Work in Tangental Progress

Did I tell you guys the good news?  My sister is moving nearby!  She got a job at a hospital about an hour and a half from our apartment and we could not be more excited.  This weekend she came up to visit and we went apartment hunting on Monday.  We found some nice options, the not so great part of town, and I turned the heel on my sock.

What's that you see?  Oh yes, we also went to see Star Trek: Into Darkness in IMAX.  I really enjoyed it in the way I really enjoyed Enterprise as a younger teen, but I don't know if I am as wildly opinionated about it one way or another as a lot of people seem to be.  I grew up on Next Generation, so I am not as invested in original Trek as others may be, but I like to think that I've just learned to keep as open a mind as possible when it comes to sci-fi reboots because nothing will ever be as good as the original.

We had a really weird encounter while in line that brought back to the forefront of my mind a disturbing trend I have been seeing in geek circles.  There was a woman who was clearly very opinionated with no real basis for her opinions, but who was determined to chat with someone.  Chris was wearing his Chad Vader tshirt so she immediately latched onto our little trio as geek-friendly and somehow decided that my sister was the geekiest of us all.  At one point she was very loudly talking to someone else about the Hulk movies and could not decided "who was in that one with that Liv Tyler".  She went on and on and finally turned to my sister and pointed and said "I bet she knows".  My sister just kind of shrugged, so I finally gave her the answer, and the woman and the creepy gentleman who had joined her by that point went on to praise my sister for her knowledge.  I know I was giving off a "don't talk to me" vibe at the time, but I was still confused as to why the woman had not asked me even though I was clearly part of the group or had even looked at me after I clearly gave my sister the answer.  It soon dawned on me that she had been pointedly ignoring me not because I had only slightly smiled at her when we walked up before playing with my phone, but more likely because how I was dressed.

I know I could be drawing broad conclusions that are completely mistaken, but I tell this story to illustrate a trend I have noticed lately.  See, I was not wearing jeans, a geeky tshirt, sneakers, or anything that screamed geek.   Instead I was wearing a short dress, cute shoes, had a flower in my hair, and was wearing lipstick.  If she had been a guy I doubt she would have asked me no matter what I was wearing.  But the fact is that as our culture realizes more and more that women are geeks and starts to market to them, we women are becoming more and more judgemental about other geeky women.  It is not enough to just be a woman who likes geeky movies or reads sci-fi or plays tabletop games.  You now have to do it all.  And you have to dress the part.  Based on how "hard core" you are, or wish to appear, you now have to embrace the careful look of not caring and the wardrobe of geek slogan t-shirts and ripped jeans or some variation thereof.  Don't get me wrong, I have a closet full of tshirts and am down to one pair of unmarred jeans, but I like to look cute too.  

This may be something that is only apparent in the microcosm, like the college feminists who feel that they aren't considered feminist enough unless they go to the extreme and burn their bras on the fraternity lawn, but it has been on my mind for the past few weeks.  So many geeky women are multi-faceted and many of us make parts of our own wardrobe.  But if a woman has nothing on her person that says "I know the secret to the Leia bikini ask me how" she is often relegated to the category of non-geek, trophy, or air head, and a "how could she possibly appreciate this" attitude then clouds any further assessment of her.  And that is just wrong.  If we as geeky women do not stand up for one another, how can we possibly expect anyone else to?  What leg do we have to stand on when we complain that gaming companies don't understand their demographic if we make snap judgements based on physical appearance?  In other words, be good to one another.  And next time you go to a geeky film, don't just dismiss the girl in the stylish outfit.  She may just be expressing another side of herself.

For actual non-tangental WIP posts, head on over to Tami's Amis.


  1. The sock is cute. I think I'd just stick with the don't talk to me vibe :) Snap judgements are ALWAYS made on appearance. Trust me I know, as someone who works in manufacturing in jeans and sneakers every day I'm often treated by sales people as unlikely to purchase big ticket items. It just amuses me.

  2. It's the old judging a book by its cover thing, I think. I tend to have the "don't talk to me vibe" at times, mostly because I've learned if there is a real oddball in the vicinity, they'll glom onto me. Hmmm. It takes one to know one?? ;) Great sock, BTW. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Your sock is lovely! The yarn is really pretty.

  4. All people judge based on what you look like and what vibe you give off. I think it is part of being human. It sounds like you were not her biggest fan. Maybe she was just picking up on that?
    Either way, if you worry too much about people judging other people based on how they look, you might drive yourself batty.
    Glad you got some sock knitting done. It looks good enough to eat! :-)

  5. My problem with being a so-called "geek girl" is that I kinda feel like you either have to know everything about everything geeky, or you fail and are considered a wannabe.

    Men still often get excited to meet a female geek, but then if you don't know much about a particular comic they like it's as if they just think "yup, she's faking, probably doesn't even really need glasses".


    Anyway yes, nice sock :D

  6. Most people who know me are always so surprised the first time I express an interest in sci-fi films/books. I have adored both sci-fi and fantasy since I was a teenager but I don't "live the culture" it is just a part of who I am. A friend from knitting group (who is probably the person who knows me best from that group and has known me for around 5 years) nearly swallowed her tongue when I told her I'd been playing World of Warcraft for the last few years. The films and books and computer games we like do not define who we are any more than the patterns we choose to knit or the yarn we choose to knit with. It is all a matter of taste and preference. I think it is sad when people try to box you and then exclude you from their box because the criteria they have set for being the right sort of person is so narrow. They are the ones that lose.

  7. yup!
    Firstly that sock is really cute.
    I think I'm in a place of zen when it comes to people thinking I'm not geeky because I'm watching sports or wearing polka-dots.
    Underestimate me at your peril.
    I'll pull out my doctor who wallet and my sonic screwdriver and blind you with doctor who trivia.

    But my partner will probably say I go out on the offensive too quickly and try and prove myself.
    Either way its frustrating that guys can get away with it, but girls can't.
    I have the same issue with liking Aussie Rules Football.
    I have to know so much more about football to be taken seriously, where a guy can wear football colours without anyone questioning whether or not he actually watches football.

    It's their loss.