September 17, 2013

The Fake Geek Girl

Ask any nerd about high school life, and they get weepy-eyed about how left out, how excluded they felt. They were (are) the outcasts. Like many groups of outcasts, they formed their own social communities as a reaction to rejection. And like most outcasts, they aren’t really great at being decent people.

Too often, the nerd counter/sub-culture fall prey to the same problems of mainstream society. Sexism is still an epidemic. Rather than learn from personal experiences, it is all to common that the nerd, now the gate-keeper, becomes as cruelly jealous of bestowing acceptance as the jocks once were.

Surely though, a meme named “idiot Nerd Girl” isn’t enough to justify such a statement. Just a few rotten apples ruining the basket. A handful of trolls demanding that female fans produce credentials can’t represent everyone.

Maybe not, but the problem goes deeper than that. You see, some people just can’t fathom the idea that women may actually be interested in those things, and be involved for their own edification. Big problem when it is fellow nerd-fans, bigger problem when it’s espoused by creators.

That’s Tony Harris, who worked on Iron Man and who can’t understand that what women are doing may not be for the benefit of men. And apparently can’t understand that the “most revealing costume ever” that these Succubi wear are designed by men, to fulfill male fantasies.

But hey, he’s just one guy involved in the business.

It’s not like Todd McFarlane, Mark Millar, and Gerry Conway  all got together for a documentary on the history of comics and started saying stuff about how girls weren’t interested in comics and that comics don’t need to be be inclusive because neither is society. 

And it isn’t as if when women like Anita Sarkeesian tried to make mention of this, they were the victims of online attacks.

But if it was, man, would nerds have a lot to address.


Join the conversation! 6 Comments

  1. I can’t believe it when grown men act like Mr. Harris, not only is he stereotyping an entire gender of comic-con attendees as predators and attention-whores, but he is trying to tear down an imaginary person via how big (not great) their boobs are or how “skinny” they are. It is clear that he has a lot of hatred towards this group, although I don’t really see how they affect his life. We tell children to stop cyber bullying, but these men are sending the message that bullying and sexism are the right things to do if dealing with a male dominated interest/hobby. However, it is immaturity like this that will continue to motivate women like Anita Sarkeesian to bring light to the situation and hopefully stop the cyberbullying and cyber mobs that are targeting female geeks.

    • There’s a lot of hypocrisy. Poor representations of female and LGBT characters make a hostile environment for those audiences, and when the poor representations translate into poor sales, the creators use that as an excuse to remove them from the lineups. Another common refrain-which is again, troubling-is when creators say they don’t know how to write women, because they haven’t lived that experience. How many have gone through life with the ability to melt steel with an eye-blast? But I’m getting long winded….

    • There are so many places I’ve seen this same kind of prejudice. Gamer-girls (can’t we just call them “gamers?”) catch the same troubles at cons and stores.

  2. It’s just the sad fact that so many men find gaming to be their world away from the world. These games prove how sex sells and when someone like Anita Sarkeesian steps up and calls them out, they get defensive. Poor babies. I agree with Mike, female gamers are plain gamers.

  3. Female cosplayers get the worst of harassment. They get the same bad rap as booth babes, accused of preying on nerdy dudes and seducing them with their faux nerd-dom. Check out this story of a black woman who gets harassed for cosplaying as white characters( Good news is, Sarkeesian got her web series funded (, but people had the nerve to question her character for disabling comments on her videos! How DARE she not subject herself to rape threats!

  4. […] The Fake Geek Girl ( […]


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About tomwink

Graduate student at Rowan University currently researching public spaces and their impact




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