I imagine most of us have run up against the nonsense of “fake geek girl” at one point or another. It’s ridiculous and insulting but it’s there:
“Girls are only participating in fandom/going to cons/reading comics/etc. so boys will like them but they don’t actually know what they’re talking about/care/understand every detail of the canon.”
Lately though, there’s been something else I’m finding on my rambles across the Internet. While I’ve literally seen too many examples to list them all, most comments boil down to this:
“Girls don’t want [boys/a boyfriend/a relationship]. Girls want more content from a particular fandom.”
Don’t get me wrong. I take my fictional worlds and characters seriously. I’ll never have enough Firefly or Marauders. I think Gertrude Yorkes needs to come back from the dead in her own series. I want to find a way to get Dorothy Dunnett’s Lymond Chronicles in front of the people at HBO so we can get the sweeping, epic adaptation we deserve to highlight how witty, intricate and full of brilliant women those books are.
The storytelling we latch on to, in any medium, helps us figure out how we deal with the world, gives us a community and most importantly brings us joy!
I’d like to think I have enough of a sense of humor to appreciate the lighthearted intent behind these comments. Perhaps I’m the only person getting worked up about the whole thing and you’re reading this thinking I’m being ridiculous.
Everything springs from somewhere.
Underneath the fun “oh we love our fandom so much it’s the most important thing ever” shell of this trend, I feel like there’s something nasty hiding.
Why does my love of fictional worlds preclude me from having a healthy, supportive relationship?
I’m crossing my fingers for eight seasons of Agent Carter, a previously undiscovered Agatha Christie manuscript to turn up in a vault somewhere, and more books in Katharine Kerr’s Deverry universe. Not to mention that I am determined to one day have readers whose hearts and minds are absorbed in my own works.
Do not ask me to elaborate on any of these points unless you are serious about listening to my explanations. Maybe bring some snacks along because we’re going to be there a while.
Does this mean my desire to one day meet a nice guy is somehow wrong?
It’s as if we took “fake geek girl” and turned it inside out. Problem is, this new thing has the potential to be just as dangerous. When you invert the original meme you end up with the icky seams of it right up next to your skin.
Think of that moment when you realize your socks are inside out but you don’t take time to fix them because you’re too busy with something else. What happens? By the end of the day, you’ve got blisters.
We need to stop limiting ourselves. It’s not about liking something so other people will like you and it’s also not about making the outcome of a series more important that the relationships in your life.
The whole point of feminism is that we can have it all.
So fangirl on, my friends, fangirl on. Watch and read and write fic and cosplay and draw fanart and argue about canon and squee. Pursue your own nerdiness however makes you happy.
And if the list of things you want (YOU, not silly people you encounter) includes someone who is kind and funny and loves everything about you? Don’t even think about taking that off your list.
Because the fictional characters we identify with have proven we can want as much as we want.
More importantly? I think they’ve proven we can have it too.
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One thought on “Want It All? Don’t Mind If I Do.”
Great post, your perspective would have been great on our podcast 🙂
“It’s not about liking something so other people will like you”, I feel like I’ve seen a lot of this at conventions and with the whole Hipster movement leaking into geekdom. Anyway, as you said, we need to accept people as they are and not have this long, exhaustive list of what we think is a geek/nerd/fan etc. Then maybe people will feel more comfortable about what they do like and not feel like they always have to “be on”. Cheers~