Geek Girls, Male Prostitutes, and Black Presidents

geek girl 1The Microsoft employee store sells a bunch of pink stuff labelled “Geek Girl,” like water bottles and t-shirts and other necessities of Geek Life (TM) that can be mass produced in a shade of pink. (Photos to the left courtesy of Jim Jim.)

When I saw this pink geek collection, it reminded me of the similar terminology in the harsh and VERY GENDERED critique of Fake Geek Girls, who are people (sometimes WITH BOOBS) who allegedly pretend to be geeks.

The link jumps to an overview, but basically it seems like some people in the world don’t like it when other people in the world (who are LADIES) pretend to like things like Star Trek, because I guess their fake-ness is ruining geekdom. Apparently the geek girl 2marriage of hipster-dom with elitism, exclusionary hate speech, and totally missing the point is complete.

(How do you decide when someone is fake liking something, and who made you The Ultimate Adjudicator of What Is Most Important at a Comic Convention again? Glad I don’t have that job. Sounds stressful.)

One positive outcome was the rallying cry against the unnecessary vitriol against fake geek girls, and trust me when I say that there were lots of responses!

It is worth noting that gender is only one aspect under consideration in this post, and the intersectional role(s) of class, race, religion, ability, and other categorizations are often less salient in this discussion and response from The Geek Girl Community and allies (or whatever the proper moniker is).

One of my favo(u)rite retorts is this video against Fake Geek Guys:

This reminds me of a bunch of other things, but since a picture is worth a thousand words:

Alex Gregory, The New Yorker.

Alex Gregory, The New Yorker.

Saying “male prostitute” seems to indicate that sex work is “normally” gendered female, and this cartoon in particular implies that Woman-in-car-need-emotional-fulfillment, while presumably Man-in-car would need physical fulfillment. The contrast is hilarious, I guess, if you’re The New Yorker and you don’t have a critiquing bone in your body. Teehee, bone.

Moral of the story: It is really useful to interrogate adjectives, although some people have an innate NEED to be best, most, or (most of all) first.

first(Apparently, some people on the internet love to be the first one to comment in forums, although they rarely offer any content besides “FIRST!”)

What’s “the best” anyhow? Does your coffee experience at Tully’s have to be “perfect?” Do you have to be “awesome” to be hired by Potbelly’s? I mean seriously.

Now I’ll launch into a mini-tirade about how focusing on Obama as The First Black President is simultaneously useful (for many progressive, empowering reasons) and problematic, particularly because the word “President” (especially in the context of the United States) is still strongly gendered as male (as well as being a largely class-based, heterosexual, etc etc bastion of leading the free world from a very narrow social position) and because use of the adjective of “Black” before “President” implies a “White” normal.

harrington

Oliver W. Harrington (1912–1995). Dark Laughter.“The teacher says that everyone can git to be president. Then how come the whole class falls out laughin’ when I tell ‘em that’s my dream,” 1960. Published in the Pittsburgh Courier, August 6, 1960 as “But what I don’t understand is why. . . .”  via the Library of Congress.

The real moral is that anyone can be a geek, anyone can be a sex worker, and anyone can be President of the United States (so long as they fit the pretty arbitrary and exclusionary age, residency, place-of-birth, and being-a-scumbag-politician requirements).

SMBC comics

SMBC comics

(This inadvertently became a Swipes File about the US presidency!)

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2 Responses to Geek Girls, Male Prostitutes, and Black Presidents

  1. I take your point that anyone can be a sex worker (I recently came across an article about a blind woman working as one in Zimbabwe which she does with the assistance of her non-disabled sister), however, statistically speaking isn’t it a plain fact that the overwhelming majority of sex workers are women?

    • That does seem to be the case! A smarmy response would be “there are no ‘plain’ facts – only mediated facts!” But mediated or otherwise, the majority of sex workers, statistically speaking, are women, as far as I am aware.

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