This Casey and Andy strip makes me think. Jen makes a fair point – so it is – but why? Why is geekdom so much more a male thing than a female? Why don’t the women scream and cream for the Casey and Andy types? Why has it been the case since the 1970s that the crowd you’ll see in a videogame arcade or a gaming/hobby shop is almost entirely sausage? What is it about psychological gender differences?
Another example – “Bookshop Memories,” by George Orwell (1936):
Why is that?
I don’t know that that’s true. I think in the past a lot of women (and other minorities) haven’t really felt super welcome (and even today), but I know many women who are interested and who are starting to feel more comfortable in what was previously a boy’s club.
I resent the implications of that strip (and associated mindset)-that, as a man, in order to procure a female significant other, you must edit yourself into this highly narrow and constrictive (and inauthentic) shell, simply because the female of the species is this monolithic block of pulsating lockstep Femininity which all act & feel in the exact same way, and all of which have pretty much identical interests.
The things you call geekdom are traditional male oriented activities. Why don’t men like to go clothes shopping as much as women do? Why do women like chick-flicks? We’re different, the old social structure that imposed that difference is fading away, but there will still be clear gender divisions in some activities. Nothing wrong with that either as long as people are free to make their choices.
Geeks are total dorks, and many of them are also nerds, dweebs, and/or squares.
From the same Orwell essay:
Writing today, he might have replaced “detective” with “SF.”
Among the under 25 crowd, there seem to be quite a few female geeks - at least in Seattle.
Geeks won’t rock out with their cock out. That’s it in a nutshell.
Although it’s impossible to say for certain, I’d lean more towards it being an effect of socialization rather than innate gender qualities. You’re a shy teenage girl; you might have an interest in coding and aliens, but all the SciFi geeks in school are equally shy boys terrified of girls who hunker down in the computer lab every afternoon. You’re a teenage boy interested in fashion, shopping, and magazines, but unless you want to get labeled as the “gay best friend”, you better get back to the football field. These early social cues shape adult people’s interests, so everyone except the outliers (who have such a strong tendency to certain opposite-gender activities they’re willing to pay the price of ostracization) more or less fit into gender roles as adults.
With the rise of “geek chic” and similar feminine nerdy culture, we’ll probably see more geek girls in the future. That doesn’t mean social roles have disappeared - it just means those particular ones have shifted.
Care to elaborate? It seems like you’re implying the only motivation girls have in pursuing any activity is to get laid.
Stealth evolutionary psychology thread?
I wonder how much nerdiness and associated social awkwardness is a human universal vs. being a quirk of the modern industrial era. If the stereotypical geeks were around during pre-history it seems pretty obvious why women wouldn’t be drawn to them. But then I wonder, the type of guys who invented things like atlatls or bow and arrows were probably engineer types and you’d think they’d improve the fitness of their tribes.
Oh, they will. They just really shouldn’t.
Is the question whether girls can be “geeks” and included in groups geek activities, or whether they want to date geeks? Big difference.
I know plenty of women obsessed with The Walking Dead, sports, anime, manga, Apple devices, Star Trek, reading fiction, and casual mobile video games. Sorry if they don’t want to make their PS4 a shrine and waste 8 hours a day on some MMORPG. Granted, the ratio is skewed male in certain forums, but women seem to be more apt at socializing and caring what others think of them. They could be seen at sci-fi/comic book conventions en masse.
I know highly intelligent young women who would fit the geek profile, but do not need to label themselves as one or create a club or be considered part of “geekdom”, whatever that is. I do not know how one “joins the video game community”. I do not know why someone would strive to be condescending to outsiders.
It doesn’t help that many boys want to keep girls out of their clubhouse.
But there are activities/hobbies which men and women prefer, and they have different tastes, which is fairly obvious if you have lived with a female family member, which is FINE. Why don’t you take up needle point and join the needle point community?
“Why don’t the women scream and cream for the Casey and Andy types?” Why would men scream for them either? If they are anything like the arrogant clowns on The Big Bang Theory, they are repulsive socially, and not worthy of friendship, although granted I have never heard of them until now.
…because these days detective novels are girly…
This is afairly intense article- written after that shooting in California a few years ago - but you made me think of it with your use of the phrase “get the girls”.
Anyway, as a pretty geeky girl, why don’t I go to as many gaming conventions as I want to, or midnight sci-fi/fantasy movie premieres, or other geeky things? Sometimes it’s exhausting. This site runs down the points pretty well. Maybe I don’t want to be viewed as a “fake geek girl” looking for attention. Maybe, like other geeky girls I know, the fact that it will be mostly men makes me think twice about showing up and being one of the only girls. Maybe I go, and someone strikes up a conversation with me about something we both have an interest in, and then I mention my SO, and then it turns out I’m a cocktease because I dared to use my feminine black magic to entice him into a five minute conversation with no intent to bang him.
Though this often replicates the female experience going to certain sporting events.
Maybe being a decent, interesting person who sees women as more than their sex organs is what “gets the girls?”
Geekdom does get the girls, and it’s becoming more and more common as societal expectations relax. All of my friends are geeks and the vast majority are married or in relationships with other geeks. The socially inept loser definitely is a thing, but not nearly as widespread as stereotypes would lead you to believe.
Have you ever been a woman and walked into most comic shops? Try it some day.
But the athlete, the male best at using the atlatl and bow, is the kind women want because he can bring home the most food.
In general, nerds are of a lesser stature and lack self-confidence.
These are qualities most women don’t find attractive.
Yeah, I have. Some are godawful, some are fantastic and inclusive. The ones I’ve been to that were bad 8-9 years ago are much better now than they were, and they continue to improve as people get used to the idea that women are geeks too and it’s okay. It’s not all that different than any other community where some people are elitist assholes and most aren’t, but the shitty people always get talked about more, to the point where most people assume it’s like that everywhere.