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What’s Next For The Geek Girl

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Females fans of comics, gaming, science, and science fiction have been around forever, but the last 5 years have been instrumental in paving the way for our inclusion and acceptance.

Most of the geek girls you will meet have very similar stories. I was really interested in *insert genre here* but was made fun of for liking it or was told it was a boy’s thing. In so many pastime and career choices, women are still persecuted for their passions, knowledge, and pursuance.

I remember my interest in comics started in grade school, but after an extremely uncomfortable first experience at my local comic shop, I resorted to just borrowing comics from my guys friends. It wasn’t until I was an adult that I even met other females who enjoyed reading comics, and I met them all online. It’s unfortunate that so many of us have stories of hiding our passions for either fear of judgement or the dreaded round of 50 questions to prove our geek cred.

Over the years, women who have formed bonds online have been banning together, making amazingly positive waves to promote female geek empowerment. 

In a 2010 panel at San Diego Comic-Con, a group of amazing ladies spoke in a standing-room only to prove “Geek Girls Do Exist” and share their stories of struggle and triumph. At of time of female driven blogs and twitter starting to rise, this unprecedented event inspired a movement for others to make giant leaps toward inclusion and acceptance.

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Once such effort is Geek Girl Con, the celebration of the female geek which has been hosting wildly popular and successful conventions since 2011.

Oni Hartstein, founder of Intervention Con along with partner James Harknell, have been gathering fans together since 2010 for an amazing 3 day event promoting collaborations of creative geeks in a wide variety of interests like comics, podcasting, and blogs.

SG-TEAM

And our beloved Sugar Gamers began as an effort to give gaming girls an alternative social environment away from the clubs. What started as a group of friends gathering to game and play has evolved into an organization of trend setters and communicators within the worlds of tech, fashion and gaming.

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Jenna Busch, founder and Editor-in-Chef of Legion of Leia has created a wonderful home to promote women who love sci-fi in a wonderfully entertaining site.

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Ashley Eckstein, voice of Star Wars: The Clone Wars Ashoka, founded Her Universe to offer fangirls adorable geeky tees and dresses to fill the void left by most online retailers who don’t cater to women’ fashion.

There have been so many amazing women, and men, over the years who have spearheaded projects and websites to promote and encourage the female geek community. I had the pleasure of speaking with two very influential women on their views of our geek girl journey and what’s next for us.

Sugar Gamers: How has the definition of Geek Girl changed and what has been the impact you’ve seen?

Jennifer K. Stuller, Writer, Editor, and Pop Culture Critic & Historian believes:

“Geek Girls have existed as long as geek guys – though I don’t think they’ve been identified or recognized as geeks – or accepted en masse. So perhaps it’s more that the image of Geek has changed, rather than the definition. And that image allows for cool dudes with social skills. It also allows for queer geeks, girl geeks, blerds, gaymers, and heck, my Dad – a freakin’ golf writer – who to this day reenacts Spock’s encounter with the Horta with his dogs on the regular.

Geek now belongs to all of us. It always did. But we’re staking a claim”

Jenna Busch, founder and Editor-in-Chef of Legion of Leia, and Co-Host of Most Craved said:

“You know, when I said “geek girl” a few years ago, I got a lot of — and mostly from men — can’t we just be called “geeks?” Why do we have to qualify it? Well, we do have to qualify it. Not so long ago, I was repeatedly called a liar (and a lot of less civilized words) for reporting the news that 48% of gamers are women. Making sure the world knows we’re here is important. When we’re loud, we can’t be ignored. I also used to get a lot of, “You don’t look like a geek.” I get way less of that now. I think people are starting to realize that women who are into geek culture are not an anomaly.”

With so many women prominently blogging, writing, podcasting, vlogging, and planning female-positive events I think over the last 5 years we have come a long way to not only prove we exist, but also to demand acceptance.

SG: So what’s next for the geek girl movement?

JKS: “Going forward, I would like to make sure that we continue our commitment to inclusivity by making sure that we embrace, support, and amplify the voices and bodies of ALL female-identified geeks and allies. And I would like to continue seeing the movement address often difficult issues, create platforms for discussion and celebration and activism, while continuing to be collaborative. We don’t need to be cohesive – we’re not a hive mind – but I do think we work well, and better, together. Just look at how initiatives like Legion of Leia, The Geek Girls Network, GeekGirlCon, Black Girl Nerds, The League of Extraordinary Ladies, Her Universe – and so many more – have had an impact. They’ve amplified the voices of geek girls and our varied concerns, as well as brought us together to geek out.”

JB: “I’d like to see us included instead of marginalized. I was actually just quoted by CNN because I had an issue with the animated “girl universe” that DC is putting out. It’s great that they’re trying to include girls, but making us a specialty group actually isn’t helping. We get our girls show, and the boys get the rest of the universe. We’re 51% of the population. How about we represent that?”

Share your thoughts on the geek girl movement and our road ahead in the comments!

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"Making Smart Look Adorable." Check out all of Rielly's geek girl musings on her site riellygeek.com. And for a daily geekery and pop culture fix, she also blogs for Nerd Approved, Fashionably Geek, and That’s Nerdalicious.
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