geek gates

The thing that totally floors me about fake geek boys is that it’s perfectly acceptable to be a “fake geek boy.” Men and boys don’t need to have any practical knowledge about geek stuff, they don’t need to earn their spot, they don’t need to hit a moving target of skill on any given video game or spend a certain number of hours playing it. Fake geek boys never have to worry about being wrong about some fact in some obscure comic book title they haven’t had time to read, they don’t have to be masters of knowledge or even be a fan of the original medium of a work over derivative work, adaptations, or even fan work.

People find out that a guy doesn’t know the first thing about the geeky subject he has even been discussing or arguing about AT GREAT LENGTH, and it’s a “meh,” moment.

Some people will even defend men who have been speaking loudly on a subject they are ignorant about, but when a geek girl missteps, it invalidates her entire existence. The nature of that means that we hardly ever misstep. Geek girls work pretty damn hard, in my experience, to fill the gaps in their knowledge and be ready for inevitable pop-quizzes from friends, acquaintances, and strangers. And STILL, we are invalidated based on geeky things we sometimes aren’t interested in or haven’t got around to learning about yet. My inability to read every Marvel comic in existence, for example, will consistently be used as evidence that I’m not an adequate DC fan, no matter what I do. My incomplete comic knowledge will then be used as evidence that I’m a “fake geek girl,” and even more incredible, will be used as evidence to discredit other girl geeks because men overwhelmingly use a single woman they’ve met to stereotype all women.

It’s the most incredible double standard I’ve yet to bear personal witness to in the patriarchy thus far, that men are entitled to this space with the entire absence of effort while women and girls have to earn even the spaces that have been designed explicitly for them.