By Natania Barron
Contributing Writer, [GaS]
Unfortunately, though the world might be getting more and more geek friendly by the minute, being a geek girl is still difficult. So I’m appealing to you, Geeks Are Sexy readers, to consider a few things when approaching us in the, um, wild. I’m drawing on real experience here, and while every geek girl is different, I think most of these tips are good to keep in mind. So it’s not exactly exhaustive, but a good place to start.
Don’t assume that she’s had “help” rolling up her character or that she’s only playing D&D for the RP aspect (or because of her significant other). Seriously, people. I know enough girl RPGers to know we can be as insane about min/maxing, tweaking, and speccing as anyone. Yeah, sure, maybe some of us are more dramatic than the dudes in the group on occasion. But the next time someone asks me if I just play D&D because my husband dragged me into it might get a sucker punch.
Don’t assume she’s buying comics for her significant other. Just because a woman is walking into a comics store doesn’t automatically mean she’s lost, looking for presents, for someone else, or is there on a dare. It also doesn’t mean she’s only interested in manga, Wonder Woman or Buffy comics. Take note. Lather, rinse, repeat.
Don’t assume she doesn’t like girly things. Sometimes there’s a sort of pendulum effect, treating geek girls like geek guys and assuming that we have turned against our entire gender just to get geek cred. Not so. Many of us are exceptionally girly, just not by standard definition perhaps.
Don’t assume she’s read and liked Twilight. Just don’t. Trust me on this one.
Don’t assume she only likes to read urban fantasy books with strong protagonists. And if we’re writers don’t assume we write that stuff. Many of us dig swords, guns, and classics, too.
Don’t assume we’re stupid about computers. Eternally annoying. It’s one thing to have sat and tried to fix your own computer for a few hours and resigning yourself to going to the Genuis Bar or Geek Squad, or whatever. But it’s another thing altogether to have to cope with techies talking to you about your computer as if it’s the first time you’ve ever laid eyes on this marvelous object. “Did you restart it?” “Wait, what? It restarts?”
Don’t assume we don’t like non-geeky things. Sports? Sure, I wouldn’t consider myself up on every team. But I love the Red Sox. The most insulting moment I can recall is when one of my husband’s friends would not believe I was an actual fan and quizzed me on the starting lineup. Guys, don’t be that guy.
While (I hope) many of you will laugh this off and say that you’d never presume such things, it’s still something that we geek gals deal with enough to warrant a friendly reminder.
Any geek gals out there with similar experiences to share? Any guys made some bad assumptions and want to fess up?