The 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 marriage 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:
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.
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.
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).
(This inadvertently became a Swipes File about the US presidency!)