Monday, July 30, 2012

On Being a Geek and Being a Girl

Honestly, I don’t even know how to begin this post, because I rarely think of myself as a “geeky girl”. I’m a geek. My gender doesn’t really come into it very often. On occasion I’ve become outraged by the depictions and messages sent to geeky girls through different mediums (the ridiculous costumes in comics, pesky coming of age stories that are critically entwined with romance, and so many other things), but I’ve never felt like I’ve been treated different because I’m a girl by my peers.

I’ve made friends at cons of all types: male, female, gay, straight, cosplayers, comic geeks, movie geeks, book geeks, and so many others. And they treat me like a person and a human being. Heck, they treat me better than most people do outside of cons.

Being female has never been an issue, yet recently articles would have me believe it is. Apparently ladies are held to a higher standard than men or something. And apparently, men hate us or something, and some ladies are even hating on themselves. Case in point: booth babes.

The term “booth babe” apparently stands for a girl who does nothing but look pretty and hand out pamphlets, advertising for different things. I don’t understand why people are harping on them. Don’t people do the same thing in every TV commercial ever made by man? Beautiful people have always been used to sell stuff to other people. So I don’t get the hate. And sometimes, they may be geeks. As someone who as an Atlanta resident for six years, I know a ton of people who volunteered or gave small presentations at Dragon*Con so they could go for free. I’m sure the same is true for some booth babes. Hand out pamphlets for a while and then free to explore the con. And I’m sure there are some there who don’t care and it’s just another job. But the same is probably true at football games and other events. There are people at concerts who don’t care about the band. They’re just working. And that’s ok.

Now there also seems to be a lot of hate out there for beautiful girls in skimpy outfits. Now, I’m generally not a fan of wearing skimpy outfits myself. I don’t have the body type for it and I’m not comfortable showing that much skin. I rarely show my legs below my knees. (Part of that is because I’m cold natured. I often wear gloves indoors even in the middle of the summer). However, a lot of the girls who dress in the skimpy costumes have the bodies for it…and I don’t see the problem with it. Most of the time it’s not any worse than what you see at the beach. I’m not attracted to ladies (I love me some men), but when I see a girl in a spot-on cosplay and she has the same body type as the character, I appreciate it. I appreciate the work that goes into making the outfit and how awesome it is that she loves that character so much she wants to dress up as her. Are there some girls who purposefully look for the most skimpy outfits to dress in? Probably. But if they do it well, who cares? It’s still a good costume. They still cared enough about that character to look it up online and find the outfit. Most ladies know a good deal about the character they dress up as, even when it is skimpy.

And let me tell you, if I had the figure to pull off a Catwoman or Wasp or Wonder Woman outfit, I would probably wear it. Those outfits don’t all show a lot of skin, but they’re skin tight. I wouldn’t do it to be sexy or to appeal to men or anything, I would do it because I love those characters. Just like I love Loki.

So why is there all the hate? I have no idea. Maybe because geekdom was such a boys club for so long. Maybe because people hate newbies and “posers”. Maybe because people can’t believe that beautiful women would actually care about geeky thing. To me that last one shows a lack of confidence in the thing you love. I love Star Wars so much I believe everyone would love it, not just the socially inadequate. But it seems some people don’t have that sort of confidence, and don’t think that beautiful, socially adjusted people could possibly care for the things they do. And that’s weird. And a bummer.

Once geeks lived in a warzone. But geeks have won the war. And it seems to me that some people long for the days of war.

But the war has been won. Put down your sabres, blasters, and ninja stars. We won. Enjoy peace. Enjoy the spoils. And enjoy the things you love.

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