Mar. 28th, 2012

x_los: (Xena Could Be More Sconic)
ON THE “FAKE” GEEK GIRL at the Mary Sue

Bit divided on this one because I do think people claim a bs geek cred. God, every time something like the Star Trek movie comes out my mother is a newly-minted FOREVAGEEK!! She was there at the beginning, she OWNS IT TOO YOU KNOW!!, which will never be and has never been true, and which she'll forget in a week. For reference, the only thing my mother did in hs was not the school's Star Trek club, it was pep squad. This is cool, she yearns to be cool, she is annoyed that I am/the world is into something and cannot BEAR not to be in the club. And it is about attention/a sort of hipster glomming-on.

But that's bi-gender? Toby Hadoke mentions something similar with the male people who suddenly HAD ALWAYS YEARNED FOR WHO TO COME BACK OMG!! when New Who was announced.

And like, yes, sometimes: rec the 'Scott Pilgrim I LOVE COMICS!!' kids new things, whoo, and also recognize that not everyone who 'claims' to be a geek is obliged to love everything you do as you love it. Fuck your Cylon references, I haven't watched that show and don't get them beyond what internet osmosis gives me, sorry? But it'd be pretty lolarious if that was enough to 'ungeek' me, given that I'm um, me. But also, let's admit sans-gender that the Pretentious Clueless Young People ARE just annoying (we were annoying if/when we were them), and sometimes doesn't want to Be Edumacated, and sometimes you don't want the pretentious burden of Edumacating them. God, that 'music geek' grandson of one of my granddad's friends who thought Danny Boy was "originally a U2 song". At university age. So embarrassed for you.

And I think this is sort of what the writer intends: that we look at the annoyances and characters of people who do this without gender. The cited "acceptance of geek culture into the mainstream" does make for the dynamic that one of the writers she criticizes mentions: "Girls who genuinely like their hobby or interest and document what they are doing to help others, not garner attention, are true geeks. The ones who think about how to get attention and then work on a project in order to maximize their klout, are exhibitionists." This article's writer responds by saying "And I wish, I really wish, that we as a society were capable of honestly evaluating this sort of thing when it comes to women expressing themselves, and expressing themselves in the internet and other male-dominated arenas. But we’re not."

Foreclosing those judgments because we're somehow unready to make them is impossible and not very desirable. I hear what she's saying, re: 'do we know how to read women honestly?', but how will we develop those skills without responsibly practicing them? I don't like being denied the agency to make these judgments? I mean maybe women DO do this sometimes AS a gendered thing, because they're very conditioned to seek acceptance and attention. But that's symptomatic of patriarchal conditioning/expressing oneself in that context, where your personality is always performative, not a damning indication of the limited potentialities of women.

Also, when the writer speaks of her 'geek culture', it seems very mixed or male-dominated, and thus prone to these fronts and necessitating these judgments, or more heavily involved with chauvinism generally. My almost entirely female geek culture gives me some young poseurs, but not enough that I think of them as a group (well, other than 'Tumblrinas'), and not in the same way? Pretty much boyfandom is a weird shitty dystopian AU we're lucky to be out of. Not ENTIRELY free from, b/c The Masculine always already interpolates our subjectivity even in female-dominated spaces, but you know what I mean.

Also when Florence of 'and the Machine' says she likes that Doctor Who/is a TOTAL GEEK about it because she watched like three episodes of the new series on their airing weeks as it came out and like, kind of cares about what happens: that is fucking annoying. You are just: a normal watcher of television. 'Geek' my ass.

Also, when resistance to people claiming to be competent where they're not/to speak as public figures for discourses they don't participate in is reduced to OMG U R STILL ANGRY SOMEONE PRETTY WAS MEAN TO U IN HS, WHYYYY!! ...what? They weren't, thanks? So, I'm not? I just dislike hypocrisy/fronting? In a slightly less geek setting: if someone claimed in like, a lit class or something to LOOOOVE LITERATURE because they'd read the entirety of that Dan Brown/Stephanie Meyers one, I'd be a bit *equally eyeroll* as the 'Scott Pilgrim comics fan, eh?' people were.

I feel like my ability to comment on normal shit like the ability and character of people I interact with, in life and as public figures, is being undermined by this argument, and that if these other women have prerogatives, then among them is the prerogative to be evaluated honestly for what they say and who they are. I have the prerogative as a female subculture participant to make these judgments for myself, and to verbalize them. The problem then is not criticism, but bad, dishonest criticism.

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