So the question of the week is – If you use lots of tokens in the looks line in heaven before making your way onto this Earth, does that mean you can’t have any tokens left to cash in for geekiness?
With Miss USA’s declaration that she’s a “geek” the discussion of beauty and the geek has only swelled from where it was just last week when the Oh, You Sexy Geek! panel was announced. Action Flick Chick’s been compiling the feedback to her Fake Fangirl Friday (#FFF) on Twitter, and she highlights the numerous discussions and blogs that have popped up concerning whether attractiveness should even weigh into the equation when talking about geek or nerd credibility.
This was my response on her site –
Considering that for years many geeks/nerds identified themselves as people who were excluded and even mocked by certain people, like the popular kids or mean girls or the cool dudes, this whole notion that an attractive woman has to prove her geek creds or she can’t truly be a geek reeks of hypocrisy. Those people believe Miss USA hasn’t felt their – as you say – “pain of exclusion” and I’d bet that is the farthest from the truth. Everyone experiences that type of isolation in life, and geeks who want to exclude other people from geekdom for any reason need to take a hard look at themselves.
And truly, when is the last time anyone has seen a man’s geek creds been called into question?
I think the panel at Comic-Con will have plenty of subject matter to discuss. I’ll be interested to see where it goes, because there are really two dynamics in the equation. One is how sexual objectification plays into the fandom and where female fans should draw the line. No one with real geek credentials can deny that female characters in scifi and fantasy have been objectified at times to cater to male fans, and it merits holding a magnifying glass up to make sure fans and creative parties aren’t crossing a line into demeaning women.
The other dynamic, which some don’t seem to realize, is that this sort of pissing on the fire hydrant among geeks went on well before Facebook changed the internet and made fandom much more personal. (Before anyone makes any assumptions about whether I’m implying that doggy-style territorialism is exclusively a male trait, my female dog gets in line for her turn at leaving her mark.) Ten years ago, all a fan had to do to prove his or her geek creds online was choose a screenname and participate. In fact, back then it was safer to maintain anonymity, and people wouldn’t even know whether a fan was beautiful or sexy (or even male or female, for that matter, unless you chose to reveal that). Within the Star Wars community over the years, we’ve had movie “purist” fans dissing Expanded Universe fans; or fanfic writers accused of pandering to more popular ‘ships just to gain readers; or if you didn’t have intimate knowledge of a roleplaying game in a literature discussion, some fans considered your input, even your fandom, subpar. Truly, none of this us/them identification and exclusion is new. It’s just grown broader as online identities have blended together with real-life identities and geek culture has become more mainstream.
For Star Wars Expanded Universe fans who would like to really earn their geek creds then might I suggest the comic book series Legacy: War by John Ostrander and Jan Duursema. With the final issue in stores, I offer my review of the series, after giving it initial high praise for #1 and #2. For those who prefer a complete set, the tradepaperback is schedule for release on January 28th, 2012.
Fans of The Clone Wars now have a date that they can clear their DVR: October 18th is the scheduled release of the DVD and BluRay Season 3 sets. There are a lot of extras about production and storytelling that should keep TCW fans busy and satisfied.
From the official site –
Relive all 22 Season Three episodes — featuring familiar faces including Jabba the Hutt, Greedo, Tarkin and Chewbacca the Wookiee, as well as assassins, bounty hunters, witches, monsters and mysteries surrounding the very essence of the Force itself — and then explore the Lucasfilm vaults with behind-the-scenes insights on the making of the remarkable series. Bonus materials include five behind-the-scenes featurettes, each with director and crew interviews. And exclusive to the Blu-ray disc, The Jedi Temple Archives provides in-depth access to an extensive database of creative materials — including early test animations, concept art, 3D turnarounds and more than 30 deleted/extended scenes.