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What's with the name?

Allow us to explain.

Allow Us To Explain

Why A Geek Site for Women?


There are a few questions that been following me around ever since ever since we decided to do The Mary Sue, even before we knew it would be called The Mary Sue, and they come up again almost every time someone that I’m talking to comes up against the idea of a geek site specifically for women.

“Why a geek site specifically for women?”

Now, some of these people aren’t putting any particular slant on these words, they’re just genuinely interested in what the nerdy female has to say that needs a whole website to contain it.  But some of these people are concerned that the entire idea of a site just for girl geeks is counterproductive at best, and sexist pandering at worst.

The Mary Sue is here to say one thing, and one thing emphatically: skeptical geek women, we know where you are coming from.

We know the point at which you would be satisfied is to just be able to geek out with all geeks, of any gender, without feeling like your femininity is front and center for scrutiny.  To not feel like you have to work harder than guys to prove that you’re genuinely into geek culture. We want simple things, like to be able to visit a comic book store without feeling out of place.  To be able to buy a video game without getting the sense that the cashier thinks we’re buying it for someone else.

But mainly we just want to be able to pursue our hobbies with the other people who share them.  We want to play with the boys.

So there are two reasons why there should be more out there devoted specifically to the female geek.

Because even if we want to play with the boys, there is a value to having our own space.

Until advertisers, producers (of, say, The Big Bang Theory), and the larger society cease to assume that if you’re into sci-fi or videogames then you’re universally male; until the Big Two of American comics figure out that the way to get women to read comic books is not to pander to the demographic, but simply to make consistently good comics; until videogame makers finally figure out exactly why booth babes are flagrantly, shockingly sexist… the voice of the female geek needs to be heard.

And not just in a weekly column on a larger site, or whenever specifically gendered news comes up, or with the occasional list of Hollywood’s Hottest Geeky Women.  (Those lists are very flattering, but they’re not for geek women.  They’re for straight geek guys.)  Geek women don’t just exist when we’re reacting to things that we find offensive, or when the more famous of us are featured in an article.  We’ve been here the whole time, watching stop-motion Lego videos, waiting for trailers, hoping for Comic Con news, picking up comics on Wednesday nights, and pressing A or X to continue.

And also, because of this:

(This comic was submitted to Reddit in December of 2010, and my feeble attempts to keep track of its creator have failed.  If this is your comic, drop us a line, we’d love to credit you.)

I have never met a geek girl who was even halfway interested in almost anything Cosmopolitan had to say.  We were too busy reading Cicada and Popular Science when we were the age that Teen Magazine wanted our attention.  I’ve rarely seen a “women’s” site that seemed to report on much that I was half-way interested in.  The only celebrity gossip I care about is who’s on what project next, the only fashion I’m interested is where to get Batman shirts that allow for boobs.  It took me months to realize that Eat, Pray, Love wasn’t actually Eat, Prey, Love (“That’s sounds sort of interesting in a mantis-y kind of way,” I thought).

In fact, the only thing “women’s” sites and magazines make me feel regularly is the distinct impression that I’m not in their demographic.  Even though I’m a woman.  Not coincidentally, this is frequently how I feel whenever a game advertisement or comic book cover assumes that I am male.  Even though I am a gamer/reader.

Ideally, The Mary Sue will become an exception to the above comic: a women’s site for women who don’t feel accepted in the mainstream’s idea of what women want (obligatory).

So come one, come all, girls who are geek, guys who are geek, and everything above, below, and in between. We’re going to discuss movies, and comics, and science, and the internet. We’re going to talk about geek girls, and we’re going to let geek girls talk. We’re going to call it like we see it, and we’re going to have fun.

Enjoy.

If you’re wondering why we called the site The Mary Sue, you can find out here.

TAGS:


  • http://hollow-art.com/ Taffy13

    Just have to say, thank you for speaking my language.

  • http://johnradclyffehall.tumblr.com Johnradclyffehall

    I’m very happy that this site is here, great stuff!

  • Anonymous

    Skeptical geek woman here, and I’m so glad to say Yes! You *do* get me! We are a drastically under-represented demographic. Every time a new site aimed at women pops up I allow myself to get my hopes up just a bit, only to be disappointed in the prevalence of gossip, fashion, and PINK content.

    Here’s hoping The Mary Sue takes off, and opens a few eyes!

  • sof

    Great site! All said here is so true… thanks for speaking for all of us ;)

  • http://twitter.com/lilsammis Samantha Stoner

    I have to say… I’m a geek girl and I take exception to this article. I grew up watching Star Wars and reading the Hobbit and Lord of the Rings. I lied to my friends about liking make up, and my mother couldn’t get me into a dress. Running in high heels was easily learned while I was 27 before I learned how to walk in them. Pink is a very good color on me, and I kind of like it. My barbies met their demise and the bottom of my trash can at the age of 8, but I mourned the loss of my She-Ra collection and cloud castle at 13.

    I am a Geek Girl. But I will occasionally read–and find something of value in Cosmo.
    I am a Geek Girl. I support Breast Cancer awareness because that disease is present in my family, because it’s a monster with a voracious appetite, and because it doesn’t care if I use green glitter icing to decorate my Boba Fett Cookies, or if I use the right shade of blue to color the butter cream Tardis on top of the cupcakes I’m icing.
    I am a Geek Girl. I love to bake and own a set of pearl earrings.
    I am a Geek Girl. I read comic books with as much gusto as I devour some Romance Novels.
    I am a Geek Girl. The worst part of fashion for me is that it’s designed for skinny, twiggy girls who can’t appreciate a good cheeseburger or a perfectly made cheesecake. But I still stare wistfully at some of the dresses and other clothes on the rack.
    I am a Geek Girl. When the occasion calls for it, I enjoy donning dresses and heels; I own multiple hair styling implements and more make up than I know what to do with.
    I am a Geek Girl. I play D&D, White Wolf RPG’s, and World of Warcraft unabashedly. I also cry at chick flicks and think that the A&E version of Pride and Prejudice is one of the best things I’ve watched.

    I am a Geek Girl. But I’m still a girl. My tastes are wide and varied, and I take exception with the fact that you think I can’t be a Geek Girl if I like the things I like. Most of my Geek Girl friends share some of my likes, the ones you say belong to “non-Geek Girls.” Maybe I’m reading too much into your article. Maybe I’m finding sentiments you never meant to put forward. They’re there, and they feel very alienating. I follow a number of Geek and Sci Fi sites, both general as well as “Geek Girl”, and this is the first one from which I’ve felt even the slightest bit of alienation.

    I’ll stick around for a bit to see how this site develops. it’s a good idea, and I’m all about good ideas. But I hope that this is just… growing pains, and that as The Mary Sue truly finds her voice, she doesn’t alienate a larger percentage of her audience.

  • http://twitter.com/BaronessHeather Heather Harris

    Just like Samantha said, I really hope you’re not actually going to push the idea that Geek Girls aren’t allowed to show femininity. I love high heels, Star Wars, makeup, SeaQuest, hair dye, FarScape, Jane Austen, Doctor Who, baking, Star Trek, and lots of other things that, according to you don’t go together. I rather prefer just being allowed to be who I am without being sneered at by some in-crowd. Part of the reason it’s good to be a geek girl right now is that the community is much wider and able to communicate via social networking. How sad would it be if those of us who have just found a crowd in which we feel at home start to feel like black sheep all over again because we dare to like things the majority (or even vocal minority) don’t also like. If you personally aren’t into those things and want to make a site just for people who only like the exact things you like and dislike all the things you dislike, that’s fine, but don’t market it as being the home that geek girls have been waiting for.

  • Anonymous

    Pretty sure no one’s saying these things aren’t allowed if you’re a geek girl. It’s just that most sites *assume* it’s the norm, and it just isn’t for many of us.

    Samantha – you wrote “I’m a geek girl. But I’m still a girl”. Well, so am I. Is there not enough girl stuff, as you’d define it, out there? I don’t in any way any of it’s bad – I’m just looking forward to reading geeky material for women where it’s not the focus or the assumption.

  • http://twitter.com/lilsammis Samantha Stoner

    Julie, you may be right, but the tone of the article made me feel that I would not be welcomed on this site because of those reasons. There’s plenty of geeky material out there–even specific to women–without the fact that it’s FOR WOMEN being the focus. As I said, I follow a few of them on Facebook and Twitter, but I don’t feel it’s appropriate for me to advertise for one site on another, you know?

    And I reiterate: I hope The Mary Sue finds her voice without alienating any of its audience. Yes, there are other places to get geeky, girl-related information, posts, stuff, etc. That doesn’t mean there isn’t room in the ‘Verse for more.

  • Anon

    I’m not going to be reading this site, nor am I going to probably ever remember it. So, I can say this with no stake in the matter.

    Though your intentions may be noble, this website is exactly why we can’t just get along with men on the internet: we call attention to our gender, even when it has no value in the conversation.

    An example: When I play games online, absolutely nothing of note happens. I have a gender neutral account name, a Tonberry for my avatar, and I don’t have a mic, so my voice isn’t an issue. The game goes on, and everything is fun. Whenever ‘Pro Bunny Gal -Girl Gamer-’ joins the server, with a ‘cute’ photo of herself on display, the game ends. People either hit on her, or call her an attention whore, and any playing breaks down into white knights and misogynists battling it out. When you’re a girl gamer, you aren’t a gamer. You’re a girl, first and foremost.

    The reason girl geeks don’t fit was kind of hit on in this article. Things for women are ‘women’s’ magazines. Making femininity so central to our identity is a valid reason for geeks of the female persuasion to be mocked. It’s just like mocking the stereotypical frat boy for pumping iron with his bros and hitting up a kegger every night. The moment you have your personality summed up by any fragment of your persona, you’re vetoing your right to be considered as more than a stereotype.

    I’m not saying we should all pretend to be men, but I think we all need to realize that the constant ‘I’m a geek, AND a woman’ hints some of us use do nothing but detract from whatever subject is at hand.

    But, I digress. The best of luck with your site.

  • http://www.facebook.com/dootjumpedoverthemoon Olivia ‘Doot’ Hall

    Sorry, but, I really don’t feel that this website has a place. I completely understand the point the author is trying to make, but judging from the types of articles that I’ve already seen posted on here, and some of the comments already made on this one alone, it more than likely IS going to turn out to be yet another feminist gossip site that just happens to be loosely based around geek culture, and further alienates those it attempts to stand for.

    Coming from a “true geek girl”… first off, I don’t identify myself as that. Ick. I’m just yet another person who’s really into that type of stuff. Even less, do I identify myself as a “girl”. Yeah I have the anatomy; that’s about it. I strongly despise romantic movies/novels, I burn everything I halfheartedly attempt to cook, I see wearing makeup and jewelry and doing special things to my hair as pointless, and wearing uncomfortable feminine clothing/shoes as undesirable. To me, constantly discussing celeb gossip/feminine health/sex tips is an utter waste of time, and regarding the latter two topics, those are things you should probably just take the time to get off the internet and figure our yourself or talk to a doctor about, seriously. Anyway, I just believe that people like me don’t fall under some special statistic.

    I’ve never felt oppressed due to gender-specific reasons because of any content I’ve seen online that concerns my personal hobbies. I always imagine any male I see making sexist remarks as some 12-year-old who still believes cooties exist. And if you haven’t noticed, the majority of the content on sites that focus around these interests is gender ambiguous anyway, and it’s pretty easy to look over the tiny amount that isn’t (which is pretty much just limited to how realistic the boobs look on female characters of the latest MMO… though then again, the degree to which how much that interests you can still be gender ambiguous nonetheless; just depends on what you’re into). Even on any type of discussion board, it’s really not that hard to choose an ambiguous nick or remain anonymous, while other users are more than likely not even going to prompt you for any gender-based response anyway.

    So yeah… no. Just no. I personally hope this (and any other possibly existing similar site) is eventually closed after the posting of one too many “get back in the kitchen” comments. Also, I honestly hope that if the creator of this website and/or article author happens to see this, she really takes what I’ve said to heart (namely paragraph #3); they seem like an unnecessarily insecure type of person.

  • http://sdhardie.tumblr.com Sheila

    Samantha’s got me pegged too. I might not read cosmo, but I like pretty hand bags, LOVE my jewelry and “girly” purple bedroom, gardening, baking, etc. I also play WoW, would rather stick a hot poker into any orifice over watching a “chick flick”, love sci-fi books and movies, devour comics, lived on Star Trek and Quantum Leap re-runs as a kid, etc. etc. etc. I hope this site soars above the rest in terms of geeky goodness, but I sure hope I don’t end up feeling left out because I do like showing off my girly side now and then. :)

  • http://twitter.com/jeniferv Jenifer Vandagriff
  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=500257141 Kate Welch

    Here’s how I feel:

    The commenters above have excellent points. If you don’t want attention to be called to your gender, don’t call attention to it. But geek girls are a demographic. I want to be targeted, written for, advertised to, and respected as a source of revenue for geek-centric companies — so a targeted girl geek site doesn’t bother me.

    Here’s another thing: you can participate androgynously online in discussions of geek culture, but at some point, you’re going to want to make a comment that reveals your gender (talk about the Batman hat you knitted for your boyfriend, how sexy Thor’s arms are, etc). And the first instinct is to hide it, to not make that comment, to stave off whatever attention you’d get, because it’s shameful somehow to mention it.

    I’m tired of feeling ashamed of being a geeky girl online.

    When a woman starts a female-targeted fashion or gossip site, nobody raises an eyebrow, because those are acceptable topics. Most men don’t care about what the celebs wore on the red carpet. It’s an acceptable, allowable area for women to gather and discuss. Why can’t we do the same with geeky stuff? Because men DO care about it? Because the girl geek is fetishized? How is that our fault?

    All that said, I love makeup, shoes, fashion, and celebrity gossip. But I get my fill of those topics elsewhere, and I don’t care that they wouldn’t be a part of a site like this.

  • http://twitter.com/caitelsa Caitlind Oteiza

    I think, after reading all the comments, that there is potential for this website. I love having somewhere to go, to talk about geeky stuff without having to worry about my gender. Because the plain and simple fact is, that even though gender shouldn’t matter, it does. FACT. Not everyone is respectful or non biased. So this website may prove to be a great place for geeky girls, (who yes, still embrace their women hood, because there is nothing wrong with that). I have great hopes for this website! I’m tired of loving geeky stuff and having no where or no one to talk to about it. So here’s to this website! Here’s too Geek Girls, and embracing it!

  • Ofelia

    I think… I consider myself like a geek girl, but I don’t feel I’m discriminated about my gender. The only thing is kinda annoying is when you post a comment in a geek site and all men thinks you are retarded. I think if you separate genders to talk about the same is create more discrimination, is better we try to live together in a ‘geek site’ for all, without differences by gender, age or knowledge.

    Oh, 1 thing I hate about ‘geek’ culture, i saw a lot of post about the beauties and models in all the tech events.

  • http://twitter.com/MickieMous MickieMousseau

    First and formost, I do not consider myself a feminest. However I grew up in the 70′s and 80′s when it wasn’t cool for a girl to be a geek(yes even after Star Wars). Guys seem to own most of the geek places in cyber space and we women need our own space. Just once I want to be able to look at a geek site and not be bombarded by pictures of women I wouldn’t want my kids to see. I don’t hide the fact that I’m female, beleive me I can’t hide it. Some guys don’t like it but I don’t care, I never did and never will.

  • Lass Giselle

    “In fact, the only thing “women’s” sites and magazines make me feel regularly is the distinct impression that I’m not in their demographic. Even though I’m a woman.”

    Funny, the only thing “girl nerd” stuff has regularly made ME feel is the distinct impression that I’M not in THEIR demographic. Even though I’m a nerd girl. For example, a sentence from right above that quote:

    “I have never met a geek girl who was even halfway interested in almost anything Cosmopolitan had to say. We were too busy reading Cicada and Popular Science when we were the age that Teen Magazine wanted our attention.”

    With video games my favorite hobby (and on-again-off-again career) since age five, an exhaustive knowledge of Star Wars and Star Trek and most other space-romp franchises, with my favorite part of the week being Wednesday afternoon comics, I’m somehow not a part of this website’s targeted demographic…. because I’m also into fashion, love shoe shopping, can’t stand going out of the house looking frumpy (or girls who do) and yes, I read Cosmo (and Vogue, and W, and Sunset, etc) – but I’ve never read Popular Science.

    But before closing this window and never returning to this (albeit beautifully web-designed) site, may I point out how amusing it is that some of the banner ads are for a shoe site?

  • http://twitter.com/VeganCeleste Cici Statius Muller

    Am I the only person who has never faced any kind of discrimination just because I am a girl geek? I almost feel left out! :P

  • Anonymous

    Well, if you already feel the geek community is one big happy mixed-gender family, then there are already tons of sites out there for you, right? I just happen to welcome a site that seems to have ME in mind. And of course it’s all about ME ;-)

  • http://twitter.com/MugenPuchiHime Celine

    Thanks for creating such a site for us tomboy geeks! I really appreciate it! :D

  • Alison

    I just found this website! Yayaya!

  • http://amidstdancers.blogspot.com/ Shard Aerliss

    Hmmm, if you manage to actually pander better to my needs than all my other usual haunts I’ll be impressed.

    Honestly, I’ve never felt out of place in a comic book shop (well, there’s that tiny one in Edinburgh where the staff/owners don’t seem to actually want ANY custom… the Black Books of the comic world) and never even considered that a cashier might think I was buying a game for someone else. I just don’t think about it that way.

    But best of luck to you There are probably many people out there that you will fill a niche for. Guess I’ll follow you on Twitter and see how you get on.

  • Krysten

    I look forward to following you.

    I think a lot of the comments here such as, “I like purses as WELL as Star Wars” are forgetting (or disregarding the fact) that we can go anywhere for those things. There are thousands of sites on the internet where I can oggle pretty accessories, but very few where I can be a woman with geeky, science-related interests. I appreciate what you’re doing here and love the idea.

    Why should we feel like we’re being separated? This seems like it’s only adding to a wider community of wonderful geekdom, just without needing to scroll through screenshots of gamer-babe boobs. It’s a nice concept. Any men who choose to scoff and don’t welcome this are barely better than the kiddies I play in Halo who ask, “how ugly a grl r you?”

    Lighten up ladies, let’s enjoy.

  • http://twitter.com/dianeshipley Diane Shipley

    I love the idea of a site devoted to girl geekdom, although I suspect it’ll be too hardcore geeky for my tastes (which is fine; you can’t cater to everyone, and I’m sure you don’t want to). I am really disappointed that you chose the above comic to make your point, though: it appears to denigrate discussions of feminism as a trivial women’s issue (unequal pay and rape are on a par with purses now?) and imply that a voice in men’s discussions is what really counts. But we need wider representations of women, not to deny issues of importance to women in order to fit in with men. Your ethos seems otherwise pretty darn feminist to me, why not just admit it? :)

  • MeghannLeigh

    While I am a frequent reader of lady-blogs like The Frisky and geek-blogs like io9, I do feel like there has been a giant lady-gamer-geek-blog-shaped-void in my life. So I say hooray for The Mary Sue! It’s wonderful that as time goes on there are more and more options for keeping up with news, posts, and commentary that I find enjoyable.
    On a side note I don’t quite understand is why there is so much negativity and general poo-pooing in the comments here. So what if the author of this post isn’t 100% like you or doesn’t care about purses or celebrity gossip? That’s reason enough for you to unleash the snark and say you’ll never be back or you hope the site shuts down? You’re absolutely entitled to your opinion, but… really?

  • guest

    I am still not convinced.

    You say there’s a need for a women’s geek site, because of how male and/or sexist male geek site’s can be, but I think Geekosystem has been great for being non-gender specific in its posts. So if Geekosystem was doing great in being the thing that you wanted, then why do you need a a girlgeek site? Unless you’re saying that geekosystem isn’t good for women?

    Seriously. I don’t see why the posts that have been put in here couldn’t be put into geekosystem? would geekosystem be against cinderella girls reading to R2D2 or ten token women powergrid?

    If you think that Geekosystem isn’t doing it’s bit to promote equal status for girl and guy geeks, wouldn’t it be better to work towards making Geekosystem a place where girls don’t have to put on fake moustaches?

  • http://www.whatifbooksetc.com Sylvia Sybil

    Kudos to you for starting this site. There’s a shortage of places where a geeky girl can hang out and not be bombarded with sexism.

    Also, I love Diane Shipley’s comment about feminism in the comic; I didn’t know equal rights were trivial. ^_~

  • Steph

    I’ve been wanting this for so long. My sister and I are huge nerds (comic books, video games, sci-fi), but we tend to hide it because it seems frowned upon where we live. The other day, we had an interesting conversation. We like reading esquire because some of the articles are hilarious and witty and profound. We also like checking stuff out at ign for gaming reviews, etc. But we were upset because all magazines and websites catered to women are about relationship, fashion-type things. Al the websites/magazines we actually liked catered to men. Don’t get me wrong, I am a girly girl too (I wear pink almost all the time), but it bothers me that there aren’t many nerdy or sarcastic magazines/websites for women. In fact, I know of none… until now. :-). I feel so very much complete.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Lauren-Jepson/100001410650791 Lauren Jepson

    I’m really curious as to what the image of Arial says in the header…does anyone have a link at all?

  • Nephilim

    Ohhh I really wish you would, especially the FB ones. Would be nice to have a variety of chick nerd sites

    (posting as guest cuz I can’t remember my disqus password >.<)

  • Clare

    Not sure what that specific image says but it’s Hipster Ariel: http://fuckyeahhipsterariel.tumblr.com

  • http://twitter.com/SwoodTX Sarah Wood

    I’m so happy to finally have a site like this where I don’t have to feel like my gender is a surprise to everyone

  • Clare

    This.

    I understand the desire to get away from “girly” stereotypes but you guys will miss out on an important opportunity if you ignore the girlier side of geekdom. The geek girls I know are into a lot of stuff that’s too girly to be covered on most mainstream geek websites and too geeky to be in women’s magazines. Stuff like young-adult dystopian fiction, niche fashion like EGL or steampunk, crafting, fanfiction, BPAL, romance manga, and collecting vintage My Little Ponies. They *also* like Batman and Star Trek and Inception.

    There are interests we share with our guy geek friends and interests we tend to only share with our female friends. If you write about the huge range of things girl geeks like, and not just a more feminine spin on the topics that are already covered on mainstream geek sites, then you’ll have a site that keeps people coming back. IMO :)

    (And I say this as a feminist, for what it’s worth. I feel no guilt about embracing some stereotypically girly interests, because it’s a sexist culture that derides these things as worthless.)

  • http://www.whatifbooksetc.com Sylvia Sybil

    Also, there’s a paranormal romance called Eat, Prey, Love which might be why you thought the movie was called that. Or maybe it’s just an obvious pun.

  • http://laceandcream.realityescapesher.com Alex

    Thank you thank you thank you!

  • Anonymous

    As a straight guy, I love women and everything to do with women. Also, I love being a geek and everything to do with being a geek. Therefore, I regard this blog as the coolest thing since Batman cereal.

    I was slightly surprised by the skeptics in the comments. Allow me to make an observation… This whole “girls only/guys only” issue goes back to everyone’s childhood where kids were excluded from participating based on gender (no girls allowed!). This is a very childish notion that people don’t always grow out of (boys/girls night out).

    Hopefully what this blog will do is celebrate, not flaunt, our gender differences. Yet, men will still find a common ground here (I plan on following it for a bit). This blog could be an interesting blend of what we share and sets us apart (funny how I’m writing this on the last day of black history month… it seems oddly appropriate)

  • Anonymous

    This looks promising – I’ve added it to my feed reader. For those of you calling to merge this with other blogs (or for it to die quietly, alone and unloved), a feed reader is a terrific thing! You can collate ALL the websites you read into one spot, to get a super-specific blog made especially for you! Then you don’t have to worry about someone not catering absolutely to your interests! I’m not usually this crabby, but come on. Give it a chance. And while my gender does not rule everything I do, I am tired of being treated as second-rate, or ignored, when it does come into play. Fortunately it looks like there are some other like-minded people here, so I don’t think it’ll descend into madness quite yet.

  • http://twitter.com/tommyxtopher Tommy Christopher

    Live long and prosper.

  • Veronica

    I think that the comic is referring to some “feminist” websites that mix political discussion with paparazzi photos and beauty tips, a la Jezebel. 30 Rock this week had an interesting take on those kinds of sites.

    This site here looks very promising, and I’m eager to follow it. I worry that I’m not “geeky” enough, but do see that it has a valuable place on the internet.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Akos-Szeredai/100000988906612 Akos Szeredai

    and one where it is not surprising that i am not surprised of any surprising chicks.

    you girls should get some inspiration from geekologie.

  • http://www.christyherself.com Christy

    Ditto. I consider myself a geek girl but I still struggle with being feminine and wanting a “boyfriend.” I think this site is going to be a great contribution to the others I enjoy. :)

  • Anonymous

    Best of luck with your new site, but don’t forget about us guys who are still reading, and will continue reading Geekosystem. Come out and play with the boys once in a while :)

  • Anonymous

    I like this a lot! It’s tough to make a blog that appeals to absolutely everyone but this one seems pretty much on my wavelength! Good luck!!

  • Lpowell_

    I…Love…this site. I am and always will be a geek girl

  • the_gallifreyan

    I see what you’re saying, but i disagree. I think you hit the root of the problem: the game stops when someone who makes her female identity obvious joins. The answer is not to remain anonymous, but to change the way the culture treats women gamers. This is not going to happen if the assumptions that fuel the current culture aren’t challenged. The current assumption is that if you’re a gamer, you’re a guy. To break this assumption is to break the way people in the game interact, and it disturbs the game flow, disintegrating into “white knights and misogynists battling it out”. The problem is not the fact that people are identifying as girls; the problem is that there is no place for these girls in the game dynamic. This is what has to change.

  • http://twitter.com/yaboiksar Nicole Hazen

    You’re pretty much saying we can be gamers as long as we aren’t girls. That’s messed up.

    I should be able to say who I am without those people making it an issue. I should be able to be a cute girl and still be able to be a gamer. Why is it my fault the game breaks down? Tell the asshats to knock it off, I just want to play.

    Why in the hell would you want someone to hide themselves? Because that’s exactly what you are doing when you say you “have a gender neutral account name, a Tonberry for my avatar, and I don’t have a mic, so my voice isn’t an issue.” You’re blaming the victim.

  • http://twitter.com/yaboiksar Nicole Hazen

    +100

    Thank you.

  • Nerdyfemale

    Finally a site I can really relate to. :)

  • Allison

    Wow, Doot, you are depressing.

    You can’t imagine that there might be value in the so-called “utter waste of time” that lesser mortals spend sharing stories, asking and answering questions. This activity is also called “socializing.” It’s practiced by men and women, boys and girls and it happens almost everywhere.

    I’m sure that you go straight to your doctor when you are looking for sex tips(!) and that she is thrilled to spend time explaining the “facts of life” to you. Your doctor won’t ask why you seem to know so little about your life/ body/ self. She’ll just answer your questions efficiently. If your doctor is feeling generous, she might ask whether you have considered psychological therapy.

    Why hope that a new site will fail? Because you don’t want girls and women who are into Geek Culture to have a forum to share ideas and meet similar people? A forum where we don’t have to post as “anon” or a gender-neutral name and are still taken seriously? I suspect that your self-declared status as Incompetent Cook is an overreaction to having been told “get back in the kitchen,” yourself.

    And as to your belief that you and people like me don’t fall under some special statistic [I think you mean don't fit into a specific demographic], the truth is that you do fit into a demographic group. It’s the group of girls who are friends with boys and hope the boys have forgotten you are girls. So you try to fit in: no makeup, no jewelery, nothing flattering or sexy. If you’re not attracted to boys, that’s fine. But if you are, and you think being “one of the guys” will help you into a relationship with one someday, you are barking up the wrong tree. Geeky guys want the same things in a girlfriend that all guys do. If you want to talk about it, let me know.

  • http://3dog.livejournal.com/ Princess Geek

    I’m happy this site exists, but it seems from this post the site is only for a certain kind of woman.

    I love pink, make up, dresses, cooking, my little pony, star gossip and purses (and feminism!)

    I also love comics, video games, table top rpgs, dice rollan, and other forms of geekery.

    Why must being a geek and being “girly” be mutually exclusive? Honestly the comic is really offensive…like non-geeky girls can’t have intelligent, thoughtful conversation. Say what?

    Hope this site gets better from this post. :

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=602143099 Janina Carreras

    SO happy this website exists <3!!

  • http://thusspakekate.tumblr.com thusspakekate

    You’re contradicting yourself. You’re saying that gender has no value in the conversation and then saying that when you’re a girl gamer, you’re not a gamer, you’re a girl first and foremost. Then you say that we shouldn’t pretend to be men, but that women who admit to being women are detracting from the conversation. No way, fuck that. I am a woman; I don’t want to have to hide it and I don’t want to have to apologize for it. I want to use my own goddamn picture as my avatar and I don’t want to have to construct and identity that masks the fact that I am female. If I’m too feminine, that’s a problem. If I’m not feminine enough, that’s a problem. Sexism exists in geek culture and just pretending that it doesn’t wont make it go away. These conversations have to be had. Maybe you get brownie points with the guys because you don’t demand that they see women as more “than a stereotype,” but you’re a part of the problem then too. Because I promise you, its not only “stereotypical girls” that get shit for being female, its all of us.

  • http://accioyabooks.wordpress.com bookling

    I didn’t get the sense that they were pushing that idea at all. Are you getting that from the comic? To me that reads like the “made for women” places think you can ONLY be a “girly girl”. I think the article was saying that geeky women want a place somewhere between the “for women” place and the “for men” place where they’re not welcomed.

  • http://thusspakekate.tumblr.com thusspakekate

    I fully support this project. After the horrid Gawker redesign, I’m looking for replacements for both io9 and jezebel. COULD THIS BE BOTH!?

  • http://accioyabooks.wordpress.com bookling

    I use a gender-neutral handle and avatar online, too, but no way am I going to hide the fact that I am a woman. Why the hell should I? The problem is not the girl joining the game. The problem is the men who just want to gawk at her, demand pictures of her body, and make derogatory comments about her. She just wants to play, and she shouldn’t have to apologize or pose as a man in order to do so.

  • http://accioyabooks.wordpress.com bookling

    “I strongly despise romantic movies/novels, I burn everything I halfheartedly attempt to cook, I see wearing makeup and jewelry and doing special things to my hair as pointless, and wearing uncomfortable feminine clothing/shoes as undesirable. To me, constantly discussing celeb gossip/feminine health/sex tips is an utter waste of time…”

    Do you believe that one has to like all these things to identify as a girl? Jesus christ. If anything’s going to drive me away from this website, it’s going to be all the commenters who claim that they’re “just one of the guys” and are geekier than any of us who dare to call ourselves geeks AND admit to liking anything “girly”. Does the fact that I like to cook somehow take away my geek cred? Because if I were a man, it wouldn’t. I could say that I love Star Wars and read comics and like to cook and nobody would think I was inferior for it.

    I want this website to succeed. I like the content so far. But if you think it has no place, by all means, there’s the door.

  • http://accioyabooks.wordpress.com bookling

    What, are you being paid to advertise for Geekosystem or something?

    I’m not actually familiar with that site. I do frequent geeky sites such as io9 (which has several great female writers) and Gizmodo, but the comments are often full of dudes and sometimes misogyny. To have a site with a specifically female point of view that focuses on geeky stuff is, I think, something new and exciting.

  • http://accioyabooks.wordpress.com bookling

    I don’t think that’s what the comic was saying. I think it was saying that a blog about the “girly” things might not be enough for a geek girl. What if she wants to talk about feminism AND comics? I think a website where I can read about both these things is a great idea.

  • Anonymous

    n fact, the only thing “women’s” sites and magazines make me feel regularly is the distinct impression that I’m not in their demographic. Even though I’m a woman.

    You say you don’t care about fashion or celebrity gossip. Fair enough. For the record, I would sooner sit down to watch a John Woo HK action film than any “chick flick” out there. I also curse like a sailor, drink single malt whisky, fence and can tell you why good statistical analysis matters in reporting scientific findings.

    I also love my MAC makeup, my BPAL perfumes and my tribal bellydance,

    Does being girly preclude one from being a geek? Furthermore, does being girly mean one cannot care about more serious issues affecting women?

    It makes me itch in funny places that you seem to have drawn a demographic division that leaves me straddling the line.

    Embrace the power of “and.”

  • Anonymous

    I think this site will do good things. I’m glad there will be a place where I can be geeky and (hopefully) participate in a comment community where the fact that I’m a girl won’t be anything new or special. If I have to go elsewhere to find the more “girly” things I’m into, that’s fine; it’s not the focus of this site, though it would be awesome if some of it would slip in now and again.

    I remain hopeful!

  • No

    there are geeky chicks on Big Bang Theory from time to time.

  • Anonymous

    Great site, I think it’s got a lot of potential. But we’re not always completely one way or the other, I hope you’ll keep that in mind. Yes I was the only girl in my computer hardware courses, yes I’m often the only female at serious euro and strategy games nights – BUT that doesn’t mean that I have turned my back on my femininity. I do love pink, I like dressing up sometimes and I wear makeup (most days). I’m in touch with the complete me, Geek and Girly and completely unashamed of both

  • http://twitter.com/skizdi Sarah I.

    Julie, I’m pretty sure The Mary Sue is “assuming” certain things about me and all the girls like me who have taken exception to how exclusionary this post was. See: “I have never met a geek girl who was even halfway interested in almost anything Cosmopolitan had to say. We were too busy reading Cicada and Popular Science when we were the age that Teen Magazine wanted our attention.” This implies there are standards for visitors to this site, and those standards dictate that you not be too stereotypically “girly,” since apparently that also means you’re shallow and boring.

    This sounds like a case of willful misanthropy. The extreme opposite end of the spectrum from whatever your “mindlessly girly” stereotype is still a stereotype. Making girls who are somewhere in the middle feel like they don’t belong here either because they enjoy celebrity gossip, read Vogue, and bitch about who wore what at the Oscars in addition to having nerdy interests/pursuits is just shooting yourself in the foot.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1481169162 Dianne Buss

    I’m a geek girl. I like pink and science. I’m not quite girly, but I will wear a dress if I have too. So there is balance. It’s all about balance.

    In my house, we have conversations about the validity of time travel and worm holes at the dinner table. Geek girl + geek man = geek conversations x geek children.

    The Geek shall inherit the earth.

  • http://amidstdancers.blogspot.com/ Shard Aerliss

    Geekosystem is The Mary Sue’s… father site, for want of a better term. So guest here probably ISN’T trying to solicit traffic… what with there being a banner ad down at the bottom of every page XD

  • http://amidstdancers.blogspot.com/ Shard Aerliss

    *licks Morwen’s avatar* caaaaaake!

  • guest

    No I am not being paid by Geekosystem. This site grew out of geekosystem and was first advertised there. The set up is very similar, which is why I am questioning a need for a second site.

    I am actually looking for answers in my original post from the people running this site by the way. What’s the likelihood of getting one?

  • Slightly Annoyed Male

    “So come one, come all, girls who are geek, guys who are geek, and everything above, below, and in between. We’re going to discuss movies, and comics, and science, and the internet. We’re going to talk about geek girls, and we’re going to let geek girls talk. We’re going to call it like we see it, and we’re going to have fun.”

    So, you write a whole article about “wanting your own space” then invite guys… *facepalm*

    I find that cartoon insulting, I’ve never seen anything like that happen before – maybe because it’s because I’m male and thus less empathetic than all you gals, perhaps I’m just thinking of the first ladies butt too damn much, I dunno.

    How about a role reversal – imagine being in a group of geeky guys and having to curb your conversation because a girl has just walked in and you don’t wanna appear too geeky? :)

    Can’t you just be a geek news site without having to make it about a cause!? Fine, you’ve got a site, whoopty-doo, stick some articles on it and quit all this self propagating feminist crap to build your user base, it’s just low and should be done on merit.

    Btw, I do like the artwork, kudos for that at least :P

  • http://twitter.com/VAMPARS Gabrielle

    Man, I was feeling you for a minute until you went into vicious, anti-feminist, girl-on-girl attack mode. :/
    I’m open to the idea of the site, I’m willing to see what it comes up with, I’m not making it my homepage yet but I’m not going to actively root for its failure. But the kind of shit-talking I’m seeing in these comments doesn’t help anyone, and it certainly doesn’t help dispel any stereotypes about women being catty and mean to each other OR being too quick to attack anything that even acknowledges the existence of gender as being insensitive, oversensitive, exclusionary, anti-feminist, too radically feminist, too female-centric, not female-centric enough, etc. etc. ad nauseum.
    Everyone just chill out and let a brand new blog do its thing and unfold, there is way too much anger flying around my internet.

  • Slightly Annoyed Male

    Try visiting geekosystem bookling, we’re the one’s that are being subjected to shit loads of Mary Sue advertising. I don’t think I’d mind this site as much if it didn’t do that – the “in your face, we’re women” thing is really annoying.

    The person posting as guest had it right – the content of geekosystem was prettymuch unisex anyway and Mary Sue wasn’t really needed.

    But now we have posts like this making this girl-segregation a really big thing – it’s a geek news website for god sake, get over yourselves.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=706281484 Sarah Jenkin

    Thank you. The number of times that I’ve contributed online or even in person and been shot down in flames *because I identify as a woman* are beyond count.

    I am a geek and a woman and yes, I am pleased to be in a geek friendly space that does not excuse me. I don’t see there being a problem in setting up a site like this. It does not stop me from also participating on other spaces, with my other interests.

    If you don’t feel it’s appropriate for you, then don’t take part. But kindly refrain from criticising those who do, just because their needs are different to yours.

  • Slightly Annoyed Male

    “If you don’t feel it’s appropriate for you, then don’t take part. But kindly refrain from criticising those who do, just because their needs are different to yours.”

    I agree totally, my problem is that all the advertising for “your” site is all over “my” site (or the site I like to read). Visit http://www.geekosystem.com and see! Several of the usual articles are directly linked to this site for the full stories.

    If you want segregating that much, fine, but don’t expect some of the regular geekosystem users not to spillover here to make the odd comment as your site builds up its userbase by piggybacking of us.

    Here’s a thought, we could all just read the articles and NOT comment, that way nobodies feelings would be offended by all the sexism that apparently goes on.

    Damn, I feel like burning a bra now.

    Viva la revolucion or something.

  • Anonymous

    Well, you’re half right. When ‘Pro Bunny Gal -Girl Gamer-’ joins in, she _is_ calling attention to herself. But ‘MarySue2222′ ought to be able to log in and just be a player. She just is who she is, and she isn’t an attention whore or a lez or anything else — until her actions show it. But your actions show something about you as well, despite your neutral avatar and neutral name.

    I wonder how many participants interpret “disturbs the game flow” as “excites an otherwise dull game”. I’ll bet more than a few, even if a wide majority support your view. Especially ‘Pro Bunny Gal -Girl Gamer-’, of course. And she pays just as much as you do to play.

  • Anonymous

    The problem is that in the wider society, people see incompetent females as sexy, and competent women as challenging their roles and dangerous. “We” want our women “barefoot and pregnant” (except maybe if they’re making money to support us), not taking “our” high-paying, high-status jobs. That’s why we _choose_ to see not only women but any other minority group as less able technically. (If the evidence doesn’t support our hypothesis, we’ll just ignore it.) The one group where the evidence is so overwhelming that we can’t ignore it, Asian-Americans, we choose to say that their interpersonal skills are weak. That’s why they can’t advance out of the lab.

    Anyway, back to women, they’re not stupid. A lot of them choose to conform to the rules of femininity that society places on them. They act girly. That applies to games, too. Duh. To expect different would be stupid on our part. So now, in the games, we can also expect a lot of men to also respond as they would in the real world.

    The way to get women to not act girly in games is to have there be a penalty in the game for acting girly. There sure is in Doom. But if a man reacts as he would in the real world, there’s a penalty for that, too. (Except me.)

  • Clint

    As a guy who’s often rp’ed women characters in many games over the years I’d agree with you. Men generally are like that; rude, crude and abrasive, and yes a lot of them are governed more by what’s between their legs than what is on top of their shoulders. Though, I find the worst of this behaviour tends to come from the teenagers, which is not to be unexpected if I’m fair…

    On the flip side of the coin, why do I play female characters? Generally because I get treated better overall, seriously people are a lot kinder to me whilst I’m playing female than I am male and it’s easier to make friends and win arguments. (Their reasons for being ‘kinder’ can obviously be open to interpretation, anything from not wanting to offend the fairer sex, to just being nice to ‘try it on’ later.)

    However, these sites aren’t really gaming environments are they? Why make things to be more than they are? Why not just read and enjoy it for what it is regardless?

  • http://twitter.com/fellicitya AmandaB

    Wow, I’m really surprised at the backlash of some of the guys posting here. So there’s a site for geek girls – so what? I can now visit both, only here there may actually be content relevant to me. I’d love to see content about what it means to be a geeky woman in our society today.

    That comic has it exactly right. I work with a bunch of geeky males, and I’m not allowed to interrupt their Starcraft 2 conversations (when I do contribute there’s usually a lengthy pause before they dive back in like I never spoke). If I hang out with the girls, I’d better brush up on my reality TV. I luckily have some great, geeky female friends outside of work and enjoy hanging out with them, crocheting our Star Wars amigurumi while watching Sparticus and other typically female geek activities. Hopefully I’ll get more of that here. It sucks that female geeks aren’t as socially accepted as male geeks, so hopefully this site can do something to change that.

  • http://twitter.com/fellicitya AmandaB

    “I find that cartoon insulting, I’ve never seen anything like that happen before – maybe because it’s because I’m male and thus less empathetic than all you gals”

    You got that last part right. It happens to me daily, and I’m sure I’m not the only one.

  • http://twitter.com/fellicitya AmandaB

    This site just JUST went up. They’re trying to reach out to females who might be on Geekosystem, a sibling site, so ads are essentially free. It will slow down after a little time. Chill.

    And why are you looking at ads anyway… you don’t have AdBlocker? What kind of geek are you anyway?

  • http://www.jejunecomic.com/ JT

    “I agree totally, my problem is that all the advertising for “your” site is all over “my” site (or the site I like to read). Visit http://www.geekosystem.com and see! Several of the usual articles are directly linked to this site for the full stories.”

    Boo hoo. I counted *one* banner link on the homepage. It’s new; of course it’s going to be advertised.

    I don’t recall anyone here saying this site was founded specifically because of sexism of Geekosystem.

    Guys like you appear wherever women gather and you grouse, “Stop talking about stuff and connecting! Why do you have to make a separate site??!? How dare you congregate without us overseeing you! Not that I care of course! Your site is pathetic and means nothing! It’s unnecessary! STOP!!!”

  • http://accioyabooks.wordpress.com bookling

    I didn’t know about Geekosystem because I heard about The Mary Sue somewhere else.

    But shitloads of advertising? In your face? Please. There is one ad for TMS over on the sidebar and what looks like the very occasional crosspost. The very idea that we as women are being “in your face” by existing and having our own content is sexist. It’s people like you that make us want our own site, because we’re clearly not welcome or valued on the “default male” site.

  • Anonymous

    First of all, I like that Alot! :D

    Secondly, I’m sort of with you here; I mean, I do agree with the original comment as well– my favorite color is pink, etcetera– but my impression is that a lot of the time “women-only” sites pander to stereotypes rather than realizing and acknowledging that women like all kinds of things; while woman-oriented spaces are nice, those sites also silently imply that if you don’t like those things you aren’t very womanly.
    The reverse of that being, of course, those who think it’s a point of pride that they don’t like that “stereotypical woman stuff”. Both reinforce negative stereotypes and cast women as “other” rather than being, you know, HUMAN BEINGS. While I think this article treads dangerously close to this last, I’m giving it the benefit of the doubt. I don’t think they mean to imply that they’re “cool, unlike those OTHER girls.” (How many female geeks, especially gamers, have heard or even said things like that?)

  • Anonymous

    I hadn’t read this response before my earlier one to you; Doot’s comment is pretty much exactly what I meant when referencing those who say, “I’m not like those OTHER girls, I’m COOL!” Because she totes doesn’t see herself as a “girl” anyway.
    Which, as we see, seems to involve the shunning (and mocking) of anything that could be considered “typically feminine” (sometimes stereotypically). More “othering” behavior, sigh.

    And I still like that Alot!

  • Anonymous

    In my opinion as an Internet Professional (har), if you believe women should be treated and respected as human beings rather than some sort of inferior breed or underclass (note that “non-inferior” is NOT the same as “superior”), you’re a feminist. There’s no shame in that.
    I know not everyone shares my opinion of that, but I sigh whenever I see someone say, “I don’t consider myself a feminist but…”

  • Anonymous

    I don’t suppose you and your Star Wars-crocheting friends are anywhere near Ottawa, ON… *wistful sigh*

  • Anonymous

    “get over yourselves.”

    That’s actually a huge part of why so many female geeks would like a site that’s more female-oriented; even on the most “unisex” site there are always male voices seeking to silence female ones when subjects that might make the males uncomfortable are touched upon. You yourself are doing so in telling women to “get over themselves” because they want, and want to support, a more female-oriented space relevant to their interests.

    I suppose I could tell the guys who are against sites like this to “get over themselves” as well, to be honest: so there is a website that is straightforward about how it does not cater to you as a male geek. Get over yourself.

  • http://accioyabooks.wordpress.com bookling

    I absolutely know what you mean, especially with the “not like those OTHER girls”, but in the past few days I think this site has done a good job of covering a lot of things geeky women might be interested in: building a better bra, comics, technology, Old Spice commercials. It would be easy to pander to the “ew, we’re not into GIRLY things” stereotype, but so far I don’t think they are.

  • Anonymous

    I’m thinking they didn’t mean to “exclude” the stereotypically girly things but rather acknowledge that women like more than just that, and in some cases like the “non-girly” things. I don’t think a site like this would set out to alienate a good portion of its potential follower base like that, when I think about it. It just might not have been made clear in the article. There’s room for “and” indeed!

    And BPAL. There is always room for BPAL.

  • Hola

    hahah this sht seems to be kinda “desesperated woman who can’t find their own place in wolrd”….
    but everything you say is true, wht that comic says is true… im gettin a moustacho

  • Slightly Annoyed Male

    The ads are part of the site and are thus not blockable, try looking first.

  • Slightly Annoyed Male

    “Boo hoo. I counted *one* banner link on the homepage. It’s new; of course it’s going to be advertised.”

    It wasn’t like that at first, believe me :)

    “I don’t recall anyone here saying this site was founded specifically because of sexism of Geekosystem.”

    No but that is the inference I’m taking from this thread. Come on just look at it, it’s like boy geeks have been deliberately trying to oppress girl geeks for years in some world-war-2-esque kinda fashion, it doesn’t need this big thing making out of it.

    “Guys like you appear wherever women gather and you grouse…”

    See what I mean? Point proved. Btw thanks for the label :)

    Live long and prosper, as long as you don’t have testicles right? =D

    Yay for girl geekdom! *waves flag*

    btw, to the poster of the original story, congrats – best troll in history :)

  • Slightly Annoyed Male

    LOL point conceded, but does that mean that all guys are like that?

    Short answer: No – and this is why I’ve taken exception to it.

  • Slightly Annoyed Male

    ROFL! Obviously the American guy geeks are a different class to us over the pond…

    “Wow, I’m really surprised at the backlash of some of the guys posting here. So there’s a site for geek girls – so what? I can now visit both, only here there may actually be content relevant to me. I’d love to see content about what it means to be a geeky woman in our society today.”

    I agree!! Seriously, I agree 100% – what I’m against is people making such a big thing of it all!

    erm do girls seriously crochet Star Wars stuff? O_o I’m impressed :)

  • Slightly Annoyed Male

    When it first launched it was everywhere, seriously.

    And now I’m here, reading all these “finally, a site just for us” messages (which to be fair do look as though the folks in the Mary Sue office have all logged on as guests and posted themselves to keep this thread going and thus generate more publicity) are just annoying.

    Hold on, I’m on as guest too! *plays twilight zone music*

    “It’s people like you that make us want our own site”

    My god, what have I become? Hang on, it was the *creation* and constant advertising of this site (something that I think is still not needed) that made me react like this in the first place – if it hadn’t have been for all the adverts I was subjected to I might never have come here, you could have all lived your lives in peaceful female seclusion away from the aggressive, nasty geek male.

    I seriously had no idea that geek ‘females’ held so much hatred to the male variety before, I kinda thought the term ‘geek’ could apply to both sexes. Obviously not. *shrug*

  • Slightly Annoyed Male

    A reasoned argument…

    “even on the most “unisex” site there are always male voices seeking to silence female ones when subjects that might make the males uncomfortable are touched upon”

    Give me some examples, because I’m obviously not seeing it – you make it sound like some conspiracy. If you can prove it then fine, I’ll concede the point. But even if I do do that, it doesn’t mean all men are the same, surely.

    “so there is a website that is straightforward about how it does not cater to you as a male geek. Get over yourself.”

    I’m not looking for it to cater to my needs, I have geekosystem and other sites for that. Also, I thought geekyness was a universal term, I’d never really considered it to be divisible into male/female varieties before.

    My apologies for not recognising the magnitude of this problem. We should put a call through to Libya, get Egypt on the phone and get them to put everything on hold. This issue needs sorting NOW.

  • Anonymous

    Incoming Wall O’ Text, I got more wordy than originally intended.

    Claiming I’m making it sound like “some conspiracy” is in a way doing precisely that– trying to classify someone’s genuine concerns as something in the same category as, say, believing the gov’t is covering up alien visitations/abductions.

    It doesn’t even necessarily have to be deliberate– there are simply so many men who are oblivious to their privilege, as males, that when this is touched upon they go into the defensive and try to turn arguments against those who may point out that privilege.

    For example, I play WoW, so as it’s the area with which I’m most familiar, I’ll go with that.
    There have been various comment threads on the main forum that ask for things like more female racial leadership, more prominent female NPCs (especially of the non-elven variety, bonus if they aren’t sexified), even female character models for NPC races that have none (the Taunka and Broken just use recycled Tauren and Draenei female models respectively, for instance). I have seen replies to the leader thing that range from “you already have two female leaders, you don’t need more” to “why does gender matter to you so much? You’re sexist for wanting more female leaders because you’re discriminating against male” to even “I hope this doesn’t happen, I’m sick of girls blowing little things up into a big deal”. There were several such replies in a HUGE comment thread advocating a female racial leader for the Goblins, but I’m happy to say there was overwhelming support on the forum, to the extent that the created “leader” was put into the game as an NPC in Orgrimmar who seems to basically run the Goblin area of the city.

    If a female player has a problem with how character models/armor look, because it’s “sexified”, there will always be a chorus of guys chiming in with how it’s just as bad for the male characters and being overly-buff and whatnot, even though it actually is not remotely the same. But those arguments are a form of silencing, because these women who speak up about things that bother them from a gender standpoint are essentially told that unless they also champion male causes, their arguments don’t matter. In fact, at BlizzCon there was such a dismissive reaction to a female player in the Q&A section when she asked if we’d see female characters who didn’t look like they stepped out of a Victoria’s Secret catalog– instead of honestly addressing her concern, the dev made a joke about what other catalogs and magazines they should pull from, and that maybe female Tauren could come out of an agriculture magazine.

    There’s this unspoken implication that because one is female, one has to behave in a way that reflects well on ALL of womankind, whereas there is not that same expectation of males– or at least, of heterosexual white males. (There are similar expectations for non-whites, GLBT, and so forth. Anyone who is “other”.) This isn’t saying all hetero white men have this mindset, but that a good number are so often oblivious to their privilege as such, even to the point of considering themselves victims of discrimination; that any time someone brings up discrimination against one of the “Other” categories one of those fellows will talk about how they lost something they “deserved” to one of those Others.

    Women are also often told that when they win or get rewards, it’s only because they’re women rather than because of any sort of skill. Have a spot in the guild’s main raid progression group? Obviously you earned it “on your back”. Geared out the wazoo? Who’d you blow to get the loot? Turn down a lonely guy’s overtures? Your name may get dragged through the mud as a “slut” and so forth. These are pretty blatantly dismissing the possibility that the female may be capable and knowledgeable, and reducing the female player to the sum of the parts between her legs, thus anything she says is inconsequential.

    Now, these cases aren’t universal, but they happen enough that they’re not freak occurrences; I don’t doubt many female players will say “but it hasn’t happened to me!” and indeed it hasn’t happened to me personally (the “slut” stuff, that is)…but I also have been lucky to have not been sexually assaulted IRL, which most certainly doesn’t mean it doesn’t happen to others. Similar things to the above examples get said in other gaming forums, and with more vitriol, especially concerning other games where there is a lot more overwhelmingly male characterization (WoW is, actually, more egalitarian than many, despite its issues).

  • JT

    Love this little piece of doublethink*:
    “Can’t you just be a geek news site without having to make it about a cause!? Fine, you’ve got a site, whoopty-doo, stick some articles on it and quit all this self propagating feminist crap to build your user base, it’s just low and should be done on merit.”
    and
    “So, you write a whole article about “wanting your own space” then invite guys… *facepalm*”

    Translation: You wimmenz are so ball-bustingly exclusionary! It’s totally unfair and you are victimizing men. I guess you hate me because I have testicles! Wait, you’re *letting men in*?? What kind of exclusionary feminazi club is this?! You fail!
    ps the only way you laydees are even getting anyone on your puny little site is through the magnanimous generosity of the male geeks letting you link on Geekosystem!

    Dude, your postings here are so much stomping around about girl geeks not letting you into their Stupid Club for Jerks. I’ve noticed many male names here commenting, but they are not calling the site “stupid feminist crap” while accusing it of riding Geekosystem’s coattails.

    Being male is not a problem here. Being a douchebag is.

    *another fascinating piece of doublethink is those who rail against “feminism” seem to think it’s pathetically useless and unnecessary and doomed to toil in obscurity AND ALSO a powerful force capable of castrating men over the internet, therefore it must be stopped. Well, which is it?

  • Thelolyghost

    Man, all of you people saying you ‘don’t want to hide yourselves’ are the reason gaming culture is so biased. Plastering your gender all over your online identity may seem like the way to fix it, but it just causes more of the problem. Instead of just playing the game, you have to let everyone know that you’re a woman the moment you join. I know that seems like it helps break down the ‘man’s game’ mindset, but all it really does is make you seem like an attention whore. Which, really, you are. You want the attention on your gender instead of on the game, if even for a ‘greater good.’

  • Anon

    That’s no contradiction. Women who are GIRL gamers and blather on about being women ARE detracting from the conversation, unless the conversation is in some way involved with gender, whereas gamers who talk about the GAME and happen to be women are actually contributing. There’s also a difference between ‘hiding/apologizing’ for your identity, and not making your first impression ‘I am a woman.’

    Having these conversations is exactly WHY there’s a stigma with being female. There are times for advancing the culture’s image of women, and there are times for every other issue in the world. If you showed up at a science conference and began your speech with “Hi, I’m MS. Kate. Here’s a cute picture of me,” you’d get a bunch of blank stares, annoyed glances, and all of the women that don’t see a need to bring their gender into an unrelated forum would probably be offended. The same thing applies to games, ma’am. If you walk in and everyone else’s handles are ‘King 0f Snipersx420′ or ‘An Injoke Related to One of My Interests,’ and your best idea for a handle is ‘I am a Girl,’ you’re calling attention to gender in an unrelated field.

    Conversely, if you’re at that conference again, and the introductions say ‘Ms. Kate is a leading biogeochemist. SHE is responsible for determining the chemical causes for the declining population of blahblahblah’ the gender is addressed, but… and here’s the kicker… it is presented in a way that shows something OTHER than your vagina defines your identity.

    Sexism exits in geek culture, yes. This is a major problem and can alienate several potentially amazing members of the community. Maybe I’m wrong, but I think the vocal minority of women that demand to be seen as women are doing just as much to cause it as any close-minded males and horny teens. When your only contribution is a derailing of the game, and the one trait you’re making sure they know about you is that you’re a woman, you can’t blame people when ‘girl gamer’ starts being a slur.

    That kind of behavior is exactly why this exists: http://blog.lib.umn.edu/puot0002/politicsofsex/Girl%20Gamer%20Pic.png

  • Slightly Annoyed Male

    @Appoggiatura:

    I’ll see your wall ‘o text and raise you another wall ‘o text…

    “Claiming I’m making it sound like “some conspiracy” is in a way doing precisely that– trying to classify someone’s genuine concerns as something in the same category as, say, believing the gov’t is covering up alien visitations/abductions.”

    I agree, though the reason why I’m doing that is because this is exactly what it sounds like to me.

    “It doesn’t even necessarily have to be deliberate– there are simply so many men who are oblivious to their privilege, as males, that when this is touched upon they go into the defensive and try to turn arguments against those who may point out that privilege.”

    Again, the reverse could be argued here. Pot meet kettle. I can’t deny that I don’t know what it’s like for women simply because I’m not one, but equally you can’t do the reverse because the same can be said for you – both sides of this argument only focus on the positives of the other side :)

    “I have seen replies to the leader thing that range from “you already have two female leaders, you don’t need more” to “why does gender matter to you so much? You’re sexist for wanting more female leaders because you’re discriminating against male” to even “I hope this doesn’t happen, I’m sick of girls blowing little things up into a big deal”"

    Good examples, and that absolutely isn’t fair, conceded.

    “If a female player has a problem with how character models/armor look, because it’s “sexified”, there will always be a chorus of guys chiming in with how it’s just as bad for the male characters and being overly-buff and whatnot, even though it actually is not remotely the same”

    I also play WoW, but I don’t bother with the forums – though this is pretty obvious through just playing the game. I believe that all characters (well playable races anyway) are as you say “sexified”, perhaps in much the same way as anything on TV for example (Glee, anyone?).

    Perhaps the reason that so many male players argue the reverse (in that the male characters are themselves buffed) is because they think they *are* buffed, I sure as hell do. It might just be possible that men aren’t rolling out the same counter-argument to placate you so they can go gawk at some high-elves, they might actually believe in what they are saying. A lot of arguments in this thread concern women not being taken seriously, but are you doing the same thing by dismissing the male argument?

    Going off-topic: I believe the main difference (or problem) comes down to how each sex behaves towards these ‘perfect’ models. I think the women will make less of it simply from being more mature than the guys. I don’t think “silencing” comes into it, again it does sound like a bit of a conspiracy theory to me, so perhaps we should blame the little green men (aliens, not goblins =P).

    “at BlizzCon there was such a dismissive reaction to a female player in the Q&A section when she asked if we’d see female characters who didn’t look like they stepped out of a Victoria’s Secret catalog”

    Again, the male characters look the same, each race a perfect adam an eve (though, if you want ugly you mostly go horde). I don’t think this is sexism as such directed to women as both sets of models are ‘buff’. But in each case these are the only options Blizzard offer. I also play city of heroes/villains where you can customize just about everything about your character, there is loads more variation simply because it’s written into the game.

    “There’s this unspoken implication that because one is female, one has to behave in a way that reflects well on ALL of womankind, whereas there is not that same expectation of males– or at least, of heterosexual white males”

    I hate to break it to you, but men get this as well – this is kinda where geekyness came from (for us at least): not fitting into the sexist, jock stereotype envisioned by the world. Being a geeky guy is just as much of a divide from none-geeks as you might perceive women-geeks from men-geeks. Okay, this is changing now – it’s far more fashionable to be like this than it was a few years back.

    “Women are also often told that when they win or get rewards, it’s only because they’re women rather than because of any sort of skill. Have a spot in the guild’s main raid progression group? Obviously you earned it “on your back”. Geared out the wazoo? Who’d you blow to get the loot? Turn down a lonely guy’s overtures? Your name may get dragged through the mud as a “slut” and so forth. These are pretty blatantly dismissing the possibility that the female may be capable and knowledgeable, and reducing the female player to the sum of the parts between her legs, thus anything she says is inconsequential.”

    Again, this comes back to the maturity between the sexes. I suppose we could just organize a culling of teenage boys? I’ve actually seen a lot of myself, especially when playing a female character. Though, equally I do see a fair amount of people using this for their own personal gain (men/women flirting for gear/money).

    Okay I went off topic a little (it was a big wall), and this is all certainly true for games, but for geek forums, where you’d expect folks to have grown up a bit, is it necessarily the same?

  • Slightly Annoyed Male

    “Translation: You wimmenz are so ball-bustingly exclusionary! It’s totally unfair and you are victimizing men. I guess you hate me because I have testicles! Wait, you’re *letting men in*?? What kind of exclusionary feminazi club is this?! You fail!
    ps the only way you laydees are even getting anyone on your puny little site is through the magnanimous generosity of the male geeks letting you link on Geekosystem!”

    LMAO that was brilliant, well argued, no really I love debate :)

    You actually managed to boil the argument down into it’s facts and miss the point. I’m just pissed off because it was all over geekosystem, that’s all.

    First we had the build up, Mary Sue this, Mary Sue that, then the unveiling, then articles linked to it – I have to say I didn’t really give a crap, but after seeing it for several days it began to wear thin. So I followed the link and find this thread, and that’s where it all began…

    I read the article, got annoyed with the cartoon, read most of the comments spouting off about the evils of the common male-geek, I felt my side was under-represented (it being a girls site afterall, which of course is open to evil-men), so I had a go myself.

    “Dude, your postings here are so much stomping around about girl geeks not letting you into their Stupid Club for Jerks. I’ve noticed many male names here commenting, but they are not calling the site “stupid feminist crap” while accusing it of riding Geekosystem’s coattails.”

    Well you certainly told me, I’m in awe of your tenacious riposte :)

    Tell me how much of what is on this thread isn’t feminist crap?

    “*another fascinating piece of doublethink is those who rail against “feminism” seem to think it’s pathetically useless and unnecessary and doomed to toil in obscurity AND ALSO a powerful force capable of castrating men over the internet, therefore it must be stopped”

    Oh dear, I seem to have touched a nerve, damn :)

    You’re quite inventive when you’re angry :P

    *yawn*

  • http://thusspakekate.tumblr.com thusspakekate

    My gender is a part of my identity. I am girl. I am a gamer. I am a girl gamer. Being a female informs my life and my experiences on- and offline. I cannot and will not separate the two just because little boys can’t handle it. My best name for a handle is not “i am a girl,” but my handle include my name (which is a girl’s name) and is also a fucking nietzsche reference. thats badass and im not going to change it because it bring undue attention to myself as a woman. i’m going to expect more from the people i interact with. making gender and issue when its not an issue is annoying, but in sexist cultures gender *is* an issue and acknowledging that women exist (such as in “SHE is a biogeochemist) is not “addressing” gender, sexism, inequality, or prejudice. i know plenty of geeky males who don’t act like assholes and treat girls in the community like shit, why should the fuck am i at fault for expecting the same from the rest?

  • http://amidstdancers.blogspot.com/ Shard Aerliss

    I don’t think it’s so much about segregation as much as it’s looking at geek through gender studies tinted lenses… at least the articles I’ve been reading are like that.

    My geek go to site is GeekSyndicate (run not only by men, but black men! Dun dun dun! >_> ). While I knew of Geekosystem it never really drew me to itself over GeekSyndicate. You know, it was just another geek news site (though Syndicate is more focused on TV/movies/comics etc while system see,s a little more holisitc). There’s also the fact that I get the vast majority of my news, geek or otherwise, via the filtering system of Twitter.

    As for the advertising problem; on behalf of the people I don’t know who are filling up geekosystem with adverts for this site I apologise.

    We can all be friends and contribute intelligently and without insult flinging now?

  • http://amidstdancers.blogspot.com/ Shard Aerliss

    You’re reminding me of a scene in A Knight’s Tale…

    William: “You’re just a silly girl, aren’t you.”

    Jocelyn: “Better a silly girl with a flower than a silly boy with a horse and a stick.”

    Wat: “It’s called a lance, hello!”

    No, I know it doesn’t add anything to the conversation… but once I thought about it, I had to say it.

  • Slightly Annoyed Male

    But they started it! =P

    nah!

    Fair enough, I’m sorry if I’ve caused you too much offence :)

  • http://amidstdancers.blogspot.com/ Shard Aerliss

    Pft, offence. What’s that?

  • guest

    This is what I mean about segregation. If people start thinking geekosystem is for guys and Marysue is for girls, then this is what’s wrong with creating a ‘sister’ site. I’m pretty sure the contributors here branched off from Geekosystem, there were male and female posters in geekosystem, and it wasn’t ever really drawn attention to (or hidden).

    NOW, maybe anytime something is considered interesting for ‘females’ it’s likely to be posted in Marysue instead. How do we know that crocheting star war figures aren’t a thing that guy geeks might be into? You start splitting things into ‘this is what girl geeks are interested in’ and ‘this is what guy geeks are interested in’ you just create unnecessary divides.

    I’m still saying what I’m saying before, “Why couldn’t all this content in Marysue be put incorporated in Geekosystem”? Especially as geekosystem claims to be unisex.

    Or do the people who run these sites, prefer the women to go off into their little space so that their presence wont annoy the guys on geekosystem, just as bookling is saying?

  • http://jeffmcneill.com/blog/ Up Yours

    The whole above is why women are pilloried when they show up and demand recognition that they are women. We don’t give a shit and don’t want the drama. Gbye

  • http://fontofliberty.blogspot.com/ Rarian Rakista

    Is this site about people being interested in a bit of your mundane lives without it being taken as a sign of titillation? Eventually people on any commenting board get to know each other a bit, what I have found – as many of you have – is that women on some tech sites when revealing their gender find themselves:

    A) Put on a pedestal and held to false expectations from juvenile men in their 20-30-40′s

    B) Dismissed, in whole or in part; or any response of yours is qualified by an endless stream of “admirers”.

    Thing is, men have a similar but not as pervasive problem with the social sciences. Ever been to an Anthropologist site, it is like 60%-80% women. Is the gender imbalance in CS and its attendant technician-class jobs – don’t know the names, I’m Mechanical Engineering – really that great so as not to just open a dialogue with the men and engage in some engineering of more desirable social mores when engaging with them as peers?

  • http://fontofliberty.blogspot.com/ Rarian Rakista

    Star Wars, Seaquest, Farscape, Doctor Who and Jane Austen are all fictive narratives spun in clever artifice but nonetheless are just plain fantasy. Perhaps you have a penchant or are an enthusiast for an ostensibly science-oriented worldview and that is why you enjoy this entertainment but without engaging in the methodological process of the sciences, through study or application, I don’t see how you are a geek, all those franchises you mention have massive online fan clubs. Do you at least sling HTML/CSS or is my definition of geek too narrow?

  • http://fontofliberty.blogspot.com/ Rarian Rakista

    Most males do not like multi-tasking with any political, social or aesthetic discourse while playing FPS, RTS etc games, esp on Teamspeak; however, when it comes to more social games like MMORPGs, I’ve seen a good long term trend towards them picking up and engaging in discussions of those topics. Science and engineering topics are almost always popular though. Reason being is that most geeks are not good at the social sciences but this is not to say that there are not social science geeks. Which the article does not address or any meaningful way define the word geek here, which would be a helpful start. Right now I think many of us are arguing against in each other in the dark.

  • http://fontofliberty.blogspot.com/ Rarian Rakista

    The vast majority of men are not like that, please don’t generalize. The sexually immature folks in a group can make it an unpleasant time for everyone involved, be it online or in real life.

    I’m starting to wonder what age group of gamers many of you play with, my group of online friends are almost all in their 30-40′s, I don’t do public games anymore. Since collecting some 100 friends on Steam, I’ve got a pretty good base of peeps.

  • http://amidstdancers.blogspot.com/ Shard Aerliss

    Bless! *pats head* You’re so cute when you’re all huffy. Now run along, mommy wants to talk in peace with the grown-ups.

    *cough*

    Sorry, sorry… I’m not usually that condescending, but really, when you come to a site and make an angry comment about the post content, then claim you don’t want the drama AND don’t care? Well really, which on is it? You can’t claim all three stances.

    Go on, reply and prove you’re watching and waiting to get a riled response… or DON’T reply. Be the better person, I dare you.

    *is bored and baiting trolls* Everyone has to have a hobby…

  • http://bidonica.wordpress.com/ Poggy

    I don’t know about Heather, but it seems to me that a site called “The Mary Sue” pretty much welcomes a non strictly scientific definition of “geek”?

  • http://twitter.com/yaboiksar Nicole Hazen

    +100

  • http://twitter.com/yaboiksar Nicole Hazen

    But the fact that you get “treated better” as a female toon is just as sexist as if you don’t get treated as well. Bottom line, someone is being treated differently based on an arbitrary set of circumstances; in this case gender. That’s wrong.

    If I’m playing with people and they make derogatory comments, I’m leaving. I don’t care if they are male, female, transgender, etc. I don’t like it period. Just like if someone told me “well you’re female so I’ll give you XY.” “No thanks.”

    I don’t want handouts. That’s not treating me like any other person. I want to play the game just like everyone else.

  • http://twitter.com/yaboiksar Nicole Hazen

    Please stay away from the generalized statements. Not one time in my entire gaming career have I ever joined a game and stated I was female. What has always happened when there’s been an issue is I’ve been playing for a while and as soon as I speak, that’s it. Game over. I’m called names, I’m asked if I’m hot, I’m asked for pics and I don’t give a rat’s ass if they are joking. It’s old, it’s tiring and it’s not in any way funny.

    I agree with you that if SOMEONE (notice this can be either a male or female) brings attention to themselves purposefully and pushes something in other’s faces, that’s different. But that is not what we are talking about at all.

  • http://twitter.com/yaboiksar Nicole Hazen

    Good response!

  • http://twitter.com/yaboiksar Nicole Hazen

    Actually there are plugins for both Firefox and Chrome that block the ads on the page as well.

    And if you say you are using IE, well then we KNOW you aren’t a geek.

  • http://twitter.com/yaboiksar Nicole Hazen

    Completely not having anything to do with this but I didn’t know where else to ask.

    Is there any future update that would add the ability to mark a topic as wanting a followup? Meaning, when I comment I’d like to be notified by email if a reply was made. Cause right now, it’s a PITA to try and remember where I commented and then refresh to see if someone replied. I think there have been some great conversations/debates so far and it would be a shame for things to get stagnant b/c I can’t keep track of everywhere I posted.

    Also, any idea about a forum?

  • http://amidstdancers.blogspot.com/ Shard Aerliss

    Pfffft. If you REALLY want to be picky about using the original (and thus somehow correct) definition of the word ‘geek’ you’ve got to go further back than the 1980s.

    Geek: “sideshow freak,” 1916, U.S. carnival and circus slang, perhaps a variant of geck “a fool, dupe, simpleton” (1510s), apparently from Low Ger. geck, from an imitative verb found in North Sea Germanic and Scandinavian meaning “to croak, cackle,” and also “to mock, cheat.” The modern form and the popular use with reference to circus sideshow “wild men” is from 1946, in William Lindsay Gresham’s novel “Nightmare Alley” (made into a film in 1947 starring Tyrone Power).” http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=geek

  • http://amidstdancers.blogspot.com/ Shard Aerliss

    I’d like to see a forum too. Somewhere we can start threads to extend or start on a slightly different tangent conversations we’ve been having here.

    As for being alerted of replies; that would probably be very welcome too… though disqus does that for me anyway :P

  • Lara

    What idiocy. If you think a woman who doesn’t hide the fact that she’s a woman “seems like an attention whore,” that says far more about YOU than it does about any woman. If you can’t help but pay attention to the gender of an identity rather than what it does, that’s your problem. If you can’t be unbiased unless you don’t know that you’re dealing with a woman, that’s also your problem.

  • The Man

    Equality, aka MAKE A WOMAN’S VERSION OF EVERYTHING -> bitch about not being treated equally enough and being FORCED to live the life of a gender-outcast.
    Wake the fuck up. And make me sandwich
    And don’t forget the beer. B-)

  • http://www.facebook.com/angel.mccoy Angel Leigh McCoy

    Kate told me about this thread, so I’m going to comment here.

    For me, the value of communities such as this one is that it makes public that girl-geeks exist. In video games and comic books, the publishers are still struggling with ‘how” to bring the female audience into their fold. For a very long time, these industries were stuck in the loop of “Male Audience ergo Male-Targeted Material ergo Male Audience…” They didn’t realize that there were even women out there who would be interested in their geeky products.

    Visibility is key, and sites like this make us visible. They inform companies that we’re out here and make them start asking questions like “What does that demographic want?” This is important because, eventually, they start asking us, “What do you want?” And then, we can tell them via sites like this one. The general quality bar then gets raised in these types of product as the publishers question their methods.

    That’s powerful change. I applaud the women who created this site for what they’re trying to accomplish. If nothing else, they’re giving you a venue for discussion, which is also an extremely powerful tool for change.

    Love!
    Angel…

  • http://amidstdancers.blogspot.com/ Shard Aerliss

    Hey, that’s MY beer!

  • http://amidstdancers.blogspot.com/ Shard Aerliss

    Must disagree with your final thought, Alison (though the rest was excellent). There are men out there, perfectly balanced and straight men, who like women that have more ‘masculine traits’ than ‘feminine’.

    Also, not all girls who don’t wear make-up are trying to fit in with the boys… we’re just too damn lazy to bother with it.

  • http://amidstdancers.blogspot.com/ Shard Aerliss

    I’m going to stick up for Doot a little here. I had many similar opinions when I was younger… though I can cook (my grandfather was a navy chef and my dad’s an amazing cook, food for thought there). I was the girl who got angry when a man held a door for her, for example.

    I saw that some others thought femininity was lesser than masculinity and rather than arguing that all that is considered feminine should be given equal standing, I thought it should be stamped out and women should aspire to be more like men.

    I was young, idealistic and, of course, rather naive. I grew up, I mellowed (on many issues) and I began to understand that there was more to equality than being like a man in every way possible.

  • http://www.ccil.org/~cowan John Cowan

    Unfortunately, it i

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_VEMW7WU445CKVIOMSZFDHGTPWY John Cowan

    Arrgh, sorry.

    Unfortunately, it *is* what’s between their ear-bones that’s responsible for the behavior. Penises are not the source of juvenile nastiness: that is not their line of business. “You’ve got to be carefully taught.”

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_VEMW7WU445CKVIOMSZFDHGTPWY John Cowan

    Every geek should be able to cook competently. It’s just chemistry and following detailed directions, both of which are geek specialties.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_VEMW7WU445CKVIOMSZFDHGTPWY John Cowan

    +1.

    “I myself have never been able to find out precisely what feminism is: I only know that people call me a feminist whenever I express sentiments that differentiate me from a doormat.”
    –Rebecca West (1892-1983)

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_VEMW7WU445CKVIOMSZFDHGTPWY John Cowan

    It’s not hatred, it’s weary exhaustion. And of course it’s not all male geeks, only the fools among them.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_VEMW7WU445CKVIOMSZFDHGTPWY John Cowan

    Of course not. But the people who are like that, are guys, overwhelmingly.

  • Airsucker

    I think I just found home. I am a gamer-chic and a sci-fi/fantasy fan. I get tremendous societal pressure to be a girly-girl just because I am a married woman. I know and respect girly-girls, but feel no desire to be one myself. Why can’t I just be me?

  • http://qrystal.name Qrystal

    I’ve never felt discrimination for my geekdom either.

    In fact, it boggles the mind to think that there are so many people who feel out of place in “ordinary” geek culture. Is it, perhaps, due to misinterpretation of what other people “might” be thinking? Nobody really knows how anyone else thinks, unless those thoughts are explicitly stated, in which case most forums will call attention to the offense and shut it down. I’ve honestly never seen it get to that point though. Stupidity is shot down way more often than femininity, and that’s how it should be.

    I don’t know if I’ll be back here much, if at all, because I don’t see how it helps to encourage gender biases at all, even if it purports to be supportive. I’d much prefer supporting the idea of inclusiveness than segregation, because everything exists more as a spectrum than as a dichotomy. There are girly-girls who are also geeks, anti-girly girls who are geeks, geeky-girls who are just geeky and happen to be girls, girly-guys who are geeks, nice-guys who are geeks, douche-guys who are geeks, and everything in between, and all with varying levels of geekdom.

    But, that said, I realize that it helps to select a target audience in order to become known for something, so I don’t have anything against this site specifically. In fact, I hope it ends up breaking down some of the walls between genders, which might perhaps be better accomplished by portraying the awesomeness of some particular girls’ perspectives: so, focusing on “hey, I’m a girl, and here’s something geeky I like”, rather than “hey, girls, check out this article that I think you will like because you’re a geeky girl”.

    Luckily, it seems the site creators know we don’t want to be pigeon-holed, and with that thought in mind, they will do just fine. They’ll just have to accept that some of us will still feel pigeon-holed by the idea of hanging out at a site for girls, and there isn’t much that can be done to cure that, since there are plenty of sites that aren’t just for girls where we feel perfectly comfortable. For the rest of you, have fun here, and I hope that the confidence gained here helps you help us keep the playing field open to everyone. ;)

  • http://loading-info.blogspot.com Gian Faye

    Brilliant. I can relate to the comics. 8D
    It seems that I’ll be a regular visitor here.
    I like the environment. 8]

    Edit: The moustache is quite powerful.

  • Turnip Wizard

    Dear Zombie Jesus, it’s good to know that there’s at least one site out there like this one. Huzzah!

  • http://profiles.google.com/psomyth J. L.

    I love this. That comic needs to go to my philosophy and literature teacher.

    I’m glad I’m not the only one who puts on a mustache so I won’t be treated weird… Although it’s come out that I’m female in some places (games- where my avatar is still male) and guys still try to hit on me… or act weird.

  • Nndaia

    When I heard this I thought it would definitely be a step backward (like counterstrike “girl teams”… no, segregating all the women doesn’t make them feel accepted and doesn’t bring in more women). But you do make some good points. Perhaps a female-centred geek site is necessary if only as a haven from the (normally accidentally) male-centred geek sites.

  • Rebadams7

    Oh for please! I love my inner geek and my inner girle girl – what’s wrong with wanting the best of both!

  • http://www.facebook.com/yaxupaxo Alex McLean
  • Inverse

    Nice to see a site that caters to women without necessarily excluding the guys. Believe me when guys have felt very similarly when seeing girls trying to enter their space. It’s not easy to notice girls entering the gaming space and having guys flock all over them thinking their sudden interest is going to be in ‘them’ and not in ‘the game’. You DO need your own space, even if in a perfect world you wouldn’t HAVE to, the older I get, the more I realize that without a space to be the gamers, the geeks, the roleplayers in your own space it becomes that much harder to share with others. You’re also doing it without being vindictive about other spaces, or the opposite gender like I’ve seen on other gaming girl sites~ so honestly, I just wish for nothing but success for you. <3 :)

  • NinjaTurtle

    Hi.. I completely agree with you. Being geeky doesn’t mean you have to hate the things usually we girls fancy. It’s just that we have a varied taste in infinite things. I generally come across guys who call me a “tom boy” just because I’m geeky or chug beers with them while watching sports. They do not accept the fact that a girl can talk more gadgets than them. I not only follow Sci-Fi or comic sites, I also like reading articles in Cosmo about relationships. I’m here just to make the male population understand that the word “geek” is not meant for only guys and a geeky girl is not a “tom boy”. If that is the case what do would you call a guy who’s not geeky?

  • http://www.tinyhatsweekly.com/ Pixie

    This.
    “I have never met a geek girl who was even halfway interested in almost anything Cosmopolitan had to say.” Really? Because all my geek girlfriends do. I want to find a community that loves all geek girls, whether they are the intellectual or the rabid fan girl.

  • http://twitter.com/thegeekery The Geekery

    “We want simple things, like to be able to visit a comic book store without feeling out of place. To be able to buy a video game without getting the sense that the cashier thinks we’re buying it for someone else.”

    My wife was complaining about these issues exactly. We went to a comic book store and it literally got quiet. Way to go, guys. She went to Gamestop to pick up Batman: Arkham Asylum and no would help her. She had to get a manager to complain. Apparently, women don’t buy video games for themselves.

    Sexism within geek culture seems counter-intuitive. But every time my wife experiences it, I am reminded that within the geek sub-culture there are still gender divides. The encouraging thing is that I see more and more geek women making themselves heard. Half of my writing staff are female and bring a great and needed perspective. BTW, this site is on our blogroll. Keep up the good work.

  • Markus_aspland

    You haven’t answered the one pertinent question, what exactly is going to make this site any different from the hundreds of nerd sites out there? Looking around so far I can’t see a lot of difference to be honest.

    My experience of girl gamers/bloggers/nerds is that in general other than the lack of mentioning boobs every now and again it’s pretty difficult to tell them apart from their male colleagues, in fact I often have found myself not even noticing the gender of a poster until after I have finished reading the post and check out their name/profile. Perhaps this is unusual on my part, I don’t know really.

  • http://amidstdancers.blogspot.com/ Shard Aerliss

    The best thing about the internet; you can’t tell the gender/race/religion/nationality/sexuality of the person/people you’re talking to unless they make a point of it.

  • Anonymous.

    I try not to touch the whole feminism thing, to be honest. But I will say this. One of the main things I look for in a relationship is a woman who can talk to me about ‘things.’ Not nessecarily comic books and tv shows, but things like philosophy and science and literature. I think being aware of these things is very important to understanding life, and cant imagine being with someone who would rather ignore the questions because they are ‘hard.’

    This is not a post so I can say ‘lol smart girls are hot.’ The point of this post is to say that there are men out there who appreciate, and even highly value, your interests. They would like nothing more than to talk to you about them.

    Sincerely,
    That one quiet kid from high school you never heard from again.

  • Sertith

    I don’t care if people know I’m a female, but I don’t really like it when guys assume I’m a guy. If I don’t point out I’m a female, I get all kinds of interesting stories about how women are bitches and sluts and should be kept in the kitchen barefoot and pregnant. Lord knows how many stories about some guy making a “bitch choke on my dick” I’ve had to cut short. Let the guys know I’m a girl, and I either get “STFU BITCH”, “Pics?!” or treated like an actual human, only without stories they’d share with the guys.

    If your excuse for these stories and actions are that the males are all teenagers, then let me say right now that that isn’t true. Sure, a lot of them are. But you’ve got douche bags in their 30s talking about how a woman should be “in her place”. That’s all good and fine with you? The you, sir, are just as bad as the other douche bags.

  • Sertith

    Cooties totally exist! :p

  • Anonymous

    I would like to slow clap for this entire post and I’d just like to say that I will be most definitely sending it out to my male nerd friends who are sometimes innocently confused by how I feel alienated from the nerd community as well as feeling like I’m not like a “normal” girl sometimes.

    This article is great because a.) it has no malice and b.) it actually expresses how I feel. Bravo.

  • nwc

    I hate to rain on everyone’s parade here, but this is already being done better at Geek Feminism: http://www.geekfeminism.org

    Despite the name, it’s not all politics (the most recent post is a political ‘linkspam’ but the one before that was about hyperbolic crochet). On the other hand, they’re able to dissect sexism and tokenism in geek cultures broader than the narrow culture of consumption that seems to be pandered to here at TMS (play a videogame someone sold you, read a comic book someone sold you, etc). They also have a great wiki which has been invaluable to me, as a straight white cis male, to learn how geek culture excludes and abuses women and what I can do about it.

    Also, what’s up with the all-white cast of heroes in the banner here? I refreshed enough times to get 6 unique characters before it got too frustrating through my slow proxy: 5 of them were unambiguously white, one was ambiguous leaning whiteward, and all have the exact same body shape and size that seems to have been designed for Playboy readers.

    I would love to be proven wrong about this place, but I am skeptical from what I see so far.

  • http://www.extremelydissatisfied.wordpress.com Adam R. Charpentier

    Although I realize that I am not the target audience, so far I really like the site. And I can honestly say (for the first time in my life) that I read it for the articles.

    I will do my very best not to be blatantly sexist by referring to “de lamentation of de women” or otherwise directly/indirectly mention my gonads.

    In response to one of your talking points, I would like to propose that the booth babes receive male counterparts rather than being removed entirely from convention halls. I don’t even think the kind of guy that would allow themselves to be pressed into vinyl pants (to better pronounce his ass cleavage) would mind being called a Booth Babe.

  • TK

    Sure you can’t tell. Which is why you invariably assume every single one of them is a straight male (and usually white) until catching a whiff of anything telling you otherwise. Like having a female username. Is that making a point?

  • nwc

    I’m not sure the point is to be a stickler for etymology, so much as that this is a site for consumers and consumption of cultural products, which is not what “geek” means. Going back to the early 20th century definition of “geek”, which has obviously been made obsolete by the new meaning that came with shifts in technology, seems to be nothing more than a derailing technique. I share Rarian’s concern that the concept of “geek” being pushed here is a sterilizing one, obscuring the creative rebellion and world-shaking paradigm shifts of geeks who were not content to merely absorb a narrow spectrum of cultural goods that can barely be told apart in structure and story arc.

    Long story short, there’s a difference between a geek and a fan. It’s like the difference between a writer and an information junkie. Or the difference between a squatter and a Home Depot shopper. Or the difference between a player and a spectator. Of course, geeks can be fans, writers can be information junkies, squatters can shop at Home Depot, players can spectate; but there are many more people in Column B than Column A. That’s fine, just be honest about whether you’re a geek or just a fan. A player or just a spectator.

  • nwc

    What?? You were expressing the very backlash she is talking about. You can’t be both for and against it. YOU are the problem Amanda was referring to. Not the banner, YOU. You think that the mere existence of a site that caters to people other than you is intrusive, and if you had your way you would force The Mary Sue to close up shop and redirect all its posts to geekosystem. You cannot hold those two positions simultaneously, either: if you are so offended by seeing a single reminder that there is a space catering to women, you’ll really hate it when your precious gender-neutral site gets muddled up with the posts catering to women that are currently going to this site.

    Many women are either excluded from, or pushed out of, many other online spaces for all of the reasons which have been laid out clearly in the OP, in many of the comments and in about a million other places online. The mechanism seems to be one of certain boys and men “making a big thing of it all” in any and every online space. If you have read the page down to this point, or even if you’ve just played a few online games, you can’t possibly claim to be ignorant of this fact. With this reality in mind, some women have created online spaces where they can simply talk about their lived experiences without immature boys and men “making a big thing of it all”, and here you are, making yet ANOTHER big thing of it all. Yes, it is YOU who is “making such a big thing of it all”. YOU. YOU are the one claiming that this website shouldn’t be allowed to exist, though now you seem to be walking it back to, ‘this website shouldn’t advertise its existence, so as to avoid offending my delicate sensibilities. I just can’t bear to know that women are congregating somewhere on the internet’. That’s YOUR position. YOU came here to make the big deal. If you don’t think “such a big deal” should be made, then, DON’T.

  • nwc
  • http://amidstdancers.blogspot.com/ Shard Aerliss

    Only if you’re a white, straight male who thinks everyone else is just like you.

  • http://amidstdancers.blogspot.com/ Shard Aerliss

    That’s assuming a universal definition of ‘geek’ (and Rarian WAS asking if their definition of ‘geek’ was too limited, and I addressed the question). There is no single definition though. Heather ‘self-identifies’ as a geek and said “I rather prefer just being allowed to be who I am without being sneered at by some in-crowd.” Then Rarian went and did that exact thing by calling Heather out on not being a real geek because she doesn’t study one of the sciences or know any computer coding languages.

    Yet ‘geek’ no longer simply means someone who studies science or maths and is interested in technology. ‘Geek’ has many different definitions and is used in a variety of ways that are dependant upon on who you talk to (or should I say what label they come under). Languages shift and change, and you can’t stop that from happening, even though organisations and governments have tried.

    I don’t think Rarian’s issue is really about creative rebellion and world-shaking paradigm shifts being pushed aside for a new, bland type of geekdom (I’m sure we’ll all find another word to describe ourselves as, inevitably, geek becomes mainstream). I see a “you don’t do A, B and C so you’re not One Of Us” attitude. Though it was probably intended more in jest than anything else, I felt I needed to comment on it.

  • http://amidstdancers.blogspot.com/ Shard Aerliss

    *adds Geek Feminism to Google Reader*

    Ta. You can never have too many different blogs to read… well, maybe you can but I haven’t reached my limit yet.

    The banner women; as far as I can tell, they’re all based on popular characters in media so the issue stems from the lack of non-white women in media. That said; yeah, there are LOADS of other characters they could choose that aren’t pasty white girls.

  • Guest

    You want to be respected as a source of revenue?? Whatever happened to being respected as a whole person, not just a set of consumer choices? Is that what the inclusion of “feminism” in the comic’s pink room means–”quit being so uppity and get back to buying”?

  • Guest

    So, I guess, nobody can point out problems of institutional racism unless they can prove that 100% of institutions are racist? If we followed that rule, nobody would be allowed to talk about anything.

  • Guest

    What a repulsive non-apology. If you go to the trouble to apologize for something, say you’re sorry THAT you caused offense, not “IF” the rest of the world is too thin-skinned to handle your blazing truth. The non-apology is just insulting and proves you weren’t sorry in the first place.

  • nwc

    Isn’t there something inherently contradictory about a site that claims to empower you by reducing your identity to a cast of characters that have already been imagined by someone else and put up for sale? Especially if that cast of fictive, largely static identities reflects the very same tropes that serve to limit the diversity of femininities to appeal to mainstream straight male consumers in the first place?

    I should clarify that I wish TMS the best of luck and as many page views as its work can possibly earn. And, of course, being firmly outside of the target demo here, it’s not my place to tell anyone what is or isn’t sufficiently geeky, girly or feminist for them. If you dig it, dig away. I just find it perplexing that this site considers itself so revolutionary when it seems to me to be just another fan site, or a quietly liberal niche site at best. Other blogs that examine cultural content through the lens of privilege are at least unafraid to use words like “oppression”, “marginalized” and, indeed, “privilege”. I haven’t done an exhaustive search of this site but those words (and words sharing the same root) are absent in the OP, and a cursory site search of “privilege” seems to bring up mostly, or only, comments.

  • nwc

    Actually, I would go a step farther and say that there seems to be just one character up there with a small interchangeable set of haircuts, shirt colors and (barely indistinguishable) skin tones. There’s clearly only one body design, obscuring even the size and shape differences of the original characters. Not to say that the banner is everything, it just seems particularly telling in this case.

  • http://amidstdancers.blogspot.com/ Shard Aerliss

    It’s a site banner… it kinda HAS to reduce whatever the site represents into a simple image, especially one that can be reformatted, shrunk, blown up or made even more basic depending on how the owners want to use it. As part of this site’s purpose is to talk about geekery and thus geekdom, it holds that the banner might be based on characters we recognise, like Chell, Leela and Velma.

    As for each woman being the same shape; again it’s a site banner. It’s simplified, recognisable, a ‘brand’ so to speak (and to me looks like it’s based on the “We Can Do It” posters from WWII). If we see that outline while we’re floating around on the internet we’ll recognise it as being from The Mary Sue.

    It’s all about brand recognition.

  • http://profiles.google.com/bcaluroso Berry Caluroso

    I feel like the article (as well as the accompanying comic) either ignores existing female spaces or dismisses them as “vaginas, purses, and Twilight!” I appreciate what you’re doing here, but you’re not the first one to do it by a long stretch. An above commenter already cited “geek feminism” and I’d also like to submit most fanfiction communities (which you seem to be aware of, since you take your name from them, but make no mention of) for consideration – they are often largely female.

  • http://twitter.com/rlfcomic Robin

    Yeah, that comic pretty well sums it all up. This is one of the few blogs I’ve found for geeky women that doesn’t simply stand on that. Yes, it’s by/for women…but it’s got general appeal. which, really, is much more representative imo, anyhow.
    And it doesn’t venture into Shoe Territory! Thank you!

  • Pks29733steel

    Why does your ‘geek girl’ look like a futurama character? Did you get permission to use it?

  • nwc

    “It’s a site banner… it kinda HAS to reduce whatever the site represents into a simple image”

    No kidding. That’s why I’m analyzing what the site represents through the banner.

    “As part of this site’s purpose is to talk about geekery and thus geekdom, it holds that the banner might be based on characters we recognise, like Chell, Leela and Velma.”

    No, that only holds if the purpose is to talk about the geek niche within consumer culture. There’s a difference between a blog about koalas and a blog about marsupials, you know what I’m saying?

  • Duej

    Well, Pro Bunny Gal would be an Injoke To One of Her Interests (rabbits). And one could as well be called Queen of Snipersx420 or Pro Bunny Dude.
    You could have chosen an example-nickname that didn’t shown off the fact its wearer was masculine (“king”). That’s so easy, uh?
    And, damn, almost every dude around in my guilde has a picture of him in his avatar. It’s not like they walked in and said: “Hey, here is a cute picture of me!” IRL, as you’d already know what they look like IRL and that’s mostly what they want and those you know IRL just want you to know that, yeah, Pro Bunny Dude is in fact Eric.

  • SciVille

    Well, I guess someone who is ageist obviously won’t care about sexism.

  • http://amidstdancers.blogspot.com/ Shard Aerliss

    Nope, not at this moment in time anyway. Both a blog about marsupials and a blog about koalas might have a koala as its site banner The marsupial blog owners might stick with that one animal, or they might choose to rotate in a few others.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Aria-Fodness/100001357890408 Aria Fodness

    wow this place is so cool! i love it and the comic above

  • http://www.facebook.com/mandynicole Mandy McClausky

    160×160 ad pixels aren’t going to disrespect me as a person, they’re going to help me find products and services I’d be buying anyway as opposed to taking a shot in the dark and hoping I want to buy something from a vendor that I’ve never heard of or have no inclination to purchase from.

    Women are the financial decision-makers in most households, and better targeted advertising means more generated revenue for the content provider. More revenue leads to hiring better content writers. Better content means a better, smarter community. It’s a win-win situation for everybody to display more relevant ads and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that, especially because e-commerce allows everyone – not just the big boys – to compete and have their screen time as well.

  • Cassdeyasafond

    <3 Long live Geek women (^◇^)

  • Sandra03

    I am a geek but I do also enjoy some of the girlier things in life. I did grow up reading trashy teen magazines and cosmo, AND comics. I played with He-Man figurines, AND Barbies. Now I play World of Warcraft, watch anime, read fantasy novels, AND I’m interested in fashion, watch romantic comedies, and keep tabs on celebrity gossip.

    This article does exactly what it says it’s fighting against, generalizing female geeks as unfeminine. Can’t we be both?

    I do appreciate having a site geared towards women, but you might want to remember that some of us are into some of the typical feminine things too, and post the occasional girly stuff now and then

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1086113613 Danette Marie Albino

    “Attacking femaleness, deriding ‘girly stuff’ and rolling your eyes at ‘women’s issues,’ declaring yourself a ‘tomboy’ who gets along better with men because women are silly or pretty or whatever— these are expressions of internalized sexism. If that’s the way you feel about your own sex you’ll be doomed to feel inferior no matter what you achieve in life.” – Ariel Levy, Female Chauvinist Pigs: Women and the Rise of Raunch Culture (2006 ed.)
    Food for thought.

  • Anonymous

     Boo hoo…

    Feminism is a social cancer.

  • Anonymous

     Geek feminism is fucking terrible. These women want to maintain a perpetual victim status, as a result of various emotional issues, and as leverage to make foolish men such as yourself sympathetic to them, when they otherwise have no positive traits. Why should any culture accommodate women? As a straight white male to another straight white male (the term cis male is redundant), you’re pathetic. They will never respect you because you’re a member of the “oppressive patriarchy”.

    So what if the cast is all white? I thought you were against tokenism? Also, people don’t want to stare at fatties, so why draw them?

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_CVEIAGI6UY56C6PBDK5BSUPR6I Moony

    i agree.  i’m impressed by the idea of The Mary Sue (it’s a great name, btw), but i’m hoping it won’t be so… overly defensive?  like, for example, maybe it was only your own insecurity that lead you to feel the cashier assumed you were shopping for a guy.  but really, who would care?  we’re all geeks, and when we find other geeks, we’re lucky to be in the company of people we can relate to easily… believe me, i know how hard it is to relate sometimes.  so why be so divisive?  this article seems confused as to whether it’s a call to arms, or a call for equality.  personally, it’s rare for me to be around men who don’t take me seriously… well, okay, so they don’t.  but that’s because they’re MY FRIENDS!  they take me seriously when it’s important, but usually… nobody takes anybody seriously.  how can you, when the majority of your conversations revolve around particular geekdoms?
    anyway, my point is, i’d like to see what this site becomes.  i think it shows great promise.  but as a geek girl, i can’t really relate to this… perceived sexism.  besides, i think that comic is sexist toward geek guys.  LOL

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_CVEIAGI6UY56C6PBDK5BSUPR6I Moony

    you talk like a snobby asshole.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=594523827 Robert Swilley

    I’m into geeky women.

  • http://www.facebook.com/the.rowan.watson Rowan Watson

    i’m kind-of excited about this. i’ve been a sci-fi geek for as long as i can remember. my first love is mr. spock. i love the space marines. my boyfriend and i fell in love over BSG. i’m a geek girl and i love, so much that i’m opening a coffee/wine bar for geeks one day :)

    i look forward to reading more.

  • http://www.stopped-motion.com Amber Clark

    I just found the site last week and I am in love! Thank you! <3

  • Anonymous

    Hi Nice to see your site. It is very good to know about the geek site for women.I would like to tell you about  Doucheline  which is also helping a lot to the women’s.Doucheline will help in avoiding the calls from the unwanted guys.

  • Anonymous

    “I am a Geek Girl. The worst part of fashion for me is that it’s designed for skinny, twiggy girls who can’t appreciate a good cheeseburger or a perfectly made cheesecake. But I still stare wistfully at some of the dresses and other clothes on the rack”

    I just wanted to point out how closed-minded this is. I like what you’re trying to say in your response, but this is implying that a lot of “twiggy” girls don’t enjoy eating. There’s something called being fit and having a high metabolism. I am 5’7″ and weigh 102 lbs. I’m thin, but I can eat more than most people can that weigh 140 lbs. I appreciate food and enjoy eating. Your comment was like me saying “All fat people eat too much and don’t work out enough”. Not offended, or anything but I hear this all the time because people that are bigger than me just don’t get it: I’m myself. I eat what I went, when I want but CAN’T gain weight. And I say the same thing about clothes in reverse sometimes: A small fits like a medium now because people aren’t skinny enough.

    People can be very closed= minded, indeed. =)

    -Harmony

  • http://twitter.com/C4bl3Fl4m3 Cable Flame

    Actually, a small fits like a medium because sizing is all messed up, not because “people aren’t skinny enough”. And don’t equate being fit with being skinny… there’s lots of in shape fat folks and couch potato skinny folks.

    I’m a fat person who hates sizeism and it pisses me off when the same people who are fighting against large sizeism commit acts of sizeism against small folks. As I always say: “you can be fat-positive without being skinny-negative”. But be careful not to fall into typical sizeist traps trying to defend your right to your (skinny) body.

  • Anonymous

    I just discovered this site and it’s seems too good to be true. This is going to be a long post, but your post hit a sensitive spot in me.
     
    I’m a minority in every sense of the word. Not only am I a female geek, but I’m a BLACK female geek. To this day, I STILL can BARELY relate to other women and I STILL haven’t met another female geek outside of the internet. How sad. I have many other unconventional quirks about me(being an introvert, goth, etc.), but I’m just gonna talk about the tomboyish geek in me.
     
    I’m almost 23 now and I grew up with my male cousin(who is my BEST and so far, only friend) so I got exposed to a lot of “boy” things like action figures, “boy” cartoons like Batman and X-Men, vidoe games (I still fondly remember our days playing Mario on the NES/SNES and Sonic on the Sega Genesis) etc. I also liked “girl” things like Barbie, playing dress up, being fascinated by make up(ironically, I don’t wear it now because it’s too high maintence for me) etc.
     
    However, my love for those were NO WHERE near the level for my “boy” things. Put me in a toy store and I ALWAYS ran to action figures before looking at the Barbie dolls. I ran to the comic books section in the grocery store instead of the girl magazines. I went crazy over my first Gameboy while I barely touched my Giga Pet and used as more of an accessory to hang on my backpack instead of actually trying to raise it. 
     
    And throughout all of that I had to deal with everyone around me pressuring me to only like “girl” things except for my cousin who didn’t see the big deal in me liking “boy” things. They thought I was going through a “phase” because I only had boys to play with for while and that once I make a girl friend, I would magically become a princess. That I would be “normal”.
     
    Of course, I was an insecure child who naturally doesn’t want feel alienated and tried to be more feminine like a good little girl. It didn’t work. My more masculine traits still showed under the girly facade. Like I was wearing a really bad costume that people could see right through. My “wannabe” attempts just, ironically, made even more of an outcast to my peers( I was already dealing with years of teasing for being short, petite, awkward, an honor student, and “acting white”).
     
    At home, I dealt constant lectures of having to be more ”lady-like” either for doing a lot of the same things my cousin does ( just certain mannerisms that are seemingly “masculine”) or how I can’t barely do basic domestic things( I could program the TV and VCR or fiddle with any other electronic/hardware etc., but struggled with folding clothes and cooking etc.). At the same, I got the “be a strong woman” speech that contradicted the high maintence housewife image they kept shoving down my throat.
     
    So which is it? Am I supposed to be a traditional woman or a career woman? It was so frustrating. It was then that I found myself hating that I was a girl and envying how it seemed that boys got to have all the fun/freedom.
     
    By the time I got in high school, I was fed up. I saw my femininity and femininity in general as a burden/weakness . I rejected all parts of me that were stereotypically girly(including pink, a color I had always liked), distanced myself from other coventional girls(not that it was hard to begin with) and embraced my masculine side more than ever before. Afterall, it seemed to be the only way I could get SOME respect.
     
    I stopped trying to hide my geekness and embraced it. I did the same for all my other unconventional traits/interests. I had finally accepted that I’ll never fit in with the mainstream crowd that really wasn’t worth it in the first place.
     
    But, I quickly learned that the geek crowd is no better than the mainstream. We both know how the geek community is towards females and how we to practically have to prove ourselves for entrance to the “boys club”, but it’s even worse when you’re non-white. I’ve dealt with white geeks treating me like I’m an alien(in the good kind of way, but still annoying. Are us black geeks THAT rare?) and the black community treating me like I’m a traitor(if I had dollar for every time I’ve been called a “sellout” or ”acting white”…)

    Then there’s the viciousness I’ve seen between female geeks themselves: the backlash against more feminine female geeks even when they’ve earned their “cred” from the less feminine geeks who feel “threatened”. Ironically, those type of geeks forced me to do some soul searching: I realized that I was being self defeating as a result of my self hatred that I refused to admit for a long time. I learned femininity is NOT a weakness, that I was confusing it with “girly girly” (as in the Paris Hilton type girls who ARE weak) instead of natural “girly”(being ultra feminine  in a cute, innocent way).

    A few years have past since my realization. I now accept my feminine side and embrace it more than ever before(Ironic Echo, I know). I’ve also accepted that I’m one of those women who just don’t fit the girly girl/tomboy box instead feeling like I HAD to pick one(like a lot of other things about me). I’ve accepted and embraced a lot things about myself now that I hated/denied.

    Like I said way back at the start of this post: I’m a minority in every sense of the word and I’ve accepted a long time ago that I’ll never fully fit in anywhere. Still, it’s nice if I COULD actually talk to someone who shares my interests and NOT be obnoxious/elitist about it.

    I swore I would never go to another blog after a few bad experiences, but my geekness is my strongest trait(even though I’m not a hardcore geek) and I just can’t pass the chance of being able express my interests without my race and gender being an issue.

  • Gwen Gruffith

    Personally I know how you feel when you say that about not feeling as if your not part of their demographic. When I was younger I spoke of Chicks in thrid person. I was a total geek and tom boy. I wasn’t a boy but I sure wasn’t interested in the things T.V. and Magazine and the people around me told me I should be interested in. I had no use for Barbie I wanted G.I. Joe and transformers and little green army men. In High School I was too busy trying to beat Mega Man to worry about what color my nails were and if you put a dress anywhere near me I’d scream bloody murder.

    20+ years later and I occasionally wear makeup I like to look my best but some times that means wearing a Superman shirt sometimes it means wearing a Outfit I made for a Re-actment sometimes it means corsets and pvc thigh high boots and yes sometimes it means wearing an awesome girly girly dress.

    I still doubt that I’ll ever open an issue of Cosmo and see any info about What Con’s to go to next, Which game is the best. How to make a costume that will help me win at a Cosplay event or how to deal with people who still look at me funny when I go into the Comic book store and drool over the minitures for warhammer.

    I’m really looking forward to having a place that talks about geek things that chicks like myself are into that guys wouldn’t understand or issues men won’t have. Hoping this is that place and thanks for trying

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1025124515 Aliona Deszynska

    If you like this website you might like also
    http://www.facebook.com/HowToBeAGirlGamer 
    ;)

  • Goo

    I don’t mind this site. I actually enjoy its content. Most of the content does not have to be associated with females in order to find an audience, however. I know plenty of men who are interested in topics that some more gender concerned individuals would see as “feminine.” I was actually referred to the site by one of my male friends.The content isn’t enjoyable to me because I’m a female. Frankly, the idea that it might be is a little insulting. Not only to myself, but to males as well. I’m not one to easily get insulted, but I don’t associate myself as a woman to anyone unless it is practical or useful to do so. I find it all the more offensive when I see gamertags that specifically identify this anonymous stranger as “GamerGirl2394.” People use their genders to seek attention because they know they’ll get it. Being a geek and also a girl does not make you special. It shouldn’t. You are a normal person. With interests. Interests are things that all people have. Having a particular type of interest generally does not make you this or that. Just like having a particular sexual organ does not make you this or that. I think the only way in which this use of “geek girl” is acceptable is in the same way as Gay rights activists or Black Rights activists behave. I respect those people and their intentions and recognize that what they are doing, however obnoxious they get, is necessary. Sometimes you have to be loud in order to get a point across. However, I’m more in the camp of thinkers who doesn’t believe in manipulating the public and would rather see a gradual shift to women having more respect in the “geek” community a natural thing. Not something spurred by a popular, trendy movement.

  • Goo

    This is much appreciated. Ever since I’ve lost weight, larger people have been giving me a hard time. Whatever size you are, be happy with yourself or change it. I wasn’t happy with my size, so I changed it. I never made others feel bad for it. I still don’t. Half of my boyfriends have been overweight. I love all the types!

  • Goo

    Excellent!! I just learned this the other night watching X-Files.

  • http://twitter.com/sakurairomemori Alphabet Soup

    I’m all kinds of late, but where I can get the mustache the girl had in the last two panels?! I wish to discuss frogs and science with both genders! :D

    In all seriousness, I’ve really enjoyed this site. I don’t think the creators are saying you have to exclude the “typical girly-ness”, just that the typical “girly world” isn’t exactly ready to embrace girls who are also geeks (except maybe to push thick rimmed glasses as fashion). I think this site does a great job of promoting the kind of place that tends to be missing – keep up the great work!

  • http://www.facebook.com/francisca.rojas.39 Francisca Rojas

    here I feel like in paradise…it’s a wonderful place for creative and smart women , thanks for making this site !!! :D

  • Kenny

    This site is great. Kim Kardashian all belly pregnancy review is crazy.

  • Kenny

    I saw the video genesis review yesterday and thought is was interesting.