I always kind of knew that being a woman in the film industry would be tough, but I never realized how tough it would be. I mean, it wasn’t until 2010 that a woman, Kathryn Bigelow, won an Oscar for best director. For god’s sake, they even played “I am Woman.” Patronizing much? What about “I am Director?”
In 2008, when I went to grad school for film at USC, which is the best film school in the world according to The Hollywood Reporter, only 13 of the 50 incoming filmmakers, were women. It wasn’t until 2010 when USC finally made a point of admitting 50% women, calling themselves “forward-thinking” and patting themselves on the back. What is this, 1950??
When I said I wanted to go into directing, my graduate advisor even told me “maybe pick something else, there’s not many women in directing. Try editing instead, women do that.” Being stubborn, I disregarded his advice and pursued my path and won the Harold Lloyd award for directing twice, and became the only woman selected to direct a major film in my year with a $12k grant and Academy-Award winning mentors.
Even after film school, when I became a television producer, I would regularly be told in executive meetings that they “wanted a woman at the table” but that I “shouldn’t speak to the clients, we just need a female presence.” The boy’s club of executives would often criticize me for being too “aggressive” and “bossy” compared to other male producers.
Well screw that! I made sure that every executive meeting, I piped up and made my ideas heard, and it worked. I was able to create and produce my own primetime show, City Walk, before the age of 30, I created and directed a web series called Best Friends Book Club to encourage literacy in teenaged girls, I worked with Martin Sheen, Comedian Dane Cook, Adam Devine of Workaholics, Kevin Nealon of Weeds, Adam Carolla of The Adam Carolla Show, and many other talented actors.
I’ve also directed several films, including a documentary about third-wave feminism and pole dancing called Polar Opposites – despite the fact that a male colleague told me “no man will ever want to watch a film about just women” and another male filmmaker publically posted “I’ve got a pole they can climb” on our webpage. The joke’s on them, because after the film’s successful festival circuit, it was bought and broadcast by the Documentary Channel and I’m fairly certain those great ratings weren’t from women alone.
Now I’m a working director and producer, but it hasn’t been easy. I worked hard, but the very fact that we even need to have a Bechdel Test shows how far we still have to go in terms of women in the film industry.
So what can we do to promote equality in film and media?
o Write better women characters
- We don’t need any more films with Megan Fox being objectified, or damsels needing to be saved and sexy teenaged girls being pursued by a slasher. Write complex characters that have their own minds, their own lives, and their own flaws and problems. Check out Ms. Marvel who’s an amazing new superhero who not only battles supervillains, but also sexism and xenophobia towards her Muslim heritage.
o Share your expertise
- For years, we’ve been taught that women are all out to get each other. Surprise! We aren’t! And you can help even more by giving another woman a hand. Be a mentor, join a message board and share answers, help problem-solve. You might just get help yourself in return.
- Get involved by supporting organizations working to change the inequality, such as Women in Film, Women’s Media Center and Women Make Movies.
o Think equally
- We often hear about “women’s films” and “chick flicks.” Guess what? Women are the majority of the world population, so maybe we should just call them “films.”
o Support your fellow women
- There are so few women in the film industry, so why not go out and celebrate how kickass they are! Nicole Perlman was the first woman to write a Marvel film and it’s amazing!
o Neutralize your language
- The days of “actor/actress,” “director/female director,” “cameraman” and “sound guy” are over. And it’s about time we found a new term for “Best Boy!” What about “First Assistant Grip” and “First Assistant Electric?” Language has power, and words can change minds. Many a time I’ve been on set with an amazing female “best boy” and it just s
- Marvel is a great example of this when they announced that the new incarnation of Thor will be female and they made sure that their language reflects it: “This is not She-Thor,” senior writer Jason Aaron said in a Marvel release. “This is not Lady Thor. This is not Thorita. This is THOR. This is the THOR of the Marvel Universe. But it’s unlike any Thor we’ve ever seen before.”
*Infographics courtesy of the New York Film Academy*
Caitlin Starowicz is an award-winning writer, director, and producer for film and television. She has been recognized by Women in Film and Television, DocUtah, the LA Times, Buzzfeed, Women Make Movies and The Documentary Channel. She can be reached through her website at www.caitlinstarowicz.com and is always willing to help a fellow filmmaker.
Welcome to Ask The Nerds. Have a burning question? Go ahead and email us and we will do our best to answer it for you!
Hi NerdsMy boyfriend isn’t really into nerdy things and I don’t know how to relate to him on a free-time level. We have gone back and forth about this for a long time and he has finally started to warm up to the idea of checking some stuff out.So I have two questions:1) Do you have any advice for a nerdy gal with a non-nerdy boyfriend?2) Since he has started showing some interest, where do I start?!
First of all, it’s good that he’s showing interest in what you like. That’s a sign of a good relationship. I’m assuming you’re showing interest in his stuffs, too, right?! But since you’re asking about moving things in a nerdy direction, it’s all about finding an activity that you both enjoy doing, then adding something nerdy to it. In general, I think everyone’s a nerd about something. You just have to find what he’s really passionate about.
Does he like movies? Find a local theater that plays old school movies like E.T. or Back To The Future. How about books? I’ve gotten people into comic books by having them read non-superhero stuff like Saga or Y: The Last Man. If he likes Breaking Bad, I don’t see why he wouldn’t like Preacher. On that note, I know people who generally hate fantasy stuff with dragons but still love Game of Thrones. Does he like music? Take him to a John Williams or video game music concert. What about games? Settlers of Catan and Small World sound really nerdy when you explain them to someone, but, once you play them, people get really competitive, and it becomes really fun to yell at each other about wool. There’s also video games. Everyone likes Mario Kart!
You may not be having sex to the Battlestar Galactica soundtrack right away, but you’ll probably be role-playing as Bruce Wayne and Selina Kyle before you know it! (Please remember to use protection.)
Hugs and tacos,
Dear Brave Nerd Girl,
I, too, lived the life of dating a non-nerd. It can be challenging at times when your man doesn’t know the laws of House Elves or the ridiculousness of Hobbits. I would suggest letting him see all of your enthusiasm for these nerd-type things, but don’t necessarily make him feel obligated to like them. Remember, even in the nerd community, not everybody likes every fandom. The important part is finding something nerdy that he finds interesting, but not demanding that he be interested by all of the things that you are. Think about what you know about him and what appeals to him, and work off of that.
My boyfriend loves the idea of power radiating from within, so Avatar: The Last Airbender was an easy sell for him. I think that you will also find that nerdy things that are also pretty funny are easier for a lot of people to swallow (example: Sokka in Avatar). You just have to be gentle. If you just start speaking elvish and demanding that he refer to his car as the Enterprise, you might frighten him.
Regarding your second question, I would start by showing him a couple of your favorite things in moderation. If it’s a show, request he try the first three episodes. If it’s a movie, just start with the first movie. Give him a taste of these things without shoving it down his throat. I would also highly suggest jumping into a new fandom together so it feels like he isn’t going the journey alone. For example, when I first started watching Supernatural and Game of Thrones, my boyfriend was wholly uninterested. I kindly suggested that he just watch the first couple of episodes with me. Now, he refers to Sam and Dean like they’re family, and I personally watched him weep over Oberyn Martell.
The important part is that your boyfriend is willing to at least give it a try. My best advice would be to experiment. Once you find something that catches his interest, he’ll be trapped. It will be a mere matter of time before he’s reading fan theories and you catch him staring blankly at a wall as he tries to process what happened in last night’s episode.
Side Note: For nerd conversion regarding games (i.e. MTG) or video games, I would highly suggest betting and or prizes of the silly and/or *eyebrow wag* other variation.
Best of luck in your nerd-conversion!
In my family, I’m an acknowledged nerd. Everyone dear to me accepts my interests with responses ranging from enthusiasm to mild concern. Thus, no one would be particularly surprised to see me show up to our family Christmas dinner dressed as San from Princess Mononoke. Not surprised, perhaps, but not happy, either.
So I had to start getting a little tricky to bring some nerdy goodness into the holidays. If you’re like me, your nerd-dom cannot be contained. So here are some ideas for how to bring your hobbies to your holidays without having to explain to your grandmother what LARPing is.
Dress to Impress
One way that I’ve found to work my love of cosplay into my holiday season is to dress in an appropriate costume. You can be creative and delight the family by nerdifying any Santa suit- sure, someone might take exception to Sephiroth Santa, but no one can be mad at Steampunk Santa! Other options include any elf (like Legolas, Deedlit, or Link), Jack or Sally from Nightmare Before Christmas, and Jack Frost from Rise of the Guardians, who is great fun to lead merriment as. Of course, these all work best when there are children to entertain, but I wouldn’t be deterred by a room full of adults. Maybe it’s just me.
For anyone who wants to emphasize the “subtlety” that was promised by this article’s title, there are gads of restrained nerdy accessories that you can wear to get-togethers. From 8-bit hair bows to Rebel Alliance cufflinks to Game of Thrones pins, there are definitely ways to work your obsessions in without even the slightest bit of notice. Also at your disposal are Harry Potter leggings, Death Star dresses, and Doctor Who scarves and jackets. You can stylishly represent without any hassle.
Especially if you’d like to corrupt your younger cousins and niblings into becoming as nerdy as you are (yes, yes, let the nerd flow through you), you can try bringing some fun pastimes with you. While most folks will be watching the football game on Christmas Eve, you and the other super cool members of your family can slip away to play Minecraft. Bring along your Munchkin game and use mini candy canes as level indicators.
You might also ponder having some games that are friendlier to all generations. Playing Droidel (the R2 unit version of a Dreidel) is a fun way to unite generations over an ingeniously nerdy activity. Maybe go outside and make a nerdy snowman (Bowser’s a good challenge) with your parents. My favorite is to bring along materials for gingerbread houses, but bring blue frosting for a T.A.R.D.I.S. As a standby that my family enjoyed, bring along one of your cardboard cutouts (I chose Batman), pop a hat or garland on them, and have your family take posed pictures with it. The pictures are pretty priceless.
Host the Celebration
If you’re at the point where you’ve established a home away from your childhood home, maybe you could offer to host the Christmas Eve dinner. Not only will your family be impressed by your put-together presentation, but they’ll also be wowed by your geektastic decorations. A Lego menorah? A Star Wars or Star Trek Christmas tree? A Cthulu wreath? There are plenty of ways to be festively geeky without shoving it into people’s faces.
There are also nerdy foods you can serve at your assembly. I find it amusing to turn the hummus bowl into a mini Sarlacc pit with a Lego piece in the middle. Rolls wrapped in leaf-shaped paper easily become Tolkien’s lembas bread. You can emulate Dr. Seuss’s roast beast by adding a couple of extra turkey or chicken legs to your roast. Of course, butterbeer is always a good choice for beverages, as well. Get creative and you’ll be showing your loved ones the best side of nerd culture.
I stalwartly believe that you should be able to be yourself and have fun when you’re with your loved ones. But sometimes, it takes a little discernment and nuance to make our favorite fandoms suit the occasion. Be mindful of and considerate to the tone that your loved ones want to strike for holiday gatherings, but putting a little extra fun into the festivities never hurt anyone. Long live the nerdy holiday!
Marie is a cosplayer and costume consultant who has found, through trial and error, that there are very few places that are not appropriate for nerdiness.
This is a follow-up post about how female geeks are making comic conventions their own in different ways. Obviously SDCC has been over for awhile, but there are still plenty of other conventions coming up this year (NYCC!) and these women can serve as inspirations for what can be done within geek and pop culture by individuals. In this post I talk with Jenn from justJENN Designs & Recipes. If you haven’t had the pleasure of visiting her table at SDCC or don’t follow her on twitter, you should!… but in the meantime the links to her websites are listed below.
Jenn has been blogging about her family’s adventures in Los Angeles for 10 years, creating unique family dinners and geeky baking for her food blog www.justjennrecipes.com. She recently launched www.homegeekonomics.com where she features crafters and creators, bringing the best of geek to home and everyday life. She was Her Universe’s fangirl of the day and her award winning recipes have been featured on StarWars.com, LATimes online, The Today Show blog and most recently the cover of Food Network Magazine.
A contributor for Geek Mom, King’s Hawaiian and First5LA, she also has been a guest panelist at San Diego Comic Con, WonderCon and Geek Girl Con.
1) First thing’s first, tell me about JustJenn Designs and JustJenn Recipes and your career in the geek world.
I started justJENN designs on the side when I was working at an architecture firm. I was working 60-80 hour weeks and while it was killing me I still wanted something that was all my own. So I thought an online business was a good idea because then I could just fill orders from home.Years later I had my kids and I was suddenly compelled to make sure they only ate healthy food and I wanted to make everything from scratch. I started creating recipes and putting them online so that I could access them at all times without dragging recipes with me or having to turn my computer on. Smart phones and my own website made keeping track of my recipes much easier.
2) The combination of foodies and geek culture makes perfect sense and you do an amazing job combining the two. I love your Ultimate Star Wars party! Where did get your initial inspiration to combine the two?
Food and geek recipes came together again, because of my kids. As they grew up they started having fandom fascinations with things that I loved as well. Everything old was new again…to them! So Star Wars, Transformers all the things I grew up with and loved they were taking an interest in and I love the idea of encouraging fandom in kids. I think it opens them up to creative thinking. I decided to incorporate that into our meals just for fun. When I posted the party and recipes I didn’t think anything of it until I started getting a lot of adults saying how great it was and then I realized it wasn’t just me that loved all that geek culture reinterpreted, everyone wanted to recreate their childhood fandom in an updated way!
3) When was your first SDCC? Can you tell me a bit about your history with the convention (ie did you start off in Small Press or as an attendee, etc)?
My first SDCC was a long time ago as an attendee. I can’t even remember the year but I can tell you I got into Hall H easily if that means anything. Years later when I had the online stationery biz I thought, ‘how great would it be to be here as a fan, but also sell my creations to people as well?’ Small Press seemed like a good first step and I honestly haven’t moved from there in the past 6 years.
4) This year you were able to participate in the first major panel for foodies at SDCC, “A Feast For Your Eyes: Creativity In Comics and Cuisine.” What was that panel like? What were some of the highlights?
I was very excited to participate in the ‘food and comics’ panel since they are two things that I love and incorporate into my art as well. It was great to see a whole room filled with people who love those things too. Food and comics are very connected and we talked a lot about our inspiration and how we came into fields that we made uniquely our own through food.
The highlight of the panel for me was the other panelists! Everyone had unique food stories. I am a big fan of Food TV and watched both Brian Malarkey (@BrianMalarkey) and Justin Warner (@eatfellowhumans) on their shows. I have been ‘twitter friends’ with C.B. Cebulski for a long time and his posts about food and travels always make my day. I learned a lot from Amy Chu (@AmyChu) and Nacho Cervantes (@pizzaportbeer) about their inspirations. And I felt like Rosanna Pansino (@RosannaPansino) had a real geek girl connection, which is always cool when you meet someone who had the same interests as you and is a great person.
5) Do you think this panel signals the growth of foodie-related geekdom at SDCC? Other than the panel, what were some other geeky food-related fun stuff that you saw at SDCC this year (including your own activities)?
I think food and geekdom go hand in hand, both can be creative and inspirational. There is definitely a growth in this field, you can see it in the new food centric graphic novels that are coming out, but honestly it’s been around for a long time. As a kid I always felt connected to the comics I read that featured families cooking, or food somewhere in the comic. It made it relative and made me happy. I think that’s why food tv and food graphic novels are so popular now, because people like that familiar connection that food gives them.
6) I know you recently published a Mochi cookbook. I just got my copy and I’m really excited to try making some! What are some future projects you have coming up?
The mochi cookbook was fun because it updated old traditional recipes that didn’t think it was possible to modernize. My comic cookbook that I drew about my Grandma’s family recipes is still popular and I would like to do another one of those and delve into more of our family recipes, with humor of course.
7) Finally, silly question. I know you’re a huge Wolverine fan. If you had unlimited resources and were hired to throw a surprise party for Wolvie himself, what would some of the dishes be?
If could throw a Wolverine party I would make a lot of things on skewers and probably incorporate Canadian Bacon and Maple syrup to give props to his homeland. Basically whatever you ate would make you live forever, obvs.
Espionage Cosmetics launches premier
Nail-Art Line via Kickstarter
You’ve seen the Espionage Cosmetics team at every con you’ve attended in the last 3 years. You’ve played with the tiny Jayne hats that top the Browncoats collection, and you’ve squeed over the facebook pics of Bonnie Burton and Felicia Day with the shadows as you sign up for giveaways hosted by your favorite bloggers. Here’s what’s next from your favorite purveyors of geek-chic cosmetics…
NAILED IT! On August 5, 2013, Espionage Cosmetics—the makers of hugely popular mineral make-up by and for nerds—launched a 30-day Kickstarter campaign (www.EspionageCosmetics.com/Kickstarter) for their latest product line, “NAILED IT!,” the world’s first nail-art line designed exclusively for nerds and lovers of all things glitter. 8 nerd-inspired designs are printed on high-quality, self-adhesive nail wraps that can be filed to a custom fit, with the potential to unlock up to 24 nerd-tastic designs. According to Espionage Cosmetics representatives, NAILED IT! is designed for “those of us who don’t have the time or talent to make our nails look like a Pinterest board.”
NAILED IT! is designed with you and your crazy eclectic, nerdy interests in mind. How about these gems: Cthulhu-inspired glitter tentacle wraps; turtle nails with glitter masks and googly eyes (googly eyes!); zombie nails dripping with glitter blood… and that’s just the first level of products available for pre-order on the Kickstarter.
Not just another Kickstarter. Espionage representatives say, “We know everyone is so tired of hearing about Kickstarter. That’s why we’re using this like a pre-order. Instead of rewards, you get the actual product, and help to fund the line for other customers.” Espionage Cosmetics is aiming for a goal of $20,000 in pre-orders with an “unlock achievement” feature, where sales past the goal unlock bigger rewards for all subscribers. As soon as the first achievement is unlocked, everyone who has ordered product at or above $100 automatically gets more nail-art—for free!—in their cart.
After the Kickstarter, for those who can’t make it to Espionage Cosmetics table at a convention, your best bet is to head over to ThinkGeek.com… they’ll be carrying the entire line in fall 2013.
The NAILED IT! Kickstarter includes products and rewards at every price point, from $15 to $10,000 and several points in-between. What does that get you? Some examples: $15 for a single nail-art set; $200 for a grab bag of Espionage Cosmetics products valued at $300; at $10,000 you can “Get Espionage’d.” At that level, you’re invited into Espionage Cosmetics design studios where the creative team (whose work has been published in Rolling Stone and other big-name publications) will design and shoot a photo concept for you, including professional wardrobe, hair, make-up, and graphic design. “This offer is ideal for people who are rebranding an existing product, getting started with a new business, or for anyone who just wants to live out an ultimate cosplay or fantasy photo-shoot experience.
Nerd-inspired designs, you say? Other NAILED IT! designs to look forward to include: Cats (“the Internet on your nails,” in high-quality photo format), chain mail, circuit boards, and full sets of glitter nails in versatile colors specifically designed for cosplayers (Black Widow? Wonder Woman? Covered). Espionage reps say they’re especially excited about the Nebula Nails set: wraps bursting with neon cloud
swirls and black holes. “You can find galaxy designs all over Pinterest and the Internet, but none of them are real, existing nebulas. We’re nerds and we like accuracy, so we scoured the night sky for the prettiest, coolest nebulas.”
Espionage Cosmetics: All girl, all nerd, all amazing. Espionage Cosmetics is a small, woman-owned business based in Tacoma, Washington, creating make-up for nerds, by nerds. “We’re a niche make-up company,” say Espionage representatives. “We have other things going on besides the perfect eyeliner. You’ll see us where we hang out, where our customers hang out. We’re at comic book stores and conventions.” …with the perfect glitter eyeliner, of course. Like you have to ask.
Founded in 2011, the company has seen enormous growth in their niche nerd market. In the last year alone, Espionage Cosmetics has expanded from a living-room operation to a Tacoma-based studio space with 3 fulltime women employees. Bi-monthly product launches and fully produced ad campaigns pour out of the studio manned by a full-time wardrobe master/cosplay expert, an interns and conventions coordinator, and the CEO/artistic director/marketing coordinator (her business card says Glitter Jedi).
NAILED IT! nail art is the latest Espionage Cosmetics product line, joining the newly released lip-gloss lines and the Espionage staple, “Everything Shadow,” a large range of mineral make-up colors that can all be used for 17 different cosmetic uses and counting. Everything Shadow has been featured on the Geeky Hostess, Fashionably Geek, and by popular youtube stars. Espionage also continues to draw clientele from high-profile Nerd Celebrities, including Bonnie Burton, Felicia Day, Chloe Dykstra from Heroes of Cosplay on Sci-Fi
network, and Ashly Burch (the voice of Tiny Tina on Borderlands 2).
Last words? Kickstarter pre-orders will be delivered in December 2013.
In my many journeys through the internet, I stumbled across something awesome, and thought it deserved to be shared. Catherine Gretschel with Aisha Voya Creations makes these intricately glittered geeky shoes by hand.
Not only are they very expertly done, but she has such a fun geeky collection. Take a look:
All of those pics lead to the actual shoes, and it looks like she has a ton of sizing options. Take a look at her shop for other fun geekness: http://www.etsy.com/shop/aishavoya
Writing by: Ian Thomas
Art by: Adam Bolton
This is the story of a little boy who has lost his pet and sets out on a journey to find it. He’s searching for his Shoggoth; what exactly that is remains a mystery until the end. This is a children’s book but with a definite horror theme, filled with gloriously detailed monsters and ghouls. As the boy travels through all sorts of spooky terrains and encounters all sorts of creatures he’s disappointed when each one is not exactly his Shoggoth.
The art of Where’s My Shoggoth is just plain gorgeous. Super detail, gothic coloring, so much careful attention to the particular textures and weight in each individual environment. Although the creatures are satisfyingly scary for an adult to enjoy, the boy’s easy bravery and casual attitude towards them keeps the story from ever being too terrifying for a child. The kid never shows a bit of fear when faced with a new beast, which keeps the story light-hearted. It’s a very crafty, well done approach to children’s material with in the horror genre.
Where’s My Shoggoth is a brilliant mix of Dr. Seuss style rhyme and rhythm, classic ‘searching for my mommy/pet/friend’ story line and H.P. Lovecraft demons. There are some extra great goodies included here too, like a Chutes & Ladders type board game. In all aspects, this is a fantastic book for the kids who enjoy a little scare and of course just in time for Halloween!
Where’s My Shoggoth is available now from Archaia.
Never be boring.
Always feel beautiful.
Anything could happen.
Every little girl, at some point in their life, has probably imagined what their wedding would be like. As a nerd, you probably want to be a little more creative when the special day finally arrives. That’s where Little Petal is here to help you. Based in Brooklyn, Little Petal makes custom alternative style wedding dresses that reference comic books, science fiction, and horror themes. Since their target audience is largely nerds, it makes perfect sense that the little company that could would like to go to NYCC to show off their fashions. They currently have a Kickstarter running that, as of the time this posts, will have already reached their goal of $5,000. That’s great, but they could still use help. That’s where you, our lovely readers, come in. Extra funds will help them with advertising and labor costs. The Kickstarter also has way more information telling you what they’re all about, what goes into making one of their dresses, etc. You can also check them out on Facebook, if you so desire. And don’t forget to go visit them at NYCC this year!
Yeah, I’m a little late to the Big Bang party, I know. Once a show gets that much hype, especially within a particular social circle, I tend to write it off quickly. ~I couldn’t possibly like something that so many other people like!~ After seeing Jim Parsons appear on a few talk shows and finding him intriguing and charming, I finally decided to give the show a shot.
I gave it 4 episodes then declared it a waste of my time and informed my husband that we would no longer be watching the show. Specifically I said “I’m done, let’s stop watching now’. As we are prone to do, we immediately launched into a critique of the show, bouncing pros and cons off each other as if an audience of anxious viewers were waiting to hear our opinions. Recently, it’s been fun to acknowledge how we digest some of our favorite shows differently, often due to our gender biased viewpoints. Shows like Mad Men, Modern Family, Game of Thrones and Boardwalk Empire are a few that we sometimes have differing interpretations of, all of which rely heavily on relationships and events that put a spotlight on the gender specific ideals of that time period, family or social environment.
When it came to digesting The Big Bang Theory, there was no difference in our opinions. The show is based heavily on some old and tired ‘geek culture’ stereotypes and lacks enough of funny scientist Sheldon to mask how offensive it is. Even leaning on the use of a chunk of the cast of the highly popular Roseanne isn’t enough to carry the comedic weight of a distasteful main artery clogged with bumbling, socially inept, sexually terrified geeks. Yes, the deep cut science, video game and pop culture references are fun and well represented, I admit. The relationships and depth of the characters, however, are not.
How sad is it that after so many years of well written, successful, charming and attractive geeky tv characters we find ourselves back to this? The group of friends who congregate in Sheldon and Leonard’s meticulously organized apartment while away their days playing an MMOG, debating scientific theory and the practical uses of it and proudly announcing their career achievements, yet this same group seem to lose half their brain power when faced with the air-headed, blonde waitress who lives across the hall.
Penny doesn’t seem to understand much of what her neighbors say to her, in 4 episodes I never heard the girl mention any career motivation beyond working at Cheesecake Factory and she often asks for favors from the guys but never volunteers to help out in return. Leonard grovels at her feet, doing everything he can to impress her while she casually ignores his crush and unabashedly explains how spending the weekend with some equally attractive and dim witted guy wasn’t that much fun. Meanwhile, we are introduced to smart, frumpy little Leslie who tries in her nerdy way to flirt with Leonard, but just isn’t attractive enough to catch his eye.
It’s an old stereotype of ‘smart girl must dress badly, not be too attractive and struggle to catch the eye of the man she wants, regardless of how much of a dick he is to her’ and ‘super pretty girl must be ditzy, shallow and not notice the nerdy guy who does everything in his power to impress her’. To be completely honest, I’m not so much angry at this cheap shot, but disappointed. I really wanted to like Big Bang Theory but for a show stuffed full of smart characters, with an opening intro that cutely sings the big bang theory, I expected so much more of a smartly written core. I can’t stomach a show based on an insultingly outdated stereotype that I’ve so often found myself having to argue against. Exhibit A: my friend Elliott’s celebration of some accomplished, smart ladies (Top 11 Geek Girls of 2011), which was hotly debated over when a female reader declared that she ‘can’t take any of these woman seriously’. The reader went on to explain that her feelings were based on the ladies being too overtly sexy or attractive in their profiles.
I’m also a hairstylist and I’ve encountered numerous intelligent, accomplished women through the years with the feeling that if they try too hard to be sexy or pretty, folks won’t take them seriously. They will lose the credibility they’ve earned simply by wanting to be attractive. This belief is gross, ugly and completely a by product of stereotypes like the one represented in Big Bang. The sooner we stop supporting this idiotic idea that smarts and good looks somehow work against other, the sooner the geeks of the world can stop feeling guilty or ashamed of being sexy. Wouldn’t it be great to win the love interest you yearn for based on both of those blessings? If you read through the Geek Girls article, you’ll see that pretty geek girls really do exist, so why the hell shouldn’t they in tv and film?
Thanks for listening and feel free to offer your own opinions.
*The opinions expressed here are not representative of Nerds in Babeland, but only of the writer herself*
Have you been following the chronicles of our BFF here at Nerds in Babeland, BugEyes? If not, why not? Everything I write is golden, and also you should miss the ’90s. It was the greatest decade ever. People are always like, “If you could go back to any time, where would you go?” I would do the ’90s all over again. But, I digress.
If you wanted some closure but didn’t feel like you got it before, check out this YouTube clip, where we see him in action behind good old Agent K, whom you should remember from the ’90s. If not, you were probably neuralized, so consult your VHS collection immediately.
We only get a glimpse of BugEyes, but he’s clearly up to something. Here is a list of possible things he could be doing:
- Saving the world. Likeliness: Unlikely. He’s 14. I have a sister who is 12 and she can’t figure out how to use the microwave.
- Walking casually back and forth trying to get Agent K’s attention. Likeliness: Probable. This is what I do whenever I want someone who’s way cooler than me to notice me at work. I just come up with excuses to walk back and forth until they see me and speak to me. Okay, so I’ve been in actual awe of my employers before. BIG DEAL.
- Being sent on an errand. Likeliness: Highly likely. If a 14-year-old kid works for you, even if he has great promise, and you work at an organization focused on keeping terrestrial citizens and extraterrestrials safe, you probably make him lick a lot of envelopes and go out and buy a lot of coffee.
- Snooping. Likeliness: I bet he has tried, then realized there’s no point, so unlikely. He’s like one of those women who went to college in the ’50s to find a husband. He may have been ruthlessly devoted to the truth before, but now he’s like, “I no longer need this. I have gotten what I wanted. You guys find your own truth!” I can’t blame him. It’s rough trying to get a job you like in this economy. You wouldn’t want to ruin it like that.
- Trying to walk off all the weight he gained eating so much surprise cake. Likeliness: He’s a 14-year-old boy. That jerk can probably eat whatever he wants without experiencing weight gain.
So what do you guys think? Will you miss BugEyes? You’ll probably see him again sometime. Wear sunglasses.