(Female) Geek = Geek^2

Over at Geek Feminism, Metaneira explains why Team Unicorn of G33k & G4M3R Girls fame are doing it wrong. The “G33k & G4M3R Girls” music video, stereotypically, portrayals female geeks and gamers as sex fantasies of male geeks and gamers. Metaneira writes:

From the very start, Seth Green asks, “Hello friends… don’t you want to meet a nice girl?” The video is not aimed at the women it is purporting to celebrate: it is straight-up pandering to the largely sexist, male-centric geek subculture. It is geek women served up for the male gaze on a shiny latex platter. This is not empowering. […] It isn’t really about geek women at all — it’s just about how men would want to have a smoking hot girlfriend who can talk about Star Wars and play D&D with them.

It’s a pretty good post, and she relates the video to a general pattern in geek culture, where straight male geeks express positivity towards the idea of “geek girls”, but only so that they can get girlfriends:

And I’m tired of a subculture telling me that the only way I can belong to it is if I offer myself up as a sex object to the men involved. […] my status as a female in this male-dominated space was always underscored: my Otherness had to be reinforced at frequent intervals. I didn’t really belong.

Serendipitously, a few days later, I came across this song written and sung by Marian Call and made into a YouTube video by mercutio531. I thought it was an “answer” to the G33k & G4M3R Girls video at first, but it was actually uploaded a long time ago and written years ago.

Lyrics of “I’ll Still be a Geek After Nobody Thinks it’s Chic (the Nerd Anthem)” by Marian Call from LyricWiki:

All the cool kids keep enthusiasm rationed
Right down to the last explosive ounce
But I’d rather indulge my many passions
Even if my squaritude’s a little too pronounced

Perhaps I do not strike you as a geek
Without the horn-rimmed glasses and knee-high argyle socks
But nerdery is more than wardrobe deep
And I’m a nerd down in my heart and that’s where nerdhood rocks

I’m better aquainted than a good girl ought to be
With Aragorn and Yo-Saf-Bridge and Worf and HAL and Han
But you don’t really know me and my culture don’t control me
So don’t you pigeon hole me ’cause my phaser’s set to stun!

I have been a nerd since long before I could have heard
That bookish girls should look and act a certain way
And I’ll still be a geek when I am utterly antique
Because I do not care what normal people say

My superpower’s draining fun from parties
But if I am a misfit then I’m in good company
With Auden, Austin, Hawking, Galileo and Van Gogh,
And countless other weirdos whom you really ought to know

So stow your expectations, no I won’t fix your PC
And I don’t mind being underrated or ignored
The world is much too interesting to entertain ennui
And I won’t ever play it cool so I won’t ever once be bored

Oh, I have been a nerd since long before anyone heard
That pale and scrawny was the latest fashion trend
And I’ll still be a geek after nobody thinks it’s chic
Because I don’t require approval in the end

In aught-four, D-Kwon’s Dance Grooves swept the country
And suddenly old moon boots were Italian haute couture
Time magazine reported that our time had finally come
I guess they didn’t know that we already run the world

I have been a nerd since my first five syllable word
And no TV series or movie changes that
And I’ll still be a geek now Vote for Pedro’s so last week
I do not care whether Milan endorses plaid

I have been a nerd since long before anyone heard
That thin and scrawny was the latest fashion trend
And I’ll still be a geek after nobody thinks it’s chic
Because I don’t require approval in the end

I have been a nerd since long before anyone heard
That thin and scrawny was the latest fashion trend
And I’ll still be a geek after nobody thinks it’s chic
You will find that I have nothing to defend

No, I don’t need your approval in the end…

I love this song, and I replayed it over and over again too many times upon discovering it. As Metaneira said:

The women who participate in geek culture do so primarily for one reason: we like it. […] We are not doing it to get dates. We are not doing it to appeal to the Nice Guy in our guild. We are there for the exact same reason men are — because it’s fun.

Marian Call’s “Nerd Anthem” gets to the heart of what it means to be a geek, including rejection from “normal” people, and the additional rejection typically experienced by female geeks: rejection from other geeks. If being a misfit is the quintessential geek experience, then female geeks, being misfits within a group of misfits, are geeks2.

2 Responses to “(Female) Geek = Geek^2”

  1. G33k & G4M3R Girls | Angie Andriot Says:

    […] Seth, why?!?). Restructure also has a good review of Meta’s review of the video in her post (Female) Geek = Geek^2,* with a conclusion I am particularly drawn to: If being a misfit is the quintessential geek […]

  2. mercutio531 Says:

    Hello! Glad you liked my video, though it appears not all of your readers did.

    You were correct in that the images I used were probably 90% google image search with a little bit of deviant art thrown in. However, I am male.

    I think some of your reads are WAY over analyzing what was a simple project born out of love for a song/artist. I tried to find images that fit the lyrics as opposed to “make sure I represent everyone or else someone will be offended.” mentality.

    So yeah. The asian “cool” chick was just someone that popped up when I looked up whatever lyric/word I was trying to match. As for the single black guy in the video, that was more meant to showcase “normals” or “suits” and I honestly gave it no thought or concern that there was a black guy in the oic. Its not something I think about really.

    If you want to analyze something, why did you think the aversion to the more pornographic images would make me female? Is that not a bias on your part?

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