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May the feminine force be with us

The fight for gender equality continues. (Photo by levork from Flickr)
The fight for gender equality continues. (Photo by levork from Flickr)

Nerd culture has come a long way from its obscure past. It may even be a growing trend, but amidst this trend is an age-old gender conflict that I thought all realms of our society had started to push past. Apparently, I was wrong.

The stereotype that geek girls are unattractive virgins is being replaced by a new stereotype: that hot girls aren’t geek material. Daniel Nye Griffiths, a contributor on Forbes.com, defines a fake geek girl as a girl who pretends to be a geek to obtain the attention of geek guys. Beautiful girls who show up in scandalously attractive costumes, knowing nothing about the comic culture, might be considered ‘fake geek girls’. However, a relatively attractive girl with an interest in comics is equally suspect because of this stereotype. Any pretty girl could be a fake geek.

Of course, there must be some girls who partake in geek culture to pocket male attention. But nothing qualifies anyone to decide who is ‘geek material’ and who isn’t. How can this ‘fake geek’ term even be ratified? The idea is so conflicted. If a hot girl is into comic books and make-up she’s a fake geek. Does this mean that if a hot girl is into make-up and playing football she’s a ‘fake football player’? Accusations of fake geekiness are hurtful and benefit no one; trying to identify authenticity is pointless, and in this case, overtly sexist.

The truth is some people will be into the geek culture full throttle, and others will pick and choose what interests them to different degrees. Why can’t a comic lover have a flair for fashion and a passion for Shakespeare? In his article, Griffiths suggests that while some girls may show up at Comic-Con with a favourite character they can’t identify, it might not be because they don’t have any interest in the culture. Rather, she might feel intimidated to ask because of the fear of being labelled a fake geek in the unwelcoming culture geeks are developing.

But it all comes down to giving up the ranting and the labelling and doing something productive about it. If this male-dominated culture wants to eliminate the presence of fake geek girls with egotistic motives, they should stop giving them the sexual attention they seek. I get that guys are always going to love boobs, but if tainting the geek culture is such an issue maybe geek guys should stop enabling it. Start commenting on the craftsmanship of women’s costumes rather than the craftsmanship of their cleavage.

Honestly, though, are we really still living in a society that makes girls feel like they’re from another planet because they like the same things as the opposite gender? Get a grip, geek boys and embrace the broadening of your culture. Times are changing, and it’s time to take the ‘no girls allowed’ sign off your clubhouse.

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