Thu
Jul 25 2013 9:30am

If You Think Fake Geek Girls Are a Thing, The Doubleclicks (and John Scalzi) Would Like to Have a Word With You

John Scalzi Fake Geek Girls The Doubleclicks song

(You tell ’em, Scalzi!)

Can we please put a stake through the heart of the fake-geek-girl meme now? Or, if not, can we allow this amazing video to do it for us? The Doubleclicks, a pair of sisters “who sing about Dungeons & Dragons, dinosaurs, and Mr. Darcy,” got so tired of their geekiness being challenged that they wrote a song called “Nothing to Prove”—straightforward enough. But apparently not awesome enough for the duo, who worked with screenwriter Josh A. Cagan to put a video together. They invited other female geeks (along with some supporters of the male persuasion like John Scalzi, Adam Savage, and Wil Wheaton) to write their own tales of geekiness on cards and hold them up for the camera. The result is sweet and funny, but also confronts a real problem in the larger geek world.

The cards, written by scientists, gamers, readers, comics writers, and fans of all ages, tell a frustrating story of women who aren’t allowed to fully participate in the world they love. Who are told that they only play games because of their boyfriends, or have their intelligence questioned because they choose to wear pink, or…well…this:

Fake Geek Girls The Doubleclicks song

Or this? Come on, it’s 2013, can’t we be past this now?

Fake Geek Girls The Doubleclicks song

Or this? What the hell is this?

Fake Geek Girls The Doubleclicks song

Being a nerd has arguably gotten a little easier lately, thanks to the success of things like the Star Trek reboot, the Lord of the Rings films, Mythbusters, Neil DeGrasse Tyson being hilarious on The Daily Show...now can’t we all just heed Wil Wheaton’s timeless advice (whatever gender we happen to be) and enjoy all the stuff we love together?

40 comments
John McClay
1. jmcclay3
This is a topic that I find interesting. I've had my geekiness called into question because I'm gay and like fashion. I've literally been told that I don't look like a geek because of how I dress. Even worse, when I say I love comic book movies, I'm accused of only liking them because of the "hot guys." I've actually had to defend myself against such shallow attacks, but usually people don't believe me. They really think I'm only interested in the six-pack and big arms. It's like if you're gay or a woman, you have to have some superficial ulterior motive for liking anything geek related.
James Whitehead
2. KatoCrossesTheCourtyard
Great video.

Lots of people need to spend far more time on their own lives than telling how others to live theirs.

Kato
Deana Whitney
3. Braid_Tug
Great Video!

And yet other ignorant people call the geek community more "open and accepting!" Sadly many of the people in "Geekhood" can be just as judgmental as everyone else.

I’m the bigger geek in my marriage. If my husband wants to play D&D now, he has to borrow my green glitter dice. He does not have a set of his own.
David Moran
4. David Moran
Yeah, I've successfully eliminated at least 75 percent of my exposure to this stupid meme by just never going on Reddit or Imgur any more.
Gerry__Quinn
5. Gerry__Quinn
I've seen more people moaning about this 'meme' than I've seen the meme.

People form their own opinions, sometimes about you - deal with it.
Jenny Creed
6. JennyCreed
Re. Gerry: What if you deal with it by telling those people why you find their opinions wrong, hurtful, hateful, badly informed and wrong?
Gerry__Quinn
7. amdon69
I know there was a reason I like Tor Books.
Gerry__Quinn
8. clm33
That's a great video!

I'm happy that Scalzi supported this and appreciate he's the biggest name involved (in this community at least). But still, I'm a bit disappointed that for a video that features and is about women owning, celebrating and commenting on their geekiness, the headline shot you chose is of a guy.
mark wyman
9. mndrew
Jenny: Please don't feed the trolls. :)
Gerry__Quinn
10. Jennifer McCoy
I once got asked at a gaming store: "Why would you need a Land Raider? Does your boyfriend have an army?" (this was the day the new Blood Angels stuff came out)

My response? "Actually it's for MY army. I was going to buy two of them from your store, but since you are such an asshole to think that a woman couldn't possibly play 40k, I'll take my business elsewhere, AND I will tell ALL of my female friends that you are hostile towards female gamers."

They went out of business 6 months later. In Atlanta - the home of Dragon*Con and seriously lacking in stores with decent 40K inventories.
Gerry__Quinn
11. Megpie71
For those who are curious what was on all the placards in the fast section during the final chorus, there's a transcript up at the Geek Feminism blog.
Gerry__Quinn
12. Not that Frank
Megpie71@11:

Bless you! I wasn't looking forward to re-viewing that section with my finger on the pause button...
James Hogan
13. Sonofthunder
I think I may not be sufficiently exposed to geek culture, but it still never ceases to amaze me how idiotic and barbaric some people can be. Just seeing what some guys are like...wow. I keep thinking we're past that, but...no. Apparently not.
Gerry__Quinn
14. Galadriel
GREAT song and video!!! One (extended) sign for me would be: "People asked why a girl would want to play the trumpet, so I shut them up with 'It only has three buttons'. I should've said: Because it's loud and awesome and it IS the Star Wars theme... because I'm a better trumpeter than all the boys... and why on earth would I want to play the wimpy clarinet??" (No offense meant to all the awesome female clarinetists out there.)
Gerry__Quinn
15. parkrrrr
@Megpie, thank you for that link. I knew from the credits that Kristin Looney was in the video, but I hadn't been able to find her. Thanks to the transcript, I now know she was one of the frames at the end.
Mordicai Knode
16. mordicai
Eff misogyny, hooray for inclusion. Age of the geek, baby!
Kim Papke
17. imbubbasmom
I love this video. I've run into this sort of thing not just in the geek sphere, but others, too. For a long time, I had snakes. Most people we ran into just assumed they were my husband's, but we had them because I wanted them. Now I have a tarantula, and when I go to buy her crickets most people assume she belongs to my son. Nope, she's mine.

So, not to completely hijack the thread (and I apologize for going off on a tangent), what I'm trying to get at is that this non-inclusiveness is everywhere.
Steven Lyle Jordan
18. Futurisk
Ah... if only this had happened decades ago. Now, I get the always-unspoken but incredibly obvious meme that grey old geezers like myself are too old to be geeks. (Unless they're famous.) Rock on, kiddies.
Gerry__Quinn
19. Cher
I'm told I'm "not a real geek" because I'm an athlete and don't watch "everything real geeks watch." Really?! And just a few years ago people called me a geek intending it as an insult because I like Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter, Forgotten Realms, Dungeons and Dragons, Beowulf, the Middle Ages, Old English, Middle English and stuff like that- because I choose playing sports over sitting in front of a TV or video games (though I love fantasy literature) I'm suddenly not allowed to call myself a geek?
Fake Name
20. ThePendragon
Not everyone is a geek. Some people pretend to be geeks because they want attention or for money. These people can be annoying or even harmful to geekdom in general. There are fake geeks. People need to stop coddling everyone. I'm really sick of the everyone can be everything PC BS that keeps being force fed to us.
That said, no one gets to decide who is and isn't a geek. If you are a geek, you know you are, and no one can tell you otherwise.
Steven Lyle Jordan
21. Futurisk
@Pendragon: Who would pretend to be a geek "for attention or for money"? (Or have I just not met the hordes of geeks out there, ready to shower me with riches for liking Star Trek?)
James Touma
22. Darth Touma
I loved the video.. but it makes me sad to know women deal with this kind of garbage day in and day out.. it's not enlightened

I married my wife BECAUSE she's a geek.. she never had to PROVE IT.. it was there.. female geeks DO exist and they are awesome.. I love mine more and more each day..

Though, I've come to realize.. I myself could be treated as a fake geek.. I just watch the movies and read the books.. I'm not a gamer and not "tech-savvy." I look more like a guy who was in the Marine Corps for 10 years (which I was).. If she had been judging my "level of geek" when we met, I'd be alone and lost now....

I am glad my wife didn't think I was the "fake" one when we met..

We need to accept people as who they are.. IDIC
Chin Bawambi
23. bawambi
This issue perplexes me. I am old enough to remember when geeks and nerds were routinely beaten up for their lunch money so I have trouble adjusting to a world where your level of geekdom needs to be validated at all. One would hope that cliques wouldn't exist in our plane of existence but unfortunately gender and race issues creep into all walks of life. Just my two geezer cents...
C R L
24. Maac
When I encounter this behavior, I like to take the time to point out people who are awesome and have NEVER made me feel unwelcome, silly, or less-than because of my gender (or anything else). Thank you, Midtown Comics. You are friendly and respectful as a default setting, and apparently that is, very sadly, a rare thing.
Marc Gioglio
25. Fuzzix
@21Futurisk: Twenty years ago, being a geek meant being beaten up, now it means NPR does monthly stories on you, Tor does weekly stories on you, and there are countless TV shows and movies aimed specifically at you (all of which I think are terrible, but to each their own, I suppose). Twenty years ago, being called a geek was something one tolerated because some other people are just jerks, now being told you are NOT a geek is NOT tolerated while (probably those same) people are still jerks (specifically those who tell other people they are not geeks). In fact, I am frequently upset at the "nostalgia" articles on this very sight taking up the torch of bashing my favourite old shows like Thundercats, GI Joe and Transformers with statements telling me how terrible the shows were, how horrible they are now, and how could anyone possibly like them (all the while admitting that the reviewer barely made it to the first commercial break before turning it off). I do not feel there is some crusade against me, or people like me. I believe that one person (with a pretty significant mouthpiece, but still one person) is not behaving up to snuff. I chime in, let them know, and move on. My advice is the same as the advice my father gave to me...Find and enjoy time doing things that you like with the people that you like. Ignore the namecallers, ultimately they mean nothing. PS, It would be really nice if someone would tell me how I can make a carriage return in the posting box. Is there a setting I am missing or something? The enter key does absolutely nothing.
Steven Halter
26. stevenhalter
Fuzzix@25:What browser are you using? Firefox
and
Chrome put in returns fine. As well as iPhone.
Marc Gioglio
27. Fuzzix
IE. Thanks for the tips about chrome. I'll use that in the future.
Gerry__Quinn
28. Riva
I am female and back in 1988 (please note 1988!) I regularly played a role playing Dungeons and Dragon's game called Middle Earth Law. I was 19 years old and I played with a group of guys. We had a ball and I will always remember with fondness those times. Before this I remember playing Dungeons and Dragons at school (note: 1984 1985 1986) The whole board gaming concept was introduced to me by my brother-in-law in 1982. Wizards Quest and Gunslinger. These games took me out of my troubled life into another world that I loved and embraced. The only hostility I encountered was that from the Christian right who said that D&D was evil and Satanic.
Back then there was no culture or subclass called geek. Geek was a term to belittle and ridicule anyone who did not fit the main stream culture. So a Geek could be anyone with interests or no interest that were not perceived as cool. This Geek/looser/Nerd attributes were also applied mainly on appearance rather than interests.
I think this whole attitude of fake Geek is not just regulated to the 'Geek' culture but any group that feels that they are outside the main experience of culture. You see this attitude in churches, alternative music, art groups etc. You can apply a lot of this type of behaviour to what people in cults go through. Read up on cults/mind control/how they do it etc. Not that I am saying that Geek is a cult but that cults operate on the us and them mentality which employs inclusion and exclusion tactics.
Gerry__Quinn
29. Glasself
Where are these fake geeks? I have yet to meet or even hear of one. All of my early acquaintances can attest to the fact that I, a short, bubbly blonde, am in fact 100 per cent, USDA prime geek. Since 1970,mind you. Thank you Mom, for handing me your Dragonriders of Pern! May the Force be with you, Frodo Lives, and Live Long & Prosper!
Gerry__Quinn
30. Galadriel
@22: You rock!! And your wife is very lucky. Do you have an unmarried clone geek brother? If only our world lived by the IDIC philosophy. Instead, we are actually stuck in the mirror universe. Have been for ages. Sigh.
Gerry__Quinn
31. monkat
In high school, the only group of gamers around wouldn't let me play 'cause I'm a girl. (This was back when "geek" was an insult.) I'm still gaming and I've been published as both a writer and illustrator for several RPGs.

Once, I worked a teeshirt booth at GenCon. Like the guys, I was wearing jeans and one of the tees for sale. More than once, a customer approached and asked one of the men working the booth, "how much for the redhead?"(i.e. me)

A couple of years ago, I was lured into helping construct Helm's Deep at the local gaming store. It was fun, except for the part where male customers kept coming in and saying, "OMG there's a GIRL in here!" They couldn't have been more scandelized if I was in the men's washroom.

Based on my experiences, I suspect, unfortunately, that this new "fake geek girl" bad behavior is nothing new. The internet just lets everyone air their opinions in a more public way. A previous commentor has the right idea, pulling her patronage of a store if they can't behave like reasonable adults (and being sure to TELL THEM on the way out the door). Don't feed the trolls. Everybody, play nice, or, as Wil Wheaton's sign said, "Don't be a d*ck."
Gerry__Quinn
32. Seajules
Sing it, my geek sisters. Sing it.
Gerry__Quinn
33. NickM
@29 The closest thing I have seen to a case for a "fake geek" * is the seeming expansion of the so-called "booth babe" concept. The belief that the 'women as marketing objects' idea, often seen at car and some tech conventions, has now made its way into the pop-culture & entertainment sort of conventions.

* It is a rather flammable argument, and I'm not sure on its legitimacy. But it's the only "fake geek" argument I've seen yet that seems worthy of being considered at all.
Gerry__Quinn
34. Skyros
@30: Galadriel, would you settle for a proxy clone geek brother of his?
Gerry__Quinn
35. Irriated
I personally don't see any reason to lable oneself. I mean, what adult feels the need to call themselves a geek? Do you all feel that much of a need to, in a sense, 'validate' yourselves? The only people who don't bother me by labeling themselves is either girls trying to get attention (because everyone knows they're being silly) and teenagers looking to 'fit in'. Let's just drop the nerd/geek fad. If you like video games, anime, computers, science, what have you, who cares? Just do your hobbies and shut up about it. If you're a female and feel outcasted by men well gee I wonder why that may be? If it wasn't for the prop models in underwear posing with a Playstation controller, posting crap like "Playing CoD, I'm a gamer girl..." on Facebook, or how about the popular "(Insert one: Reading a book, studying doing my homework), I'm such a nerd...". Also, for the record, I can't wait til the day these pompous celebrity scientists (Neil degrasse and Michio Kaku) go by the wayside that most of the greenhorns of science seem to worship on Facebook and other websites.
Steven Halter
36. stevenhalter
Irriated@35:Possibly, rewatching the video will answer many of your questions.
Gerry__Quinn
37. LifeGeeker
@ALL
Obviously recieving your due is important, if you are something, there is no reason to not be recognized as that, it is important to be able to belong to that group you love.

Conversely, does it matter? If you know the truth, does it matter if others are too blind to see it?

I understand that desire, I truly do. I'm lucky to have found my Geek Girl. The first thing that attracted me to my wife was that she was reading, and not only that, it was a fantasy book. We've been married 8 years now, we have four beautiful children, and we've made it through two deployments and inumerable difficulties because we know who we are, apart and together, because we have so much in common, because we can share so much, and because we know what the other is thinking or doing.

I'm tired of all the world and all the PC and stuff.

My Question: Does it matter?

The Answer: It does NOT matter, if you know who you are, AND thats all that matters, to you.
It DOES matter if you want others to know who you are so you can be with others like you.

And the ones that are so prejudiced? The ones that scoff? They're just scared of girls, they're shy, or they're scared of having their limited superiority challenged, so I wouldn't worry about them, they'll either get over it or destroy themselves through their own anti-social behavior. They don't deserve your attention.

I like the video, I like the celebration of who you are, and I LOVE Geek Girls, I hope my girls love geeky stuff as much as my wife and I do,

But I know that they don't NEED that distinction to define them, they don't need others recognition or approval to be what they want.

The only thing you NEED to know is who you are, and everyone else be damned.

But still, I love the video.
Gerry__Quinn
38. Darth Touma
@30 Galadriel - Sadly I am the only one who inherited the full geek gene from my Dad .. you wouldn't want to date any of them.. LOL
Gerry__Quinn
39. Victor Chekove
Amazing video sound.. One (extended) sign for me would be: "People asked why a girl would want to play the trumpet, so I shut them up with 'It only has three buttons'. I should've said: Because it's loud and awesome and it IS the Star Wars theme.
For more info about me please visit my profile : Victor Chekov and thanx
Megan Williams
40. MeganJW321
Honestly, I think the issue with fake geek girls comes from a very strange place for geeks. How wonderful does it feel when you meet someone who is as obsessed with some facet of geekdom that you love and you can just go on and on about it? Great, right?!

Now how does it feel when you are a hardcore fan of, let's say... Batman. You've read everything he's ever appeared in, seen every movie, seen every cartoon, and every pair of underwear you own has the bat symbol on it. How disheartening is it to meet someone you think is another kindred spirit, describing themselves as a hardcore B-man fan, only for you to find out they say this only because the Christopher Nolan movies were their favorite movies ever? It sucks! And then you kind of resent them for it. I know personally, I’d want to scream “you’re no Batman fan!” and I’m nowhere near the hardcore fan I described above.

Someone in this thread (I can’t remember who, SORRY!) touched on the idea about women being used for marketing tools. Geek men have probably been exposed to more of those types of women who don’t know a single thing about the tiny costume they’re donning at a booth than should be fair. They’ve probably built up a lot of contempt because they see this half naked, Lara Croft look alike and think “she’s gorgeous and loves Tomb Raider! My dream woman!” only to talk to her and have her ask “What’s tomb raider?”.

Now that’s me being fair. But I must admit that I wanted to get into reading comics about 4 years ago but I was too insecure to walk into the local comic shop alone. I had a co-worker who went there all the time and he kept trying to encourage me to go in but I just KNEW the guys in there would look at me funny and laugh in my face when I asked where I could get a copy of Gotham City Sirens. So I ordered it online and I still only feel comfortable in comic shops when I’m with my boyfriend who is a VERY KNOWLEDGEABLE geek. Sad, I know but it’s kind of an across the board problem with gender relations. Men have this cool, fun thing that they feel like is theirs, so clearly the women folk can’t truly know of it.

It’s almost a sort of protectiveness over your beloved thing. I can’t help but feel someone isn’t REALLY a Star Trek fan if they’ve only ever seen the JJ Abrams films but that’s because I love TOS. I’ve never been good or cared much for video games and the number of comics I’ve read is laughable and I don’t really care for Star Wars but I’m still a geek because I do love superheroes (and more importantly, villains) and science fiction and fantasy and technology. I guess if geek were the new punk, fake geek girl would be the new poser.

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