Girls and the Stereotypical Nerd Culture Differential


(This video has inspired me to share something that’s been recently on my mind)

Hello 2013! We come in peace.

I am merely one of millions of women around the world who associate themselves as a “nerd” or “geek” (or both in my case). There are so many of us out there now that the stereotypical vision of a geek is starting to change – thankfully. Yet, women in the nerd/geek world are still viewed as slightly “taboo” in certain circles. Why?

If I happen to be in a crowd (one that I don’t particularly know too well) sometimes nerd culture or scientific topics come up. I tend to share my thoughts. Sometimes it’s fine and sometimes I get the weirdest looks, almost as if I had a parasitic twin growing out of my forehead singing “Hello My Baby.” We’re living in an age where technology is readily available and knowledge lives at our finger tips. We’re not living in (non-Steampunk) Victorian England. I’m not referred to in public as Mrs. [Insert’s Husband’s whole name here]. I’m not your stereotypical Suzy-Homemaker. So what’s the big deal?

Yes, I can rattle off the entire periodic table and interject random scientific facts during daily conversations. Yes, I know how to code a website. Yes, I was a member of a music group who opened for the King of Nerdcore himself, MC Frontalot, this one time. Yes, I love to brutally slay Spartans in SWAT when I’m having a bad day. And yes, I have boobs (which you don’t have to stare at constantly while I’m talking to you).

RANDOM FACTS: 42% of videogamers are women. In a survey of Star Trek fans, 57% of respondents identified as female.

What was admittedly once a male-driven culture has recently become a gender split lifestyle and I think it’s awesome. To date, 42% of video gamers are women (source). The funny thing about that statistic is that almost every time I start playing an online video game with my mic on I get remarks like “Crap you’re just a girl,” ” You’re not a real gamer. Are you just waiting for your boyfriend to wake up?” or my personal favorite (not) “How big are your boobs?” Seriously. Now you better believe me when I say that when I get a comment like that or get spoken to in a disrespectful manner – I will submit a player review at the drop of a hat. It’s not that I’m offended that you think that just because I’m a girl who plays video games that I can’t be good at it or that I’m just ‘waiting for my boyfriend’ it’s because WHAT THE FRAK – WE LIVE IN 2013 SO PULL YOUR HEAD OUT OF YOUR FRELLING BUTT AND JUST PLAY THE GAME! Most of the time I don’t even turn my mic on because I don’t want to have to explain my gender… or be told to go make you a sandwich.

We have been the subject of memes – and are successfully taking them back —> see example here.

Some of the most amazing and talented women I look up to are geeks. Marian Call is an extremely talented musician who has hilarious songs (including several tributes to Firefly), Rosalind Franklin who was the ‘silenced’ scientist who helped Watson and Crick discover DNA, Maureen Raymo, Kari Byron (whom you should already be familiar with if you’ve ever watched an episode of MythBusters), and the list goes on and on. And honestly, I’m not even that ‘big’ of a fan of the queen of nerddom at the present, Felicia Day. Crazy, huh?

We geek and nerdy women even have our own convention!

One day I’ll go to this (GEEKYGIRLCON). And PAX. And the infamous Comic Con… and I’ll wear really awesome costumes, proudly.

What I find completely boggling is that some of my biggest “critiques” come from other geeks/nerds/gamers and we’re on the same side! Teamwork people, T-E-A-M-W-O-R-K! Let’s stop battling our sexual-mechanical differences and start spreading the awesome that we know and love.

We’re all a little nerdy or geeky, whether we want to admit it or not. I found an awesome article shedding light on this fact, too!

Anyways, these are my thoughts for today.

 

 

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