A little sincerity is a dangerous thing, and a great deal of it is absolutely fatal. -Oscar Wilde

Friday, December 10, 2010

please don't patronize the geeks who happen to be female

Some days I need to actually read what I write before I hit publish. But I'm a little burned out, and what, like five people in the entire universe have ever read this blog (not counting the autopost to FB)? So. Who cares.

What I can find enough energy to care about at the moment is trivial stuff. Like this story. I'm torn. It's kind of like... the way I feel about "feminine" NFL gear.

(fair warning-- this is the part where I'm going to throw around terms that belie the whole science background thing)

Y'all know that "feminine" gear tends to be very figure-conscious (read: sexy), come in "girly colors" like pink or purple, and/ or feature rhinestones/ sequins/ other shiny things. It reinforces the notion of feminine = altered, weaker version of masculine. It plays to traditional gender roles and expectations that women should always dress to attract a partner. It infantilizes women (we couldn't possibly be expected to want to wear the actual team colors or something that's not vomitous baby pink or purple). The whole thing is super heteronormative-- women who don't buy into the gimmick are comparatively more "masculine" (and thereby less desirable) than those who do. It's more socially acceptable for a woman to stay in the role, stick to the script, and wear the feminized gear. Likewise with the "girly" geek gear. I can't just be a geek that happens to be female. I can't just be comfortable in my own skin with whatever geeky accoutrements I already have-- I have to be sexy too while doing it, if I want to be socially acceptable. Having a Godzilla figure haunting the top of my filing cabinet isn't good enough. I should wear a tight-fitting low-cut teeshirt with strategically placed Mothra wings in sequins. Which is pretty much the opposite of what those so-called girl geeks claim to be promoting, with the whole be comfortable being yourself thing. So, anyway, that's why that kind of thing vaguely bothers me.

Happy weekend, kiddos.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

There are a couple things to respond to in your post.

1. The article is a POS. Anyone who thinks Harry Potter is SciFi isn't qualified to comment on geek girls or not.

2. I like the Women cut shirts. When I do athletics, I expect my shirts to be fairly close cut. I don't think a women's style shirt is tacky as long as it is in the team colors. Rhinestones and pinks and baby blues on the other hand... to each his own.

3. As an aside, I proudly work all my star trek shirts through junior high. That is all.