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Friday, September 13, 2013

Fake Geek Romance?

I've been hearing a lot lately within the geek community about the concept/mythology of the "fake geek." Particularly the "Fake Geek Girl."

This confused the living daylights out of me. Geek is a pejorative term, isn't it? Or at least it is, if you're outside that culture. Growing up, geeky meant having glasses, bad hair, and unfashionable clothes. It meant getting bitched at for setting the curve too high on tests. It meant feeling awkward because I'd rather be doing just about anything other than drinking or smoking pot, so I wasn't invited to the popular parties. It meant I didn't get a hell of a lot of dates. Mostly, it was about being a chubby, smart, mouthy girl who didn't fit in with the 'in' crowd. I did find other geeks, who became and still are great friends, but I sure didn't have to fake anything to hang around with them. And yes, for pretty much all my life, my geeky crowd has been more male than female. I've always been one of the guys.

Why the hell would anyone want to fake that? I still have scars--literal, physical scars from being beaten up in elementary school. I definitely still have body issues and other self-confidence problems. The concept that this social ostracism has anything to recommend it enough to pretend to be nerdy is just beyond my comprehension. In all honesty, I don't think anyone does. And yet there are those within the nerd community who claim that "Fake Geek Girls" (FGGs) abound.

Here's the thing. Because the male/female ratio among geeks is high, girls who are less than traditionally stunning have good odds of being considered eligible within the geek community. I met my husband at a role-playing game. It happens. We're mentally, physically and emotionally compatible and have been a couple now for nearly 30 years. Yeah. I've been gaming longer than those fake-geek-shaming bastards have been alive. Also, since many geek guys are also smart, I think that enables them to look past the physical when seeking out a mate. They ARE likely to date girls who share their hobbies and interests. And from what I've seen, those marriages have a better than average chance of lasting over the long haul.

So am I a FGG who only pretended to like gaming to find a mate? I wasn't, at the time, a big SF reader, although that's changed. I never got into comic books, have no use for video games, and don't particularly care for the sexism in Lord of the Rings or the early Star Trek. I am a history buff and loved the old Battlestar Galactica, Farscape, and Firefly. I cosplay as a hobbit (right), I dig urban fantasy, superhero movies and am a regular at the local renaissance festival and steampunk events. I roleplay when I can and play obscure board games on a regular basis. I raised 2 geek kids and have bought my 1 year old granddaughter garb. I was a scientist who now writes paranormal romance and steampunk. I kinda think that qualifies. But I am, undoubtedly, a girl. :)

If I'm a FGG, then I'm the best fake ever. I've fooled myself for nearly half a century.

In all honesty, I think the concept is silly, and utterly fallacious. If it thinks like a geek, walks like a geek and talks like a geek, well, it's a geek. Not all geeks are created equal. Move on. :)

Speaking of Geeks, one of my first book sales was called Dragon in the System. Its book 1 in my Geek Love Series from Ellora's Cave. Coincidentally to this rank, it's available for the next 10 days as a FREE download, and the next two books, Djinni and the Geek, and Teach Me are on sale for 99 cents.

Dragon in the System

Available in e and print from Ellora’s Cave Blush

Blurb: Computer science professor Eric Gordon has to find the hacker responsible for a virus on campus. When his investigations show some sort of reptile may be living in the steam tunnels under campus, he turns to biology professor Lori Tremain for help.

Lori’s life is crazy with her tenure review looming, but she’s too curious and way too attracted to turn down Eric’s request.  Together, Lori and Eric uncover things that their scientific minds can barely imagine, along with a passion they never expected.  She doesn’t have time for love or dragons, but adventure and romance find her anyway.


anny cook said...

Loved this book!!!

Cindy Spencer Pape said...

Thanks, Anny!

Cara Marsi said...

Interesting blog. I find your life story fascinating and cool. When I was in school the words "geek" and "nerd" weren't part of the lexicon. You were either popular or not. I was not. Don't know if you'd call me a nerd, but I always had my nose in a book.

You've done darn well for yourself and should be proud. I'm off to d/l your book.

Cindy Spencer Pape said...

Thank you, Cara! I have to admit, the self-identification came much later. Now, I'm told, I have Geek Cred. ;-)

jean hart stewart said...

Love nerds. lot of my friends are, and I'd guess I am too. A fun thing to be

Cindy Spencer Pape said...

Agreed Jean!

Melissa Keir said...

Like Cara, I don't think that Geek was a word that we used to describe people. Nerd was more used. I wasn't popular. I wasn't beautiful. I was too smart, even graduated a year ahead. I liked to fish and hang with the guys. I liked muscle cars. It's sad that people have to be judged or labeled. Each of us is unique.

Sandy said...

I love this post. I'm with Cara on this one, but we may be telling our age. lol Geeks and nerds weren't terms used when I was a kid. We did have popular kids, but I wasn't one of those. However, I never let that bother me.

My sister and I rented the city hall in our small town to have a party for both of our classes and invited everyone. This was after one of the cheerleaders had a party at her home, which I was invited to because we both went to the same church. (I did not run in her circle of friends, but it didn't stop her from liking me) Then another girl in our class who went to my church (we were in the church group together) had a party at her house, and I was invited.

So my sister and I always conniving decided we could have party, too, and it would be bigger. lol Our poor mother had to pay for it because we'd taken care of everything else. lol

Most kids were nicer when I was a kid. I hope this makes sense. I've been up since 4 this morning, and I'm a zombie. lol

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