Recently there have been a few articles floating around raging at the meme du jour, “Fake Geek/Nerd Girl”, claiming that it is purely a sexist meme perpetrated by basement dwelling trolls to disempower women. I’ve read a few, mostly became bored with the hyperventilating outrage at something that really drives us geeks nuts.
I really don’t get where the outrage is coming from, sure, there are some versions of the meme that have heavily sexist text applied, most, however are poking fun at those attempting to emulate geeks.
So why the outrage? Are we to crucify every joke, meme, or idea that can be used to further sexism? Is it only ok for mainstream concepts to be hijacked by sexism & only the sexist remarks be targeted? Personally, I don’t care. What I care about is protecting geek culture from posers.
Us geeks have spent a long time building geek credibility: staying up until 7am trying to finish Max Payne’s “New York Minute” mode; stayed up all weekend staring at code just so this one part of one program/script/website will function correctly; spent our childhoods teased, ostracised, & tormented. It’s no wonder we’re rather protective of the term geek: we’ve earn’t the right to call ourselves geeks.
The idea that the “Fake Geek Girl” meme is about the girl is a misconception, it’s about being a fake geek. No matter if you’re male or female, geeks despise fake geeks. Shows like “Beauty & The Geek” draw the ire of geeks who see it as a blatant attempt to commercialise geek culture, even shows like “The Big Bang Theory” set geeks off with inconsistencies & the depiction of geeks in it.
So does this outrage against a meme have a point? In some ways, yes, but not in the way that some feminists see it. For me, pretending to be a geek because it’s the fashion du jour disempowers real geek girls, those like Felicia Day, Jessica Merizan, Pia Waugh, & even my fiancée. This is not about women proving they are geeks, but about geeks standing against the tide of posers & commercial interests attempting to cash in on a group of people who have become a certain way through hardship, determination, & many hours doing what they love.
What feminists should be targeting is sexism in the ICT industry: wage disparity, sexist remarks, even a distrust of solutions provided by women. For years my fiancée has had to deal with sexism as an ICT worker, to the extent she has come home in tears because of the way she had been treated by male colleagues. Where’s the outrage at this? Nowhere, that’s where. Instead of leading the charge to bring a level playing field to women, the outrage runs deep on something so superficial it removes legitimacy of the feminist movement.
So my message to those orgasming over the outrage porn of the “Fake Geek Girl”: slow down, don’t speak for geeks, & most of all, remember, it’s not about the girl, it’s about the bogusness of their geekery.