGHT? they tried hard to achieve what they get, my point is that we should stop bashing each other on meaningless stuff like the gender issue here, we’re all showing our love inour own way, and we’re all geeks in our own way. hey maybe some of those short wearing girls is really a geek, doesn’t mean she’s selling her self for attention.
    wow, i said alot, thanks :D

  16. Interesting topic, which raises some huge issues. Tomorrow when I’m more awake I’ll probably post a longer diatribe on my own blog and link it here.

    But the three important topics that aren’t really covered well are:

    1) Being a geek has only become cool/acceptable recently for anyone, and for women it’s even newer. Imagine being the only girl in your college chem-e or applied diff-eq class of 30 people and blowing every curve because your logic skills come more naturally, then tell me it’s easy to be popular and a geek girl. The guys you really have something in common with hate you for your brains when that happens, so forget about dating anyone you might be a good fit with for all of college.

    2) Being a non-hetero geek girl, someone who’s not interested in being hit on by men. Or being hetero but not interested in the “attention” geek girls receive from the opposite sex. The fact that non-hetero men are also not easily accepted as geeks either. The geek subculture as a whole is disapointingly judgemental and heteronormative.

    3) Working in a hard-core tech field and being the only female geek in the office. In the five years I spent at my last ISP job, I was the only female manager (and often the only female tech at all), I had other managers worry that I’d be offended and sue for sexual harassment because the boys (many of whom were long-term friends before my job) passed around sites like goatse (gross, but amusing and WTF?), and having to be seriously better at my job for less pay and less respect is bullshit. I finally got some traction when I told our VP (while outside smoking; otherwise I was ignored in management meetings) that there were major problems with a new system, and the process he wanted couldn’t be done in the 30 day time frame unless we hired 20 new techs and my evaluation turned out to be right. Working twice as hard under more stress because you’re a woman, and getting shit for being better at your job than any guy in the company is sucks. And it happens to geek girls all too often.

  17. I love how much attention this topic has gotten. I think the round table discussion would be awesome! Do we have the “official word” yet whether or not it will take place?

    My last input: I have seen geeky/nerdy girls (and guys) trying to hide their true selves by wearing whatever clothes are “cool” to try and fit in and I have seen “non-nerdy” girls (and guys) pretending to love things they don’t to get a little extra attention (especially at conventions). But let’s face it, the only way to find out the true nature of a person is a little conversation and face-to-face interaction. Like most people, it only takes a few minutes of chatting for me to discover someone’s true likes and dislikes.

    For example, I love when I enter into a conversation with a woman to find her perfect night includes playing video games, watching Lost reruns, and reformatting a hard drive or two (OK, I’m exaggerating on the hard drive part). But the point is… I care SO MUCH MORE about the things that come out in conversation that we may have in common than what she looks like.

    I know it sounds like a line of bull, but I’m going to say it anyway. Physical attributes may whither away, but intelligence and the ability to carry on a meaningful conversation are things that last forever.

    Good night all!

  18. I’m a guy(rat) that escapes reality and joins in the wonderful universe known as: Eveonline. My character is female and for a toon, pretty smokin hot. At any rate, I find that 50% of the time I can determine the gender/sex of another character by their mannerisms, I.E. speech(typing) patterns, word combination(s), phrases, and general lingo. That doesn’t mean that girls speak in a different language, it simply means that most geek guys I know will use different phrases to explain or rant about something from a different point of view. Men in general are prone to use sexist language more often than women. Back on point, it’s rather humorous in the Eve-verse that players will actually ask me right out, why I’m playing a female instead of a male. Truth be known, the male characters are ugly for the most part. I mean if I’m going to be looking at (myself) for months and years, why not make me into something eye catching? Besides I’m more of a girl anyway.

  19. *two* Twitter accounts? I must try that, it’d double the number of spammers I already have.

    But seriously- there must be some basis for the Geek girl legend? Just unicorns are based on narwhale horns washed up and found on beaches in ancient times…

  20. Emma Emma

    What I meant was that the title of the blog, although it could be construed as funny and it is clever, calls attention to femaleness as constructed by anatomy and the body. Women are often boiled down to their bodies by our society and limited to just that. As an attention getting device for male readers the title works well, but it could also lead to the views expressed in the blog being dismissed. Most of the fault for that is in our culture though, not the title of the blog.

    I study and write about comics in a college literature department and it was a fight for those who created the courses to get them approved.

    Comics are just as important as other pieces of writing and often convey a lot more subtle cultural critique that is outside of the mainstream. So when I say the title is trivializing I mean that in regards to the role of comics in wider culture, not in the role of comics for fans (which can be different, and as you pointed out humorous).

    Most of why I don’t read it is probably because of the types of comics I work with and yes I have read the posts, but the title is still going to bother me. Not because I am offended by boobs or even think it’s a bad title, but mainly because of how I view comics and because of the negative reactions I have gotten from others about them, etc.

  21. I tend to point out I’m a girl geek because back in the day, there weren’t so many of us. Now, there are certainly a lot more than back when I was in high school and being made fun of for reading Robert Jordan. I didn’t hide it then, I don’t hide it now. The difference is that now, I tend not to get made fun of. When I went to my first gaming convention (Origins) in 2001, I don’t remember seeing many girls. Maybe a few dozen compared to hundreds of guys. I got treated not so nicely by some of the vendors who just I thought I was there with my boyfriend. And I got kinda annoyed when they just waved me towards the sparkly dice and dismissed me.

    I’ve had more than a few experiences like that at gaming and comic book stores. Definitely less in the past five years though. But sometimes? It definitely feels like a boys only club. So I do like to step out and say, yes, I’m a girl. Yes I like to play D&D, yes I like sci-fi. Yes, we exist. Then I’m happy to move along with life.

    I also I hate to think that when I wear a more revealing costume (like my Number Six dress) to a convention that I may get thought of as just a girl who wants to show off and isn’t wearing it because she likes the character and worships the show. I could have just as easily worn my Victorian outfit that is collar to toes, and that would lead people to a different perception. I know I shouldn’t care about what other people think, but who can help that? Not me, I suck at that.

  22. Z. Z.

    I think we’re sort of seeing the double-edged sword of geekiness.

    First and foremost, what we have established here –what I tend to refer to in my writing as a cohesive nerd culture – is based on the concept that those who have been traditionally neglected and looked down upon are banding together into a cabal of accepting misfits. This means, of course, that our secret handshake isn’t too elaborate; we accept those who claim geek at face value. We want to be among our own. We want to celebrate and share and bond and grow stronger through these conenctions. Acid tests about your favorite programming language or tabletop RPG system are kind of moot in the world of the modern nerd where we finally seem to be coming out of the woodwork/out of our shells.

    At the same time we’ve got this media fascination with “geek chic” leading those outside of our odd little strata into our very midst. Our pastimes and passions have become commodities, as nerds are, at the heart of it, rabid, consistent consumers. So now we have an external element looking to, for lack of a better word, exploit our lifestyle. This makes us suspicious.

    Geek girls have it especially hard, as they are still, even in this enlightened age, seen as the extreme minority. Orlando’s Nerdapalooza is, to use a cliché but accurate example, the kind of place where men are often forced to stand in line for the restroom while the women get a chance to breeze in and out.

    So if you take into consideration the perceived scarcity of geek girls and couple that with the power of “nerd appeal,” it becomes easy to suspect that chick in the cat ears as being just another hanger-on, another Jenny-come-lately looking to horn in on our good time for her own benefit or amusement.

    But you know what? Tough shit for us!

    If we are to celebrate geek life and promote nerd pride/unity, the last thing we need to become is our own tormentors. Calling out The Nerdy Bird on the perception that she’s exploiting her sexuality is a fairly weak argument. Assuming this vocal opponent took the time to actually check out her writing, (s)he would find it fairly obvious where TNB’s interests lie and the depths of her passion for (and understanding of) comics as a medium.

    In the end, geek cred pissing contests are, perhaps unsurprisingly, fruitless. And also messy. Would Hipster, please! be a more successful endeavor if I were a woman? Possibly, but that’s neither your fault nor my concern. All we can do is be our beautiful nerdy selves in the most glorious manner possible. Everything save genuine authenticity will ultimately come out in the wash

  23. I really love the fact that no one’s gotten completely off track or hostile in comments. Regardless of viewpoint, we’re all listening to each other and dealing with the idea of gender in geek sub-culture, (it’s not really sub-culture, now, but…)
    That, to me, speaks volumes about the potential of bringing this to a panel at any con and I’d really love to see it happen. :)

  24. I actually had my suspicions the anonymous questioner could have been a women but there wasn’t real evidence either way. The only thing I know, from his or her follow-up questions was that he/she was speaking on behalf of male geek bloggers. The follow-up to the original anon question was, “I worded that poorly I suppose. It’s that you are 10x as popular as a guy who has been doing what you (or other popular lady-geeks) have done for half as much time. And to me that seems like sexploitation.Granted you write better than most guys I know.”

    @Aaron, I thought maybe the comment was in jest but you never know on the internet. :)

    @Emma, wow, that’s the first time I’ve heard of someone not wanting to read my blog because of the title. May I ask how it trivializes comic book fans exactly? I think it’s safe to say that as a whole, the comic community has a pretty good sense of humor with itself. No one really takes themselves too seriously because it’s more-so about having fun.

    My title is a satire on the commonly held assumption that only males read comics. I’m proud of my differences and yes, two of those differences happen to be my breasts. But you are right, the girl vs guy thing itself is tired, I would have thought by 2010 we’d be over it but sadly that’s not the case. I do call myself just “geek” but if we are in a discussion where specificity is warranted I have no problems calling myself a geek girl.

    Btw, have you read any of my posts/articles or did you just judge the book by the proverbial cover?

  25. This comment has been removed by the author.

  26. I guess my first question is: What does popularity and attention have to do with being a Geek?
    I thought Geekdom was based on interests (Computers, comics, games, anime, sci-fi, books, trivia, etc). What happens after you pronounce your interests/get the label is irrelevant.

    As for the comments; to me it look what is being discussed isn’t Geek girls existence at all but:
    Less Geek girls to Geek guys means smaller dating pool
    Geek Guys think their heartbreak was because the geek girl was using them.
    That a Geek girl is basically meant to be a potential date just because they have similar interests.

    It is like they meet a geek girl and automatically get disappointed when the girl isn’t interested in a date. Can’t a geek girl befriend a geek guy for the conversation, debates, tips, shared interests and laughs because they share a common love? Why does it have to lead to romance? Maybe instead of seeing a potential mate, try looking for a friend.

  27. I am always discouraged that a woman’s sexuality is always being put on trial. People should just be allowed to be themselves. Judge them for who they are and not how they look.

    I work hard on my blog. I don’t think not having boobs is why my blog doesn’t do as well as others. Although I think my title might. I am going to change it to “has penis, reads comics” Wait no one will be shocked by that. Back to the drawing board.

  28. Ugh. I could not read the exchange, could barely read the post, and I had to stop reading the comments. I was a geek girl when there weren’t supposed to be geek girls, got lambasted for daring to call myself a geek – because girls *just weren’t geeks,* and got accused of using my boobs to make it into the world of computer support. I gave up on coding early on because it was just too spirit-killing to prove myself.

    In the past 10 years, though, the Geek Girl archetype has come shining out, and women have been embracing it for all they are worth, and I love it. I still have major issues with showing my own boobs, and attempt to keep my body hidden below the neck when posting pics online, but I applaud any woman who is that comfortable with it – because boobs are still somewhat stigmatized. No, seriously. Guys, imagine if a girl adjusted her boobs in public as often as you adjust your balls. Said woman would be accused of all SORTS of attention-whoring. All because she dared to treat her boobs the same way she’d treat her waistline.

    Therefore, I think any open conversation along these lines is already crippled, because in Western society even using boobs for functional purposes (breastfeeding) is deemed obscene and a matter for closed doors, and believe me, that isn’t something mothers chose to implement on their own. Therefore, since boobs are already burdened with a severely excessive sexual context, is there any conversation that could escape that poisoned context? I don’t think so.

    Finally, to Erik (not from Google) who said he was giving up on the concept of geeky girls? Because the ones that really are don’t flaunt it? I understand that but at the same time, I get mad. The ones who don’t flaunt it don’t flaunt it because they were *stuffed in the closet.* Which means, effectively, that you’re ending up with the geek girls who are afraid to be totally overt about their geekiness, and suppress it. I used to be the same way, and it drives me berserk.

    To Josh with the challenge – only 5 years ago I did *vastly* better with a male geek online persona on Slashdot than I did with a female geek online persona. Sure, I was commented on more as a female, but I wasn’t HEARD. No one really read my shit. My arguments and commentary was glossed over, whether positive or negative, and I noted that my same arguments would be used later in the thread by male personas and would receive better acknowledgement. Sure, female gendered characters get better attention on an MMO, but without question that isn’t the be-all and end-all of geek cred.

    I’ll end this by saying I have a really hard time with this whole “sexuality as mitigator of popularity contest” shit because it is SO high school. Cmon, people. We’re operating in the world of the microscopic attention span. No matter what, a sexual context to content, whether male or female, makes people pay attention. If you don’t believe it, hang out on Chatroulette for a few.

  29. @TheNerdyBird I have a bit of a dry sense of humor, perhaps too dry at times, the entire first sentence was meant as a jest – hence the Vanity Fair reference. While I am sure you recognized the fact that it might raise the occasional comment when you chose the name of your blog/tagline, I didn’t take it as an effort regularly “stir the pot” if you will – its funny, catchy and memorable. All of my comments are really focused on the choice in blog/tagline and the resulting discussion that took place after the Q&A rather than the actual Q&A itself.

    Focusing on the actual question itself, I think we may see it a bit differently in some aspects. While the underlying theme obviously has merit as witnessed by 58 comments and counting, the question itself I found lacking on many different levels. First, “geek guys” like wet t-shirts as much as whatever a “non-geek guy” is called these days. Second, do some geek and non-geek women use their womanly wiles to various degrees to their advantage? Umm, yeah, that’s not exactly news. The kicker, they chose your Formspring (to post anonymously) as their rant playground. I’m sure your arsenal of womanly wiles is formidable, but unless I missed the page, I haven’t really seen them brought to bear? Your answer is much more measured than one I would be inclined to give, the only thing I disagree with is anything can be sexualized – it all depends on the context, think bananas.

    I am definitely not above clicking on follow for a -real- girl that is offering up boobs, I mean, who doesn’t like boobs? You used the word boobs on your Twitter page, but I didn’t see anything offering to share them and at the risk of losing any “geek cred” I might have with this crowd, its been a long time since I read a comic – hence the no initial follow. The reason for the recent follow is more and more people have talked about you, hence causing me to read a bit more and decide I like your writing style.


    P.S. Many seem to assume the anonymous poster is a guy, are we sure about that?

  30. I think it’s important to consider that SheGeekGirls – or something – can probably be perceived as threatening. As well as hot ofc ;) Not only are they members of the opposite gender – which perplexes ALL men I’m told. But they don’t hang out in our comic book store, they don’t come to our compsci lectures… I think a lot of HeGeekBoys may understand the concept of the SheGeekGirl but when presented with one don’t *really* know how to react…because she’s a girl. The fact that she’s geeky may have nothing to do with it. So they react in the time-honoured way: ZOMG A GURL ON TEH INTERBUTTES. Yes I’ve had that said to me – but by friends XD HeGeekBoys know about girls but may not know how to interact with them (believe me, I know those boys)and so when one turns up at ComicCon all they can be is shocked. Like if a girl turned up in the boys’ toilets perhaps?

    Lots of people made interesting points but that one hadn’t been made yet so I thought I’d drop it in there. The other part of the discussion – do girls use their girliness to get ahead? Maybe. But that’s ‘cos of how they are as girls. Some girls will take advantage of men, no matter what kind of men they are. I do it, sort of, if I know a cute smile and an eyelash flutter will get me to the bar quicker then by-god will I do so. But, as in any both gender group of people, there will be those willing to use their sexuality and those who don’t. The ones who don’t are the ones who may not get noticed forTheirGender and the ones who do, will. I’ve noticed it in my department at uni. There are CompSci Girls and girls who do compsci. The ones recognised by every subdivision of the boys and the ones whose names you can’t remember. It’s a sad fact, but it’s people. Not geeks. I think the reason so many SheGeekGirls may complain about HeGeekBoys is ‘cos there are so MANY of them and we feel that if we’re going into what we *know* is stereotypically a boy-oriented sub-culture we should be treated as people, but that’s not how it works. And so the SheGeekGirls redress this by going FINE I AM A GIRL. And then the HeGeekBoys notice all the other HeGeekBoys noticing and complain. Damned if we do (wear tiny t-shirts), damned if we don’t (wear hoodies) ;)

    I’m not sure if I’ve made any sense but this was such an interesting discussion I had to join in. But I think it’s probably an issue that will continue as long as there are sub-cultures. And people. Sorry for any sweeping generalisations you feel I made, they were for humour purposes only ^_^ xx

  31. I read through about half of the comments before adding my own, so I hope I don’t repeat what others have said.
    My girlfriend is super hot. She’s an ex-Hooter’s girl and model. She’s seen more anime than I have and plays games more than I do. She makes me feel like an inferior geek sometimes; that’s how geeky she is.
    We both play Magic: The Gathering in a semi-competitive environment. Now she’s not the best player, but she’s far from the worst, but most of the guys treat her like she’s never played the game before. These are guys we see weekend after weekend and continually treat her like an adornment. Nobody takes her seriously, even when she places in the tournament… which is generally met with hostility from the losers: “I can’t believe I/you/he got beat by a girl! She just got lucky.” People have even complained that she was trying to cheat by wearing a low-cut shirt to distract her opponent.
    This isn’t to say that all the guys are like this, but I would estimate 75% of them are. Of the other 25%, half of them are just excited to talk to her at all and view her more as just a hot girl than a girl with whom they can relate.
    The point I’m making is that my girlfriend is a very down-to-earth person and geeky, but because of her looks, she’s actually shunned more from the geeky realm than accepted. I’ve noticed that a lot of geeks have an attitude of “No pretty people allowed!” That includes other guys, because if they don’t LOOK geeky, then they must be one of the vial and hated jocks and preps!! Or they’re posers for whatever reason.
    I think it comes down to the fact that a lot of geeks have even succumbed to the geek stereotype and some refuse to even give anyone a chance that doesn’t fit it, which is ironic, considering geek circles originally form from not fitting a certain stereotype.

  32. HeGeek here. This is Mike. @DreamWorthy is a shared account with my wife, who for clarity, is a woman and SheGeek of sorts.

    We’re not full-fledged honorees, but I did score 100% Nerd, 74% Geek, 39% Dork on the Nerd|Geek|Dork test at Didn’t come close to our buddy @NerdHeroine, but I was proud. ;-)

    Personally, I think you’re letting one Anon jerk create much ado. We should celebrate the shift toward geekiness being cool (and practically mainstream) while still celebrating the diversity between genders and even within the geek community. If anyone should have a wide berth of tolerance, it should be us, right?

    Now, having said that, it is no secret that women rule the universe, whether overtly or covertly. And certainly they rule Social Media. When Kali & I created our personal accounts on Twitter, and tweeted equally, her follower rates outpaced mine by almost 2:1. ‘Nuff said.

    Now, as our adored friend @J3551C4 knows all too well, I can’t end this without some sort of *attempt* at humor, however, weak it may be.

    So, my SheGeek friends, please see this and have a wonderful weekend enjoying your superiority: ;-)

    Stay the course, GeekGirlDiva.

    Mike Kunkle, of:
    @DreamWorthy (Mike & Kali)

  33. And now my own thoughts:

    I like to think that I’ve gained and kept my following because of my writing style and personality. I rarely post photos of myself on my blog because to me, it’s not about that, I’d be putting up a different picture of myself with each post if I was aiming to maniacally seduce the internet. I’m not. I want to share my opinion about the things I enjoy and give people a view on some news they may not have heard yet. I post pictures of myself occasionally for fun or if they’re warranted for the story I’m writing.

    Is it an added bonus that some people think I’m good looking? I won’t lie, of course it is. But like I said earlier, that’s just the sad state of the world, specifically the entertainment industry. But just like geek guy bloggers can’t help but be just one of the crowd, I can’t help that I stand out. I’m in a wheelchair too, I’m sure I’ve got some handicap fetishists hanging around somewhere too. In fact, sadly, I know it.

    99% of the time the word “boobs” is the most searched term that people use and eventually wind up at my blog. It’s a given because it’s in the title but the bounce rate is almost 100% because, surprise, I’m not a porn site. How many pages must one go through to actually get to my site through that search? I can’t imagine it’s in the top 10. I’m more concerned that guys (or girls) are searching for “boobs” at all. I used it in my title because it’s funny, is porn stuck in the 6th grade?

  34. Wow, so many great comments here since I first checked back. I’ll just try and touch on a few.

    @J3551C4 LOL, “Has Fallopian Tubes, Reads Comics.” Rolls right off the tongue doesn’t it? :)

    @Erik (not from google) I agree with you up to a point. Most geek girls don’t yell it from the rooftops but you have to factor in the girls like me who are making a career for themselves in the geek field and therefore have every reason to flaunt it.

    @trollsmyth, fair point with “The idea that a girl will pretend to be geeky to attract the attention of geek guys… well, that just fills me a happy glow. Seriously? Non-geek gals are that interested in geek guys these days? Truly, this is the revenge of the nerds.” Obviously I personally see the allure in a guy who’s into the same geeky stuff as I am but what is there really to attract a non-geek to them? Traditionally that’s been a big no-no.

    I love what Justin said here, “The simple act of a woman being attractive doesn’t and shouldn’t in any way diminish her interest in geekery to being exploitative.” The geek community is not immune to the differences in the rest of the world. Some are found more attractive than others, everyone has their personal tastes. Why should someone being attractive be automatically linked with them being exploitative? Of course some people do exploit their good looks for all their worth but that happens EVERYWHERE.

    @maw, and not just girl geeks but geeks in general. Growing up I was deprived of both. I enjoy the community I’ve found online of people who share my interests.

    @Andrew, you’re absolutely right. A geek girl can get them in the door but if she has no writing talent or nothing interesting so say I find it hard to believe the majority of people would keep following her just because she’s a girl.

    Teresa, wow, great points all around.

    I think Elliot made an interesting point. How many aspects of society, careers, what-have-you, are females the ones constantly being favored over men? Modeling perhaps? I can’t really think of any others. So it’s an interesting switch, the females are supposedly getting preferential treatment as it were in the geek world and some geek males are upset. The opposite has been going on in society throughout history. Think of the woman passed over for a promotion in her law firm because the man with the same abilities is thought to exude more confidence or stand stronger in the courtroom.

    @Aaron, “I don’t know her personally, but boy does it seem like she likes to stir up trouble.” What makes you say this, because I answered honestly and intelligently a question I was asked that I thought deserved an answer? Or because I chose “Has Boobs, Reads Comics” as the name of my blog? The fact that you said after reading my tagline that you had no real opinion here-nor-there is a great example that not all geek guys are the same and won’t simply be drawn in by BOOBS. It’s like saying a movie will be successful simply because it has the most attractive actors and actresses starring in it. It may get them in the door but if it’s a crap movie it’ll be out of theaters within a month and the dvd sales will be shit.

  35. (second part)

    When it comes to attention, the only thing more annoying than getting attention from someone you don’t want paying attention to you is not getting attention from someone that you do want to pay attention. What I do find interesting in the blog post and the comments is that most of this is centering on guys paying attention to girls and absolutely ignores girls paying attention to girls. There are guys with the “strong alpha male personalities” and some that pretend on the Internet, but girls can be far more aggressive than the average guy when flirting with or chasing another girl. I’m not judging, I’m just sayin’….

    Perception is a key component in reality, if you believe that people don’t take you seriously, are just interested in your boobs or don’t listen because you don’t have boobs you will tend to see more things in that light than is probably prudent. That’s not to say those situations don’t exist or people won’t post what you consider to be an inappropriate question on your Formspring page, but you have to keep your perspective and objectivity otherwise you run the risk of shaping your reality with your own prejudices.

    As for She Who Has Boobs and Reads Comics (Need I say more?), I don’t know her personally, but boy does it seem like she likes to stir up trouble – you’re not a ghost writer for Vanity Fair’s Vanessa Grigoriadis by any chance? I’m kidding!!! Honestly, the first time I read the tag line I laughed and didn’t think much more about it at the time – nor did I hit the follow button at the time. I would imagine as she seems to be an intelligent person that if her tag line was causing her more grief than she felt was worth it, she would have reworked it by now – shrug. To Mr. Anonymous Formspring commenter, sometimes anonymous is cute, other times such as this if its something you truly believe, sign your name – the hate mail does stop eventually, believe me.

    I’m not claiming the universe is perfect, fair or that it is equal, it probably never will be. Financial standing, social influence, gender, race and age are all easy focus points, but even once beyond that if 5 people start out in a race there will be one winner and four people that did not win that race. Whats more frustrating than being one of those who didn’t win is if you ran that same race every day for five days it is quite possible the outcome will be different depending on the day. If there is a particular goal you are trying to achieve or a message you are trying to convey and it doesn’t seem to be working the way you want and it’s important to you, look inward and try tweaking your approach. Absent of any needs, agendas or goals, just be yourself, whoever that may be.


    P.S. This doesn’t mean we are canceling #boobiewed, does it? :-O

  36. Alright, this is probably going to go bad for me in a couple of different ways, but you only live once. I know I need to take in to consideration the venue, but is this really a localized “geek girl” issue or the more common issue of how nicely and appropriately guys and gals play together? I am a guy, so maybe I don’t truly understand, but it sounds like the latter to me.

    I’m not really a fan of labels personally, we all use them to simplify our journey through life but it rarely is a complete picture and a label will always mean something a bit different to everyone. One may not consider a person a geek unless they can write a Linux kernel module while another may consider playing WoW as total geekdom. So, is he/she geek enough? Does it really matter? To those only wanting to wear it as a badge of convenience, its like the inheritance e-mails, ignore them.

    I definitely agree that if you create two Twitter accounts at the same time, one with an average looking male avatar and another with an average looking female avatar and posted the same message around the same time to the current trending topic the female avatar will attract more followers. That’s just life. Now, does that mean the female avatar will be more successful if they have a particular purpose or agenda? No, hardly, its going to depend on the execution. Most will just as happily unfollow a girl as they will a guy if they find something annoying, contradictory to their own beliefs or they just simply loose interest. Does that mean a “geek guy” has to work harder to get noticed, as a guy, I don’t think I can agree with that.


  37. I’M IN. It’s so strange that this debate goes on. I honestly didn’t know there wer so many geek girls until I joined twitter, I was so used to being the only girl at my local cons bearing the uncomfortable stares of a room full of guys. I never thought of it as sexist just that I was a minority.:)

    The whole thing with Jill pissed me off . I love her blog title and you will notice it’s not HER boobs she’s showing off!! I would read her posts no matter what her sex was and I now follow way more geek guys because i’ve read their posts thru geek girls, I think mr or miss anomyous is just jealous.pure and simple.

  38. Ha! Boobs don’t get me any extra twitter followers! (I must be doing it wrong.)

    – I went to buy a comp. case at a used parts store (was making a rig for a friend). Asked the sales dude “do you have any cases, you know, not bundles?” since I didn’t see any. His reply, “Is this for like a school play or something?” You know, because no way could I need it for its actual purpose! Surely I was a 22 year old high schooler doing a play? Lucky for me I found a vid card in the 20 dollar bin that was too nice for the bin. He tried to tell me I didn’t want that one. I narrowed my eyes at him with a bitter “Oh, but it’s SHINY”.

    – I worked at a Staples for years. Despite my long, nerdy conversations with the comp repair guy and nerdy friends in the tech aisle- they put the clueless jock in there before me cuz girls don’t work the tech aisle. Even when the staff who were competent would tell the boss to please trade him for me.

    It’s not all that different from getting ignored if you step out of the paint/decorating area of Home Depot and into the lumber area except to be asked if you’re lost.

    So I’m not sure where all these benefits are.

    I do get extra help when buying D&D supplies, but usually it’s not desired. Take a big step back, Dorito-breath.

    I think the only male geeks who complain about female geeks being girly are the ones who are single and lonely. Just because they’re geekier than most geeks doesn’t mean they get first dibs on the girls. No matter how many geeky girls you see around the ‘nets, you still have to be willing to up out of that chair once in a while yourself if you want to get one. I’m a geek, but I did my time dancing in a cage in a manhattan nightclub, I have some non-geeky interests as well, friends, hobbies etc. My husband is geeky, but he’s also well-rounded.

  39. I’m leaning towards agreeing with Theresa on most points. When certain guys talk about girls not being ‘real geeks’ their reasoning is along the lines of, “Oh, we’re talking about HOT girls. Those of you who don’t make the cut can just move along, we’re not terribly interested in your existence.”

    Geeky girls are nothing new. Long before the internet girls were writing and sharing fan fiction for shows like Star Trek, Quantum Leap, V, etc. They were meeting at cons and writing filks. Just because the media portrays nerds as mainly boys in glasses with pocket protectors doesn’t mean that has ever been descriptive of the majority of the subculture.

    So, yeah, if guys didn’t notice them, it’s mostly because they were ignoring the slightly chubby frizzy-haired girls who were more interested in science fiction than they were in wearing makeup and dressing in trendy clothes.

    I never had a single guy in high school come up to me all excited over the fact that I was reading Asimov or because I had a huge picture of Wolverine on my binder. None of my geeky friends were asked out on a date or to a dance before college. Not one. Zip. Zilch. Nada. Clearly we’re not in THAT much demand by geeky boys.

    I’ve been ignored and made to feel unattractive most of my life. I have no intention of letting anyone shame me for the fact that I advertise that I’m a girl who likes nerdy things. For the first time I’m actually getting positive attention from guys–and still without worrying about makeup or designer clothes. I think there’s worse things in life than having people take an interest in you because of your intellectual pursuits.

    Here’s a question: If I was a lesbian, and I was getting attention from other geeky lesbians by calling myself a nerdy girl, would people condemn me for ‘using the fact that I’m a girl’ to get attention from other geeks?

    Geek guys may not get as much attention right off the bat, but they also don’t have the onus of being ‘pure’ and innocent for their followers. Look at poor Felicia Day and the snotty comments she got from a lot of fans because she took a mildly sexy photo for Vanity Fair.

    Nobody stopped liking Zaboo for ‘losing his innocence’ with Riley but one quick shot of Codex in bed with the leader of the Axis of Anarchy made a bunch of (male) fans complain because they’re bothered by the fact that she’s no longer cute and ‘innocent.’

    If an attractive geek guy celeb was in a photo shoot wearing ripped jeans and a tight t-shirt, most of his fans wouldn’t be all, “OMG, ur just riding on sex appeal, don’t expect to be taken seriously!!!11one”

    But, as irritating as all that is, I think it’s a mistake to assume that an annoying and vocal subset of geek culture speaks for the majority.

  40. that’s a discussion i’d be very interested to witness.

    no one is going to lie and say that female sexuality hasn’t been or isn’t being used to gain male “nerd” interest. (i cite pretty much all comics, video games, booth chicks etc etc etc)

    but whining about it and claiming that good bloggers and tweeters only have followers because they have boobs (oh lets face it, so do some guys) well that is just not facing the fact that ladies are just as interesting as men. PERIOD. (ha)

  41. Girl geeks are both like Neutral-aligned clerics from Dragonlance and the Saturday Night Live Band: We don’t get enough camera time.

  42. This is a human issue not really a geek issue. We just see this through our geek eyes.

    Woman feel like they aren’t taken seriously, guys don’t feel special. Always keep this in mind when interacting with people. Let women know that we do take you seriously and tell guys that they are special.

  43. I’m in as well. I’ve never promoted myself as a geek girl, but my geekiness won me a fiance because he was so psyched to find a girl who likes video games. It’s an advantage, for sure, but I’ve never made a big deal about it.

  44. Ok, I know that there are probably a hojillion and 12 other comments on here, but I had to add mine, LOL.

    In almost any “personality type” (gah, I hate that phrase), girls will almost always get more attention than guys, if only for their bodies. Sometimes, because they do their damndest to put themselves out there and get the attention (like athletes), and sometimes, it’s simply because they’re not “the norm” (like the one or two girls in Shop Class). I think that sometimes we give the males in our lives (co-workers, friends, family members, critics, random people on the streets, etc.) too much credit for the “hard time” we have to go through to get recognition. Yes, it IS hard to be taken seriously as a woman, especially when you’re taking what you do seriously, and have to work with other women who either don’t take what you do seriously or overdo the drama on how hard you have to work to achieve success. There’s a fine line between having a hard time, and perceiving that you’re having a hard time.
    I’ve always been one of those girls that pretty much just hangs out with guys. Oddly enough, most of my online friends are women who are the same…most of their offline friends are guys. On the internet, we’re from all over, and it’s somewhat easier to find each other than it is in the offline world…I can barely find girls around me who I can have an intelligent, geeky conversation with, or sit with my husband and friends for an epic game of RISK or D&D or even Mage, or revel in my love of BSG…On the flipside, my girly side, I’ve tried joining craft groups (I’m HUGE into crocheting and cross-stitch), and I just don’t fit in. I’m not into the same things as the ladies there are, either. It would be just as disingenuous of me to try to fit in with the craft circles, even of women my age, as it would for one of them to try to sit through a 5-hour or so round of Mage (while I yell at my Storyteller husband for not being into the game enough, lol).
    But, I don’t try to fit myself in where I don’t fit.
    I think I got off topic a little, but my point is basically…sometimes, we just need to be who we are. Sometimes, there are battles worth fighting, especially when it calls into question your integrity (i.e. Geek Girls aren’t really geeks, they just like to stretch the Superman Logo across their tits)…but, make sure you’re fighting the right battle, and not just yelling at a troll. Feed the trolls, and they’ll just keep coming back for more, and end up eating your soul ;)

  45. Hubby and I will be at SDCC and we’re in for this discussion. I think it would be interesting and fun.

  46. This isn’t a simple situation. It’s not just “sex sells,” and there is a lot that can be related to heteronormity, homophobia, and male privilege.

    Back in the day when homosexuality was “taboo”, geeks were seen as outcasts, weak, and uncool, and they were usually male. What girl would want to date someone perceived as weak? Hence the whole notion that geeks are seclusive, awkward, and have bad luck with girls. Being a geek was like some sort of exclusive Guy’s Club, and when a girl showed interest in the geeky guy, or in being a geek herself, well that was just surprising and out of the norm! Not only was that girl showing interest in the “weak” guy, but in also participating in something that was typically a male hobby even if it was the “outcast” hobby. Geekdom was a “guy thing.” Being a girl in geek culture was a rarity and hard to do, what with having to maintain “femininity” so as not to appear “too masculine” (HEAVEN FORBID!) but also having to deal with geek men vying for their attention; remember that geek men were seem as weak and not known as ladies’ men, so a girl geek was something to chase after.

    Are those generalizations? Yes, but also what things used to be like before geek girls became more common. What does this have to do with heteronormity and homophobia? Well, men are “supposed” to be physically strong, have broad shoulders, but the stereotypical image of a geek guy is a scrawny, thin (even TOO thin) guy who probably needs glasses and hates sports and athletics. Women, on the other hand, are supposed to have a tiny waist, large perky breasts, and is of course frail and “needs” the strong men. Therefore a stereotypical geek guy physically resembles a woman more since he’s thinner and hates sports (because those wimminz can’t like sports, doncha know).

    These days, adding a sexual flare to anything is expected. This of course applies to being a geek too. Being a girl in a geek world is especially hard because male privilege expects women to be sexual objects of their fantasies, which conflicts with the old views of a geek being awkward and not made for romance, let alone sex, and with so many comics being geared toward the heterosexual male, many women are depicted in comics as looking like the female described above (large breasts, tiny waist, needs the big strong man). How are women supposed to live up to the expectation that she is supposed to look that way, appear sexy, and also fit in with the geek guys? Male privilege wants women to be sex symbols but also gets mad at them when we embrace and take control of our sexuality and use it how we want. Somehow we’re automatically sluts or some other derogatory sexual word if we even dare to mention our body parts (UTERUS) and if we do mention them (FALLOPIAN TUBES) then it means we must be using sexuality to attract attention from men (38C) because there can be no other reason we would ever be so brazen as to be comfortable with our bodies, sexuality, and femininity (TAMPONS TOO FOR GOOD MEASURE). Not to mention that it’s extremely indulgent that a man would first assume any mention of female anatomy means she wants attention from men, but it also implies that he things she is heterosexual, using sex to get ahead, and that she’s “slutty.”

    That’s all kind of a jumbled mess and I didn’t really get anywhere, but there you go.

  47. guys vs girls, tired of that argument, let’s try a different one…who’s the real geek now and who’s the poser? Whenever geek chic goes back underground, who will still admit they are a geek? Yes more women are outing themselves as geeks because it’s popular and “safe” to do. Think maybe that’s also at the source of this problem? our comfort level with admitting we’re geeks?

  48. Dan Dan

    Part of the reason I follow so many geek girls on Twitter and not so many geek guys is that you all reference each other in tweets and then conversation. I can form a chain leading from a podcast I listen to that starts with them and ends up at NerdyBird with pit stops along the way at all sorts of geek girls. It’s more about networking in my eyes.

    I think it’s just a natural part of being in a male dominated culture (rightly or wrongly…it seems about balanced in my experience, guys are just more willing to embrace it and let chicks not do so), as I’ve seen the same behavior in WoW and wargaming. Different attracts attention, and if you have boobs, you’re different. Grats, I guess?

  49. :::shakes head:::

    This whole ‘male geek versus female geek’ gives me a headache.

    To the guy who says ‘geek girls get more attention that geek guys’ I say: waaah waaah waaaah! Baby wanna bottle? Try working for 75 cents on the dollar, spending decades fighting for equal rights and being marginalized in just about every part of society, and then get back to me.

    To the females who say that ‘geek girls’ are just putting themselves out there to get attention, don’t worry, I’m not coming anywhere near you with my penis. I know that makes you angry. And yes, I know where your eyes are, we’ve maintained eye contact this whole time.

    I would so love to be on this panel so I could say these things and have people throw tomatoes at me.

  50. whoops, there was supposed to be a heart in there, making it “I heart nerds”

    thats what I get for using “greater than” and “less than”

  51. @Nerd In Paradise
    “Of course, it’s just one nerd’s viewpoint, but I find the less a woman outwardly projects her level of “nerdism”, the hotter she is!”

    its not so much projecting it that attracts me, its more the sharing of interests. Although, I do enjoy it when she wears a “I nerds” shirt, just for me.

    Do you not find geek girls attractive, or do you just prefer those who can ‘hide their power level’ and fit into normal society?

  52. Argh. I wrote a long-ass comment, and I think it didn’t take. Apologies if these ramblings end up posting twice! :)

    Thanks, Josh! :) Re: your comment – “However, if a person chooses to emphasize differences, she abdicates the right to complain when people don’t treat her “the same as everyone else.”

    You can’t have it both ways, indeed.”

    I agree to a point. While that’s very much the case in theory, the fact is that the women who choose to emphasize their differences and use that as an advantage are doing it to make up for years of being overlooked, and I think it’s something that needs to be allowed to happen.

    Not to go too far off topic, it’s similar to the idea behind something like affirmative action. If a group is marginalized for years and years it’s not enough to just one day say “OK, we’re all equal now” and be done with it. Because there’s a gap there, a disparity there. So you purposely tip the scales in the opposite direction to allow the marginalized group to catch up. The idea, of course, being that eventually that measure won’t be needed anymore.

    I believe that there WILL be a time when “Women in Comics” panels won’t be needed anymore. There WILL be a time when being female won’t make one a novelty, and a woman will have no recourse but to be seen on her merits. I’m HOPING that day comes, and soon.

    But that time hasn’t arrived yet for geekdom, and I think guys need to stop complaining about the overcompensating and the fact that women being seen as a novelty gives them an “unfair advantage”, because this is what NEEDS to happen if things are ever going to be equal. Women often feel the need to overcompensate by emphasizing their “girl”-ness as a reaction to a double-standard we had very little part in creating.

  53. I would be more than happy to “lend a machete to your intellectual thicket” (POTC reference anyone?) at the SDCC!

    Of course, it’s just one nerd’s viewpoint, but I find the less a woman outwardly projects her level of “nerdism”, the hotter she is!

    I’ll be volunteering at WonderCon & at SDCC, so look me up! I’ll be the one in the bright red Hawaiian shirt.

    Nerd In Paradise

  54. Anonymous Anonymous

    It is very reassuring to know we geeks are not alone, even if we are seperated by the internet, we’re also brought together by that

    It is very empowering

  55. I spent the majority of my childhood and adolescence being the shy girl in a corner with my nose in a book. Geek Girls, or SHEGeeks or whatever we want to call ourselves, are finally a force to be reckoned with. No, I don’t care if a geek uses whatever attributes gets them the cred or attention they want, be they male or female.
    What I know is this: Discussion is good. I also know that I find it enormously empowering to have a large array of women, (and men,) whom I consider peers in geekery, on twitter. I spent most of my life being the outsider, not just among girls my age, but the boys, too. Even the geek boys, because of the exclusive nature of their cliques. I understand why male geeks banded together in that way, but it left me and a lot of other girls out in the cold.
    I’m grown now, and I know who I am. I am a Geek Goddess, proud of it, and dammit, I’ll use my boobs however I want to. ;)

  56. SDCC discussion – I’m in. This is such a great topic.

  57. Anonymous Anonymous

    Erica has some interesting points, but I wanted to comment on her note on Twitter:

    Personally I have very few followers, I follow whoever I find interesting (gender is irrelevant, though I like stuff guys like and know more guys so I follow more guys than gals – but thats more a factor of knowing and less a factor of preference)

    I find both genders to be equally relevant and meaningful. I just know less girls /shrug

    Regarding Retweeting – in some cases that’s a factor of intimidation, in others it’s a factor of not knowing.

    Maybe i’m different than most folks, but if a person has something interesting to say that I want to respond to, I’ll respond to it, gender irregardless. My interest bias however does tend to have me more interested in responding to certain comments than others, but thats how people are /shrug

    I’d say most of the guys who have a lot of followers on twitter are more well known, a function of celebrity and popularity mainly. (There aren’t a lot of active female tweeters – at least that I know about) Unknown guys and unknown gals are about the same place when it comes to follower numbers

  58. Couple Twitter things:

    1. On Twitter, men in general have more followers than women. More men use Twitter than women.

    2. On Twitter, men are far more likely to be RT’d than women. Which means they end up having a stronger voice.

    This makes me thing some people are just whining.

    Personally, I purposely follow more women than men. I work in computers and my main hobby (comics) are all male dominated. I want to support the women in my fields/interests.

  59. wow, this is a really great discussion!

    I posted the ‘is science’ post anonymously earlier because i was not sure what reaction it would get. (some people don’t understand my silliness.)

    Anyway, I just wanted to point out that I have a super hot geek girlfriend.

    not to brag (well, maybe a little) but because I fell for her before I even got to see what she looked like. We met through a mutual friend’s forum, talked a lot and if not for the fact that she lived two states and Canada away, I’d have asked her out then. Eventually I moved on, tried to date a geek girl who I liked to some degree because of her looks, and it didn’t turn out well.

    Eventually I got news that she was going to move to my area and it took some convincing, but eventually she decided that I was worth dating. (something about thinking the the guy from ‘numbers’ was cute and then noticing that I looked like him, its the curly hair, and then realizing that she thought I was cute) we have been happily dating ever since!

    the fact that our personalities mesh, and we have interests in the same things gave us such a connection that when we told people we were dating that most people reacted with “about time” or something similar.

    I love that my geek girl is super hot, but I love even more that we have so much nerdery in common, and I truly fell for her before I got to see how gorgeous she was.

    and possibly, that made her even more beautiful.

  60. Anonymous Anonymous

    Speaking as a geek guy

    Teresa’s comment gets to the core of the issue nicely:

    If you’re not attractive it doesn’t matter if you’re a geek (boy or girl) or not, the geek factor just adds that commonality factor to it.

    It all comes down to what attracts people to other people. Is it personality? or is it outer shell first? Generally it’s outside first, but it’s personality that seals the deal.

    A lot of it has to do with how we are culturally and genetically programmed to find certain things attractive. Geeks generally don’t inherently exhibit these traits on the surface. Geekdom is an internal personality element, it’s rarely external and when it is – it’s often overtly rejected in external form.

    A female geek who also happens to be physically attractive is a different entity from a female geek that isn’t as attractive.

    Same applies to guys

    The “less physically attractive” people generally feel the same frustrations, And want the same things that others want, but have an increased difficulty in obtaining what they want (because those that are potentially compatible aren’t looking for them, any more than they’re looking for them either). We are all trying to find happiness in the same places, and that makes it frustrating and akward

    Overt sexuality, overt geekiness, and manipulators who blatantly impersonate clouds the issue and makes belief in possibility frustrating, makes denial a more palatable alternative (instead of despairing of ever finding that geek girl perfect package, we give up and pretend they’re fiction. This is often reinforced by liars who pretend to be girls to use sexuality to get what they want – see mailbox dancing in WoW for example).

    If people could see inner beauty instead of outer beauty first, this would be a complete non issue. But thats not how we work. >> Shallowness trumps depth. Genetically we’re predisposed to Not look in the right places for emotional fulfillment, we’re programmed to look for sexual fulfillment first (for the most part)

  61. LOL. This sounds like it would be fun to attend.

    I do think that a “geek girl” does get a little more attention than a “geek guy.” There’s just not as many of ’em… But I think I personally treat them equally.

    Either people like what you have to say or they don’t. I notice that when and if I look at who follows me on Twitter and then unfollows me for whatever reason.

  62. I’m there. More thoughts later. Awesome post.

  63. Seems to me there’s two different convos going on in the comments.

    1) whether girls can be geeks or not.
    2) what “advantages: girl geeks get when it comes to popularity/exposure.

    I can attest to #1 without question – nearly all of my female friends sincerely subscribe to one sort of fandom, and it’s great to be able to share that with a girl – platonically, romantically, or otherwise – without being typecast as “weird.”

    As far as #2 goes, I’d rather save my thoughts for an in-person get-together, which I’d be happy to attend, if you’ll have me.

  64. I certainly think that a geek girl is going to get more attention right out the gate than a geek guy. You’re dealing with a predominately male and (let’s be honest) socially awkward demographic and they’re going to flock to the boobs.

    Having said that, I don’t think that a geek girl is going to make it on the strength of her gender alone. Advantage? Sure. But if there’s no substance there then she’s not going to make it as a blogger/comic artist/podcaster etc.

    I really don’t think that most geeky girls are doing it for the attention though. I’m friends with several hot geeky girls and happily married to one, and all of them find the attention more annoying than anything else. Nothing turns them off faster than “OMG A GIRL LOL” as a pickup line. I think that a lot of the presumed arrogance that geek girls get accused of is really just guys confusing disinterest for a stuck up attitude.

    All of those geek girls I mentioned are out there taking part in geeky pastimes because it’s what they love. The attention is usually more of an annoyance and a hindrance to their hobby than a perk.

    Ultimately I think that a lot of the problem is that as geek goes mainstream the social misfits who traditionally made up the bulk of that group find themselves being pushed to the edges of their own social circle. And it’s probably a natural reaction to lash out a bit at anything new, but it’s something that people are going to have to get over because the geeky girl is here to stay. And more power to them.

  65. Teresa — Your comment is heartfelt and spot on. Congratulations for being to the point and honest. This is a harrowing fray to walk into, but let me put something else out there:

    At one point, you said, “You can’t have it both ways, Fucknuts.”

    I’d take that statement and apply it in another direction: I’m totally cool with a woman who shares nerdy passions, yet “flaunts it” or plays up sexuality for attention. To some, it can be empowering, or build confidence, or even be a mask through which inner personality can come through. In and of itself, it can be a good thing.

    However, if a person chooses to emphasize differences, she abdicates the right to complain when people don’t treat her “the same as everyone else.”

    You can’t have it both ways, indeed.

  66. maw maw

    I refer to myself as a geek girl, simply because it’s the easiest way to describe myself so that people with similar interests will find my blog/tweets. As I have been happily married for ten years I’m certainly not doing it to attract male attention. In fact the best thing about twitter is the fact that there are so many great girl geeks around, something that most of us have lacked in our lives. So we can’t help getting excited when we meet others… which twitter and the web allows us to do.

    Not sure where Erik got the idea that calling yourself a geek, girl or no,t means you can’t be one. I would happily call myself a geek girl and yet I love anime, sci-fi, horror, comics, write code for a living… I could go on but you get the idea.

    I was just as happy to refer to myself as a geek or a nerd for years when all it got me was confused looks or outright abuse, so why should I stop now just because a few idiots have jumped on the bandwagon? I didn’t let public opinion stop me from being a geek then, and I think it would be equally lame to do so now for the opposite reason. Either way it’s caring way too much about other people’s opinions.

    I’m not saying there aren’t fake people out there. Those kind of people pop up in every walk of life, but in my experience they are in the minority. So why not take the time to judge people for themselves, instead of making assumptions based on the fact that geek is chic all of a sudden?

  67. i want to add one more thing. This, i’m aware is a big generalization, but i’m going to use it anyway. As a general rule, most geeks are weary of attention. ESPECIALLY when we were younger. Attention to my nerdiness often led to scrutiny by my peers and I generally tried to avoid attention in this manner as much as possible.
    This attention avoiding attitude bled quite directly over into even my earliest forays into math and science in male dominated environments. In college, i was the only female physics major in my year (though often accompanied by the two female astronomy majors) and every time i felt like i brought any attention to the fact i was female it brought me immediately into the spotlight. For example, the first time i wore a skirt and heels to class, every single classmate had to comment on it and ask me what was up with my weird clothes. Now in retrospect, the attention i got for being female was never, ever malicious like the attention i got for being a geek in my childhood, but those childhood experiences made me really fear attention at all because i assumed it was negative, even when it wasn’t. It took me a long time to realise that there was such a thing as good attention.
    I am really happy to live in a geek culture now where i realise that all attention isn’t really bad. i started this off as a generalization because i’m pretty sure i’m not alone in this. In fact, i think a lot of adult geeks still struggle with a fear of attention of any form. Whatever you want to make of girl geeks getting a lot of attention is your own personal opinion, but i’m really glad that geek culture is a place where i can feel that that attention is positive.

  68. I am nerd, and a girl. been a comic book, sci-fi, fantasy, chess and book nerd for as long as I can remember. and I don’t think I have though about this subject before!
    Maybe it’s because I’m Swedish and in Sweden a nerdy girls (particularly comic book nerds) are practically non-extistent.
    In my group of friends where we are all nerds I’m the only girl and I have never felt left out or that I have not been taken seriously but when I meet new people that are interested in the same stuf as I, They are often very Surprised and impressed that I do love That kind of stuf. AND that I’m a girl.
    And when I read this blog it just hit me, that that surprised look that a Girl Can like stuf like that? really bugs me.
    But at the same time, thoose people often start out surprised and then intrigued because they see my interests and my passion for thoose things are for real and that I’m as far away from a girl (or boy) who uses the Nerd stamp as an image, because that’s ‘cool’ as I possibly can.
    I follow alot of nerd chics on Twitter because as said it’s very rare here in Sweden with girls who like that kind of stuf. sad for me =/
    Great Blog btw!

  69. I am nerd, and a girl. been a comic book, sci-fi, fantasy, chess and book nerd for as long as I can remember. and I don’t think I have though about this subject before!
    Maybe it’s because I’m Swedish and in Sweden a nerdy girls (particularly comic book nerds) are practically non-extistent.
    In my group of friends where we are all nerds I’m the only girl and I have never felt left out or that I have not been taken seriously but when I meet new people that are interested in the same stuf as I, They are often very Surprised and impressed that I do love That kind of stuf. AND that I’m a girl.
    And when I read this blog it just hit me, that that surprised look that a Girl Can like stuf like that? really bugs me.
    But at the same time, thoose people often start out surprised and then intrigued because they see my interests and my passion for thoose things are for real and that I’m as far away from a girl (or boy) who uses the Nerd stamp as an image, because that’s ‘cool’ as I possibly can.
    I follow alot of nerd chics on Twitter because as said it’s very rare here in Sweden with girls who like that kind of stuf. sad for me =/
    Great Blog btw!

  70. I want to thank Erik (Not from Google) for bringing this up:

    “That isn’t to say that I haven’t met girls who DON’T do or like all that I have listed. It’s just that these girls typically don’t go out of their way to be called “The Geek Girl”. They are normally the ones who you have no idea about until one day you are talking to them and they relate a DnD story to you.”

    They’re usually the ones you have no idea about. This is what it’s really about. It’s not about whether geek girls exist or not at all. It’s about “hot” ones getting different treatment.

    I have a friend who lives in LA. Her name is Heather, and she’s gorgeous. She’s also been crazy into X-Men and other comics since she was about 15, and she cosplays at conventions as The Black Cat. She’s hot. She could easily get a guy’s attention whether she were geeky or not, and so the fact that IN ADDITION to being hot she’s ALSO a geek makes guys drool.

    She’s the perfect combination of both things: hot girl and geek.

    And girls like HER are who I think guys refer to when talking about Geek Girls.

    I remember reading a post on Brian K. Vaughan’s blog once, where he commented on the fact that both Amber Benson and Rosario Dawson both shouted out Y: The Last Man in interviews, which he thought was cool. Then he posted pics of them and said “Where were girls like you when I was in high school?”

    Geek girls were in high school WITH you. You just didn’t notice them, because they were probably just as awkward and unattractive as you were, which is part of what made them geeks in the first place.

    Now, guys think geek girl and, whether she’s “actually into geeky stuff” or not – they’re thinking of (or hoping for) cosplayers in skimpy outfits. THEY’RE the ones wanting that, then they have the nerve to get upset when women get attention by doing it.

    You can’t have it both ways, fucknuts.

    This is NOT to say that women SHOULDN’T do that stuff. If you’ve got it, flaunt it! The point is that it’s up to the woman to revel in her geekitude however she wants without having to run it by the Sisterhood, or ask for a guy’s approval/permission.

    I wasn’t expecting to get so upset about this! :) But it sucks. Because I’ve been going to a lot of conventions lately…and I’m not hideous or anything, but I’m chubby, and I’m not conventionally attractive. Any guys I talk to at cons are ALWAYS distracted by the Sailor Moons and the women dressed like Poison Ivy. And when they’re talking about “geek girls”, for good, or ill, they’re not talking about me. They’re not even thinking about girls like me, which makes their objections about “geek girls using their boobs” to get attention all the more infuriating…because not all of us are, and therefore, we are invisible.

  71. i’m a little confused at erik’s comment:
    So yeah, I give up on “The Geek Girl”, because the real ones don’t flaunt it. They just do stuff because they like it.

    on a comment thread on a blog written by the self-proclaimed “GeekGirlDiva” herself… but whatever.

  72. Anonymous Anonymous

    Geeks in general have been invisible because we are often introverted and or not very up front about our geekdom – pre net we didnt have a community outside specialty shops/settings. Geeks recognize each other but outside of geek circles we’ve been essentially invisible for a long time.

    Geek girls are percieved as rare (becuase they’re not as commonly known about or seen) and partly because the ones that are known about aren’t percieved to be attractive (partly because of stereotypes perpetuated about what males find attractive)This makes female geeks that are more open about their sexuality fascinating, mainly because that creates a resonance with male geeks.

    On the other hand male geeks are so common and so stereotypical that a lot of stereotypes are made about us (some fair some not) – it makes it a lot harder for us to be sexual in that way as well, which feeds on our frustrations as geeks.

    The end result of these frustrations leads to a strong psychosexual reaction to geekdom, that makes female geeks inordinately almost compulsively attractive and fascinating to (often very lonely) male geeks – who hear stories of women that like being geeky things, but aren’t ever to overtly identify one themselves. Adding a sexual flair essentially makes that female intoxicating to male geeks, unfortunately that intoxication is often exploited against male geeks because we know how we react to it, and some of us are complete jerks willing to manipulate others lonelyness and frutrated sexuality for their own ends

    For geek guys who often despair of ever getting noticed, it’s extremely frustrating because of how often the deception winds up hurting them.

    The sexual power of a true geek girl (especially an attractive one) pretty much shuts the brain off for most male geeks rendering them helpless to their wiles, and that’s a byproduct of how geeks are defined in society. It’s a different kind of repression/liberation and we kinda resent the vulnerability it represents for us guys a little, despite how badly we might want it.

    I’d almost call for a form of “male liberation” (but especially geek wise) because we’re held hostage to our desires and often denied the opprotunities afforded others because we’re male geeks (girl geeks are held back in some ways, but far elevated in others) it’s almost an inverse of the way things were in the 50s for jocks/girls if that makes sense

    Adding the “questionable” geek girls to it, just adds confusion frustration and despair for already lonely geek guys

    If you think about it, denying that it’s real or even possible may feel less painful than contemplating the tortuous knowledge that these (often sexy) geek girls exist but are out of our reach because we aren’t used to the idea of being able to find or interact with Real geek girls, and are insecure about our own ability to attract them.

    (Look at how geek girls drool all over the beefcake guys par ex, while geek guys seem like they are beneath notice) it’s really the same thing for us, except with geek girls instead

    I probably am not doing the problem sufficent justice but I hope this provides some insight from our side of things.

  73. I will join any debate, online or off, that takes place

  74. I will join any debate, online or off, that takes place

  75. For starters, the comparison in the question posed to NerdyBird was wrong, as you pointed out. Hooters Girls are to Nascar fans as Booth Babes are to Geeks – largely using their physical attractiveness to sell you some product. Geek Girls are more like the girl in the stands at NASCAR. The simple act of a woman being attractive doesn’t and shouldn’t in any way diminish her interest in geekery to being exploitative. I’ve dated plenty of women who were very attractive and could argue circles with me about whether Batman or Superman was a better character. And yes, it’s hot.

    It’s simply a guy thing. Men are physically attracted to women, that goes without saying. But when you add to the physical attraction the fact that the girl is into the same things you are, that’s only going to ramp things up and make that woman MORE attractive.

    Does Dannica Patrick’s attractiveness negate the fact that she can drive a car better than most men in the stands? Is she less of a competitor because male Nascar fans find her attractive? Is she only on the track because she wants attention? I’m gonna say no for all of those.

    When I see people complain about the “geek girl” who is smashing her boobs together under a tight Green Lantern shirt, I think it speaks volumes about the complainer. Geek Girls are significantly outnumbered by geek guys in the geek dating pool. Simply put, there aren’t enough real girls into geeky things to go around. Perhaps the frustration and complaints are simply an inevitable side effect of the statistics?

    That, plus Megan Fox running around in a Star Wars shirt doesn’t help the real geek girls at all. You’ll rarely see the flip of that, an attractive, prominent male posturing for the easy attention of female followers (and subsequently their dollars)… not because men are less devious than women, but rather I think because the women would be less likely to fall for it ;)

  76. I’ve met a number of geek girls. I’ve yet to meet a faux geek girl (unless you count booth babes, and if you do, you’re confused about what geek girls are). The idea that a girl will pretend to be geeky to attract the attention of geek guys… well, that just fills me a happy glow. Seriously? Non-geek gals are that interested in geek guys these days? Truly, this is the revenge of the nerds. ;D

    Is it unfair that female geeks will garner more attention than male geeks? Yep, but hey, menopause ain’t no walk in the park, either. Welcome to life. :p

  77. I hear you on that. But some girls both like and flaunt it (more often after it became stylish..ish.. and we suddenly realized that we were supposedly cool). So I’m all about geeky girls going loud and proud because we need some truly geeky girls to do it.

    However the ways that I’ve met most girls with similar interests have been similar to the ones you describe. It just comes up–like that DnD scenario, it actually happened…and suddenly I had a whole new group of friends for DnD + other stuff. :) No t-shirts, signs, nothing but lunch in a cafeteria.

  78. I’ve given up on the entire concept of “Geeky Girls”. The kind that flaunt it and wear shirts like “I love nerds” or “Be geeky to me” because most of them don’t. They don’t know the first thing about being geeky or nerdy. They don’t like geeky or nerdy guys (unless they need their computer fixed).

    These kinds of girls don’t want a guy who is into anime or plays a lot of video games (which apparently is their definition of both). Let alone someone who can hack their roomba to play pac man (no that wasn’t me, but it was awesome!), or someone who can fix a ham radio with nothing more than a little solder and a new capacitor. They don’t want the guy who loves comic books or the guy who enjoys phyisics a little too much.

    That isn’t to say that I haven’t met girls who DON’T do or like all that I have listed. It’s just that these girls typically don’t go out of their way to be called “The Geek Girl”. They are normally the ones who you have no idea about until one day you are talking to them and they relate a DnD story to you.

    So yeah, I give up on “The Geek Girl”, because the real ones don’t flaunt it. They just do stuff because they like it.

  79. Anonymous Anonymous

    lets see…

    geeks are (stereotypically) mostly guys
    guys like boobs (and geeky boobs even more)
    girls (even geek girls) have boobs

    therefore, geek guys are more likely to give attention to geek girls.

    is science.

    But seriously, every guy with any sense, geeky or not, wants a girl with something in common with them. so perhaps it is the geekyness that attracts the guy geeks to the geeky boobs.

    ever think about that?

  80. I think a lot of the attention that women get has to do with the fact that not that long ago, SheGeeks were not something desirable, and women who fell under this label, whether because they are obsessed with comics, or are computer engineers, or simply like scifi books more than they do fashion magazines, were stigmatized for these things. I don’t consider myself a feminist by definition, but when I think about this, I can’t help but feel proud at the fact that so many of us (I do consider myself a SheGeek) are finally taking pride individually and as a group for being women that don’t fit the typical mold. Of course, men can say the same…but I almost feel like women weren’t allowed to be geeks, or to use that word….like…we had to take it and own it, because for whatever reason, geek seemED to have a connotation of male…as if women simply couldn’t be geeks or something. Obviously we know that’s not true, and never has been true…but … like so many other things in this world, women have had to come out and scream WE ARE GEEKS TOO DAMMIT. PENIS AND GEEK DO ARE NOT RELATED.

    Now, do I think that due to the popularity that SheGeeks have gained in the past…oh I don’t know, 5 years, other women seeking attention for attention sake, follow what they think is a particular pattern to gain a certain type of attention? Absolutely…not to mention that getting attention because you are a SheGeek, is WAY better (IMO) than getting attention because you e-flirt and have a bunch of suggestive pictures of yourself online. Here is a way for an attention seeker to get male attention in a positive way, without having to literally sell her ass to do it.

    I think this Anon gentleman expressed a valid point in a horrible way, and chose someone to express this point with that is anything but what he suggests. Nerdy IS a SheGeek…who has boobs….like we all do…and if stating the fact that a woman has boobs makes it exploitation, I mean…all I can say is…WTF? Maybe she should’ve written…has fallopian tubes. Again…WTF.

    Regardless, the reality is, that a SheGeek can be sexy if she wants. Why not? Does the fact that I am a SheGeek mean that I have to look a certain way? Behave a certain way? Be sexless in a sense?

    The irony here is that Anon guy accuses Nerdy of exploiting herself, but I guarantee that he probably obsesses about game characters like this:×225.jpg (i love her by the way-and yes I am totally stereotyping some male gamers for the sake of the conversation). Not to mention that most, if not all comic book heroines have incredible bodies with gigantic boobs and wear clothing that is the equivalent of a body glove…so Mr. Anon can take his half assed attempt at being all women’s rights and blah blah and shove it. It is hypocritical at best.

    As far as the round table….I think its an awesome idea. But I can’t help but ask this…what defines a Geek? Is there a certain list that would have to apply for anyone to rightfully call him/herself a Geek? This is a question that I have discussed at length with some of my HeGeek friends…and some do feel that women who play up on their sexyness and have made headways because of this, regardless of their Geek cred, aren’t really Geeks (Olivia Munn always comes into this conversation – the chicken and the egg – was she a real Geek before she got famous, or did she become a Geek in order to appeal to the audience that she was in a sense, working for?)

    Ok…I’ll stop now…way longer than I intended to post, but I would be very very interested in such a discussion, and to see what both sides of the geek table think.

    BTW…I use the terms SheGeek and HeGeek to make a point. I’ve always wondered why women use terms like GeekGirl, or my personal favorite SheGeek…aren’t we just…Geeks? lol :D I do like these terms…and find nothing wrong with them…but…just a thought. ;)

  81. I think I do follow more geeky girls than geeky boys. I follow guys in my blogging genre and I’m just lucky that there’s a set of girls in my blogging genre who send me Sandman Mystery Theatre comics when I’m sick and like crocheted Cthulhus when they’re feeling down. In fact, we’re thinking of going to SDCC together. And there are a few geeky guys in the genre who think we’re awesome. :)

    When I was but a wee thing, 13-14, I used to hang out on the Trek BBS & it was not always easy being a young teenage girl there. There was the whole having to prove myself thing.

    Now…I don’t know. There’s a whole difference between a girl who hangs out with geeks and does geeky things because the boys like it or because of the hipster nerd chic and a girl who does it because it’s what makes her happiest and hangs out with the boys because they’re boys who have the same interests. Whether boys or girls have the advantage–I don’t know.

    One thing I do know is that I love rolling up a character’s cup size in her stats. ;) (and was so sad when I got a 5).

  82. that sounds really fascinating. i wish i was going, but the tickets sold out before i even realised they’d gone on sale! i hope you do this and blog about the results of the conversation. I feel like some geek women to it to others as well. i feel like if you’re not trying to act completely gender neutral, you’re accused of using you sexuality for attention. That if you like pink or rhinestones, you’re just a fake because real geeks don’t like that stuff and you’re just falling to marketing ploys. Sometimes i wish people would stop and think a little past the obvious here and realise that in some ways, the fact that geek girls are easily made into sex symbols is kinda a promising thing for our society (or at least our little microcosm of society). A lot of these geek girls that get all the attention are certainly pretty, but really they’re just real women not supermodels. And yet they’re considered incredibly sexy because of what they enjoy, how they act, and what they have to talk about and intellectually contribute. Am i the only one who thinks that’s really, really cool and that it’s starting to create a much healthier idea of the sex symbol?

  83. I’m all for women using their breasts to gain attention, personally.

    You know, this is kind of a foolish argument because it isn’t really about the sexes and perception. It’s about who has an easier time using social media to their advantage. I LOVE the fact that Nerdybird’s blog is entitled Has Boobs, Reads Comics. That’s hilarious.

    I like following women bloggers because women tend to be more interesting than men- not better- just more to say. If someone is less interested in my twitter feed bc I’m a dude, so what? They’re just missing out on the fact that I am man-tastic and kick ass.

    If someone is pissed bc “geek girls have it easier” that sounds like sour grapes to me.

  84. Obligatory preface: I like geek girls. Heck, I may even have more geek girl friends on Twitter than guys. Just like with any group, there are myriad different individuals that constitute a whole. There are some geek girls who use their sexuality to gain influence. There are some that don’t. I know both types, and number both among my friends and fault neither.

    But I don’t know if geek girls know how hard us XY types have it.

    Purely for scientific reasons, I’d challenge any geek girl to go online as a male or even sexless persona, whether in an MMO or Twitter. Sure, you’ll blend in. But you’ll find just how hard it is to be heard, and how much you have to differentiate yourself from the crowd to be taken seriously. It can be daunting.

    Geek girls feel they’re not taken seriously because of their breasts. Geek guys feel that they’re not taken seriously because everyone else is just like them and they couldn’t have anything new to offer the conversation. Which stings worse?

  85. I’m in, as long as I can wear my “Nice Tribbles” tshirt.

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