Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Dude Geek vs. Lady Geek

I am a fangirl. Mostly of cult classics, 80s films, superheroes, obscure actors, one-hit-wonders, and bands popular in Australia. But I'm a fangirl about pretty much anything that catches my fancy.

Here's a struggle I've had my whole life, and maybe it is just a "me" thing, but I feel like it's something I'm seeing in the real world. All the stereotypical "dude" geeky things I like are socially acceptable, and all the stereotypical "lady" geeky things I like are frowned upon.

Even as a kid, I was treated cooler when I brought my Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles to school for show and tell than when I brought my Barbie.

And stuff I classify as "dude" doesn't mean that ladies can't or don't like it. It's just the sci-fi/fantasy stuff that seems to be more populated by male geeks than lady geeks.

You may ask yourself, what is lady geek stuff? Well, I didn't even realize that's what it was until a blogpost I read from Shane Nickerson eons ago in which he talked about going to see a movie the same night that Sex and the City 2 opened. The ladies at the movie were all dressed up as their favorite characters and drinking the drinks from the movie, and Shane Nickerson was somewhat annoyed and put off by it until he realized that they were no different than the Star Wars fans who dressed up as Boba Fett to see to see that movie or as people who dressed up as Dr. Frankenfurter to see Rocky Horror Picture Show.

It was at the moment when he realized that the Sex and the City fans were geeking out in the same fashion that he geeked out about Star Wars, which gave me the same epiphany. They were just lady geeks.

But what I don't understand - and I may be wrong - is that lady geeks are not looked at as the same way dude geeks are. Joss Whedon geeks are not treated the same way as Twilight geeks. (I'm sure there are crossover fans, but for the sake of this discussion, it's easier if it's more black and white.)

The argument for this is going to be it's the quality of the work. Firefly is a better quality of work than Twilight. To which I say - as a fan of both - that's that is debatable. And any geek can argue that the thing they're geekiest about is of a higher quality than the thing you're geekiest about (such as me arguing with Eric about Batman villians.)

I think if were to get a room of geeks together and have them make a food chain of what geeks would be on top and what would be on the bottom, there would be much arguing, but there would be almost a unanimous vote to put Twihards and Sex and the City fans on the bottom.

Why is this? Why is it so much more respectable to geek out over spaceships and a made up religion than vampires with undertones of a real religion? Is it because of the romance? Is romance inherently uncool?

Is that really it? Because The Lost Boys is cool, and that's a different modern take on vampires. But I think that's still a respectable thing to geek out about, even though there is some romance and two Corey's. But the romance isn't the main plot.

Is that what separates respect?

I'd really like to see people's thoughts on this, but please don't say stuff like "Because Twilight sucks" because that's not the point. Lots of people could argue Star Wars sucks, and then it would just became a debate about what's good and what's not good, and that's not what I'm talking about.

I am asking why is it cool and respectable to geek out over sci fi and JJ Abrams, but it's not cool to geek out over romance and Stephanie Meyer.

Or maybe it's all in my head, and it's not cool to geek out over anything.