Geek Creds – Who’s Got Them?

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.



Tricia Barr took her understanding of brand management and marketing, mixed it with a love of genre storytelling, and added a dash of social media flare to create FANgirl Blog, where she discusses Star Wars, fandom, and the intersection of women within Star Wars fandom. She is co-author of Ultimate Star Wars and Star Wars Visual Encyclopedia from DK Publishing, a featured writer for Star Wars Insider magazine with numerous articles on the Hero's Journey. Her FANgirl opinions can be heard on the podcasts Hyperspace Theories and Fangirls Going Rogue. Tricia Barr's novel, Wynde, won the 2014 Independent Publisher Book Award Gold Medal for Best Science Fiction/Fantasy/Horror Ebook. She was also part of Silence in the Library's successful all-female creator science fiction and fantasy anthology Athena's Daughters, which is available now. For excerpts and tales of her adventures in creating a fictional universe, hop over to

6 thoughts on “Geek Creds – Who’s Got Them?

  • June 22, 2011 at 3:09 am

    “doggy-style territorialism” eh? I’ll “lol” but there’s too much truth in that to laugh. Well said.

  • June 22, 2011 at 8:44 am

    “And truly, when is the last time anyone has seen a man’s geek creds been called into question?”
    Ouch. But true.

    “or fanfic writers accused of pandering to more popular ‘ships just to gain readers;”
    To be fair, I suspect I’ve seen this, but it’s more like they jumped on the ships because they were popular – so they’re not dishonest, just following the Big Trends. Everybody does that, to some extent.

  • June 22, 2011 at 10:56 am

    I really wish I could attend that panel because I know that will be a very, very interesting convo!

    As someone who is rather new to the Geek Girl community I find all of this hype around Miss USA kinda crazy. I know that I may not be as knowledgable as you are in the Star Wars universe (though I am a fan of the original movies) I would love the opportunity to learn more about it. The same if someone wanted to know more about Game of Thrones, a story I’m totally geeky about, I wouldn’t look down on them or dismiss them as not being geek enought for me. What happened to fostering the geek community instead of just creating even more divisiness?

    That’s my two cents!

  • June 22, 2011 at 11:21 am

    Ugh, I hate geekdom pissing contests. That’s really what kept me out of active participation as a Star Wars fan–I came to Star Wars through the special edition, and I remember a lot of snootiness surrounding whether or not a fan had seen the original movies in theaters in the ’70s. As if simply being born 15 years earlier somehow made you a “better” fan than all the unfortunate ’80s babies! It was really disheartening, because while I could read and research to keep up with the uber-fanboys in trivia knowledge, time travel was out of the question.

    You’d think people would understand the virtues of new blood in the fandom–but if they did, the comics industry wouldn’t be struggling as much as it is.

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