Geek Feminism Wiki

Fake geek girls - Allegedly women who show up at geek events, possibly while hot, with not enough geek cred for you.

Related — Geek gatekeeping

Related — 'idiot nerd girl' image macro.

And redux - this meme has started to be subverted! Apparently started with Dark Horse Comics editor Rachel Edidin (according to The Mary Sue).

Here is an article by Rachel Edidin describing the project to take back the Idiot Nerd Girl meme.

Two women founded a podcast entitled "Fake Geek Girls" in another effort to take back the meme.

Tara Brown[]

Tara Tiger Brown at Forbes laments the apparent dropping of standards to call oneself a geek in the post "Dear Fake Geek Girls: Please Go Away" - "Now, a geek is synonymous with anyone who has an Internet connection." Yet it's "girls" who get called out in the title and get this insult to boot:

Pretentious females who have labeled themselves as a "geek girl" figured out that guys will pay a lot of attention to them if they proclaim they are reading comics or playing video games.


Joe Peacock[]

It was raised by Joe Peacock in an article entitled "Booth babes need not apply": (note booth babes is a bit of a misnomer in relation to his actual article)

There is a growing chorus of frustration in the geek community with - and there's no other way to put this - pretty girls pretending to be geeks for attention. San Diego Comic-Con is the largest vehicle, but it's hardly the only convention populated with "hot chicks" wearing skimpy outfits simply to get a bunch of gawking geeks' heads to turn, just to satisfy their hollow egos.

He goes on to make various justifications for how not all "hot" women are fake geeks, etc etc etc.

Daniel Nye Griffiths at Forbes points out that this is a form of gatekeeping:

In the face of this insecurity, "fake geek girls" are the equivalent of Communist sleeper agents in the uncertain 50s – the number of women who have no interest in geek culture but want geek attention at a personal level is vanishingly small, but their phantom is used to justify prejudice more generally, with the aim of keeping an unknown quantity out of the clubhouse.

Dr NerdLove also wrote an excellent response:

Being sexy is great... as long as you’ve passed this ideological test that shows that you are indeed a True Geek and not one of these hideous poseurs. I’m sure Peacock means well, but what he is saying is "Ladies, you are only allowed to express yourself sexually if you follow my rules". This is continuing the long-running attitude still prevalent in geek culture that women are allowed to partake in fandom and geek culture if and only if they fulfill specific criteria and even then, only if they participate in the pre-approved manners. [...]The "fake" geek girl is the nerd equivalent of the welfare queen – a semi-mythical beast who somehow ruins things for everybody by... well, nobody’s entirely sure. Confusing their poor sad boners, evidently. Nobody has ever been able to explain to my satisfaction just how this hurts geek culture. Somebody dressing up in a sexy costume because being ogled makes them feel good doesn’t affect me or my friends’ participation in geek culture in any meaningful way. Putting the blame on these fake geek attention grabbers for narrowly defining the role of women in geekdom only serves to absolve the men who act as gatekeepers, insisting that the only role open to women is to be a sexual object rather than a full partner – while denigrating them for doing so at the exact same time. The idea of the "fake" geek girl only serves as a way of dismissing or diminishing the presence of women in geekdom; if she doesn’t conform to some arbitrary standard, she’s clearly a fake, only in it for the attention... because if there’s anything women do, it’s spend hours upon hours of time and effort just to rile dudes up with absolutely no payoff.

John Scalzi wrote Who Gets To Be a Geek? Anyone Who Wants to Be

Katie J.M. Baker wrote this piece on Jezebel:

There's been a lot of productive discourse on the topic of misogyny in the gaming world over the past few months, but there's also this frustratingly pervasive counter argument permeating the comments on stories about women like Anita Sarkeesian and Felicia Day: sure, gender equality is great, but shouldn't we admit that some girls ARE glorified booth babes? (I like to call it, "...but Olivia Munn exists!") [...]Who is he talking about exactly? He refers to the "hot chicks" that populate conventions "wearing skimpy outfits simply to get a bunch of gawking geeks' heads to turn, just to satisfy their hollow egos," but here's the thing — real booth babes, the women hired to hawk products at shows, are paid models, not groupies. Some conferences ban them because both men and women find their existence offensive; not because they're trying to "satisfy their hollow egos" (Peacock apparently fancies himself Freud, doesn't he?) but because, as Kotaku's Kate Cox puts it, anti-booth babe policies "foster an environment where women are around to sell the products, not to be the products."


==See also==


Addressing the argument directly[]

Turning the tables[]