I just don't understand where this concept of 'fake geek girls' came from.

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Title: I just don’t understand where this concept of ‘fake geek girls’ came from.
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Date(s): September 22, 2014
Medium: Tumblr post
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External Links: Just, fuck me up., Archived version
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I just don’t understand where this concept of ‘fake geek girls’ came from. is a Tumblr post by gingerjuju.

As of November 5, 2015, it had 55,347 notes.

The Post

I just don’t understand where this concept of ‘fake geek girls’ came from. Like, AT ALL.

Cus when I look for fandom related stuff like 90% of the fan art and the fanfiction and the meta, zines, comics, etc. Like 90% of the shit that I’ve seen is created by women & girls.

And all that stuff take’s a lot of work and research and critical analysis and staring at reference photos for hours.

We are literally the most well versed and invested group in the fandom. So, like, What the fuck boys? You mad you can’t keep up?

A Comment from September 22, 2014

[scifigrl47]:
I saw an argument, and I can’t find it now, (edit! KILLERZEBRAS FOUND IT. Go read the original thoughts here. [1] but it totally made sense, that there’s a gender split in fandom. Male fandom tends to be a curator fandom; male fandom collects, organizes, and memorizes facts and figures. Male fandom tends to be KEEPERS of the canon; the fandom places great weight on those who have the biggest collection, the deepest knowledge of obscure subjects, the first appearances, creators, character interactions.

Female fandom is creative. Females create fanart, cosplay, fanwritings. Female fandom ALTERS canon, for the simple reason that canon does not serve female fandom. In order for it to fit the ‘outsider’ (female, queer, POC), the canon must be attacked and rebuilt, and that takes creation.

“Male” fandom devalues this contribution to fandom, because it is not the 'right’ kind of fandom. “Girls only cosplay for attention, they’re not REAL fans!” “Fanfiction is full of stupid Mary Sues, girls only do it so they can make out with the main character!” “I, a male artist, have done this pin-up work and can put it in my portfolio! You, a female artist, have drawn stupid fanart, and it’s not appropriate to use as a professional reference!”

In the mind of people who decry the 'fake geek girl,’ this fandom is not as worthy. It damages, or in their mind, destroys the canon. What is the point of memorizing every possible romantic entanglement of heterosexual white Danny Rand if someone turns around and creates a fanwork depicting him as a bisexual female of Asian descent (thus subverting Rand’s creepy 'white savior’ origins)? When Danny Rand becomes Dani Rand, their power is lessened. What is important to them ceases to be the focus of the discussion. Creation and curatorship can work in tandom, but typically, in fandom, they are on opposite poles.

This is not to say that there aren’t brilliant male cosplayers or smashing female trivia experts, this is to say that the need of the individual fan is met with opposing concepts: In order for me to find myself in comics, I need to make that space for myself, and that is a creative force. Het white cis males are more likely to do anything possible to defend and preserve the canon because the canon is built to cater to them. [2]

Some Excerpts Posted Late October to Early November 2015

[hollowedskin]:
I’ve heard these two concepts referred to as Archival and Transformative as well. Neither is greater or lesser than the other but the misogynistic culture we live in devalues things associated with women, and so transformative fandom is constantly devalued and archival fandom given more credibility as the ‘true’ way of enjoying a subject because it is associated with men. [3]
[thebuscusbros]:
this really does explain why my sisters are raging fangirls while my brother and i rarely step outside canon [4]
[sterileritalin]:
Fake fans exist because many people are opposite hipsters, people who don’t like something until it becomes popular and then get into that fandom specifically for attention, they often know jackshit about the fandom they’re in, and this is why ‘het white cis males’ ask questions. For instance, i’ll as a person in a certain fandom about a certain scene or meme or whatever and they’ll reply with “Oh yeah thats cool” or “Yeah I dunno know about that.” because again they’re doing it for the attention alone. With fake geek girls who dress up as scandally clad women, they throw a shit storm when people question them and then call it ‘slut shaming’ when they don’t have to dress up like a female character with little to no clothing. You can spot a fake fan becuas they’ll get all pissy and defensive when people question their knowledge of something, and often those people know nothing and I mean nothing about that fandom. Also, comic books were bought by men and boys for the longest time, and it was always the women who made fun of these boys for reading their comic books, now that its popular, the piglets are snuffling around for truffles, eating up the fun and making it about them when it should be about the fandom. My question is this: When people question you on your knowledge of a fandom, why do you get all pissy when you could just answer the questions. If you’re new to the fandom you could answer the questions you know the answers to. Questions are not your enemy, they are your friend. [5]
[gameracb]:
I could be completely and utterly wrong, but i think when the “male side of fandoms” say that someones a fake geek girl is when they claim to be part of a fandom for attention, and know very little about it, such as when someone calls link zelda but claims to be part of the legend of zelda fandom (yea it is a thing) [6]
[gardnerhill]:
Also, crudely broken down: Male fans tend to BUY stuff (commercially-created tie-in products that cater to their demographic of white straight cis male young) while female fans tend to MAKE stuff, for the same reasons given above. Men are usually therefore more valued by the makers of the source material because they’re a bigger source of income. [7]
[darklittlestories]:
I had just chalked it up to generic sexism and fear of women in (for some reason assumed to be but they aren’t) male spaces.

This analysis is a million times more complex and fascinating. I also think pop culture trains boys/men to see women as subject/object and as creations that are nearly always less human and real than the men. So when they interact with actual female fans they have no fucking idea what to do, so they attach the fucked up Fake Fan label. Interestingly, FAKE is a pertinent description of most female characters in most fandoms. Fake bodies. “Fake”, i.e. one dimensional lives, etc. Did I mention the fake fucking bodies???

I also want to add, in reference to the portfolio statement: In my ‘capital A’ (visual) Art World experience, you’ll never be taken seriously as an artist of any gender with fan art in your portfolio. I’m not saying that’s right; that’s what I’ve seen.

There is some definite sexist bullshitery in the art world; I’m definitely not denying that. [8]
[krytella]:
Let me tell you a story about a con I went to once. At this con I attended two cosplay panels. One of them was on costuming a particular (male) character, and it was five men. They had a slideshow with canon photos, they talked about interviewing the costume director to get the details right and how one guy learned traditional European hand tailoring techniques to be more authentic. The other panel was on crossplay. It was six women. They discussed whether all cosplay is transformative, the way crossplay problemetizes gender, and how they use clothing, makeup, and acting to “read as” a different gender. There it is. [9]
[drunkgaymuslim]:
Like, this fucked me up. Feminism is in everything and I am fucking here for it. [10]
[onlymystories]:
That pin-up thing is so true. Walk around Artist Alley at any Comic Con and pretty much every male artist has pin-up works that are being raved over. Meanwhile, most of the female artists have portrait work. And that’s in no way discounting the amazing skills of the female artists at cons. I have so much incredible art in my apartment by women at Artist Alley. But remember that Jimmy Kimmel ep with the Avengers cast that mocked the artwork of Steve Rogers nude but for a strategically placed flag? That piece was a thing of beauty. I went hunting it down online because I was so impressed with the talent. But I’d bet all my con spending money that if female artists posted those kinds of works in their portfolio, they’d get ripped apart. Double fucking standards. [11]
[snilmarils]:
And when male fans take over an intended feminine-creative space, it becomes theirs. [12]
[seventh-witch]:
not witchy but it is SO true jesus christ I had this massive argument at work about how it would be nice to have a female James Bond or a gay/transgender Bond as well and I was absolutely bashed by my male coworkers for even suggesting it. Have a little imagination, step out of your box and learn that characters are not just fixed ideas, but a starting point for creativity. [13]
[mirajani]:
A long time ago, when what were called “femfans” entered fandom in numbers, one was only considered a “real geek girl” if she was into sleeping with “real geeks”, thereby conferring “realness” by the action of servicing the “real geeks”. If a “geek girl” was out of a geek guy’s league or rejected him, she was a “fake geek girl”. [14]
[sakuralou2689]:
Hmmmm.. that has something to do with gender.

Well it’s true that most women and girls are very creative when it comes to making Fandoms. Male just tend to criticize their work, it’s just because they just want to stick with story and character facts. However, women get offended or appreciated with their criticisms. However, it depends that the guys can make fan-art or fanfic on their own, or the ladies are just collecting and taking them.

Creation seems to be in the context of this topic, even there are gender differences. [15]
[undun-duz]:
I had a Holmes and Watson watercolour in my illustration portfolio 25 years ago and art directors loved it. They didn’t know they were supposed to be dissing me back then. [16]
[blessedharlot]:
This is great stuff I’ve been chewing on since I first saw this post weeks ago. It explains a lot of my interaction with fandoms, on several different levels.

I get a lot out of the valuing of creative fandom here in this writing, and the description of its relationship to the curating style that I grew up completely surrounded by. But equally so I also appreciate the description of how canon is ‘attacked and rebuilt’ by a certain kind of fan. That helps me understand some of the differences I find in others’ relationships to canon and my own (as one older queer white mostly-woman-kinda). I do respect somebody craving stories that much, and doing that work to redeem a canon. And I can certainly see the power and value in those strategies. But whether it’s just my personal style of stubbornness or my acclimation to being starved of stories, or both, I tend to walk away from canons that I can’t offer a deep amount of respect and honestly a fair bit of authority to. I have to have a very peculiar kind of trust with the storytellers to consider myself a fan, and that happens very rarely. But once I find it and the writer(s) maintain that trust, I then want to give them a lot of room to tell the story they want. This leaves room for me to make general accountability demands like “you need to do diversity better.” But demands like “this or that plot point should happen” or expecting canon to be in dialogue with fanon, those are kind of inconceivable to me. Are they a part of this attack and rebuild style, I wonder? Or are those a different dynamic altogether?

This is fascinating. [17]
[overobsessions]:
This actually makes sense when you look at the way society raises children. Little girls are encouraged to be creative while boys are encouraged to be conquerors and collectors of trophies. Examples would be girls ushered into art classes and boys told that the bigger the deer head the better. [18]
[doctor-dean-disney]:
I’m a female artist and newsflash I HAVE ADDED SOME OF MY FAN ART TO MY PORTFOLIOS SO DON’T FUCKING TELL ME WHAT TO DO. and guess what, they WEREN’T INAPPROPRIATE! In fact, one of my projects for my digital media class recently was a travel poster for Storybrooke, Maine from Once Upon A Time. so fuck off! [19]
[werewolftorts]:
Reblogging to add a reference to the source of this distinction: Curative_Fandom [20]
[fairygothmama]:
I have a friend who, fortunately, is very aware and accepting of geek girls, but still is very much the fandom chronicler type. He has trouble accepting different continuities, so much that I refuse to go see any more Marvel movies with him because I’m sick of the whining. Fanfiction? He HATES it. He won’t even touch published Star Trek novels because they aren’t official canon. He just can’t accept that what is canon for one continuity doesn’t have to be canon for another, and that they can still be equally valid. It’s annoying. [21]
[5007]:
There is canon, and there is fanon. I think both are worthy of my time but if either is badly done I don’t care for it.

I think part of it is that I’m behind on my fandoms. Every one that I’m in I’m not up-to-date with canon and fanon rapidly evolves. I just don’t have the time or energy to keep up with it all but I do get frustrated when people insist that some fanon headcanon or other is canon especially when there is canon evidence proving otherwise.

I categorize them separately. Canon is usually great but fan-generated content is frequently coming out with new experiences. Some of which I would like to through money at (if I had any). I’ve also written fanfiction, drawn fanart, and downloaded game mods. I appreciate fanon. I just don’t like all of it. [22]
[drizzerey]:
This definitely clears it up for me I’ve been trying to understand this for years! Also you can use whatever you want for the portfolio, like a resume you need to decide not just on your best work but on the appropriate things to show to a possible employer. Things you put a ton of passion in while maybe fanart is a great example of your skill and your ability to apply an already decided style, either in your own or mimicking it. Again it is all relative to what you know is your best example of what you can do, but the amount of passion you put into a project shows more then technical skill. You can draw an amazing picture using technical skill but if you didn’t really care much about it and still are meh on it after finishing it is visible. I was able to get my job using 4 year old art that actually didn’t show case my best work, but at the time it was still my best. I beat out college kids and graduates based on 2 things. My portfolio had nudity in it and my resume showed that I had worked a ton of dirty and hard jobs like fast food and barn work. Why was that important for an art job? Because my employer was afraid of getting someone with attitude or reservations about drawing sensitive material, because of the kind of work they get commissioned for. [23]
[gatlerlok]:
This is fucking hilarious to me because when I read fanfiction, I can tell when is written by a woman, because there are certain tendencies. Even in AU settings, canon personalities are adhered to as closely as possible. OCs are introduced in a way that makes sense in the grand scheme of things. Technology is maintained and expanded upon in reasonable ways.

When guys write fanfiction, their characters are gods among men, characters they really like are overpowered and flat, the female characters are even more two-dimensional, canon is ignored for “coolness”, technology is expanded upon to the point of absurdity, or canon personalities are thrown out the fucking window. Not saying this is 100% how things work, but when I have compared the fanfictions that adults are writing (as in, 20+; I admit that I myself wrote a terrible fanfic with an overpowered character and poor characterization, but I was a teenager. When I went back to finish it a year or two ago, I had to retcon the whole thing as a dream because I was so ashamed of it.) women tend to get out of that whole overpowered self-insert nonsense. As much as I love Warcraft and want to write about my own OCs, I find it difficult to read about other people’s because so few are written without making their OCs look like infallible beacons of power. Those that I enjoy are written by–shocker here–women. Because they focus on making their characters well-rounded and relatable. It was more than “Azathor the powerful Death Knight broods about his circumstance as he nonchalantly roflstomps the opposing army.” Characters formed relationships, had hardships and heartbreaks, then were happy again. I read fanfics where I cried the whole way through.

So men are being fandom gatekeepers but they can’t even contribute half as well as women can lolololol [24]

References

  1. What Happens Next: A Gallimaufry, Archived version
  2. scifigrl47.tumblr, Archived version
  3. Bird Boned, Archived version
  4. thebuscusbros.tumblr, Archived version
  5. The Raptordragon : aranel-parmadil: ormondhsacker: randsexual:..., Archived version
  6. gameracb.tumblr, Archived version
  7. gardnerhill.tumblr, Archived version
  8. darklittlestories.tumblr, Archived version
  9. almostdefinitelydying: nerdysingingcatlady:..., Archived version
  10. drunkgaymuslim: Fuck You., Archived version
  11. Onlymystory : almostdefinitelydying: nerdysingingcatlady:..., Archived version
  12. Dear Life, the-musical-cc: aranel-parmadil:...,
  13. seventh-witch.tumblr, Archived version
  14. mirajani.tumblr, Archived version
  15. sakuralou2689, Archived version
  16. undun-duz.tumblr, Archived version
  17. aranel-parmadil: ormondhsacker: randsexual:..., Archived version
  18. aranel-parmadil: ormondhsacker: randsexual:..., Archived version
  19. Doctor-Dean-Disney (codenamecesare: aranel-parmadil:...), Archived version
  20. Werewolf Torts, Archived version
  21. Life of the geek mom, dbananza: nerdysingingcatlady:..., Archived version
  22. Soot's little tumblrspce, Archived version
  23. Drizzerey Ink's Stage • dbananza: nerdysingingcatlady:..., Archived version
  24. gatlerlok.tumblr, Archived version