It’s amazing how much time I spend online but I still seem to miss all the memes. I literally had never heard of the whole “fake geek girls” thing before a few weeks ago. I still remember my friend explaining this utter nonsense to me and I just didn’t get it. I guess I’ve been spoiled. I have an amazing group of friends who geek out at lots of the same stuff that I do. I can’t believe that I have to write this but yes there are women among them. I’m talking writers, programmers, artists and one girl who is still recovering from the apparent stroke she sustained while arguing about Batman (love you Blair). With this in mind, the idea of women “pretending” to be into geek culture to get attention doesn’t make sense to me. What the hell kind of plan is that anyway? So I just sort of took it in stride. Just another in a long line of internet memes lingering on the spectrum between bizarre and idiotic. But after I started reading articles with women calling themselves fake geeks or worrying that they might be, I knew this had to be stopped.
I could spend paragraph after paragraph describing my geeky pursuits. But who wants to hear an ad nauseam list about sci-fi, roleplaying, comic books and how much time and money I spent on each. The easiest way to do this is to say: I have in my possession The fabled Infinity Gauntlet (the location of which shall remain secret). I say this not just to prove my bonafides but also to highlight that it’s not something that guys typically have to do. All I have to do is show up at a convention or comic bookstore and I’m in like Flynn. Whether I’m wearing something geeky or not. So long as you’re a guy, that’s the way it works. But somehow, having two x chromosomes means having to jump through hoops to prove you REALLY belong. That is the geeky law as determined Joe Peacock. It begins:
There is a growing chorus of frustration in the geek community with – and there’s no other way to put this – pretty girls pretending to be geeks for attention.
First of all Joe, congratulations of becoming the Pope of all geekdom, with the absolute power to determine the true and faithful followers in your flock. At first I was upset, because who the hell are you to be asserting what it does or doesn’t mean to be a geek? But now that I realize that you must be the Pope, so my bad. Secondly, and most importantly, this fool and other fools like him do not speak for me. So let me get this straight: pretty girls are trying to be geeks for attention? Seems to me pretty girls get plenty of attention without pretending to be anything. Cause you know…they’re pretty. God, I’m so tired of pretty girls complaining about the extreme lack of attention paid to them. It’s so annoying! …oh wait, that’s not actually a thing. Honestly, if there’s a chorus of frustration within the geek community about pretty girls being in attendance, that church needs to be shut down. Immediately. As usual with assholery of this caliber, the ass in question was just getting warmed up.
What I’m talking about is the girls who have no interest or history in gaming taking nearly naked photos of themselves with game controllers draped all over their body just to play at being a “model.” I get sick of wannabes who couldn’t make it as car show eye candy slapping on a Batman shirt and strutting around comic book conventions instead.
I’m talking about an attention addict trying to satisfy her ego and feel pretty by infiltrating a community to seek the attention of guys she wouldn’t give the time of day on the street.
Oh I see. One must take an interest in or have a history of gaming to receive Pope Joe’s approval. But what does history and interest even mean? Oh right, you’re Pope Joe, so it’s whatever you say it means. Violations of the Pope’s edicts will result in swift excommunication. Pope Joe is “sick of wannabes.” Well, I’m sick of assholes like this supposedly speaking for my community with this sexist dreck. Let’s be kind to the Pope and not assume the absolute worst. There’s a flock of attractive women who want to dress up like superheroes and hang out at conventions. OH NOES!! Will the geeky boys ever recover from such a plot? Yes, yes I’m sure the “infiltration” has been quite nefarious. If the worst thing to happen to a geek boy is that a particularly attractive girl won’t have sex with him, how is that different from most days for most men, geeky or not? Unless these girls are stealing his identity and bank account information, I don’t see what the big deal is. Then again, maybe just maybe, these girls are serial killers. Why else would anyone go through all that trouble?
Hilarious parodies aside, “seeking the attention of guys she wouldn’t give the time of day”? That’s the most telling part of his article. This whole screed reads like a frustrated geek having his fe-fees hurt because girls don’t like him. Shockingly, it seems that Pope Joe’s complete lack of game and abject disrespect for women has translated into exactly zero attention from the opposite sex. Dude, I’m sorry the girls at the Cons don’t like you but… actually, I’m totally fine with it. Just because they’re in your presence doesn’t mean they owe you anything. Speaking of rage, Pope Joe continues:
I call these girls “6 of 9”. They have a superpower: In the real world, they’re beauty-obsessed, frustrated wannabe models who can’t get work.
They decide to put on a “hot” costume, parade around a group of boys notorious for being outcasts that don’t get attention from girls, and feel like a celebrity. They’re a “6” in the “real world”, but when they put on a Batman shirt and head to the local fandom convention du jour, they instantly become a “9”.
They’re poachers. They’re a pox on our culture. As a guy, I find it repugnant that, due to my interests in comic books, sci-fi, fantasy and role-playing games, video games and toys, I am supposed to feel honored that a pretty girl is in my presence. It’s insulting.
It’s difficult to wade through all of the stupid and wrong above. So let me see if I understand his “argument.” The evil out-of-work models have hatched a plan to descend on conventions because they don’t get enough attention in their normal lives. So their end-game is making Pope Joe and the others he claims to represent feel honored by their mere presence and soak up all that attention.
Let no one ever think this dude isn’t a geek. That is some tortured super-villain logic right there. It’s absolutely all about him. Throw in the Illuminati and we’d have ourselves a real conspiracy. Sure, there are much better ways for girls (even the ones Pope Joe only finds moderately attractive) to get attention. And the entire plot, as it were, is predicated on girls being mean to him specifically. But whatever, he’s figured out your evil schemes ladies. Pope Joe will not be insulted.
I’m somewhat amused/terrified by the growth of geek culture. On the one hand, there’s so much more of it out there for me to enjoy. But the penalty for the Avengers being one of the highest grossing movies of all time is the Pope Joe phenomenon: we’ve reached the point where people have appointed themselves curators of the culture itself. And they don’t like newbies, or women.
To them I say: FUCK. OFF. Outside of the circus, the definition of “geek” has always been a little amorphous. Clearly, it’s also a much larger concept than the simple mind of Pope Joe can handle, no matter how extensive his Akira art collection. And even if it weren’t, he doesn’t get to decide. Nor does Tara Tiger Brown of Dear Fake Geek Girls: Please Go Away fame. This is just some weirdly gender-biased updated version of what happens to all sub-cultures: these are the latest annoying people at a party lecturing everyone about how you’re really not fans of that one particular band/artist/whatever that they like. Because you people just like their recent, popular hits. The Pope went to their concerts before anyone knew who they were. In any dick measuring contest, the rules are pretty much the same: if you have to brag about geekery to the extent that you’re lording it over everyone, it’s probably not that big.
If anyone has read the Brief and Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao — and if you’re reading this blog, it may be fair to assume that you have — I was the skinny version of that kid growing up. Part of being a geek, at least my version of it, meant a certain level of ostracization. So as a person who’s taken his share of shit for the things I enjoyed from the non-geek community, I have a sort of magnanimous view of geekery. Come one, come all. The point, as I understand it, is not to make people feel as excluded as you may have been, but to be welcoming. It’s called empathy, Joe. You should try it sometime.
There is no One True Path toward geekhood. That means my best friend, who neither grew up obsessed with the Uncanny X-Men nor ever watched an episode of Highlander before I rectified that stunning oversight, still gets to be called a geek. Besides, she’s a role-player and blogger. Everyone knows RP’ers and bloggers get moved to the head of the line. Of course if you think all the pretty Con-girls are out to get you, your mileage may vary.
Speaking of my best friend, here’s her take on the proceedings. In case folks at home are getting tired of men talking about what constitutes being a geek. She’s pretty spikey though. I may have just released the Kraken.
Ladies, let me pull out my own authoritarian male card here and say this: under no circumstances are you to listen to these fools. Just because your geekiness isn’t a carbon copy of this dude’s (or anyone’s really) doesn’t mean you can’t unfurl your geek flag. If they can’t grok it, they’re the ones who deserve to feel uncomfortable, not you. Fellas, I’ve found the pox on our culture. Thy name is Joe Peacock, and all of his kind.