This summer's hot topic issue among geekdom seems to be girls. Rather not just girls at large, but girls in geekdom. Whether we ladies are qualified enough to be geeks. Don't know what I'm talking about? Read this article, Scalzi's response, Peacock's response to Scalzi's response, and then another CNN writer's response to the article. See what I'm saying? Controversial. (Let's not even get into the Felicia Day twitter explosion that happened a while back). Edit: Tor.com has also added their own post delving into this business that you might want to read.
As a twenty-five year old female who self identifies as a geek, I'm frankly shocked. This was never an issue to me. I never grew up feeling too different from boys. Sure there are obvious differences, both biological and in societal expectations. But as a kid I never felt disrespected by boys or adults or anything because I was girl. I was an intelligent, clever kid and people treated me accordingly.
In college, women my moms age tried to tell me all my male colleagues secretly looked down on me or something for being female. That might have been true in their day and age, but my experience was starkly the opposite. Boys expected us ladies in engineering to be smarter than the average boy. Not because girls are inherently smarter, but because the guys recognized that ladies rarely go into engineering because of societal or parental pressure. We're usually there because we want to be there, because engineering is truly our passion. And the same can't be said for all the men in engineering who feel pressured by society or parents to go into the field. (This is certainly not the case for all men).
As a geek I've never been treated weird for being a female by my male counterparts. And suddenly it's like this huge deal.
So next week I'm going to deviate from my normal schedule. We're not going to have our regularly scheduled countdown to Dragon*Con post, because in a way this all relates to Dragon*Con. Also instead of posting on Tuesday and Thursday, I'm going to post on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, because I have a lot to say on this subject and I don't want to drag it out longer than a week. So next week these are our topics:
Monday: On Being a Geek and Being A Girl
Wednesday: Geeks and Posers
See you on Monday!