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Friday, August 2, 2013

Geek Girl Pride

So… welcome to another rant…

Apparently there is a thing called the Fake Geek Girl test. I guess it was written by boys who just never were comfortable around girls? Geeks come in all shapes and sizes; all colours and sexes (though that may shock you). Not all geeks are into comic books. Not all geeks play computer games.  But we are all kin. You should revel in the oneness of that which is Geek.

When I was at school (in the 1970s and 1980s), I was a geek. I had geeky friends. We did not care if we were male or female; back then, being a geek was dangerous. We got picked on, laughed at, ridiculed and beaten up. We sought the company of fellow geeks, so that we could have safety in numbers.  Think yourself lucky that others before you, paved the way so that you could indulge your Geekdom at conventions  and that some of the ‘cool’ kids are trying to find out how they can have so much fun!

So, you still want to pull rank and claim ownership of geekdom, think again!

I am a girl (funny that).  I am possibly even old enough to be your mother (though I would have some strong words to say about your inability to accept others for what they are… tsk, tsk). I was a Geek before many of you were even born.

So you are a gamer? I started playing D&D in 1978 (or was it 1979?). I was a Dungeon Master for over ten years. I still have the maps and scrolls for the world I created.  I was even one of the founders of our University D&D Club! I even managed time to complete my Bach App Sc and have worked in my profession since then. At the time, an optometrist was one of the geekiest professions I could have chosen. I used to write notes to my friends in class, in Dwarven Runes. I have entered (and won) D&D tournaments and I have hundreds of figurines that I have been collecting for over 20 years. I still play Dungeons and Dragons.

Still in denial? In 1977, I went to see Star Wars seven times. In high school, my friend used to audio tape Blakes’ 7 for me (pre video recorder) and she would describe the actions as we listened, on the weekend; it clashed with my stepfather’s favourite TV show. I remember seeing 5th generation bootleg videos (as in tapes), from the US, as we could not get Star Trek (all flavours), Babylon 5 and Farscape here … for years.

I first saw Doctor Who when I was 3 or 4 years old in 1969. I grew up with it. If you do the maths, that means I have been watching Doctor Who for over 44 years! Have you? I love the show because of its characters and stories, not just because of the latest hottie.  I vaguely remember sitting in front of the television to watch the landing on the moon (1969); my mum told me I could tell my grandkids I saw it!

I have been attending SF conventions (we used to call them fancons as they were not big business then) and making cosutmes (and wearing them) since 1980… and loving it! I even helped organise two fancons and was on the committee for another. I have had dinner and philosophical discusseions with Terry Pratchett (yes on the same table!), been hit on by a famous actress and  I know there is more than one type of black; Neil Gaiman explained it at HongCon here in Adelaide. I used to video (tape) conventions when the camera… back when the camera was so big it had to sit on my shoulder and weighed a couple of kilos! I still have fanvideos we made, using our collectible toys. These days many TV news crews think the cons are fun (some still poke fun) but back then, we got singled out for ridicule. These days you have it easy. So why do you want to make life hell for others?

I even belong to a historical re-enactment group and have so since the early 1990s. Try filling up your car, at the petrol station, in full garb. These days many people think it is cool. Back then, things were different. So why do you gawp and make rude comments on others’ costumes? It makes you a bully.

My family are geeks. My husband embraces my geekiness. He is a geek too.  We are raising the next generation of geeks. We collect toys (even before our daughter was born). We have thousands of books, many of which are also reference books! We even put an extention on the house… to fit in all of our books.  These days I have even become a writer of speculative fiction.  ’Cos I  can’t get enough just reading books.

I have been a paid member of clubs for Doctor Who, Blakes’ 7, Costuming, SCA, Star Trek, more Doctor Who and Forever Knight. I was a member of an apazine (not the Apple thing, …. google it) and was editor of my own fanzine for over 5 years. I have even had articles and artwork published in a past Australian Roleplaying (D&D) magazine and did artwork for an independent comic book.

And you say girls can’t be geeks? Geek girls have been around for decades and we are NOT going away just because you don’t think we have the requisite parts!

This rant was brought to you by a long time girl geek, and was inspired by this wonderful video! http://www.upworthy.com/some-geek-boys-called-these-geek-girls-fake-they-certainly-wont-be-making-that-mistake-again-7?g=3

Geek Girl Pride

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