You really can't seem to win if you're a geeky girl. You'll either get treated as if you were born with a malfunctioning vagina, be labeled as a poser looking for attention or pressured into accepting an over-sexualized image that's supposed to represent you. Is it a possibility though that these stereotypes have surrounded us because we're too busy with our own 'civil girl-war' rather than fighting the battles that matter?
Gamer girl is probably the most topical term for our breed and if this term has never affected you, then a simple Google image search will reveal the battlefield of lingerie gaming, girl shaming and a few heroines who are trying to create a balance.
Girl Gamer vs. Girl Gamer
Most people will get irritated when other people touch their stuff and the same can be said when an outsider who has previously had no interest in geeky things enters the arena of nerdiness. It can be tempting to go gladiator on them to protect our beloved gaming haven… after all, it's a way of life, right? However, having fewer girls interested in this sub-culture is actually more harmful to the cause than people realize. Not only are you depriving someone of the same great escapism that we enjoy, but also limiting the numbers is nothing but counterproductive in making this area less sexist for the rest of us.
It's a little daunting and irritating to think that a hobby that we love, which can also be guilty for being an inhibiter in being social or considered a bit of a bad habit, is taken advantage of in the interest of the male gaze. How many of us wear thick, non-prescription glasses a face full of makeup and pose sexily with our Xbox controllers when we play games? Everyone knows that the only makeup a girl wears when gaming is her own blood, sweat and tears of rage and revenge. With this image staring us in the face everywhere we go, it is also easy to target the girls who we feel are joining our ranks for the attention and popularity rather than a genuine interest.
We know reading Marvel comics are a blast, we know fighting in Dragon Age is frustratingly emotional, and if you're not a fan of Avengers you are just plain wrong… so why deprive the rest of our gender of these guaranteed lady-boner givers?
How To Enjoy Being A Geek And A Girl At The Same Time
It can be a little awkward, even embarrassing to see all these sexual images of 'gamer girls' floating around. It's bad enough that lady magazines will shove these visuals in our faces at every given opportunity to convince us to buy things we don't need, but it's unforgivable when they follow us into our one safe sanctuary. These images harm us for two reasons. Firstly, their impossible image is alienating and reeking of unfair standards. Secondly, these images will (and have) been used by many as an excuse to degrade female gamers further, instilling a bimbo image upon us.
Whilst there is no superiority to those who don't play games, it doesn't mean you shouldn't show your pride. Fought for the universe in Mass Effect? Then here are your dog tags, you've earned them after all. Love Batman? Wear your Bat-shirt with pride and feel safe in the knowledge that being geeky does not make you any less feminine, it just makes you even more interesting.
There are some great ways to bask in being a girl AND a geek:
- Indulge - Read, play and watch whatever you want.
- Hating Is Exhausting - Don't judge other girls who enjoy geeky things in a different way to you, nobody has time for that.
- Being Girly Is OK - Realize that being geeky doesn't have to diminish your femininity if you don't want it to.
- Don't Sweat Those Who Don't Get It - Just like being a girl and a geek doesn't make you inferior, it also doesn't make you superior. It's a pleasurable hobby that not everyone understands… just like many of us don't understand why people play dress up with their pets.
Marinate In Your Geek Style
The first step to make this world a little friendlier for girls is to start by being friendlier to ourselves. Perhaps, instead of wasting our energy on members of our gender who aren't 'true gamer girls', we should try and make the term itself obsolete. I don't know about you but I find it impossible to play games, read comic books or watch films and television with my genitals, so why should it even matter?
With a little effort we can break out of this omega rank, then 'gamer girl' will be as relevant as 'food-consuming girl' and there will be less ammo to use against us. Then we can tackle the important matters that are the most harmful to our gender… such as pointless booth babes.
A proud girl gamer, Laura Watson often thinks about how poorly female gamers are portrayed in the media.