Books Oct 5, 2011 at 4:00 am

GeekGirlCon Is a Place for Geeky Women (and the Men Who Love Them)


Women often receive more required reading and viewing at the beginning of a relationship than some freshmen liberal arts majors, and that deal—consume this entertainment if you want to know me—rarely happens in reverse.

Holy crap, that is so incredibly not true.

And I think it's a good thing, too. I can't be the only person who owes a hefty slice of cultural taste to the people I've dated (and yes, that includes a representative sample of your nerdy-type women).
If a woman ever told me I had to read, watch, or listen to anything to due her, that would be the end of that. I suggest women do the same. These nerds actually think anyone but them caress about Star Wars?
"Women often receive more required reading and viewing at the beginning of a relationship than some freshmen liberal arts majors, and that deal—consume this entertainment if you want to know me—rarely happens in reverse."

Generally the opposite with me, but I don't define myself by pop culture.
Somehow my fiancee and me get along fine watching cartoons, playing video games, going to the occasional con, using linux and enjoying things that "nerds" and "geeks" enjoy without having to brand ourselves and then shout loudly about it.

Also, what the heck is the lady on the left doing with her arm?
"Women often receive more required reading and viewing at the beginning of a relationship than some freshmen liberal arts majors, and that deal—consume this entertainment if you want to know me—rarely happens in reverse."

Yeah, I don't see that happening, ever, and I specifically go after geeks. Usually the guy is less interested in sharing than I am; this is true for geeks and non-geeks alike. It's sort of an intimacy thing, with women being more interested in intimacy, even intellectual intimacy, than men (not that there's anything wrong with that). Personally, I would rather a guy just tell me what his interests are, and then I can decide if I want to read about it or try out the video game or movie or whatever. Also, I don't make demands like that and neither should he, but it's nice if you're both curious about each other's geeky interests (in a low-key way, of course).

"the common understanding of women in geek culture is as "the girlfriend," a passive member of a partnership"

Right you are. Also, don't forget this one: female geeks are not attractive (also true for male geeks, but not so important).
She just gave blood?
YAY Paul! Thanks for this article.
@7: I second that! Hail Paul!!

And may I say, with a great deal of understatement, it's about time!
How did I not know this existed? Man, this sounded way cool. I want to go if it happens again.
If the first paragraph was true there would be no such thing as the "date movie."
Your opening paragraph states some correct facts, but draws an incorrect conclusion.

wil Wheaton at PAX this year read a quote from another writer, where a geek was described as someone who has an unabashed love for something. 'Geeks' are the ultimate fans of a topic by this definition, and anyone, male, female, or bisexual hemaphrodite who makes their acquaintance will be bombarded with the topic of their obsession.
I think it's pretty coo how girl's got game...I know of quite a few group of women who can kick some ass at gaming...I warn you ladies...I'm great at puzzle games too..and I would leave your thumbs bleeding and you gasping for more...and I'm a old pro at shooting games...and mmorpgs...I can also kick your ass at love tohou and bishojo games...I even deal with bishojo games...any geek girl's want to play some ONLINE foreign bishojo games??? I know quite a few...and I'm even on some foreign online gaming sites in China and Japan ...Watch out little girl's...I'm a wolf in sheep's clothing...
Another reason to go: the newly added, thoroughly awesome-sounding skepticism panel!…
Paul, I completely agree with your assessment. For some reason, many men feel really confident telling you that you HAVE to see this movie or listen to this band. It's been a characteristic of my dating life since high school. And god, did I have to put up with some crappy bands and movies in high school as a result!

That doesn't mean women don't have strong opinions about movies and bands, but sometimes I think we're less confident that men will like what we like (because what we like always gets perceived as 'too girly').
My first boyfriend carefully concealed from me almost all references to geekiness (he couldn't conceal the almost nightly Street Fighter tournaments that happened in his dorm room) for MONTHS, until I was a sure thing - and then, after I expressed a slight interest in watching "Batman and Robin" on TV (I didn't know better!), he introduced me to "Long Halloween" and "Dark Victory", shortly followed by the entirety of "Preacher", "Transmetropolitan", "Sandman", and a variety of carefully selected weekly comic books. And I couldn't be more grateful. Oh, and we went to see "Batman Begins" at the Seattle IMAX, where Greg Rucka signed my Atticus Kodiak novels, and Tim Sale signed ALL of my Catwoman comic books AND drew me a sketch of Catwoman, which is matted and hanging on my living room wall (I got a little gushy over Tim Sale) (he's soooo good!). Hooray for geeky boyfriends! I'd never have read a comic book without him.
"Women often receive more required reading and viewing at the beginning of a relationship than some freshmen liberal arts majors, and that deal—consume this entertainment if you want to know me—rarely happens in reverse."

I can sorta relate to this. My husband introduced me to Joss Whedon(Buffy/Angel/Firefly)and all but insisted I read Ender's Game. In exchange, he joins me in my annual Lord of the Rings Trilogy (Extended Cut, of course)weekend marathon. :)
Re: opening statement.

Or just marry a geek girl and skip all that bullshit. The smart guys do. I'm a smart dude. She got me into Gibson and Firefly, I got her into Tolkien and Star Trek.

Bonus--one of the first statements she ever said to me was, upon hearing she was in the presence of a New York Mets fan, without knowing it was me: "The Mets? They're a piece of shit."

Not sure if @13 is a clueless creeper or a note-perfect parody...
Does this happen with gay/lesbian couples? Seems like it's a straight, nerd-guy thing...

I've had MANY guys give me laundry lists of pop culture I must consume... for me it's music nerds. Oh man, I've known SO many guys who can't BELIEVE I haven't heard this band or know that song or whatever, guys who made me mix-tapes and then quizzed me on what I thought of each song, and then got mad if I didn't like the right songs. It's EXHAUSTING. I imagine it's the same feeling for women who haven't seen Star Wars or whatever.

Guys, please stop. Yes, share your interests, but do NOT make us feel like feral children if we haven't read/seen/heard that one thing, and don't demand we immediately rectify the situation.
I just think it's sad that "nerd" and "geek" have been devalued to the point where people think they qualify by having seen one of the most popular movies of all time. It used to be that nerds were people who hacked computers, or programmed them; and those people often liked some of the same pop culture -- originally the Tolkien books and perhaps some early D&D. But there was never any understanding that liking Tolkien made you a nerd; it was the other way around. If you couldn't hack, you weren't one. Pop culture? Nerd and geek culture was originally ANTI-popular. Nerds were people who couldn't get laid in a whorehouse with a thousand-dollar-bill; geeks were, like the circus geeks they were named after, frightening and abnormal: out only at night, consuming nothing but Chee-tos and Diet Coke, smelling odd, writing out math problems on their arms. We accept you, we accept you, one of us. Now it's a fashion thing. It's cool to be a nerd, cool to be a geek. It was never cool before. It was a subculture. Now it's a commodity. Now you watch movies and read comic books.

This business about making prospective date partners about the books and movies they like would never have come up, because in the old days nerds and geeks didn't date. ANYONE. They could barely TALK to people, let alone go out with them. And if they did talk, they would be talking about sed and awk and emacs and how to draw pictures on an ASCII screen, not Batman. The original geeks and nerds didn't know what Batman even was. They were strange and beautiful hothouse flowers, never seeing the sun. You probably wouldn't have liked them; they wouldn't have noticed.

Yes, I am old. Why do you ask?
You're such a goddamn hipster, Fnarf.
@19 - Based on his comment history, I'm guessing he's genuinely stupid.
#19,#23...screw you...I'm not stupid...first...I was playing video game while the best part of you was running down your mother's legs...and second..your stupid because it's a girl gaming convention...can't I hit on the ladies a little who read the comments? Third...what I said previously has nothing to do with the topic at Hand...THE FIRST GIRL GAMING CONVENTION IN SEATTLE...STAY ON TOPIC OR STFU...
#21...I agree...for geeks in this part of the world that is...many geeks from all over the planet grew up differently...and have different beliefs on what geek culture is...for example:a American geek grows up reading comics, and plays d& you described...but a geek from Japan believes in religion,ancient storys, and history and makes culture out of it...every geek is's not easy to just fit them all in a may think so...but you would be shocked at REALLY how diverse geekdom goes back as far as mankind itself...
And #14... I don't need to go to a skeptic blog...I'm obviously a geek who is a fan of geeks worldwide of both sexes...what is so skeptical about that? I'm just having fun commenting on girl game stuff....and I'm just teasing ...I'm also trying to freak out girl geeks intentionally...bishojo games are girl games in Japan...and tohou games are shooting games that are super popular in Japan...the "wolf in sheep's clothing " remark was a reference to wolf link in Zelda:twilight did say in your paper to keep my sword sheathed...well,wolf link doesn't even use a sword...I'm following your rules...but going AROUND THEM...I'm not stupid...
Whenever someone writes comments using only ellipses and never commas or periods, I always imagine them sitting in a corner mumbling creepily to themselves.
@21: Holy SHIT, Batman! It's suddenly COOL to be a geek or nerd now??
If only that had been the case when I was in high school eons ago.
I'd have taken my free public education as seriously as college the second time around on my GI Bill.

Really, though. Will this GeekGirlCon happen again anytime soon?
@Fnarf, seriously? "Original" geeks and nerds, ayfkm? We girls were there too, ya'll were just too self absorbed to notice. I was getting harassed for my geeky reading material in elementary school, c. 1971. We are both old, honey, but you can still choose to evolve.
There's more to life than consuming culture. Sooner or later you probably want to produce something of your own.

"You should learn to hack" is like "you should get a library card." There is no good reason to avoid something that is free, easy to start, and brings you power and joy.

There ends my public service announcement. Geek guys are awesome. I'm engaged to one. I swoon for his bookshelf.

Please wait...

Comments are closed.

Commenting on this item is available only to members of the site. You can sign in here or create an account here.

Add a comment

By posting this comment, you are agreeing to our Terms of Use.