Booth babes need not apply
The presence of fans dressed as X-23 (left) and Loki's female form (right) at Comic-Con signals the broadening of geek culture.
July 24th, 2012
04:33 PM ET

Booth babes need not apply

Editor's note: When he's not teaching the Internet how to fist-fight, why being weird is awesome or how to self-publish your own books, Joe Peacock tours the world, showing his extensive "Akira" art collection. He also cosplays as a six-foot-two-inch, 310lb Powerpuff Girl to fill the hollow pit that is his need for the wrong kinds of attention.

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.

Now, before every single woman reading this explodes, let me disambiguate a bit. I absolutely do not believe that every girl who attends conventions and likes "Doctor Who" is pretending to be a geek.

There are lots of geeks who are female. Some of these female geeks are pretty girls. I find it fantastic that women are finally able to enjoy a culture that has predominately been male-oriented and male-driven.

The presence of female geeks means that the fiction we're reading is broadening and, frankly, getting better in quality. It means nerdy films and television shows aren't relying on damsel in distress stories and objectification of women to draw readers. It means content is broadening and becoming smarter and more accessible. I want more of that.

And be it known that I am good friends with several stunningly beautiful women who cosplay as stunningly beautiful characters from comics, sci-fi, fantasy and other genres of fandom. They are, each of them, bone fide geeks. They belong with us. Being beautiful is not a crime.

Flaunt it if you got it – and if you're a geek, male or female, and you're strikingly handsome or stunningly beautiful, and you cosplay as a handsome or beautiful character, more power to us all. Hot geeks are hot.

What I'm talking about is the girls who have no interest or history in gaming taking nearly naked photos of themselves with game controllers draped all over their body just to play at being a "model."  I get sick of wannabes who couldn't make it as car show eye candy slapping on a Batman shirt and strutting around comic book conventions instead.

I'm talking about an attention addict trying to satisfy her ego and feel pretty by infiltrating a community to seek the attention of guys she wouldn't give the time of day on the street.

I call these girls "6 of 9". They have a superpower: In the real world, they're beauty-obsessed, frustrated wannabe models who can't get work.

They decide to put on a "hot" costume, parade around a group of boys notorious for being outcasts that don't get attention from girls, and feel like a celebrity. They're a "6" in the "real world", but when they put on a Batman shirt and head to the local fandom convention du jour, they instantly become a "9".

They're poachers. They're a pox on our culture. As a guy, I find it repugnant that, due to my interests in comic books, sci-fi, fantasy and role playing games, video games and toys, I am supposed to feel honored that a pretty girl is in my presence. It's insulting.

Is it abuse in the same vein as the harassment? Not even slightly.

Someone dressing up to feel good about themselves isn't the same as guys lobbing insults, threats, disgusting suggestions and the like at women.

Case in point: there is a website called Fat, Ugly Or Slutty that catalogs insults, harassment and verbal abuse from male gamers to females on Xbox Live. Reading through just one page of the site made me ill. The big brother in me wanted to go pound the crap out of the thirteen year olds who think it's cool or funny to demean women for sport.

Is this type of harassment is deserved? Not at all. Are guys acting this way toward women just as disgusting and base as women poaching attention from our culture, satisfying their egos by strutting around a group of guys dressed in clothing and costumes from a culture filled with men they see as beneath them? Absolutely.

I think that these things sully what is otherwise an incredible group of people and bring down a beautiful culture. I feel the same way when some guy reads about a hot comic book title sure to be a collector's item, drives up demand by buying up all of those issues and resells them on eBay for hundreds of dollars. He doesn't love the culture. He doesn't add anything to it. All he does is make scarce a resource that we want and love, in the name of profit.

I hate poachers. Pure and simple.

The growing presence of these Olivia Munn types in the geek community is creating dialog that isn't helping anyone. You've no doubt heard about a young journalist named Ryan Perez who did something stupid. Really, really stupid. He "called out" Felicia Day on Twitter, asking if she really contributes anything to geek culture other than being a celebrity.

I believe that Felicia's main drive is probably writing and acting, and that geek culture is where she chooses to exercise her talents. She's found a niche, and she works within that niche – but so have Nathan Fillion, George Takei, Wil Wheaton... All actor/writers who make the most of their geek celebrity. However, no one gets it in their blood to call these guys out. So why Felicia Day?

It's because she's a girl, and some men are disgusting. Plain and simple.

Felicia Day is not a poacher. She's a celebrity, sure. She's a pretty girl, absolutely. The fact that she chooses geeky avenues to focus those interests? That makes her a geek. The fact that she spent her own money to make a successful independent video feature centered around World of Warcraft puts her into ubergeek territory. Not only does she put her money where her interests are, she creates things that further the community.

But then, you have these models-cum-geeks like Olivia Munn and practically every FragDoll. These chicks? Not geeks. I think that their rise is due to the fact that corporations are figuring out that geeks have money, and they want it. But they can't abide putting a typically geeky face on camera, so they hire models to act quirky and sell this marketable geekdom. So, I can understand why someone completely ignorant could look at Felicia Day and see a pretty woman who is making one heck of a career starring in roles celebrating fandom, and mentally file them along with the fake geek G4 hostesses. Ryan Perez is a shoddy journalist and failed to do any research.

He knee-jerked his way into temporary internet infamy. I think he was an idiot. But I can see why he bubbled over.
There's no doubt about it – girls in geek culture have it hard, and it's probably going to be that way for a long time. At least until men stop lusting after women (so, like, never).  But that doesn't mean that women aren't welcomed and accepted in geek culture. Women elevate the culture, and thus, the content. And, I'll admit, you ladies are much nicer to be around.

However, you "6 of 9s" out there? You're just gross. There's an entire contingent of guys in geekdom who absolutely love you, because inside, they're 13 year old boys who like to objectify women and see them as nothing more than butts and a pair of boobs to be leered at. Have fun with them, and don't be shocked when they send you XBox Live messages with ASCII penises.

Those of us who actually like substance? We'll be over here celebrating great comics, great games, great art, great movies and great television, because we're actually attracted to a completely different body part: the brain.

A counterpoint from Genevieve Dempre posted here, and more from Peacock.

Posted by
Filed under: Comic-Con 2012 • Fandom
soundoff (1,036 Responses)
  1. Ben

    "broadening". I see what you did there.

    November 19, 2012 at 6:57 pm |
  2. Michael Lindsay

    Exactly.

    REAL Geeks are crazy circus performers who mutilate chickens and mice with their bare teeth!

    Where's the sinew on yer teeth ya posers?

    November 16, 2012 at 8:15 am |
  3. Ani

    Hi Joe,

    Just saying I think John Scalzi got you really wrong and I'm sorry you had to deal with that.

    *checks date* wow, I'm late to this. But I wanted you to know anyway.

    November 16, 2012 at 3:38 am |
  4. actiboo

    http://whatever.scalzi.com/2012/07/26/who-gets-to-be-a-geek-anyone-who-wants-to-be/

    November 15, 2012 at 3:42 pm |
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  10. Essa

    There are lots of geeks who are female. Some of these female geeks are pretty girls. I find it fantastic that women are finally able to enjoy a culture that has predominately been male-oriented and male-driven.

    After reading the whole article, I simply find you a man incapable of understanding a woman simply because all you think of is the difference of our gender. This line. Especially, this line "...women are finally able to enjoy a culture that has predominantly been male-oriented and male-driven." There's clue in how you worded that sentence. It has been male-driven, for years, women were simply discouraged from enjoying any of it because your society deemed it a masculine activity.

    Guess what, women have always been capable of enjoying geek culture. Some geeks are hot, some are not. And I must say, this includes guys as well. I grew up in a household where I was encouraged to do anything I want so even before I knew something like a 'geek culture' existed, I was watching Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Batman and reading comics and loving them.

    Women liking 'male' things, we always end up in the damned if you do, damned if you don't area. A hot girl is a geek, you say she's just poaching and even before you actually know anything about her being a true geek. An ugly girl is a geek, still gets insults.

    I hate that I can't enjoy being geek-y because conversations like these always prop up.

    October 3, 2012 at 1:45 pm |
    • Ginnie

      That line got to me, too. We've always been "able to enjoy" this culture. We just haven't been welcomed. And this article makes it, oh, so clear that that is still the case.

      November 14, 2012 at 1:07 pm |
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  17. Dj Anim8ted

    Olivia Munn is a geek. If you read her book "Suck it Wonder Woman" you would see her struggle growing up and how Geek culture gave her the avenue to cope. Other than that the article is clear side effect of a niche culture becoming mainstream. Your traditional hierarchy has been switched, so the "cool" kids fight or flight instinct kicked in and they have adapted.

    September 16, 2012 at 3:58 pm |
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      November 14, 2012 at 11:13 am |
  18. Ginny

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    September 14, 2012 at 9:02 pm |
  19. ZeroCorpse

    Don't any of you get it?

    There are no geeks anymore.

    Video games? Mainstream. Your mom and grandma have been playing video games since the 80s.

    Comic books? Mainstream. Avengers, The Walking Dead, The Dark Knight, 30 Days of Night... These are mainstream, blockbuster movies, and they got that way because LOTS of people– not just "nerds"– went to see them.

    Roleplaying games? Mainstream. World of Warcraft's success makes it pretty clear, and while there aren't a ton of mainstream D&D players, I'd bet your Aunt Bessie has played a little Final Fantasy or Legend of Zelda by now.

    Science Fiction? Mainstream since Star Trek came out of the closet in the late 80s. Shows like Fringe and Doctor Who are successful because a lot of people watch them, and even your mom's favorite soap opera throws in a science fiction or supernatural element every once in a while.

    Face it, kids: Nerd 'culture" isn't an exclusive club anymore. Didn't ANY of you listen to the speech at the end of Revenge of the Nerds? ALL people have nerdy/geeky things they do, and in realizing that this is the truth, we realize that we're all nerds, which makes nerds the mainstream mass of people, and the ones who picked on nerds are just nerds in denial.

    And when being a geek became fashionable in the 90s, all bets were off. Not only were the hobbies and habits mainstream by that point, but the look and behavior became popular culture.

    There are no nerds. There are no geeks. Because everyone likes that stuff, which makes you NOT a social pariah like you would have been in the decades prior to the mid-80s. There's a huge difference between being a "geek" now, and being a geek then... And it mainly involved having people BEAT YOU UP for liking the stuff you liked.

    When's the last time any of you said "I like video games" and got your underwear run up a flagpole for it? When's the last time any of you said "I collect comics" and ended up being given a swirly for admitting it? When's the last time you said "I think science fiction is cool." and suffered ridicule because of it?

    I'm betting approximately 1987... If you were even alive, then.

    Face it: There are no geeks anymore. It's just a fashion label, now.

    September 5, 2012 at 1:19 am |
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  21. woodie

    I want to see the girls. More girls please.

    September 3, 2012 at 10:11 pm |
  22. Layce

    I'll tell you what's really terrible. Grown men who rate women on a scale of 1-10. You sir, are not a geek, but a chauvinistic loser.

    September 3, 2012 at 10:06 pm |
    • Peter North

      Hey there fatty!

      September 4, 2012 at 11:29 am |
      • Sophie

        Hey there to you too, guy who's never going to get a girlfriend!

        September 5, 2012 at 2:44 pm |
    • glitchead

      Well, someone went to a soccer game with a baseball bat. Honestly, are you trying to say that you completely missed the entire aspect of his speech, that you didn't even hear him rant about how he hates the superficiality of it, and how he wants nothing better than to engage with a female in intellectual conversation on something that others may or may not consider quirky, skimpy outfits be damned? You missed all of that because he used the phrase "6 of 9"? No. There's no way someone could be so dense, because they would basically be opening themselves to ridicule for saying something like that on the internet.. You're a troll. It must be true. You're someone who came here hoping to start fights, aren't you?

      September 14, 2012 at 8:59 pm |
  23. kirbang

    How can anyone complain about having more pretty women around. That's just crazy.

    September 1, 2012 at 7:22 pm |
  24. Kane Marko

    I read this several times, and now I get it! It's like, all the nerds go to play D&D in a closet, and then somebody brings a popular kid to play, and the popular kid brings a few more, and pretty soon all the nerds become the nerds again, and have to find some other lame way to escape! Yes, based on that, we should ban all attractive "Posers" and set rigid guidelines for geekdom. Let's all be insecure! Yayyyy!

    August 21, 2012 at 9:32 am |
  25. Bill

    Take it from a guy who went to Star Trek conventions when the original was first-run. Enjoy the scenery. If they're shallow, posers, or undesireable for whatever reason, then look, smile, and ignore 'em

    August 18, 2012 at 12:43 am |
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    Get over yourself. The things that women do or do not wear are not always about you. (In fact, unless you're dating her, they're probably never about you.) Sometimes, their pretty little heads have thoughts devoted to other things. Like, for instance, how completely awesome their favorite comic book heroine is, and how cool it would be to look like her for a day.

    August 14, 2012 at 6:52 am |
    • Rune-Paw

      You've missed the whole point, haven't you? He's explicitly stated that he supports women taking part in comic-cons and the like, and he is proud of the fact that sci-fi, video games and comics no longer need to fall onto the generic female stereotypes. He likes the girls who dress up because they like being geeks. What he's saying is, there are girls (and boys, in all fairness) who go to comic-cons, despite not actually being geeks, who do it because they're seeking attention. I mean, it would be one thing if he said that all women were like this. But he's not, is he? He's saying this for the women who are. Not the geeky women, who genuinely want to be there for the fun of it, but for the women who do these things for the attention of it.

      August 16, 2012 at 11:17 am |
      • malapertgirl

        Nobody does it ONLY for the fun of the geekery or ONLY for the attention–come on, a costume is always explicitly about both!

        August 16, 2012 at 11:33 am |
      • Holly

        Unfortunatly making broad generalizations as he has leads to interogations from people to "prove their power level" and earn a right to attend a con. Who cares if one in a million just wants attention? Do you know how much time and money goes into making a costume? Cause I do and its not for the faint of heart or a "casual". So get off your high horse and mind you own business, sorry pretty girls make you uncomfortable.

        August 16, 2012 at 4:22 pm |
      • War Kitten

        So how do you tell the difference between hot cosplaying poser and hot legitimate geek?

        August 28, 2012 at 4:09 pm |
  29. Colleen Crosby

    Thanks a lot for your article.

    I'm a 45-year-old woman who has been a geek since before it was popular. As a kid, I played "Battlestar Galactica" as often as I played "Little House on the Prairie." I'm not an author, but I read a lot of sci-fi. I'm not a super-fan, but I belong to a couple of different sf clubs, and I go to fan-run conventions. My number one fandom is costuming, but I've played D&D, I've larped, and I work at a company that makes video games and movies. Hopefully, that's enough to "prove" myself.

    But I shouldn't have to prove myself, and that's why I'm writing.

    This weekend was hot, so I donned a pair of shorts and my favorite Think Geek shirt: on the front and on the back. A put my hair in a ponytail, and I was ready to do my shopping and wash my car. I was delighted that everything still fits, as I've had that outfit for quite a while. It's not something I'd wear to work, because I'm busty and I have a small waist. As my husband said, I was cutting a cheerleader figure.

    I've worn this outfit many times before, and I'm used to not-always welcome comments about my figure, but I'm not used to having my "geek cred" called into question by random strangers. In the first half hour that I was out, I fielded 3 comments about not looking the part of a geek. One person asked me if I was really a geek or I was just pretending.

    I spent all my lunchtimes in 9th grade sitting in the library with my only friends: Larry Niven & Jerry Pournelle & Piers Anthony & other authors, who were the only ones who would "talk" to me, because I wasn't cool enough for the other kids. And now people are saying that I must be pretending, because I don't look the part? I'm an outsider again?

    Thanks a lot.

    I've decided that when people say things like that, my response will be, "It's like being gay. You can't tell from just looking."

    August 13, 2012 at 10:34 am |
    • Spartacus

      >>I've decided that when people say things like that, my response will be, "It's like being gay. You can't tell from just looking."

      Except you CAN tell? It's called gaydar, darling.

      August 13, 2012 at 12:44 pm |
      • malapertgirl

        aaaand gaydar is fun to chat about, but the truth is, there are plenty of people who "act straight" who prefer to date people of the their same gender. The assumption that all gays are identifiable behavorially through the use of one's gaydar is in fact a form of bigotry. Sorry, sweetums.

        August 13, 2012 at 12:48 pm |
    • Holly

      I couldn't have put it better myself.

      I spent high school not being able to relate to anyone and now environments I finally found to fit in, I don't. To cosplay I have to know every little detail of the fandom, because Im sure going to get quizzed about it. This whole nerdier than thou stuff is getting old.

      August 15, 2012 at 1:52 pm |
    • Ben Buchwald

      I don't totally agree with this article, but I sort of see his point. I don't think he is saying that you should have to prove your geek cred. In fact, it is because of the fact that you can't tell from just looking and it is demeaning to ask that posers are such a problem. If there were no posers and you could assume that everyone at a comicon was there for the "right reasons" then you wouldn't have guys questioning your geekdom. That said, I'm not sure whether there really are as many posers as the author suggests, or if he is just making the kind of assumptions you are rightly upset about. It's not entirely fair to question people's motives. If someone wants to go to a convention, they should be welcome to whether they spent lunch alone reading sci-fi, or if they only got interested in the culture by the latest hollywood blockbuster comic-book adaptation.

      September 10, 2012 at 3:16 pm |
    • Ryza

      I'm not saying I look half as good as you on here but I've had the same experience. I wear rather girly clothes and have been called attractive. I don't wear a badge that says I enjoy Diablo and comics and superheroes and sci-fi.

      But when I tell people that it is what I like, and something I am passionate about, I always get that same comment.

      I don't look like the kind of person who enjoys such things.

      Why such an outlook? Can't pretty much anyone enjoy something? Are there standards out there now on what I can and not be passionate about?

      Thank you. This just strikes a chord in me because it's one of the little things that makes me uncomfortable about looking the way I look and spouting why I can't decide which I love more between Star Wars and Star Trek, or why cartoons and anime are different.

      October 3, 2012 at 1:53 pm |
  30. ...

    Guys do it too. Dressing up in large framed glasses, scarves, and novelty super hero T shirts does not make you geeky, it makes you retarded.

    August 5, 2012 at 7:36 pm |
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  32. Ontogenesis

    "She's a pretty girl, absolutely."

    The way you keep alternating between "girl" and "woman" is revealing. I'm certain most of these females you see dressed up are indeed over 18 (legally "women.") Would you ever refer to Will Wheaton or George Takei as a "pretty boys"?

    Basically, the use of "girl" reveals your mindset in which women are infantilized and beneath you, the icky-cooty bearers who should listen to what a MAN* has to say, as they lack the agency and mental capacity to think for themselves.

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    August 4, 2012 at 8:47 am |
    • Emily

      Now hold on there Suzy B., just put down the pitchfork for a moment. Correct he was alternating between the use of "girl" and "woman" and yes, it was more than likely subconscious, but don't go jumping the gun yet and say that his misogyny is ingrained. The fact of the matter is, the patriarchy is a system, which means it is something that is greater than even the individual, and it's nice to make him aware than when he's speaking about girls he means those between the ages of infant-15, and when he's speaking about women, he means just that. That's good, but I hardly think he actually meant anything derogatory, and the fact of the matter is, this entire article was about empowering women not to objectify themselves, and for asking his fellow men to have some dignity, and not to play into that game for the sake of both men, AND women.

      The fact that you're acting in such a way actually puts you in that category of oppression as well. Honestly, you're making us all look back. Don't demean him because he has a penis, don't say he's automatically trying to dominate over women just because of his alternating use of language–because it's part of a system, that he's clearing trying to break away from. So why don't you go ahead and be a little bit more of a helper, instead of an instigator mmkay? The rest of us women who actually care about equal treatment will be over here not trying to castrate men who are attempting to defend themselves, AND women, but encouraging them.

      August 4, 2012 at 11:35 am |
    • Spartacus

      As it happens I do refer to men and women as boy and girl, it's less to do with the patriarchy or misogyny as the language of my region of England. We refer to pensioners as "old boy" and "old girl", for example, nor I would not hesitate to all a man in his 40s a "lad".

      Only your ego and borderline narcissism prompted you to define girl as a specific age range and moreover to then berate someone for not having the foresight to both guess your age rating system and then obey your proscriptions on the use of a language not even native to your lands. English is wider, more interesting, and in it's native environment layered with ironies you'll clearly never detect than the bleating, toneless, nuance-free American Standard colonials seem so fond of.

      Loosen up, girl, and enjoy yourself – it's later than you think.

      August 4, 2012 at 5:57 pm |
      • Emily

        Not entirely sure who that was meant for–myself, or the woman above me, but I do hope you were not directing that at me, as it seemed we both clearly had the same intent on defending this gentleman who wrote the article. I will say though it is quite hypocritical of you to denounce someone as egotistical and borderline narcissistic when you lord over the rest of us with your native English background, as if we're all mouth-breathing, drooling idiots with severe forms of mental retardation. Truthfully–no one cares you're from England. And yes, I'm going to go ahead and be the "damn Yank" and say: We kicked your ass in the revolutionary war–get over it. Fact of the matter is, I have a couple of English friends who can barely spell correctly; though they are very smart in other areas of life. If you truly are such a vastly intelligent Englishman, then you would have realized that generalities are not the correct way to go about things, and that everyone is different. Misogyny exists, is a system, greater than the individual, but does not mean every individual plays a role within it.

        August 7, 2012 at 2:48 am |
      • Spartacus

        The Revolutionary War, as independence had not been previously declared technically Britain defeated herself.

        August 7, 2012 at 2:27 pm |
    • Neokrw

      I don't think of 'girl' as infantalized. I think 'girl' isn't really THAT specific, I think it depends on the context. You are right I would never (or don't think anyone else does) think of myself as 'boy'. I could think of myself as 'man' or 'guy'. We just don't want to be expressed as 'old', I think. I remember my Science teacher would always prefer that she be called Ms. instead of Mrs. when she was married, she said because it made her feel old. When I think of boy, I think of 'young boy', but when I think of 'girl', I don't think of 'young girl', just 'girl' in general.

      Now, would you rather be referred to as a woman, and not a girl? Do you have friends that say "Hey girl!" If other females would rather be called 'woman' instead of girl, I think they should speak out... because I don't really want to offend someone by just calling them 'woman' instead of 'girl'. Understand me?

      Anyways. I like 'girls'. Not 'young girls'. Do I like women? Yes, I do. But, I have to put in that I like young women around my age. : ]

      August 8, 2012 at 6:04 pm |
  33. Alright

    here's a neat idea: who cares

    August 2, 2012 at 5:29 am |
  34. reddeadridinghood

    Here. Enjoy. It mentions this article specifically.

    http://www.escapistmagazine.com/articles/view/comics/critical-miss/9834-Our-Little-Pony

    August 1, 2012 at 8:07 pm |
  35. celeveren

    And yet, you like comic books where women only have one body – the Barbie-in-Spandex model. I bet you have Boris Vallejo posters and buy miniatures for cup size.

    Has it crossed your mind that they might be Geek-curious? Think of Penny in Big Bang Theory, who comes to appreciate and revel in geek culture because she has enough depth to treat male geeks like human beings. If only you could describe your female friends without discussing their bodies, and if only you didn't treat these other women like objects for you to lust after even as you write them off as worthless. Would you be objecting if handsome men were selling you limited edition Wonder Woman comics but were actually just casual Dr. Who fans?

    August 1, 2012 at 8:06 am |
  36. theknittingarchaeologist

    What a load of crap. What's YOUR street rating? How demeaning to imply that a girl is barely above average and then dresses up to feel like a 9 among losers. In that sentiment, you realize you are calling yourself a loser, right? This is a self-esteem issue YOU need to work on. Quit projecting your insecurities onto other people. I have no opinion on booth babes. I honestly don't care if they're there. But as for girls at Cons? I agree with a previous poster. A girl can be pretty and a geek. I am so tired of having men be intimidated by me because I am smart, attractive, and a geek. I have a PhD and I adore Star Trek, BSG, old school gaming. I just got into graphic novels a year ago thanks to another lady, and I love them. Does that ruin my cred? Apparently I terrify these little boys, because secretly I'm the girl from high school who they couldn't have. So they think. Here's the thing: I was a HUGE dork in high school, and my high school boyfriend was just as dorky. I would prefer to date a geek so that we have things in common, but the level of worship and neediness is a real turn off. Ugh. Grow up!

    August 1, 2012 at 7:37 am |
    • Neokrw

      Good point. I agree, I'd also rather date someone like me because if I don't, there wouldn't really be much to talk about, and less of a connection. But this makes me wonder (consider I have no experience with cons), why do you go to cons? What do girls at cons do? I mean... I don't even know the main point of cons. >_> lol. Think of it like this. Would you expect someone (a guy) to come up to you and start a chat with you, even possibly continue a friendship (even more) afterwards? That is my point.

      August 8, 2012 at 6:18 pm |
      • theknittingarchaeologist

        I actually have never been to a con, because I don't really see the point... for me. I love certain fandoms, but honestly the cost of attending is so exorbitant, and I'm pretty much over the need to meet any of the people. Sure, if I could meet the character, but the actor? Meh. But that's my current outlook. If I knew about these things when I was 15, I would have totally begged my mom for money to go. I spent a pretty penny going to concerts, and I met almost every band I set my cap at :) Now? I listen to those bands on my iPhone on T :/

        August 9, 2012 at 8:30 pm |
  37. B

    If you are that hot, you don't need to go to a con to get attention. And if there's someone there coming there for the fun of dressing up he/she has the same right being there as you.

    August 1, 2012 at 3:30 am |
  38. Elvaril

    If the Frag Dolls were just faking being geeks, then I highly doubt that Rooster Teeth would have the amount of respect for the Frag Dolls that they do. They even hired Faith Harrison away from the Frag Dolls. Seems to me that Ryan Perez is not the only person who needs to do his research.

    July 31, 2012 at 9:12 pm |
  39. Projecting much?

    Check out what this guy says about himself in the author description: "He also cosplays as a six-foot-two-inch, 310lb Powerpuff Girl to fill the hollow pit that is his need for the wrong kinds of attention."

    How does this guy get off on trying to exile people who will just wants attention WHEN HE CLEARLY IS ONE OF THOSE VERY PEOPLE?

    July 31, 2012 at 8:42 pm |
    • Ulrich

      That part of the description was pretty clearly meant to be sarcasm.

      July 31, 2012 at 8:57 pm |
  40. down with this sort of thing

    One time I tried to go to a comic book convention dressed up in a pretty costume because I like Catwoman and I like looking pretty but then some guy asked me about Tekken and I didn't have the answers to his questions so I didn't get to go. And in the end, we were all better for it.

    July 31, 2012 at 8:38 pm |
  41. There Are Idiots In Every Group

    Next up, we're going to burn Hollywood to the ground for hiring non-geeks to write/direct/produce/act in geek films. If this is the illogical behavior of this imaginary "geek culture" then I will be glad when the fad goes away. Just like all the others.

    July 31, 2012 at 6:03 pm |
  42. Rod Hugeous

    "Those of us who actually like substance? We'll be over here celebrating great comics, great games, great art, great movies and great television, because we're actually attracted to a completely different body part: the brain."
    AHHahahahaha
    Substance? You're pigs feeding at the trough of consumerism.
    As someone who unfortunately shares quite a few interests with self-identified nerds and geeks, I can safely say that there is very little of intellectual merit to be found in the vast majority of the garbage you revel in.

    July 31, 2012 at 4:55 pm |
    • There Are Idiots In Every Group

      Don't expect them to understand. To them, to be a fan of something, you have to own all the books, bobble heads, lunch boxes, empty bottles of soda with heros face on it, all the games, and even that lil plastic toy in the box of cereal. My god without that, you're not a geek.

      I do wonder when people will wake up and realize there is no such thing as "geek culture".

      July 31, 2012 at 6:22 pm |
      • Maty

        Says you! You're another one, just like this author, predetermining others motives and actions. Nothing worse than a know-it-all.

        August 5, 2012 at 7:01 pm |
  43. Marcheline

    One day you'll get laid, and none of this will bother you any more.

    July 31, 2012 at 1:53 pm |
  44. Spartacus

    The thing is people like having a party and like dressing-up. It's not narcissistic or symptomatic of a "hollow ego" (FFS) to like dressing-up and attend a large, safe, friendly party.

    This article is really about an overweight attention-seeker complaining there are beautiful, sociable people attending the largest pop culture convention instead of the more typical overweight, socially awkward, autistic-spectrum personality disorder geek demographic.

    Me? I want to meet that X-23...

    July 31, 2012 at 10:25 am |
  45. arstrequiem

    Just wanted to point something out to the author; your writing an article on CNN that has made an entire section to what mainstream considers Geek culture. Please tell me you see the irony of calling out for people to prove they have enough "geek cred" on a news site that's pandering to the ideas of what is and isn't a geek culture by those that you would call out as fakes?

    July 31, 2012 at 4:13 am |
  46. Maggie

    http://makemeasammich.org/2012/07/26/a-call-to-arms-for-decent-men/
    From the excellent blog "Make Me a Sammich," about what it's like to be a woman in America. A quote; "Instead of maturing into a man’s role and a man’s responsibilities, a lot of boys are stuck at the phase of hating girls and women. The boys continue to treat them like diseased subhumans right through adolescence and into adulthood."
    I have been a proud female geek for many years. I encounter this problem regularly, but less in some areas of geekdom and fandom than others, and less in fandom than in the mundane world. I will treat you with utmost contempt if you act like a chauvinist pig around me. The guy who wrote this oinks, but he doesn't hear it.

    July 30, 2012 at 10:43 pm |
  47. Liana K

    When companies and the public start truly respecting women who are insanely into this stuff, then things will change. Until then, the culture is creating the 6 of 9s (Which I originally thought was a Borg reference. Oops)

    Don't refer to women by numbers unless they've been assimilated. It's insulting.

    There are a lot of guys who go out of their way to prove a woman isn't nerdy. Do I read EVERY comic Marvel and DC put out? No, because the stories repeat every 3 years or so. Do I watch EVERY show out there? No, because, again, everything is starting to feel terribly derivative.

    Then I'm told that my actual interests are "too niche" when I try to develop projects. Apparently video games are niche. But, oops, I'm a girl, so I must just play Farmville, har har har... seriously folks, google search someone and find their Steam account before you make comments like that.

    Why do we get to bash Olivia Munn, but not Felicia Day? That seems strange to me. I've worked with Olivia on a few occassions. She is a hard working professional and no one has the right to slag that. It's not her fault she got a job at G4 and geek guys everywhere decided to slobber all over her.

    REAL female geeks don't get hired in media. I have had to create my own job, and that means that I don't have the degrees and such that companies want for "geeky" women, because I was already working when those requirements came into being. I can talk for hours about non-linear narrative and interactive entertainment, but I can't point to a piece of paper from a University, so I'm passed over.

    I DO get my foot in the door by being a "booth babe" sometimes. No, I am not considered model pretty, but I can work with what I have, and I know my stuff. Sadly, this is currently a woman's place in the nerd hierarchy, unless someone like Joss Wheedon anoints someone like Felicia Day as someone we should care about.

    So let's stop being offended and take a good hard look at what our culture is doing when it comes to women. And stop referring to us by numbers.

    July 30, 2012 at 4:04 pm |
    • Moxie

      As usual Liana, well put.

      July 30, 2012 at 5:03 pm |
  48. Moxie

    A point I think a lot of people are missing is that no matter what you think of the women hired as booth babes, their presence shows that these companies don't know their market – in other words, they don't know you and they don't care to.

    Women, especially women who have hobbies stereotyped as 'male', deal with this all the time, but it's always nice to see a man escaping the trap of being told what he is supposed to respond to – according to all the lamos in the marketing dept. at XYZ entertainment.

    When E3 banned booth babes, they surveyed con goers. So did Penny Arcade if i remember correctly. And the video game industry stepped up and did the same thing. Here is what they found: http://www.theesa.com/facts/index.asp

    So, if 47 percent of gamers are women (which is interesting, because women don't play all games across the board if you read the full report. Their buying behavior is different from men), again....if almost half are women, and men are occasionally put off by booth babes – then how do you think many women feel knowing that they are not good enough to be pandered to?

    July 29, 2012 at 9:45 pm |
  49. peridot2

    Joe, do you realise you're objectifying these women for not being attractive enough to be in your presence? Rating women for being too unattractive to be costumed at gatherings you attend seems very much like prejudice, whether you are aware of it in yourself or not.

    How do you know what their motivations are for being present? If they are costumed have you ever asked them what their interests are? Unless you are psychic, you should ask them. Otherwise it would seem you're projecting your own close-minded ideas on female people who are there to have fun.

    Presumably, you're there for the same purpose, rather than to be amused by unclad females. Or is that *your* sole purpose*?

    July 29, 2012 at 3:53 pm |
  50. Silly

    And this is why I only go to anime cons instead of comic cons. There I can cosplay as whatever I want, without whiny men throwing a temper tantrum about it. I can even kiss my girlfriend in costume without people even caring.

    July 29, 2012 at 2:43 pm |
  51. yasalake babee

    woow i got now i deae im axscd

    July 29, 2012 at 1:16 am |
  52. Amo

    This is causing stress in your life? Grow up. What an immature topic.

    July 28, 2012 at 11:35 pm |
  53. amused

    The enemy of my enemy is my friend. Watch all the pale sissies unite. I go to these events to mock you all, all who didn't get the correct attention as a child. Thank you for years of entertainment, and the years to come.

    July 28, 2012 at 7:22 pm |
  54. weaponsofmassdelight

    Reblogged this on weaponsofmassdelight and commented:
    Woh...this thing is causing a divide. I kind of agree with him though.

    July 28, 2012 at 1:29 pm |
  55. chrisdsav

    Hey loved your blog check out mine

    July 28, 2012 at 12:47 pm |
  56. David of the Impeccable Taste

    Joe, you are living in the wrong decade. Did you even ask any of the guys at cons if they dislike having pretty girls no matter their interest? Why the hell should these women have to prove themselves to you? Do you go to auto shows and quiz the show models on their knowledge of cars? Maybe you get all your geek knowledge from wiki? How do I know you're a fan? I don't know you. You stereotype women as being pretty=poser until they can prove otherwise. Do us all a favour and keep your future opinions to yourself.

    July 28, 2012 at 11:57 am |
    • Geek

      Its all cool if they're DTF.

      July 28, 2012 at 9:17 pm |
      • commander keen

        best response yet.

        July 29, 2012 at 6:14 am |
  57. Kohaku

    " That these poachers and fake geek girls actually demean advancements in the geek culture where women are concerned. They actually hurt the legitimacy of females in geekdom because they're subjugating themselves. They play directly into the hands of the 13 year old male mentality of "OOOH BOOBS!" It's gross and sad. "

    These women are not poachers. They are being hired to do a job, by the very companies which we purchase products from. As bad as using female OR male flesh to peddle products may be, the fact is that it WORKS or they wouldn't be shelling out the money to hire these women. And maybe more of the Booth Ambassadors are not "genuine geeks" (how ANYONE could know this without deliberately questioning these PROFESSIONAL women and essentially harassing them while they are trying to fulfill their contract, I have no idea) because the geek women are actually ATTENDING the con, rather than have to stand around for hours in high heels, being questioned by jerks who assume they aren't good enough to be there.

    July 28, 2012 at 9:06 am |
  58. Rachael

    "And be it known that I am good friends with several stunningly beautiful women who cosplay as stunningly beautiful characters from comics, sci-fi, fantasy and other genres of fandom. They are, each of them, bone fide geeks. They belong with us. Being beautiful is not a crime."

    Yeah, but based on your article, if you did not know ahead of time that they had geeky interests, you would assume they were not geeks and judge them based on the skimpiness of their outfits. Hired booth babes aside, how can you possibly presume to know the interests of other attendees of a con?

    And btw, this comment of yours really reminds me of people who say "I'm not racist, I have black friends"

    July 27, 2012 at 3:00 pm |
    • Justin K.

      I was thinking the same thing. He went out of his way to try to qualify all his remarks, but it rings hollow. And referring to girls as numbers like that? "6s" who become "9s"? Yeah, you aren't objectifying women at all.

      July 31, 2012 at 6:34 pm |
  59. Joanna

    "I find it repugnant that, due to my interests in comic books, sci-fi, fantasy and role playing games, video games and toys, I am supposed to feel honored that a pretty girl is in my presence. It's insulting."

    You realize that's not generally how it works, right? You're like America pre-WWII, isolationist and greatly depressing.

    July 27, 2012 at 12:39 pm |
    • Moxie

      It does. It works exactly like that.

      July 30, 2012 at 5:08 pm |
  60. Joanna

    "I find it repugnant that, due to my interests in comic books, sci-fi, fantasy and role playing games, video games and toys, I am supposed to feel honored that a pretty girl is in my presence. It's insulting."

    You realize that is not actually how it works, right? You're like America pre WWII, isolationist and greatly depressing.

    July 27, 2012 at 12:37 pm |
  61. Vantage Advertising

    While Joe's article outlines a specific point of view, it is one sided.

    I work for Vantage Advertising, an event staffing company that hires these 'booth babes' for trade shows, conventions and events. Sure, let's be honest, the goal of many of our clients (but not all) is to hire these beautiful men or women in order to attract more people to their booth (it's a successful marketing strategy, or I wouldn't have a job).

    What this article doesn't protray is how educated and experienced these women and men are. Many of these people work as part- time promotional models to help pay for their undergraduate, and graduate degrees. In fact, I know many of our models are actually on their way to a doctoral degree. These promotional jobs pay good money and provide a living for many of our models. (They can make anywhere between $300-$1,000 a day).

    If the models you've seen at trade shows, conventions and other events don't know the product they are selling, then blame the company, not the model. It's up to the company to prepare the models and prep them for the event. If the company chooses not to, that's on them, not the model. So, if these models aren't 'geeky enough', blame the companies, (the reason you are attending the convention to begin with) not the models.

    In fact, there are many times when my company will recommend a particular model to our client because of her knowledge in the industry. But, she won't get hired. And, do you know why? Because the company decides she's not attractive enough, or not blonde enough, or whatever else the case may be.

    So, let's think again of who to point the finger at. And it's not the booth babes.

    July 27, 2012 at 11:52 am |
    • Kohaku

      +1

      Thanks for that!

      I've never been a booth girl, but I HAVE been an alt and fetish model. I don't know how many times it was assumed that I didn't "know my stuff", and was just doing it to make some cash, or to get attention. When people DID acknowledge that I knew my niche VERY well, they didn't hire me. Why?

      Because I'm nowhere near a size 2.

      Because I'm not, to them, GOOD enough, to choose over women who fit the more "acceptable" modes of attractiveness, even when they don't know what they are doing, or have no idea how to do what they are being photographer doing. Even at the expense of safety.

      I'm starting to think more and more that people don't know nearly as much about models as they think, which just perpetuates stereotypes. Being a good model, especially one within knowledge or skill heavy niches, isn't just a matter of standing around looking hot while someone takes your picture.

      People need to start realizing that, instead of pigeon-holing models as meat with no brains.

      July 27, 2012 at 2:18 pm |
      • Get Real

        By "nowhere near a size 2", I assume you mean they couldn't get all of you in one picture.

        July 28, 2012 at 9:22 pm |
      • onnakohaku

        More like a size 8, but enjoy your juvenile amusement. o.O

        July 29, 2012 at 3:48 am |
  62. superronnie

    Okay, so yeah, there are the attention seeking girls and boys out there (but in reality isn't every Cosplayer slightly into the attention? I say that as a Cosplay lover myself), but it's hardly anything for us to get concerned about. The truth is, Geek culture rocks because of its inclusiveness and an outlook that demands acceptance, not persecution. And maybe those women who go into the whole thing for attention come out with a new respect for women and men who are defined by their interests, intelligence, and uniqueness. Shouldn't we be accepting of anyone, no matter their motives? Does no one else watch Anime? Olivia Munn may be seen as a 'fake' to male geeks, but as a female, she gave me something really, really important. The realization that I don't have to hide what I am to be seen as attractive. In this world it can be really tough to break out of the mold that people put you into, and it can be difficult to see yourself as anything but what the rest of the world sees. These beautiful, confident women celebrating the things that make me me gave me the strength to just be myself. And the thought that because a girl is attractive, or different from the rest of the geek community would turn her into an object of derision and scorn makes me really, really sad for our community – and, for the first time ever, ashamed for it. And rating a girl's attractiveness as a '6' or '9'...well, maybe we are creating the problem instead of fixing it. For all the boys out there: it's tough being a woman in what was predominantly a man's world for a long time. So give us a break, and give us the support we need instead of the judgement that seems so much easier to dole out. And let's all geek out together on a sea of rainbows, sunshine, and Xbox's.

    July 27, 2012 at 10:57 am |
  63. Ginny

    I DON'T KNOW WHAT WE ARE YELLING ABOUT. Oh wait, yes I do.
    [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D8_28xAJlns&w=640&h=390]

    July 27, 2012 at 10:45 am |
    • Kohaku

      <3

      July 27, 2012 at 2:23 pm |
    • Ambiguous64

      In one word, insecurity. I didn't really all the comments after the first 20 or so but I got the general feel of the thread and it was only gonna go downhill after there.

      But this is all about insecurity. The orginal article, not so much. That's a genuine want to be a fan amoung fans. People insulting others cause they look hot dressed up.. guys inseucre they will rejected, women insecure that their guy friends or partners will give them more attention.

      August 29, 2012 at 8:28 am |
    • michael burr

      lol right on girl your funny as hell and so right on 636 yr old geek signing off ps love to find a geek like me someday lol

      October 10, 2012 at 5:45 pm |
  64. female geek

    Booth babes are entirely different from cosplayers. Booth babes are HIRED to prance around in costumes and attract people to the booth. They or may not be geeks; they're there to do a job.

    Cosplayers are there for funsies. Do you know how much time and effort goes into creating a great costume? How much money? Attention to detail? Cosplay is most certainly a form of geekdom, celebrating their loved characters. I'm sorry it doesn't fit your very narrow view of what a 'geek' should be.

    I read fantasy and sf, I love sf tv shows, love technology, used to play a ton of video games (children hamper the amount of time I can spend gaming now). I don't read comic books or graphic novels or fanfic, and I don't play table-top games. Do I qualify as a geek?

    July 27, 2012 at 10:41 am |
  65. Michael Sawyer

    Seriously? This article caused an uproar? Seriously?

    July 27, 2012 at 10:41 am |
  66. cooldaddysquid23

    People, please. Calm down. The author is making some valid points that should not be overlooked. Companies do send in attractive female models to better sell to what is ostensibly a male demographic, and that's disgusting. Case in point. Several years ago, I went to a semi truck expo with a friend who drives, and at one of the manufacturer's booth there were three drop dead gorgeous women in sequin dresses. Upon asking them any sales-related questions, they all redirected people to someone that was definitely NOT in a sequin dress and was not an attractive female.

    In something like this going mainstream, there is certainly a threatening element. For those of us entrenched in the culture that have been made to feel as outcasts and are sensitive to that kind of b.s and have hidden behind our geek interests, bringing the people in that look a lot like the ones that made us feel like outcasts in the first place is not high on our list of priorities. Now I'm not saying that this is what is at work here in the author's article, nor am I saying that this position is an adult, healthy perspective. However, from where I am sitting, the apprehension is understandable.

    July 27, 2012 at 10:26 am |
    • Laura

      So because you feel sensitive because of how people treated you in the past, you are going to turn around and judge people who look like the perpetrators? Maybe the problem isn't them, maybe it is you.

      PS – A lot of geeky people end up growing into their looks and look quite handsome or beautiful as adults.

      July 27, 2012 at 10:34 am |
      • cooldaddysquid23

        CLEARLY the problem is me. It's right there in black and white. Did you read that part about this not being a healthy and/pr adult perspective? And your post doesn't really further your cause of being accepted, does it?

        July 27, 2012 at 10:42 am |
      • Laura

        I'm accepted just fine, thank you. Why do you assume I am not?

        July 27, 2012 at 10:46 am |
      • cooldaddysquid23

        If you feel so accepted, why respond to a post like this? A part of me identifies with the author. I know my motivations. What are yours?

        July 27, 2012 at 10:56 am |
      • Laura

        Because I disagree with the exclusionary nature and presumptions of your post. I do not have to be excluded to disagree with the act. I agree more with John Scalzi's take on this – and he is a male who does not feel excluded from geek culture to find big fault with this article. http://whatever.scalzi.com/2012/07/26/who-gets-to-be-a-geek-anyone-who-wants-to-be/

        July 27, 2012 at 11:02 am |
      • cooldaddysquid23

        Fair enough.

        July 27, 2012 at 11:07 am |
    • Kohaku

      A perfect example of the crap way women are treated within geek culture is in GeekOut's article about Mayim. ("Emmy nominee Mayim Bialik on nerd role models and nerd romance")

      A geeky woman with a PHD IN NEUROSCIENCE, and all so many of the men are commenting about is how she "blossomed into a toad" (just one example).

      We're damned if we do, damned if we don't, aren't we?

      July 27, 2012 at 2:35 pm |
    • roflcopter

      Same thing at technical trade shows. It was always great sport to ask the booth bimbos ridiculous technical questions like "how large a flux capacitor does this have?" and watch them scamper off to repeat it to a salesperson.

      July 28, 2012 at 9:29 pm |
    • Moxie

      I wrote a very long comment in support of this – but it seems to have been moderated out. Oh well, good job staying reasonable. And you're right. Many important points when you trim the fat of the hater-bait.

      July 30, 2012 at 5:07 pm |
  67. A Smokin Hot Geek

    You'd be surprised by how much "geek" guys discriminate against "pretty" girls. (Also there's something not allowed about girls calling themselves pretty but, well, I think I'm pretty. Suck it.) When I talk to guys who are into geek culture about Star Wars or Battlestar Galactica or LotR or whatever, they often brush me off. A wannabe, "name-dropping keywords for attention." Most people cannot make the connection that women can be pretty and self-assured AND still love these things as much as the next person.

    I used to think it was cool that I had "the best of both worlds" and I could socialize on "both ends of the spectrum." Why yes, I CAN name all the Firefly characters AND go out clubbing on the weekends to bad pop music. Oh, I DO play Starcraft for hours on end and then go look at popular runway fashion and paint my nails while talking about hot mainstream celebrities. I thought that meant I fit into both worlds, but I think people just think I'm a poser in both. Since when could I only pick one...?

    I've come to realize that people see me a lot more differently than I see myself.

    July 27, 2012 at 10:23 am |
    • Laura

      But don't you know that you are only allowed to like and not like what your Geek male superiors dictate? How dare you deviate from their narrow-minded definition of what is acceptabe!

      July 27, 2012 at 10:31 am |
    • Yuka

      Regarding my post @ 153:first sorry for all the wordiness .Second:The US gmvernoent is terrified because for all intents and purposes There is not a single dollar of money in US banks that is not borrowed money. if people start to demand their money back, there is nothing to give everyone. This is shown by the the total reserves being approx NEGATIVE 300 Billion. Every single dollar of reserves is a loan from the FED because the banks have spent or loaned out the money. A significant portion of those loans have gone bad. Consider the consequences.More bad news:No country is isolated. 600+ trillion worth of bad investment must be removed from the global market. That id 9-10 times larger then the global GDP (approx 65 trillion)for orion: Why are we suddenly worried about europe?Spain is bankrupt! It is only staying afloat because of the amount of money that the European central bank (ECB) has been giving it to cover its minimum debt payments. The ECB can no longer loan the money to spain or to other countries. Its out (oversimplified). If/When the money stops flowing into spanish banks the spanish financial system could collapse, banks close people cant get their money, cats and dogs living together ..if spain goes down it will cause a global cascade because there is no real separation between any one countries banking system and the global banking system. The are tightly connected. Spain will bring down the entire system because everyone has lost money , huge amoounts, and no one has the money to backstop spain. All of the money you hear about being pumped in so far is just IOU's. There are no real assets to backup the IOU's

      November 14, 2012 at 8:05 am |
  68. Laura

    I think the men who come to conventions dressed in costumes are also doing it for attention. They're not going to cons to have no one pay attention to their Iron Man/Final Fantasy/Vash the Stampede/fSailor Moon/etc costume. Therefore, we should ban anyone in a costume for fear that they might want attention. And we should have someone at the door with a checklist to make sure that someone meets all the Geek criteria before allowing them to enter the convention. Then make them go through a Geek obstacle course where they have to write a program in Java, create a D&D character, successfully name which episode of Star Trek a quote is from, appraise the value of comic books, etc. God forbid, we are in a room with a "poser." That would just ruin everything!

    July 27, 2012 at 10:06 am |
  69. Somebody

    I wonder, where would I fit in your hierarchy of geekdom? On the one hand, my geek cred is extensive, being that I've seen every episode of every Star Trek (except Enterprise) enough times that I can recognize any episode by almost any scene, I write genre, my taste is genre, my book collection (mostly genre) ranks in the tens of thousands of dollars in value, and I met my most recent significant other at FanExpo waiting in line to see Kevin Sorbo.

    On the other hand, I've never owned any gaming consoles, I've never cosplayed, I don't collect anything related to geekdom, I sing and play the guitar, my musical preferences are rock and jazz, and I work out regularly.

    So tell me, am I a genuine bona fide geek, or am I a poser? Oh, and I'm not going to tell you whether I'm male or female, because IT SHOULDN'T MAKE A DIFFERENCE.

    July 27, 2012 at 9:36 am |
    • Kenetz

      October 1st, 2008 at 9:55 amChi I am beyond dipenpoistad by your patent non-answer. I asked a good faith question. A response warning me against idolatry and building up the straw man (yet again) of schadenfreude and revenge is unworthy.chicagofinance Says:September 30th, 2008 at 9:48 pmlisoosh Says:September 30th, 2008 at 2:27 pmdo me a favor tell me exactly WHY Schiff, who DOES deal with these issues on a daily basis, who was spot on in predictions YEARS ago is 180 degrees wrong.L: Can you point me to what I should respond? Also, I think I made it clear that nothing is binary. Just because I espouse a viewpoint does not make everyone else 100% wrong for differing. Please note the following posts.

      November 16, 2012 at 1:04 am |
  70. saoili

    "But that doesn't mean that women aren't welcomed and accepted in geek culture."

    Um, your article could easily make a woman who was just entering geek culture feel unwelcome.

    You should never expect a woman to 'prove' her geekiness in a way that you would not expect a man to.

    If you quiz a woman who is just getting into geek culture on all things geek, find her coming up short, and conclude that she's only there to 'get attention', you're probably actually stopping her becoming the sort of female geek you claim to love so much. And you don't sound a lot like you'd do this to a guy.

    I appreciate that you call out a few kinds of other 'men treating women as non-people' douchbaggery. But, well, take a close look at that sentence.

    Also, for the record, a booth babe is someone who is paid to dress and act a certain way to sell something. People who pay to go along to cons and decide to dress a certain way, whatever their reasons, are a completely separate group of people. And really, that should be obvious.

    July 27, 2012 at 8:30 am |
    • cooldaddysquid23

      I think you're misreading the article, here. In the culture, there are those that are simply those that are exploiting the culture for personal gain (be it monetary or otherwise). The author is simply identifying those elements and calling them out for what they are. It's really more railing against how the mainstream co-opts and exploits anything on the rise, thereby diminishing its integrity.

      The author clearly states that there's a difference between poachers and the genuine article, and with any luck, the article will discourage poacher types and encourage girls who are just entering the culture.

      July 27, 2012 at 9:54 am |
  71. Kohaku

    "He knee-jerked his way into temporary internet infamy."

    Congratulations.

    So have you.

    July 27, 2012 at 6:46 am |
  72. Lady Fiona

    I wonder what Seth Green and his wife would have to say about this...

    July 27, 2012 at 5:38 am |
  73. Jack

    Wow. I am really sorry about how clearly threatened and insecure you feel about your precious fiefdom being invaded by these roving bands of...um...attractive women? Perhaps some kind of breeding law that requires geeks only to mate with other proven geeks would help stem the tide of this evil other in our midst. Ooh! Or maybe we can require all "non-geek" women attending cons to wear some kind of mark! Like an armband!

    Seriously, get over yourself and stop spewing exclusionary crap. Most of us geeks have lived lives of being excluded and the last thing we want is to turn around and do that to someone else.

    July 27, 2012 at 3:45 am |
  74. missbuffytails

    Hipsters love irony, right ? So let them blow their definitions all to Mordor and back. But as a lover of all things academic, semantics is governed by my geekdom and I refuse to accept anyone as a nerd or geek unless they fit the criteria because by definition we should also be extremely literate:
    nerd/nərd/
    Noun:
    A foolish or contemptible person who lacks social skills or is boringly studious: "one of those nerds who never asked a girl to dance".
    An intelligent, single-minded expert in a particular technical discipline or profession.

    geek/gēk/
    Noun:
    An unfashionable or socially inept person.
    A person with an eccentric devotion to a particular interest: "a computer geek".

    If someone doesn't want to be categorized based on that definition, they can simply find a new word. Weekend Whovian has a nice ring to it.

    July 27, 2012 at 3:16 am |
    • Rantarn

      One does not simply blow definitions into Mordor. (Sorry, couldn't resist.)

      July 27, 2012 at 2:31 pm |
      • roflcopter

        Well played, sir!

        July 28, 2012 at 9:36 pm |
  75. johannpollard

    Go and read John Scalzi;s answer to your drivel. http://whatever.scalzi.com/2012/07/26/who-gets-to-be-a-geek-anyone-who-wants-to-be/

    CNN, really? You publish rubbish like this?

    July 27, 2012 at 2:36 am |
  76. A Woman

    Has it ever occured to you that not every woman is vying for your attention. I know when I dress up all pretty, isn't to attract men, hell no! It is to show off to my friends the effort I put in. Any geek knows that we are an open and understanding community, who doesn't discriminate. We used to be made fun of, why can't we strut our stuff where we belong? I say to you that you can cram it, and that not many people agree with you.

    Lastly, even if women do it solely for the attention sometimes, SO WHAT, they look really hot when they do it, why are you trying to dissuade that you party pooper.

    July 27, 2012 at 1:34 am |
  77. meowwl

    So in your little universe cosplay isn't a valid geekdom? Have you even bothered to talk to these "poachers" to find out what they're actually interested in, instead of making assumptions that they aren't into any fandom at all? Just because they're pretty or like posing for photos doesn't mean they're not fellow nerds! Even if they don't necessarily like the comic they're cosplaying...Maybe they just want to dress up and leave their everyday personas behind...Costuming is a production, and a geekdom of its own! It takes time, planning, patternmaking and sewing skills to make a costume, and a lot of guts to wear what you've made out among the critical eyes of fellow fans.

    Has it occurred to you that even if they're not into a fandom, they may simply be there because they like nerdy guys/gals? Stop making assumptions, and get to know them. Even the the so called "booth babes" likely have more to them than what you assume.

    July 26, 2012 at 11:03 pm |
  78. rebochan

    I love how in one breath you decry those who you decree to be booth babes as merely being pretty faces who wish to seduce men, and then have the balls to attack someone for doing the exact same thing to Felicia Day. Just admit it – the only reason you're not treating her the way you treated Olivia Munn is because some other jerk did it first and got his ass kicked.

    Geekdom really needs a lot less men with women issues trying to wave it's banner.

    July 26, 2012 at 9:58 pm |
    • A Woman

      I agree COMPLETELY, and nice phrasing. XD

      July 27, 2012 at 1:35 am |
    • Jennyfeer

      I used to work Black Friday at a toy store. One year we had to call the police to come suubde our unruly line before we could lift the gates. The angry customers would try to make the cashiers cry if they couldn't get their Holiday Barbie or Tickle-Me Elmo. Merry Christmas, indeed.Early on, I discovered the only place to be: the cash-only register. A steady stream of earthy, practical folks who get to skip the line. It was nice.

      December 22, 2012 at 6:16 am |
  79. Eh?

    Joe, seriously...why do you care? Do you have nothing better in your life to do than write an article about posers?

    Yes, there are people that go to conventions solely to get attention from others. And that's their thing. But you know what? There are people like this in every hobby, whether it be anime and comics, to baseball, soccer, football, race cars, etc. They dress up in garb from "whatever celeb/team-du jour" is hot, and they go to events as well. Men and women hit on them, and at the end of the day, they go home feeling happy that people thought they were attractive.

    If people stopped paying attention to them, they wouldn't go to these events. Cons wouldn't hire them for their booths because they're not attracting customers. Just ignore them and eventually, they'll go away.

    July 26, 2012 at 8:19 pm |
  80. derp

    so...wait... are you saying that cosplayers aren't hot enough for you since they're only a 6 out of costume? You sir, are shallow.

    July 26, 2012 at 8:19 pm |
    • bobbiraptor

      Don't you just hate it when a common 6 tries to deceive you? They're just gross.

      July 27, 2012 at 1:17 am |
      • Jason

        What I really hate is when people try to put words in your mouth and completely misrepresent what you're trying to say. But that's just me.

        July 27, 2012 at 1:18 am |
  81. John Ringo

    Go see 'The Geek Hierarcy.' I say they can stay. I'm at the top. You lose. Derp.

    John Ringo
    NYT Bestselling SF author

    July 26, 2012 at 7:54 pm |
    • rebochan

      Way to pull rank ;)

      July 26, 2012 at 9:46 pm |
    • Gamebird

      Yay!

      July 29, 2012 at 11:00 am |
    • Gonz

      Being a "NYT Bestselling SF author" I would have assumed you could spell hierarchy correctly...

      August 11, 2012 at 6:14 am |
    • brownian

      john ringo is an inferior and paranoid author who lacks imagination and writes crappy books despite their lack of quality. he is nowhere near the top. If he wants to retort by bringing up my achievements, then his response fails because he still hasn't written any book worth reading and is therefore at best my equal and most likely my inferior due to my real achievements. any fans of his that argue with me or try to insult me are brainless morons who waste valuable money on his worthless items. so he is making money without contributing anything useful. in other words, his rank is equal to a kardashian's.

      November 4, 2012 at 11:15 am |
  82. Fiddlesticks Q. Squidcabinet

    I suppose every geeky subculture goes through a "THOSE PEOPLE don't BELONG here" phase. Furry fandom went through it about 15 years ago, with self-proclaimed gatekeepers trying to exclude the people who weren't "true" fans and didn't have a "legitimate" interest in the fandom. And all they have to show for their efforts are a lot of flamewars and people who don't listen to them anymore.

    Ah well. Those who fail to learn from history...

    July 26, 2012 at 6:53 pm |
  83. a

    Overruled: http://whatever.scalzi.com/2012/07/26/who-gets-to-be-a-geek-anyone-who-wants-to-be/

    July 26, 2012 at 6:35 pm |
  84. blue

    "As a gay, I find it repugnant that, due to my interests in comic books, sci-fi, fantasy and role playing games, video games and toys, I am supposed to feel honored that a pretty girl is in my presence. It's insulting."

    There. Fixed that for you.

    July 26, 2012 at 6:14 pm |
    • roflcopter

      You winar of one free internets!

      July 28, 2012 at 9:38 pm |
  85. Mike Rodriguez

    Geek Culture has grown out of closet and is now part of our vernacular yet for some reason it feels that it needs to remain in the closet with articles like this. I disdain the idea that someone believes that they are the moral fiber of a system and therefor has the right to choose who is "in" and who is "out". Which of course leads to parallel comparisons to what Geek Culture had to go through in its infancy to what it is doing now. Which is casting out who they believe doesn't belong!!! ARE YOU KIDDING ME??? It's idiotic ideologist like this guy who lead us to believe that marriage is between a man and a women, and not about 2 people who love each other. It's guys like this who decide who's cool and who's not? Are you listening to the right music? Is he reading the right comic books??? YOU ARE MISSING THE POINT!!! Everyone should be invited to every party because everyone wants to be happy and you don't have the authority to decided what that is. If girls who want more attention get more attention... who cares they have the right? IF guys want to dress up and play out a video game scene in real life... who cares, they have the right!!! What the hell happened to just accepting people. Your "culture" will be fine with strangers walking in and doing something else there, maybe even grow with the influx of new people. Don't stand there and ostracize like those who judged you, be better...

    July 26, 2012 at 6:12 pm |
    • Juan

      put up the entry form over at their Facebook page. You can get all the details about the ceotnst on their blog. If you want to win this package, make sure you get your entry in before the

      October 12, 2012 at 11:04 am |
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