A Fangirl’s Life Isn’t Difficult. Stop Pretending Like It Is.
So, there was this thing that happened on the internet the other day: Booth babes need not apply.
The way I see it, it’s against the recent explosion of Olivia Munn wannabees (Munnabees, as I like to call them), who believe that by appealing the the geek/nerd culture, they can get a fast-pass to a little bit of the internet celebrity pie. While I don’t agree with everything in the article… yeah, I’ve seen that happen. It’s mildly annoying, and they generally get an unfollow without a second thought.
And then this came out yesterday, a friend of a friend’s response to the above article: Geek Girl On The Street Reports: Joe Peacock Needs to STFU*. Hmmm… Sorry, but I don’t really agree with this article, especially this paragraph:
It is hard to be a woman with geeky interests. To be so is to have to be stronger, better, faster than all the guys around you. To be so is to have to fight the off girl-on-girl violence of your peers. To be so is to have to constantly justify your “geek cred” to everyone. To be so is to have to justify that you are a geek, even in the face of being attractive.
No, no, no. I don’t know how your life is, and I’m sorry if you feel that way, but I rarely even think about having to justify my passions to someone else, regardless of gender. And I DO get weird looks from both genders. Obsessing over the things that I, well, obsess over tends to bring out equal reactions from both sides.
Some boys will say, “Whatever, go away girl.”
More men will say, “Awesome! Let’s talk about _____.”
Some women will have that same “Awesome!” reaction, excited that they’ve found another like-minded woman.
And still other women will want to tell me why I’m a lesbian because I like Star Wars.
There’s a wide spectrum of reactions, and it’s just what you have to deal with if you’re not a milquetoast, boring-as-paint-chips person with actual hobbies and interests. I get the same reactions whether I’m talking about Star Trek or roller derby. It’s not just limited to nerd fandom.
And I really don’t give a fuck.
Because every time someone talks about how hard it is to be a fangirl, to be taken seriously by fanboys, I think about this story which has haunted me for years.
Or this documentary, Saving Face, which I would love to watch some day.
And then I heard an NPR story this morning about acid attacks increasing in Columbia against women. There’s a quote from councilwoman Olga Rubio that says it all:
We have a machista society; we have a society that doesn’t permit equality, where there is not a mental openness to work [with women] under equal conditions.
Think about how hard it must be to not even be able to provide for your family because the subjugation of women is so ingrained in your culture. Acid attacks towards women are almost commonplace in the Middle East and India, and are now happening in some South American countries.
Sure, I might be weird for liking Star Trek and Batman, but the worst I have to deal with is an eyeroll, a snarky remark, or a some dummy harassing me on Twitter. Hearing these stories of women being scarred for life and disabled simply for wanting to learn, or wanting to live their lives freely, really puts this all into perspective.
I’m very, very fortunate to live in a society where I can play in the boys’ sandbox and 90% of them be totally cool with it. Yeah, there’s that 10% that you DON’T HAVE TO LISTEN TO, but there are a lot of awesome people who are supportive of women in the nerd community.
So, to everyone out there who thinks that we have it so rough as fangirls, I beg you to please take the time to do some research on what is happening to women all around the world. If you really cared about women’s rights, you wouldn’t worry so much about what Catwoman looks like on a comic book cover, and instead be galvanized into action by these horrific acts. We might not see them right in front of our faces, but there are women around the world who are punished just for living.
I’m not saying that our culture is perfect, and that there aren’t issues that still plague us as a society that are harmful to women, but it’s not the same. These women live in countries where laws exist that help perpetuate the violence, and perpetrators are rarely caught or punished.
Ladies, our lives aren’t so bad. Some douchebag might call us posers, or a catty girl might take a swipe via Twitter, but really, we have it easy.
And because I’ve been too serious on this blog lately, some funny: