Geek to Geek Chic – Pretty Girls (Don’t) Make Geeks?

19 Jul

I’ve come under fire for using the word ‘geek’ before. Personally, I love the term and have no problems using it to describe being a huge fan of something. I am a self-confessed film geek. I also happen to love sci-fi, graphic novels/comics and am a born and bred Trekkie. In those parameters of fandom, other people would be quick to label me a geek too. If we’re classifying people on their likes for certain types of media and genre then my ex was a geek, so is my Mother, my closest girlfriends most definitely are and my boyfriend now is, without a doubt, a total film geek.

Considering then that film is a much beloved medium and that sci-fi and comic book adaptations continue to rise in popularity, why am I still being met with amazement and disbelief at liking the things I like? As a fan of Doctor Who I got really excited when a patient walked into work wearing an awesome Who t-shirt. After explaining I was a fan, I was met with a very blunt and straight-faced ‘But you’re too pretty to like Doctor Who‘. Now, I have never been much of a confident one when it comes to my looks but when did it say that all Who fans had to be ugly? And since when did looks suddenly become a basis for being a legitimate fan of something or not?!

This reminded me of another similar incident I had on the Tube with a friend of mine. She was complaining that Transformers 2: Revenge of the Fallen had too many characters in it (I’m talking to you, Michael Bay!). After reeling off the names of all the Decepticons and Autobots present in the film we heard a loud ‘Wow’ from behind us. This exclamation was from a male passenger who couldn’t believe that he had ‘two pretty girls who liked robots’ standing in front of him and likened the scene to porn. He couldn’t believe that a girl could like Transformers because he’d never met one before. Well, all my girlfriends and I are fans that truly exist in the world. Yet, some people seem intimidated or offended that I can talk about the show and the films, as if I’m not the type of person who should know about any of it. This feeling only seems to be amplified when I start talking about how the show is a metaphor for Western and Middle East relations and the global consumption of fuel…

I guess I’m just fed up of being met with surprised looks instead of the mutual excited conversation I long for. Clearly some people are judging me by some persona or standard which I can’t and don’t want to live up to. If I hear another person say to me ‘You like Akira? It’s not really a girly thing’, I will scream louder than Tetsuo when he explodes! If I wanted girly bullshit I’d go and read my Sailor Moon manga, otherwise just let me enjoy a really good piece of writing and animation like everyone else. Just because I read Watchmen and you didn’t doesn’t mean you can call me ‘a beautiful nerd’ instead of calling me by my name. Would you judge a book by its cover? Don’t judge a geek by her looks.

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