There’s no such thing as a girl geek

It’s V Day and, more importantly, my birthday, so here’s a slightly self indulgent rant about a topic that’s has been needling me for awhile now.

Today, I read an article from the Tyee about geek chic, and why geeks are supposedly hot properties on the dating scene. I knew it was going to be a lame fluff piece, but why not get a little jolt of “I’m cool ’cause some magazine says so” on me-day? But, instead of getting a yay-me feeling, I got crazy-go-nuts mad.

According to this article, geek == boy, no exceptions. The article is all about why chicks dig dudes who are smart, tech-savvy and employable. You could quibble with everything used to describe a geek, but I expected those stereotypes. But what made me insane was the entire lack of even a hint that there could be such a thing as a female geek. Even when the article pointed out that women are becoming more interested in technology, computers and gadgets, that just means they are more inclined to hang out with geeks.

The article quotes Dr. Gisele Baxter, a prof at the University of British Columbia and a “pop culture expert” as saying that “as more girls get into aspects of technological culture formerly the domain of guys — gaming, music downloading, messaging, etc. — geeks are useful to know.” WTF?! What the hell is the definition of geek, then?

When I was a kid my parents told me the only thing I couldn’t be when I grew up was a father – it’s a sad state of affairs that so-called progressive media have a level of sexism that didn’t exist in my house over 20 years ago. No wonder schools have a hard time getting women to enrol in high-tech and engineering courses.

3 thoughts on “There’s no such thing as a girl geek

  1. Not to worry, it won’t be long before we girl geeks are fully recognized for the hotties that we are. Just look at shows like Numb3rs and CSI for several examples of women being celebrated for being both smart and sexy. Girl geeks rock!

  2. I’m a well-credentialed geek myself (software dev, master’s degree in EE (feedback systems)) and I can attest that you are indeed a geek. But as geeks my age (53) know, being misunderstood by the masses comes with the territory, so your frustration with the barbies just means you’re participating in the geek mystique.

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