Dear Geeks:

It’s cool you like stuff. I know I like stuff. Liking stuff is rad.

That’s what to be a geek means, right? To really, really like a thing?

I dunno. That’s always been my read on it.

Whatever the definition, I just want you to know:

All kinds of people are geeks. And geeks geek out about all kinds of geekery.

Women can be geeks. Many are. How they look or how they dress is irrelevant to their identity of being a geek. Being a geek isn’t something that comes with a card. You don’t stick a hot copper wire in a petri dish of blood to determine if a person really is one, like in The Thing. Being a geek is pretty much saying you’re one.

You don’t have geek ratings, or scores. Geekery is not contained to a percentage.

Geekery is not contained to being dude or lady.

Folks of any color, creed or religion can be geeks.

Your sexual preference has no bearing on being a geek.

Geek tribes are not real. The borders that separate our peculiar interests are imaginary. We are not given over to literal territory. Our fences are purely metaphorical and, basically, total crap-pants. You can, for instance, be a geek about cosplaying comic book characters even if you are or are not equally a geek about the comic book characters you cosplay. You can be a geek about fan-fiction or steampunk or Star Wars or fast cars or baseball cards or any fucking thing you like. I know people who like baseball stats more than they like baseball games. Who gives a shit? Like what you like.

Because that’s what it’s all about. Being a geek means just really liking stuff. With an obsessive, sticky, delightful passion. Liking stuff is a positive thing. So, keep it positive. It’s awesome that people are willing to be passionate about stuff, whether that stuff is Klingon poetry or pretending to dress up like dragons so you can sex up other people who dress up like unicorns.

Passion is not synonymous with poison.

It’s important to remember that liking stuff is cool.

Which means we should like the very act of liking stuff.

Let positivity breed positivity. Like rabbits. Or horny elves.

And we should extricate hate and prejudice from our behaviors.

Go forth, be geeky with the love of the thing in your hearts.

Don’t let anybody put you down. And don’t put anybody down in return.

Now, is somebody going to sex me up, or what? I’ve been wearing this fucking unicorn costume for like, three hours and I’m starting to sweat through the fur.

(Reference: Comic Book Illustrator Tony Harris Hates On Cosplayer Ladies.)

34 comments

  • I took time from my knitting and ukulele practice to comment. Well said. I’d live to sex you up more about this, but my toy-soldier-lovin’ sweeter half might look up and notice. Well said.

  • Well said!

    The notion that appearances define geekitude has to be the most absurd thing I’ve heard until your line about dragons and unicorns in this article. Sentiment fully seconded.

  • Women can very definitely be geeks! I think my fiancee might be more of a geek than I am, and I’m a pretty significantly broad-spectrum science-and-gaming geek. It’s a definite part of why I am so thoroughly in love with her. :D

    • As a sidenote, if there is one thing that it’s impossible to be a geek about, it’s hating on other folks. It’s fairly antithetical to the entire notion of being a geek.

      Hate is geekery’s kryptonite.

      – c.

  • Besdies, without girl geeks (like me) who’s going to halp raise the next generation of geeks? I have a son and daughter, and I am proud to say I raised both to be geeks!

  • Well said. I’ve been writing for NaNoWriMo so I may have missed something, but when the news mentioned Supreme Allied Commander, I immediately thought Star Wars. As you were. Play nice.

  • I read the offending rant in comment, and I get what the guy meant. I’m saying it was right or good, but I think I understand where he”s coming from.

    He made a stereotypical and most likely very inaccurate generalization that most girls think geeks, and I mean the take-themselves-too-seriously geeks, are pathetic and thus, he’s saying that these girls who go and cosplay their fandoms without taking themselves so seriously as the other geeks, who take themselves too seriously, are the real pathetic.

    It’s a defense to an imaginary insult he thinks has been committed against him and other geeks by pretty girls.

    Which completely blew up in his face.

    I feel bad for him and all those who hate on others….cause really, they feel resentment and are miserable and seem to want to spread the misery around.

    Indeed, there is no room for hate when it comes to geekery.

    Why hate when loving something passionately is so much more fun?

  • “Geekl is just the word we use today for “fan”. Period. Just like the language has evolved past using the word “oaf”, replacing it with “douchebag”.

    There are no more hockey fans, there are hockey geeks. There are no more cheerleading fans. There are cheerleading geeks.

    Why is this so hard for people to grasp and accept?

  • “We must extricate hate from our behaviors.” Here, here! I been lurkin’ but you’ve brought me from the shadows again. Here’s what I get stuck on: If we let that which we like define us, we tend to become more likeable. (Unless that which you like infringes on others) If we let our hate define us, we tend to become more hateful.

    Go forth and geek.

    K

  • You know, I don’t often disagree with you, Mr. Wendig, sir. But, I think I prefer to think of geekery as hate’s kryptonite (if I’ve got it correct, and kryptonite is that which weakens the other thing and/or defeats it utterly).

  • Thanks for saying this. It’s sad that it needed to be said, but you said it really well.

    Geekery is beautiful in all its forms – except when it doubts the validity of other forms of geekery.

    Also, I would be really glad if ThinkGeek offered their full range of T-shirt designs in women’s fit T-shirts (aka “baby doll” – so much wrongitude in that name).

  • I saw a few people railing against the sexism in geek society, and i had no idea what was up. You were the first to actually link the article. Thanks Chuck. And your absolutely right.

    I remember being at gencon and seeing a woman in full dark blue body paint and actual Armor for her drow costume. Yes she was pretty, but holy shit that is some dedication. I think it’s the major point he misses, the dedication it takes to make some of these costumes. Even dude dressed as Emma frost (shudder) deserves respect for the dedication he showed to something he wants to do.

    Buzz feed says he’s biting the hand that feeds, but it is worse then that. He is delivering a blow to psyche to long time female comic fans and newer female comic fans. He is seeding doubt in the minds of men who just met a pretty cool comic lady, who has been looking for other nerds to hang out with. Because he is afraid of women. This is not just about cos players, it is about women.

    Let’s be honest, and talk about what he is really afraid of. Female fans mean a better chance for female creators. He kept citing a needs lack of confidence with women. Generally those people aren’t confident about anything. Bottom line is he’s afraid a lady might take his job. I would be afraid too if I was competing again Reina Telgemeir (I always spell her name wrong)

    Note: I don’t know his work. I’m not calling it shit. But if he doesn’t have confidence. , then it won’t matter.

  • Us Wendig fans call ourselves the righteous. We pull out your beard hairs when you’re not looking and make them into hallucinogenic love potions. We slip them into unguarded drinks.

    …Or not that. That’s probably illegal or something, if not mildly socially unacceptable.

    Great post.

  • My housemate and I are of the same opinion, but have enjoyed bandying around the word “gamp” to describe geeks of a more effervescent nature.

    The derivation is simple: geek + camp = gamp.

    In the same way that homosexual (and heterosexual) men and women can choose to embrace cultural signs and mannerisms that mark them out as camp (or not, it is a choice), so to do geeks range across the scale from the quiet appreciator of geek culture to the full on cosplayers and standard bearers of the colourful geek flag.

    As a term, it’s one we enjoy using when you are bowled over by period dress, watching Optimus shoot the shit with Nightwing or just seeing two grown men drive each other into ecstatic transports with obscure references to niche anime.

    There’s always fun to be had when all the geeks let go of their daily grind and let their gamp sides out!

  • Beautiful. I especially loved this part: “You can, for instance, be a geek about cosplaying comic book characters even if you are or are not equally a geek about the comic book characters you cosplay. You can be a geek about fan-fiction or steampunk or Star Wars or fast cars or baseball cards or any fucking thing you like. I know people who like baseball stats more than they like baseball games.”

    Seriously, cosplaying is a fandom unto itself. I don’t understand the mental gymnastics that go into assuming that someone who put that much time and effort into recreating a costume is just doing it for the attention.

  • I knew an education geek. He was smart, so he felt the world owed him support and endless educational opportunities because he might, just might, come up with something novel one day.

    He’d burned through two wives and several girlfriends, and was reduced to following his daughter (late teens) from place to place. She kept moving and not telling him.

    And he was so goddamn mad, always mad. He looked like Grover Norquist, a no-tax geek, who never smiles either.

    It’s just the personality.

  • Chuck, loved your commentary on the current Intertubes shit-storm. But regarding the link you referenced at the bottom of your post? Seriously, who has the time to put together drivel like that?

    Seriously.

    As for Tony Harris, the dude has made it a point in his career to NOT objectify/exploit/degrade women–maybe folks should take one hastily-written, knee-jerk rant on a personal Facebook post in the context of a body of work that spans over twenty years, instead of using it to pimp their own vitriol.

    Just my $0.02. Your local currency exchange rate may vary.

  • I’ve been full of geekery for as long as I can remember. Huzzah! However, people draw do draw invisible lines down as though someone’s geekiness is not as good or authentic as someone else’s. It’s silly, and a perfect waste of time.

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