Larry recently posted a lovely piece on how girls are often thought of as fakes or posers in geek culture. As a woman I unfortunately have experienced these haters first hand. A little background first..
I have always loved Star Trek. It’s campy, it’s funny and it introduced so many controversial topics and thoughts that were unfit for regular conversation in the 60’s. While I wasn’t even a glimmer in my parents eyes when the Original series first aired, I became a fan at an early age over popcorn and reruns with my Dad. After the show was over I would sit in my toy box and beam up my teddy bears for space adventures with Kirk, Spock and McCoy. Unfortunately I also learned at a young age to keep my appreciation to myself or face wicked teasing from the boys.
Fast forward to 2011..
My husband started getting comic books again last year and I wanted to visit my first comic book store. As I was browsing I found the new Trek comics from the 2009 movie. I was so afraid to say anything to the store owner that I made my husband come back later and sign me up for a subscription. After a couple of months I decided that enough was enough and that I was a grown woman and could buy my own comics without his help. Our friendly comic book guy was super encouraging and chatted up some new series that I might like and signed me up for some more subscriptions. As I was checking out I noticed a group of guys playing some kind of card game eyeing me. When they heard I was getting a couple Trek comics I heard the snickers and “lame” comments fly around the table. It was elementary school all over again. Instead of backing down I gave them what my husband calls my scary library lady look and they quickly went back to their game.
I get that everywhere. The eye rolls over my Hobbit t-shirts… The “have you even read any Batman comics” when I wear my hand sewn Batman skirt to work… The “that’s not geeky enough” commentary over my love of anything considered t0o “boy” for a girl to like. Yes, it sucks! But do you know what the best part is once I wade through the hate?? The little girls who see that I am not afraid to let my geek flag fly.
You see I work at an Elementary Library. When I wear my Batman skirt, my Trek shirt or my Lord of the rings earrings, the little girls take notice and absolutely love it. The tell me quietly that they love those things too. I want them to see a grown woman promoting comics and geek culture. I want them to love it as much as I do, no matter if it’s Marvel or DC. Finally, I want them to live in a world where it’s just as cool for a girl to love Star Wars as much as the boys do.
Guys, girls may not know every back story, alternate timeline, episode title or air date. Guess what? There are plenty of guys that don’t know that stuff either. Instead of hating each other let’s band together to make sure that all little boys and girls feel free to wave their Geek flags proudly. Last of all men, if your lady friend wants to dress up as Wonder Woman and go to convention with you.. why on earth would you question her knowledge and choice of costume?
Live long and geek out!