Tuesday, June 24, 2014

How to Stop Being Called a Fake Geek Girl - Don't Engage. by MelissaDevlin

Do we really need yet another post on fake geek girls? Yeah, maybe one more. But not for the reason you think.

Look I know there is supposed to be geek pride, and geek culture, but with geek anything comes a lesson everyone needs to come to at a certain point in time.


Seriously, just stop. If someone calls you a 'fake geek girl,' it is a sign of massive insecurity and it's probably from someone who doesn’t want to admit he’s attracted to you. Don’t stand there debating how many comics you’ve read, how detailed your knowledge of Star Wars is. Take a cue from non geek girls and roll your eyes and move on. Because it is about one thing and one thing only:

Attention. Yours.

That little troglodyte has, for the time being, got your focus as you try to prove to some nameless stranger, exactly what? Why you belong? He’s not the gatekeeper to geek culture, there are none. You don’t have to justify yourself to anyone. Skip the battle because the confidence you seek is internal.

I’m sorry my feminist friends, this is not about equality, lack of representation, a hostile environment, it is all about playground politics. Yes, it is about power. The power to incite irritation, to be remembered, to lash out at a sexually attractive young woman who is just trying to enjoy her wonder woman costume or what have you. But the bottom line is the problem won’t go away by complaining about it, fighting about it, writing post after post about it, because the more ire, aggravation, and frustration you give to the topic, the more power you have thrown at your troll.

That’s all the person is doing. There is no thought involved. The guy who yells “get back in the kitchen” is just repeating what he read on World of Warcraft that day. It’s unoriginal, uninspired, and worthy of a good belly laugh. Because if you really want to cut a bully down to size, you find the humour.

Is it stupid? Yes. Does it suck? I guess, if you care what other people think. Does it matter? Not really. Can we ever get it to go away? Yes. But not by challenging it and fighting it, but by diminishing its role in our lives. By making the statement irrelevant and out dated. By not taking insult. By recognizing it as impotent hostility and regarding the speaker as a slightly backwards child in a sea full of wonderful people.

Because most geeks just want to talk to you about their passion, the reason they identify as a geek. And if you (like me) are a little rusty on your geek culture they don’t toss you out as a fake geek girl, they start bringing you up to date pronto. (Never seen Firefly? We’ll fix that!) I know that in a usually accepting environment it can be a splash of cold water to encounter a troll. Let it roll off your back and move on.

Life is too short to argue with people who have already closed their minds. And including a boring, trite, pseudo-jab in your conversation is nothing if not a marker for someone who doesn’t think for himself. Why, good lord, why would you engage in an argument with someone like that?

Be free geek girls. Say this in the mirror a few times. “I don’t have to prove myself to someone who can’t even come up with an original insult.”

Melissa Devlin is a writer and avid gamer who lives and works in the San Francisco Bay Area. 

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