Amanda Hocking

Dude Geek vs. Lady Geek

March 9th, 2011 by
This post currently has 84 comments

I am a fangirl. Mostly of cult classics, 80s films, superheroes, obscure actors, one-hit-wonders, and bands popular in Australia. But I’m a fangirl about pretty much anything that catches my fancy.

Here’s a struggle I’ve had my whole life, and maybe it is just a “me” thing, but I feel like it’s something I’m seeing in the real world. All the stereotypical “dude” geeky things I like are socially acceptable, and all the stereotypical “lady” geeky things I like are frowned upon.

Even as a kid, I was treated cooler when I brought my Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles to school for show and tell than when I brought my Barbie.

And stuff I classify as “dude” doesn’t mean that ladies can’t or don’t like it. It’s just the sci-fi/fantasy stuff that seems to be more populated by male geeks than lady geeks.

You may ask yourself, what is lady geek stuff? Well, I didn’t even realize that’s what it was until a blogpost I read from Shane Nickerson eons ago in which he talked about going to see a movie the same night that Sex and the City 2 opened. The ladies at the movie were all dressed up as their favorite characters and drinking the drinks from the movie, and Shane Nickerson was somewhat annoyed and put off by it until he realized that they were no different than the Star Wars fans who dressed up as Boba Fett to see to see that movie or as people who dressed up as Dr. Frankenfurter to see Rocky Horror Picture Show.

It was at the moment when he realized that the Sex and the City fans were geeking out in the same fashion that he geeked out about Star Wars, which gave me the same epiphany. They were just lady geeks.

But what I don’t understand – and I may be wrong – is that lady geeks are not looked at as the same way dude geeks are. Joss Whedon geeks are not treated the same way as Twilight geeks. (I’m sure there are crossover fans, but for the sake of this discussion, it’s easier if it’s more black and white.)

The argument for this is going to be it’s the quality of the work. Firefly is a better quality of work than Twilight. To which I say – as a fan of both – that’s that is debatable. And any geek can argue that the thing they’re geekiest about is of a higher quality than the thing you’re geekiest about (such as me arguing with Eric about Batman villians.)

I think if were to get a room of geeks together and have them make a food chain of what geeks would be on top and what would be on the bottom, there would be much arguing, but there would be almost a unanimous vote to put Twihards and Sex and the City fans on the bottom.

Why is this? Why is it so much more respectable to geek out over spaceships and a made up religion than vampires with undertones of a real religion? Is it because of the romance? Is romance inherently uncool?

Is that really it? Because The Lost Boys is cool, and that’s a different modern take on vampires. But I think that’s still a respectable thing to geek out about, even though there is some romance and two Corey’s. But the romance isn’t the main plot.

Is that what separates respect?

I’d really like to see people’s thoughts on this, but please don’t say stuff like “Because Twilight sucks” because that’s not the point. Lots of people could argue Star Wars sucks, and then it would just became a debate about what’s good and what’s not good, and that’s not what I’m talking about.

I am asking why is it cool and respectable to geek out over sci fi and JJ Abrams, but it’s not cool to geek out over romance and Stephanie Meyer.

Or maybe it’s all in my head, and it’s not cool to geek out over anything.

Leave a Reply

  • Anonymous says:

    Maybe that’s because you don’t think it’s cool or you haven’t found someone who thinks the way you do. The world is big. Even though majority don’t think twilight is cool, you can be the minority who thinks it’s cool. Why would you want others to agree? After all, we are living our own lives! 🙂 Embrace yourself for who you are! Do whatever you feel right!

  • Competition says:

    I also like evergreen stars.they are pretty good on the screen.

  • I am also a big fan of the Old legends. Who were awesome people….

  • Affie says:

    I didn’t realize that Sex and the City had the Geek factor… Then again, i never was a fan. I tend to geek out on science fiction and have never met a single girl who parallels my interests… yet. (come to think of it, none of the guys in my circle actually reads, so no guys either) But I haven’t restricted my interests to like only science fiction… I do like star wars but I don’t worship it, I also like Gossip Girl… Though I love vampires, I don’t try to BE one like the Twihards… (no offence to anyone)

    I’d like to give my opinion on star wars; not bad. Nice aliens.

    My opinion on twilight; ‘Oh, why did I read these books?’ But i saw the positive side when it inspired me to write this,
    http://behindtheoperamask.blogspot.com/2011/02/letter-to-stephanie-meyer-from-vampire.html

    What I think of sex and the city: nothing really. I never watched it. But the shoes are great.

  • cme says:

    Been away and missed this awesome discussion, but here are my thoughts: SATC and twilight geeks/fans are from all walks of life, but the characters are fairly mainstream “cool”. This makes it seem like the fans are just wannabe cools/ try hards (thus the aptness of twihards). Yes I know that Han Solo is super cool but he is also a badass – he is the romantic hero of the story and most likely the least geeky character to dress up as. In identifying with a character we identifying some part of ourselves. To put yourself out there dressed up as some kind of “cool” sets you up for ridicule, especially if you clearly don’t fit that role in your day life.
    You’re ace Amanda.

  • Tami says:

    I’m like way late on this but I hope you get to read it anyway.

    I’m not really sure if you were trying to say that things girls geek out about and things that boys geek out about are different but that’s how I took it. So instead I want to mention Harry Potter. I’m a MAJOR Harry geek but I think the thing about the series is that boy or girl you could geek out. Personally I find the the reason the two modern geekdoms of Harry Potter and Twilight (I don’t think Star Wars is an unfair comparison because Star Wars has the advantage of age. things tend to be cooler when they’re cool for a long time). I think issues that harry Potter fans have with Twilight (neglecting the crossover like you mentioned before) is related to time again. Harry Potter was a building process its fans have been dedicated for years where as Twilight was much quicker, there was not as much time between the books and movies as was with Harry Potter. I think it has more to do with age and dedication through time than dudes vs ladies.

  • Rowan says:

    People are opinionated about shit. People also remember the times where they were hurt or something bad happened longer than times that made them happy or feel good because they’re traumatic.

    Also, let it be known that I am not a fan of “geek” or “nerd,” as these terms seem to inadvertently promote some sort of mainstream/stereotypical ideal that suppresses individuality and makes people simply boring. The terms make me think about the type of person in high school who got all flustered and called people geeks or nerds, and this makes me think of a man in his 40s in a tie working an office job and spending all his spare time at a bar gawking at girls.

    Regardless, it honestly sounds as if you are fixating on the opinions of those who are on the male end of your proposed geekiness spectrum. Those who enjoy sci fi/fantasy whatever a lot aren’t going to tend to be impressed with stuff like Twilight or Sex and the City. I’m also pretty opinionated about this, but to be fair I will give you the benefit of the doubt when talking quality. I do believe it is completely fair to note though–and as a disclaimer, I am no extensive reader of the romance genre–that it has tendency to have a plot whose purpose is to present characters than have characters whose purpose is to further a plot. Don’t get me wrong; I love characterization and feel like a story feels empty without strong, relate-able characters, but a story is a story and the plot is what makes the story. If it’s a boring, unimpressive story that had good characters, you will still remember it as a poor story. I had a very similar reading experience to this recently, and it’s honestly reeaally disappointing. It makes you want so much more for those characters than what you’re getting.

    Anyway, just my two cents (or more, kind of long winded) on the matter.

  • Pente says:

    If a show is too serious, then it can destroy the geek factor. For instance, I love True Blood, but it just doesn’t have the geek factor like Buffy does. True Blood just seems too serious and I am not sure what makes a show or movie geeky, but I do know that totally serious characters kill it. Look at all the Star Trek and Star Wars episodes and you will see that they just do not take themselves so seriously. There is a bit of humor in almost every episode.