I’ll admit, there are times I have thought of myself as a fake geek girl. When I wore a Spider-Man suit to a convention last May and some guy started asking my opinion on comics I hadn’t read, I felt bad for misleading him. When I am able to quote movies I haven’t watched because of GIFs I’ve seen on Tumblr, I feel like I’m deceiving the people who actually know that movie.
But then I remember that these things don’t determine my value as a nerd, as a person with interests. Just because I know more about Firefly and Harry Potter and Game of Thrones than I do about the Frank Miller era of Batman comics does not mean I don’t like Batman. Just because I love to play Viva Piñata doesn’t mean I can’t know anything about “serious” games. Just because I want to wear a costume doesn’t mean I have to know every single detail of the backstory related to that costume.
In reality, there is no fake geek anyone. There are tons of things I’m passionate about, but no one person can love and know every intricate detail about everything. The whole idea of fake geeks is used to discredit people who wish to be members of a community, and the people who are already in it rejecting them. Most often, women and girls on the Internet are the ones who experience this kind of modern discrimination. This form of shaming someone for wanting to be involved is so petty and malicious that it has no value, and should in fact be seen as more disgusting than it often is. This form of judging others with made up value systems goes both directions. The people who get angry are the ones who must find a way to make themselves superior to others. And of course they usually pick women, because what else are misogynists supposed to do? They want to create a space that they can keep others out of, likely reminiscent of ways that they were barred from joining other groups.
These actions likely won’t change anytime soon, as they are sadly somewhat ingrained in both geek culture as well at the greater cultural space these people were not welcome to in the first place. All we can do now for now, I suppose, is recognize it and try not to perpetuate it.