The Fragile Nature of ‘Geek Cred’
Beware the power of words, folks. Over at Cinematical, the movie news site’s resident "geek beat" contributor Elisabeth Rappe has taken a comment I left on one of her recent posts and turned it into a full-blown column, titled "The Touchiness of Geek Cred."
In the column, Rappe discusses the Survivor-esque mentality of geekery and the first time she realized that niche-culture gatherings like comic and science-fiction conventions weren’t the friendly grounds she expected them to be. The ever-present drive to cull the herd and create a higher place on the social ladder is in full effect just as much inside the niche cultures as outside, she observes.
For geeks of the feminine persuasion, the environment is even more cut-throat, according to Rappe:
As a female, I find I have to prove myself even more. The first time I went to ComicCon, I fell into a casual conversation with a guy about the comic book movie spin-offs. I mentioned that I really wanted to see the eventual Wolverine, and he sneered: "You just want to see it because you’re a girl, and Hugh Jackman is hot!"
"Hey," I replied tartly. "Wolverine is the best at what he does, and what he does isn’t very nice."
"You know the catchphrase. I take that back."
Well, thanks. This is something a geeky girl runs up against often, and it is useless to fight it. Men can see Catwoman for Halle Berry, girls cannot see 300 for Gerard Butler. Frankly, I do it too. One woman I was friends with joined my online movie community solely to talk about Butler. She was horrified when the fanboys called her on it. But I too was aghast. "You can’t just go in and talk about hot guys – you have to talk about Frank Miller first! You have to prove yourself a geek!"
Head over to Cinematical for the rest of the column.
Rappe’s observations reminded me of a recent post here on ComicMix, in which I mentioned that I have yet to read any of the Harry Potter books and narrowly escaped a nasty tar-and-feathering by readers.