Hi. Hello. Hey.
My name is Molly McIsaac. I take showers every day. I own enough makeup to open my own Sephora. I wake up hours before work to coordinate a cute outfit, do my hair, and make my eye makeup just so. I wear high heels almost every day, oftentimes boosting my already staggering height of 5'10" to a ridiculous level. I try to work out every day (though I have a weakness for cookies). I wear dresses pretty much constantly (sometimes they are really tight and show off my voluptuous ass - GASP!). And do you know what? I am a huge geek.
Earlier today, Anon left this comment on one of my blog posts:
Now, I have been around the internet block, so to say. I've been writing articles for comic book and video game websites coming up on five years now (and getting paid to do it for three). I get a LOT of hate for my opinions, and for that reason I have developed a fairly thick skin. Very few things set me off, because I know that's what the faceless masses want (after all, who doesn't like to sit back and witness some internet drama?) But this comment really hit home for me. It really struck a chord in me. So I ranted about it on twitter, and now I'm ranting about it on here, because I have some things that I need to say.
There has been a LOT of talk and controversy around the internet lately about geek entitlement. Accusing attractive women of "pandering" . Geeks acting like they're some sort of little exclusive club where they judge other geeks and have a "holier than thou" attitude. Personally, I feel the topic has been talked about to death, but yet here I am.
Back to the comment. Are you SERIOUS? The wording ITSELF oozes cliquishness and exclusivity. "As a geek girl..." somehow implying that DESPITE THE FACT I RUN A BLOG CALLED THE GEEKY PEACOCK, THAT I SPEAK ON PANELS AT CONVENTIONS, THAT I AM A RESPECTED PUNDIT IN THE GEEK COMMUNITY - That I am NOT A GEEK? Okay. And then... "clearly know nothing about our style." Our style. OUR style. I'm sorry, but since when has geek had a dress code? Because I like to wear high heels and lipstick, I must not be a geek? Because I don't wear ill fitting jeans and baggy Doctor Who t-shirts, keep my hair parted down the middle with a low ponytail, I am NOT A GEEK?
At times, when I describe my bullying to others, I trivialize it. "Oh, I totally brought it upon myself. After all, I wore elf ears and LARPed on the Football field." But it wasn't okay, and while I may have brought it upon myself, there is no excuse for this behavior. I was chubby and awkward. I dressed weird. I went home crying almost every day because the other kids were downright CRUEL to me. There was a game called "how fast can we make Molly cry?", where the "popular" kids would do just that: pick at me until I cried. I was miserable. I came home every day sobbing. One girl told me I should kill myself, and you know what? I almost did. I wrote suicide letters. I didn't feel like I deserved to exist.
But then I realized something: I didn't want those people to win. I wanted to thrive in life. I wanted to prove to them that the pain they had put me through did nothing but succeed in making me a better and stronger person. I woke up one day with a renewed vigor for life, and thus my transformation from chubby awkward geek girl to long, lithe, pretty, motivated geek girl began. I have not changed. I am still the girl who LARPs on the Football field (no, I really do). But now the kids who used to bully me in highschool are sending me apology messages on Facebook, because I am no longer a victim. I took the wrong doings that were used against me and I turned them in my favor.
So, that being said: A lot of people responding to me on twitter said I am oftentimes greeted with hostility because since I am an attractive woman I remind victimized geeks of the bullying they went through. I AM LIVING PROOF THAT THIS IS A COP OUT. Judging and attacking your fellow geeks for not loving shared interests the way you think they should be loved makes you just as bad as the kids who gave you wedgies in highschool. You are becoming what you despise - is that really what you want?
This isn't just about fashion. This is about an entire mindset that this community seems to have. Now that "geek is chic" and further perpetuated by the media, people who consider themselves "real" geeks are lashing out, trying to keep their little community special and exclusive. Yeah, we suffered for our passions for a long time, but now that they are becoming mainstream, shouldn't we be happy rather than pissed off? It means there is a broader range of people who we can talk to - it means we can make lucrative careers from the things we love instead of doing it in our spare time. It means good TV shows are less likely to get canceled. It means amazing comic books are being made into equally as epic movies. It means more merchandise for us to decorate our apartments with. It means new and unique views. It means you can help others love what you love - and you should be SO HAPPY that your children are not going to be bullied in the same way you were for loving comic books.
So here's my suggestion: stop being a victim. Rise to the occasion. Stop acting childish and immature and looking at other people as OTHER PEOPLE rather than threats to your SUPER SECRET CLUB OMGZ.
I'm going to continue dressing well, and I'm going to continue being a geek. Fashion and attractiveness does not equal a bad person. Bathing irregularly and wearing your favorite holey Flash t-shirt from 12th grade doesn't immediately brand you as a geek - it immediately brands you as a slob who doesn't take care of themselves. You can DRESS WELL, LOOK NICE, BATHE EVERY DAY, COMB YOUR HAIR, and STILL BE A GEEK. There is no "look", no "guidelines" for loving what we love. We are an eclectic group of interesting, intelligent human beings - so why are we acting like children whose club house is being invaded by pretty girls (ewww cooties)?
I have a lot more to say, but I don't want this to become directionless. Please stop and think next time you're about to knee jerk judge a fellow human - and that goes for ANYONE, not just geeks that don't measure up to your personal, twisted standards.