So, I was watching the new episode of Warehouse 13 tonight, and it opened with a couple of nerd dudes walking into a diner, talking about “variables.” As they sit down, the topic of their conversation becomes clear; they were (supposedly) discussing the strength of Vulcans compared to that of Klingons. The waitress who has wandered up then flippantly remarks , “Gee, I wonder why I never see you boys bring any girls in here?” (The action then turns to a giant, rampaging tentacle monster.)
I was instantly enraged. I’ve just about had it with the image of the lonely nerd boy who can’t get a date because of his interests.
I’ll tell you why I’m so fucking pissed off about it: I’m a nerd girl.
I live the nerd life. I played WOW, and I still play plenty of other games. I read comics on a daily basis. I have watched (and still watch) a crapload of sci-fi including but not limited to Star Trek, Star Wars, Firefly, Red Dwarf, and Lord of the Rings (to name a few). I’ve READ plenty of fantasy/sci-fi books (with much love to Piers Anthony, Terry Pratchett, and Neil Gaiman). I play board games with friends on a semi-weekly basis. I’ve played my fair share of RPGS (I was a 1/4 drow ranger, thank you very much). I was the president of an anime club for far longer than I’d care to admit. I work in a store that sells comics and games. I blog about comics. I cosplay, and I attend conventions such as Fanime, Dundracon, and Image Con.
I have news for the Syfy channel:
I AM NOT THE ONLY NERD GIRL.
WE ARE NOT A RARE BREED.
IT IS NOT ABNORMAL FOR GIRLS TO LIKE COMICS, VIDEO GAMES, ANIMATION, FANTASY, SCI-FI, RPGS, AND THE LIKE.
The idea that nerdiness is just for boys is antiquated. It is DONE. We are everywhere, we LOVE this stuff, and we want boyfriends (or girlfriends) who ALSO love this stuff.
There are a boatload of female geeks out there, many of us who would jump at the chance to talk Star Trek with some buds. (In fact, watching this ep sparked a debate between myself and my friend about which was better, original Star Trek or Star Trek: TNG, but I digress.)
What really set me off is the fact that the SYFY channel, in the middle of a SCI-FI show, would trot out such a tired, broken stereotype in the first five minutes,. Not only were a couple of sci-fi nerds insulted, but the intelligence of the audience was immediately insulted as well.
Stop making programming that perpetuates falsehoods. The world is FULL of nerdy girls, some of us just as lonely as nerdy dudes….or UN-nerdy people, for that matter. I see a ton of female geeks every day; at the comic store where I work; on twitter where I follow them and they follow me; and on Tumblr, where they post passionately about their sci-fi/anime/rpg/etc fandoms.
Get your shit together, Syfy. We women make up 50% of the population, and I wouldn’t be surprised if we’re damn near 50% of your viewership.
I can see how you might want to suck up to the lonely male nerds in your audience, but I bet you can come up with a way to do that whilst not simultaneously alienating and disgusting your lady viewers.