I’m gonna talk “geek feminism” here for a minute. Because I saw this video on my Facebook page and it seriously made my roll my eyes nearly out of my head –
5 things you should never say to a female Star Wars fan:
Posted by Bustle on Thursday, December 10, 2015
“The glass ceiling of nerd culture”? You mean the same glass ceiling that prohibits women from making as much as men or being more academically successful than men or that creates bad research to claim that one-in-five women will be raped on a college campus? That made-up glass ceiling that keeps obsolete feminist claims relevant in a society where men and women have achieved equality in every way that actually matters?
Here’s a thought – how about you just enjoy Star Wars and stop worrying about what some insecure idiot thinks of your Star Wars geekdom? That is, if said idiot actually exists in the first place.
I’m tired of geek feminists assuming that male geeks are going to subject them to some stupid pop quiz to prove their “geek cred.” Just like I’m sick of liberal feminism in general making men out to be these terrible villains and can never, ever, ever, ever, EVER do anything right (like the inherent sexism in a man sexually pleasing the woman he loves – give me a freaking break!)
Speaking as a woman who has considered herself a geek/nerd since she discovered an obsession with the Ninja Turtles at the tender age of four, I’ve seen more instances of female geeks whining that male geeks don’t take them seriously, than I have actually seen/heard/experienced male geeks being pretentious douchebags to female geeks. If this “boy geeks vs. girl geeks” thing really was as prevalent as the chicks in this video claim it is, then I probably would have given up on the whole endeavor long ago. And so would most people, let’s be real here.
But NEWSFLASH – it’s not! In fact, some of the most accepting and respectful people I’ve encountered in my life are male geeks. They think it’s awesome that I like the same things they do and they gladly welcome me into their clubhouse. Whether it’s Star Wars, Doctor Who, Harry Potter, comic books, video games, or whatever. I’ve had plenty of geek friends – male and female – who I could just talk geek stuff with and not get into the gender politics of it. We debate and discuss our favorite characters and episodes. We meet up at conventions. We talk over social media and through podcasts. None of us care which gender we’re mixing with because it freaking doesn’t matter! That is, until some social justice doughhead wanders in and proclaims that we’re Having Fun Wrong. Then, we just slap the idiot down and go back to talking about why it was an important character moment when Han shot first.
In fact, that’s how I met my fiance! We got talking about our mutual geeky interests and we found out that we both had the same level of passion and knowledge about these niche things and we just had fun with it (sure made dating a hell of a lot simpler. You can tell a lot about a person based on what their favorite era of Doctor Who is). Even when there are things that he knows a lot more about than I do, he’s never even come close to belittling me about it.
For example, he’s a much bigger Star Trek fan than I am. But instead of proclaiming me a “fake geek girl” (or whatever these insipid feminists claim male geeks do when women express interest in geek culture), he’s told me the things he loves about it, he’s shared his favorite episodes with me (which, currently, is the entirety of Deep Space Nine. We’re in the middle of season two right now and I’m enjoying the heck out of it), he answers the questions I have about it. Then I turn around and introduce him to my favorite Doctor Who episodes (he likes Doctor Who, but I am a MUCH bigger Whovian than he is. But his reaction when he saw the two crates full of Doctor Who DVDs I owned… let’s just say it was adorable and priceless. It’ll certainly be a cherished memory that we tell our grandkids about someday). Quite frankly, it’s been the best way for us to develop our relationship together.
And THAT is why I despise geek culture falling for this whole “men have to prove they’re not sexist when female geeks come into the fold!” thing. I hate the assumption that all geek guys are automatically going to judge geek girls by some arbitrary test. There may be a few jackholes who can’t stand getting girl cooties on their comic books, but they are few and far between (and they do get shamed and shut down when it’s necessary). But the number of female geeks who assume the worst in all male geeks is a LOT higher (why do you think videos like the above get made – and are taken seriously??) And that’s just sad – they’re missing out on some wonderful friendships.
And you know what? I actually DO question the “geek cred” of these women who claim male geeks are just out to get them. If they really were that into Star Wars and other geeky things, their priority would not be to beat down the insidious patriarchy or make pop culture bow to their social justice whims. They’d be out there having fun with their geekiness and truly not giving a crap what anyone else thinks about it. That’s pretty much the first thing that geeks learn about being a geek – there are always people who just don’t get it. And you can either over-value their opinions and conform to their expectations, or you can give them the proverbial middle finger, develop a thicker skin, and go on loving the things you love.
Then again, I’m a geek who is also politically conservative. Developing a thicker skin comes with the territory.