Tuesday, July 23, 2013

RE the "Fake Geek Girl" meme

So I've been surfing around The Mary Sue - I think somebody linked to a post about Xena - and ended up reading several articles about this meme, and their comment threads. It got repetitive very quickly.

The remarks that kept returning over and over and over were the following:
  • the "fake geek girl" meme isn't intended to apply to all girls who are geeks, just those who are posers
  • some girls dress hot at cons without knowing a lot of facts about the character/series/other characters/other media
  • "fake geek girls" give "true fans" a bad rep
  • some girls pretend to be into geekish works so that they can get attention from guys
  • people shouldn't have to "prove" their status as a fan

But what I didn't see much of was pushback on how one proves one's status as a "real fan" - apparently, by knowing a lot of stuff about the work in question, from the characters to the plot events to the in-work shoutouts to other works, to even knowing details about the creators and the other works they've been involved with. It's apparently a big deal among nerds if you can name all of the [insert character title here]. 

For all that science fiction is considered a geeky medium, knowing a bunch of facts seems an awfully old-fashioned kind of cred. I mean, with a wealth of information literally at most people's fingertips, how is keeping that same information in your head a mark of status anymore? It seems like an awful waste of time, to be honest. And it's not like it makes the world a better place. Fact-spewers haven't added anything to the continuum of human creation, nor does their memorization lend itself to shared experience. Instead of conversation that fosters a deeper relationship with others, these infodumps lend themselves more to competition, isolating each lonely nerd even further as he attempts to prove that he knows more, can recite more.


Why isn't there the assumption that real fans - hardcore fans - are fans who create? Roleplays, character memes, art of every nature and description, fanfic, playlists... COSPLAY. Dear lord, the cosplay. These are things that can be shared with others, that add to the collective experience of the fandom. The value of a bunch of memorized facts shrivels in comparison.

So the next time some dudebro asks me if I actually know who the original X-Men were, instead of either blowing him off or trying to prove I'm a fan by letting him interrogate me, I'll redirect and ask him what fanart he's drawn lately. Or what costume he's planning to wear later on. No? Well, fanfic, then. What's your handle on AO3? dA? FFN? ... what do you mean, you don't know what those are? Jeez, next you're gonna tell me you don't even have a tumblr!

I'll try to resist the temptation to accuse him of being a "fake geek guy," though it might be difficult. But if he's not a complete loser, hopefully he'll be able to recognize that there are many more ways of being a fan than he'd originally thought.

No comments:

Post a Comment