Fake geeks, real love
Remember what Eileen Myles said:
“When I think of being a woman, I think of being loved.”
When I think of being a geek, I think of being loved.
Responses to the recent denouncement of “Fake Geek Girls” have ranged from dismissive to indignant, and with good reason. Women really don’t need to be divided up along yet another axis of authenticity. And even if non-geek girls—however you specify that—aspire to be geeks, what could be more harmless? In fact what could be better than to notice that young girls think geeks are cool? This certainly wasn’t the case among girls when I was growing up, and I was most definitely called a nerd. To be fair, though, I had a violin case that doubled as a backpack.
I don’t think it would be a stretch to say that, relative to what remains dominant in culture, being a woman is already akin to the geek experience in some broad-stroke but pretty significant ways. Women and geeks are often secondary, underdogs, have to work harder to get recognized, etc. Both are simultaneously vulnerable and powerful. Both are often loathed for the same reason they are loved.
On the subway platform the other day, I met these two girls carrying violin cases, backpack style, that they had painted themselves. They were total geeks, and they were fucking awesome. If some tweens want to play pretend geek with thick-framed glasses from Urban Outfitters, I hope they fake it til they make it real.