The “fake geek girl get out of my geekdom” rant has resurfaced. This time it was reignited by Forbes’ blogger Tara Tiger Brown when she posted Dear Fake Geek Girls: Please Go Away. Plenty of geek girls have countered the bitter, exclusive tone found in Ms. Brown’s blog, including Leigh Alexander at Sexy Videogameland; they make me proud to call myself a geek girl.
We’re paraphrasing, but declaring, “Dear Fake Geek Girls: Please Go Away,” sends a bad message.
Susie Rantz, PR Manager of GeekGirlCon, probably penned one of the most eloquent responses:
At the end of the day, it’s the journey that is the best part. But many of us are too scared to embark on these journeys because we fear the kind of people who will put us down — people who don’t even really know us.
A couple of months ago, in my blog Fanboys, Feminism, and Frank Talk About Wonder Woman, I took issue with the creative minds Brian Azzarello and Cliff Chiang behind DC Comics’ New 52 version of Wonder Woman. I simply wasn’t impressed by their take on the Amazons, femininity, or the superheroine’s place alongside her fellow superheroes like Superman, Batman, or Spiderman. I’ve kept up my reading, though. Kelly Thompson at Comics Book Resources has been a big supporter of Azzarello and Chiang, but when it came time to review Wonder Woman #7, she found the storytelling decision regarding the Amazons a bit difficult to stomach:
As a feminist comics reader, it is tough to find great books starring female characters and I hoped that with such a fantastic creative team as Azzarello and Chiang we had found it in “Wonder Woman,” a book and character deserving nothing but the best. However, The Amazons as an idea are not simply one-dimensional monsters — flawed though they may be (as any fictional character or people should be) — and presenting them as such sends a horrible message, especially in a medium and genre with so few positive strong female portrayals. At the end of the day, I tend to choose story over all else and if this truly served the story I would agree to come along, but Azzarello just doesn’t get us there and as a result the book feels like a huge misstep in what was until now a fantastic run.
Thompson added an editorial piece today, She Has No Head! – Is the Destruction of The Amazons The Destruction of Feminism in DC Comics?, and I think the title of the piece speaks clearly to her message. Unfortunately I can’t say I’m surprised with how Wonder Woman’s story has evolved. Azzarello and Chiang had shown their hand a while back.
But the roots of the problem go even deeper. It’s difficult to imagine that a more diverse creative team, with a balance of women in the room, would have thought that writing the Amazons and Wonder Woman in this way was a good idea. For its part, though, DC seems to be continuing its pattern of denial that anything is amiss.
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 TriciaBarr.com.