When Did Gender Become A Detractor in Geek Culture?

I have heard a lot of things recently about the trials and tribulations that female geeks, nerds, otaku, and whatever brand of nerd you wish to identify with face, and have seen more than my fair share of rants from males who don’t like women encroaching on their nerd turf. It seems, for some reason, that if you are a girl and happen to be into anything “nerdy” like comics, video games, anime, fantasy, sci-fi, (you name it, you get the point)…. then this stigma gets applied to you by males and they automatically assume that you are not a “real nerd”. But that’s not all… apparently if you are good looking in any way–in addition to being female, the accusations of being a “fake geek girl” are about 1000 times worse.

How did this happen? When did this start?

I have always been a bit of a nerd. I grew up on Atari, NES, SNES, and Sega Genesis and often sacrificed entire summers to games I liked. Batman was my idol as a child. I hung out in arcades and comic book stores. I was always reading, if I wasn’t writing or drawing. I watched anime when it was a Saturday feature on the scifi channel. I got picked on when I was younger for my interests, but no one ever questioned them. Nerds united through our fandoms because it helped us find acceptance in a place where the rest of society shunned us. It didn’t matter if we were male or female, black or white, gay or straight……Nerds accepted other nerds unconditionally because we were all the same.

But then something happened: it became “cool” to be a nerd.

I can’t really pinpoint when it started, but all of a sudden things that I used to get harassed for in school when I was younger such as reading comic books, playing video games, and watching anime suddenly became acceptable by mainstream society and trendy. Right after this, it seemed that nerd guys began to turn on nerd girls as well.

Where did the hatred come from?

Now that we had no bullies to unite against, it seems a class system has evolved in nerd-land, and women are at the bottom. Elitist (usually male) nerds surfaced and began judging others by their fandoms.

Don’t you see you guys are becoming the thing we used to unite against? How can you see this as acceptable?

It personally bothers me whenever I read about men bashing women in this way, saying they aren’t “real”–be it for looks or their interests. It’s like now that we have gotten to the point where it is okay for us to express our love of our fandoms you want to close the clubhouse and place a “no girls allowed” sign on the door.

We are judged for being pretty…. ie: You only cosplay the skimpy characters because you need to show off your body. Or….. “You’re too pretty to read comics” (Someone actually told me the second one once.)

We are judged by the frequency of our habits….ie: You say you’re a gamer but you don’t play video games every single hour of every single day….I don’t bathe so I can keep gaming, but you stopped to shower! HOW DARE YOU!!!!!

We are judged by which fandoms we adore….ie: You like series A, but you don’t know anything about series B, series C, or obscure book D; so you can’t be a real nerd. What’s that? You didn’t watch series A until after the first 4 seasons were released? You’re not a real fan….

We are forced to answer quiz facts about series we adore to “prove” we like them…ie: Oh, you like Series F? Highlight in detail to me the evolution of the main character throughout the course of the series from season 1 to season 7. Be sure to quote source material and reference the episode name and number in which this information was featured.

Does this sound crazy to anyone else?

It’s time for this to end.

I’ll leave you with one of my favorite snippets on this subject by Albinwonderland:

Nailed it.

Nailed it.




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