LADIES! Are you a “Geek Girl” or just a “Geek”? Both are equally acceptable in my opinion. We all have our own personal reasons for identifying whichever way we like. No one should have to add the “girl” identifier to the “geek” but many choose to do so. I tend to opt for the “Geek Girl” option and I have my reasons. Some find it offensive, wondering why we should have to be anything but geeks because we are girls. We don’t call dudes geek boys by default, maybe we should?
I moved a lot as a kid, like 13 schools between kindergarten and 9th grade, 6 of those spanning 4th & 5th grade alone, a lot. I wasn’t a military kid; I was the child of a single mom trying to find the best way to make it work with 4 kids. I was ruthlessly made fun of, but not because I loved X-Men or played NES every day (I still don’t know how my mom afforded to get us one of those let alone any games). I was made fun of because I was the constant new kid, I was extremely awkward looking and never had the “cool” clothes. I had permed hair so was called Medusa. Those “No Dogs allowed on school property” signs were the bane of my existence. I used my interests to escape from that; I lost myself in books. Hell I read the Silmarillion in 5th grade, that is a HARD book to read!
When I was about 12 things settled down a bit, my mom married the man I consider my dad and I went into middle school. By this time I was the Tommiest of Tom boys. I listened to angry metal and bad punk and stomped around in my Doc Martens, baggy jeans (JNCOs RULED!) and oversized t-shirts, generally hating everyone and everything. Part of the way I dressed was because I was an “early bloomer” and I had no clue what the hell that was all about. But also, I found it was so much easier to get along if I was just “one of the boys”. I had my skateboard, my Walkman, my comics and I had FRIENDS! This was the first time ever that I had a troupe of friends. Yeah I had to go through quite a bit of “proving” I was cool enough, I listened to and knew about the right bands, was willing to get drunk at school, etc. Music was the first line during these years. Kids who listened to metal were NOT friends with the kids who listened to rap or hip-hop and it was unacceptable to like both.
By the time I was 14 I was regularly running away; after years of not having any discipline and being responsible for taking care of my younger siblings I now had rules and was severely restricted in when I could see my friends (basically ONLY at school). I had one friend whose house I could always stay at because his mom wasn’t really around. We would stay up all night getting drunk and stoned and argue about Star Wars and the Expanded Universe. I would kick everyone’s ass at Mario Kart 64 and deep philosophical conversations were had about what we would do when mutants finally started exposing themselves and how we would go about finding radioactive spiders. But, I was still ONE OF THE BOYS.
Around 19 or 20 I started dressing more like a girl (this is also known as my goth phase that I never really “outgrew”), you know tulle skirts and Doc Martens (a style I still rock a lot of the time thankyouverymuch) and started acting more like a “girl” instead of one of the boys. The music someone listened to was not as important to forming a friendship as having similar interests was. At this point I started being less reserved in my excitement over things. I would let myself jump up and down squealing when I found that Mint-In-Package SCYTHE-MEISTER for $15 when I happened to know it was worth at least $100 at the time. The Powerpuff Girls were AWESOME! And I let people know about my obsessive Rainbow Brite & Strawberry Shortcake collections. Because I cared less about fitting in with the boys and more that I had found that gorram toy I had been looking for! I experienced what a lot of girls have walking into comic shops, but I was armed with my rock solid knowledge and I would show those assholes that I knew more than they did. THANK YOU INTERNET! (You should read that in Donna Noble’s voice when she says “Thank you Davros!”)
It was around this time that I started identifying not only as a geek but as a geek GIRL, because for so many years I had played down the fact that I WAS A GIRL. We all have our reasons for wanting to be called a Geek, A Geek Girl, or whathaveyou, this is just my reason. I don’t really like the word woman, never really have. I’d rather be a girl. Maybe one day I will outgrow the desire to be a “Geek Girl” but I know I will always be a geek. Unlike those boys who I was friends with back then, who now call me a “nerd”, like it is a bad thing, like they are “jokingly” making fun of me. Whatever, I have a much better troupe of friends now and it is 90% GIRLS, and not one has ever challenged me to prove I knew enough about “X/Y/Z” to hang out.