I am hi-jacking Carnifex’s blog for a moment because I have something to say about a video that has been gathering hate comments because it was made by four very attractive women and, apparently, Geek Girls cannot be attractive. (This is the blog, Edgar of all trades, that inspired me to write this.)
I am a 46 year old woman and I am a computer technician, a hands on computer tech. I have been called a geek, a nerd, and unfeminine because I choose to work in a male dominated field. Every week someone comes into the store where I work and asks to talk to a man because they don’t trust a woman technician, so I know first hand about the prejudice that female geeks face in the real world.
This is my reality and I put up with it because I love my job.
I think about my life 30 years ago: I loved Star Wars, read science fiction, played Atari 2600 and was fascinated with computers. I wanted to grow up to be Han Solo, Logan (of Logan’s Run), Scotty, Starbuck, or Ford Prefect. Isaac Asimov was my hero.
The downside to all of this was I also had no female friends who were into the same stuff I was and I had no female role-models.
This did not mean I was awkward or unattractive or unpopular, I just felt like I was split in two – There was the Girly Me who had sleepovers and baked cookies and experimented with fashion and makeup and read romance novels. And there was the Nerdy Me who spent late nights playing Atari and reading Science Fiction and dreaming about the future and traveling to other planets.
I enjoyed this video (except, Han did NOT shoot first – Han shot ONLY! But I digress.) Anyway, I enjoyed this video because it made me happy to see women who appeared to be having fun doing the things I love.
I was not insulted in any way because the women in the video happen to be young and attractive. I did not think that they needed to have an overweight 46 year old woman in the video to represent my demographic and “a real geek girl”. The thought never crossed my mind. I enjoyed the video, shared it on FaceBook and downloaded the MP3 so I could put it on Carnifex’s iPhone as the ring-tone for my phone number. It never once occurred to me to feel marginalized or be insulted, it was just fun.
And when I started reading about the controversy I got upset. I specifically became upset because other women are putting Team Unicorn down.
Why are we hating on each other? Why can’t sexy women be geeks? (And anyway, who defines sexy? Carnifex thinks I am attractive, so does that mean I can’t be Geek Girl?) Shouldn’t we be celebrating the fact that there are other geek girls? That we aren’t alone anymore?