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  1.  (10932.1)
    I think at least some of the nerd-rage comes from a place of resentment. A real nerd grew up being harassed, tormented and judged for their nerdly interests, was beaten up after class and never got to hang with the cool, popular kids. Then along comes a well adjusted, popular, "normal" person who goes to a few Marvel movies, puts on a pair of glasses and says "I'm such a nerd! lol!". They haven't earned their nerd stripes by being a hated, socially-maladjusted, self-pitying outcast. YOU WEREN'T THERE MAN!! YOU WEREN'T THERE!!

    This is - of course - immeasurably stupid.
  2.  (10932.2)
    The debate is almost immediately invalid because it targets women for no valid reason.

    I'm sure there's an equal portion of men who carry nerd aspirations who could be deemed poseurs.

    but honestly, who gives a shit? Do as you please.

    Though I can appreciate someone who saw their interests as a part of their identity as an individual suddenly becoming a face in an increasingly anonymous crowd looking for a scapegoat for their interests being commercialized and exposed to generate as large a profit as possible.

    That being said, defining yourself by using your interests as a cornerstone is not exactly healthy psychological practice, in my opinion.
  3.  (10932.3)
    Much as I like Tony Harris as an artist, his rant was as asinine and sexist as they come. What's even worse is the boorish behavior I've heard some convention-goers engage in with these women. What's really sad is that he keeps retweeting idiots who have come to his defense. Like someone else said earlier, I'll buy Tony Harris's stuff because I like him as an artist, but as a person, he disappoints me.

    Institutionalized sexism in comics is nothing new, it's just that they could get away with it before. Not so now. This speaks to the larger problems plaguing comics now. If comics wish to survive (hell, even thrive once again), they need to make them appealing to kids and girls, not just geeky males approaching middle age like me. I always get a little depressed when going to the comic store (the only one left in town I might add) because I see no one the same age I was when I started reading comics, the regulars are only my age and older. The culture is still too insular, despite the fact that comic book movies are big business, and comic conventions are mega-events. Perhaps this wave of nastiness is a natural backlash to those who remember comic conventions being small, relatively quiet affairs...but that doesn't justify such behavior nor does it validate any sort of moronic term like "fake geek girls."
  4.  (10932.4)
    Before I begin, we're all in agreement that the statement was super fucking dumb and talking about news this old is bad pot-boiling, right?

    That said, if we're really going to have this conversation here,

    1.To quote Brendan Kelly: [Calling someone a poser is] nothing more than insecurity masquerading as hazing and it’s completely ignoring the fact that these ‘veterans’ of the scene were themselves at one time newbies who wanted nothing more than the acceptance of the people already involved.
    2. His rant assumes a cynical, lazy view of people and one which demeans their integrity before an exchange of ideas even begins.
    3. The sexism is obvious, but he's a creator that goes the extra mile in avoiding titillating bullshit in his work.
    3a. You can still buy anything you want by Tony Harris guilt-free. He's entitled to his opinion and not a single human being is required to agree with whatever he believes to enjoy his art. He's wrong on the internet.
    3b. In his own mind, he was putting disingenuous people on blast. At the time he wrote it, he didn't see himself painting with too broad a brush.
    3c. These girls/women require no external validation.
    4. Plus the phrase fake nerd girl is complete horseshit because fake nerd girl likely means "not interested in the same shit I am so it doesn't count because it's not real and I define what counts and is real*," and if it doesn't mean that it means "enthusiastic female that wants to know more" and if it doesn't mean that it means "disingenuous human being using their attractiveness to curry attention" and since we already know that's bad, it's not useful to yell about it on the internet.
    4a. Is there such a phrase as fake geek dude?

    So yes. I liked Ex Machina and I look forward to Whistling Skull.

    *Because Dr. Who counts less than the Metabarons or Gil Kane Green Lantern, I suppose?
  5.  (10932.5)
    How is this any different than when people pretend to like a band or a sports team. Comics is seeing it now because of Hollywood's desire to remake everything insight. There will always be posers.
      CommentAuthormister hex
    • CommentTimeDec 17th 2012 edited
    Just stumbled (quite literally! as I'm drunker than Richard Fucking Burton) on this discussion. I THINK it's valid to have, as Whitechapel has *always* welcomed females and indeed, I have close personal female friends from Whitechapel who are female (gasp!) and are nerdier than ME, if possible. (Spoiler - it's possible. Me am caveman and not know fancy talking machines or picture boxes. Them DO.)

    I do however know COMIC BOOKS. I am a Fifth-Level Black Belt Internet Batmanologist (accredited). I can also speak to Marvel or Dc History in general with some level of authority.

    Conan, Star Wars (Lucas & Spielberg, generally), undergrounds, old wrestling books, rarities and one-offs ... I have forgotten more about comics than any ten random people know.

    I am also a Comics Evangelist.

    I will put almost any comic book into almost any hand and say "YOU HAVE TO READ THIS. You'd like it. Hell, YOU'D LOVE IT." And you know what? Most of the time, they DO.

    I put MANY many hours into building my collection and expanding my Nerd Skill Set. Like Greasemonkey said, back in the day, being a NERD meant a LOT of hard work. And a great deal of isolation. Trawling through back issue bins, searching old bookshops, creating a network of people who knew where the gold was, these things WERE fandom, before there was the Internet. (#yestheinternethasnotalwaysexisted)

    (My sister? Has a original Star Wars novel signed by Han, Luke & Leia. It's worth a small house these days. In a crappy state (the house, the state the hous is in AND the Book but a small house nonetheless. The odds of all 3 ever signing something together ever again? SLIM, AT BEST. My sister also wrote letters TO HELP KEEP STAR TREK ON THE AIR, back in the day. My sister is my Nerd Hero.)

    I read some of the commentary on Tony Harris' facebook meltdown. I've half-followed this "story" or "trend" for a while now (too long, it seems) and will echo what all have said before - why is this a "thing"? If a pretty girl (or any girl or any boy, fer chrissakes) likes a thing, in what way and how exactly does that detract from YOUR enjoyment of that aforementioned thing?

    And man, when I was 12 (Heidi MacDonald - "The Golden Age Of Comics Is Twelve"), I WOULD HAVE CHEWED OFF MY OWN ARM to see hot girls dressed up like superheroes. Who CARES if they mixed up Pre-Crisis and Post-Crisis Batgirl? JESUS, WHAT'S WRONG WITH YOU, MAN!?!

    This is where activism comes in, though. If you see something, someone shaming women for liking the Hobbit or whatever, mansplaining all the fun out of somebody getting excited about Robocop or what-the-fuck-ever, THEN SAY SOMETHING. Go "Hey, that's not cool. People can interact with whatever franchise they want, at whatever level they desire. Back off, Fanboy."

    We ALL do that enough, the war will be over by Christmas.

    (My brother is also a Huge Nerd but like the Sith. A pedant. JAMES BOND USES THIS LIST OF PRODUCTS AND ACCEPTS NO SUBSTITUTES. I actually remember watching WWII movies with him when I was a kid and him going "Impossible. The Wehrmacht didn't use those epaulets in 1943." So yeah.)


    BOGEY EDIT ~ I meant THIS ~

    • CommentTimeDec 17th 2012
    I've yet to actually meet someone who thinks fake nerds (female or otherwise) are a problem.
    • CommentAuthorFlabyo
    • CommentTimeDec 17th 2012
    The main thing about this that irritates me the most is that us nerds have spent *years* claiming that our culture is inclusive, that we want people to identify with us and validate us... and then the moment it starts to happen some feel the need to challenge them on it or they can't come in.

    Anyone who does anything to anyone that attempts to actively exclude others from the things they love? Fuck those people.

    (As an amusing anecdote, I'm sometimes sneered at by nerds I know because I also follow a sportball team. Yeah, I know. There's no rule that says if you like X you can't like Y.)
    • CommentTimeDec 17th 2012
    Flabyo: Exactly. Subcultures in general are supposed to be welcoming! They accept into them the people who are having difficulty fitting into the ranks of the "Norms". I have a feeling this is part of where this protectiveness comes from, since they see trendy/ cool/ hot geeks as not NEEDING the nerd label but just assuming it willy-nilly. However, the people who have difficulty fitting in among the "Norms" are EVERYONE. The struggle to fit in is a struggle for everyone. I gave up long ago, but it seems like everyone who DOES fit in has to make sacrifices to do so. So perhaps they look at "nerd culture" and other subcultures and think "That looks nice. They seem to have a good time together, without prejudice and pressure to fit in." but of course that's wrong. Sadly.

    I completely agree that Fake Nerd Girl is blatant sexism. Women are often given the third degree about their knowledge if they display an interest in typically nerdy subjects, but guys (unless they're hunky, buff bros) are given a free pass. Luckily, I haven't seen this part of nerd culture in my own offline friend, but it's pretty obvious from some of the shit that's been going on (The Anita Sarkeesian thing for example) that "nerd culture" is in dire need of a vigorous shake.
  6.  (10932.10)
    The more the merrier, is my view on it

    I was the sole metalhead, comc reading geek in my class and in the five years I was in secondary( high ) school, i wasn't bullied over it, I've never had a problem with talking to or dealing with women, being raised by three sorted that out, I don't know the ins and outs of Marvel and DC continuity so not sure if i qualify as a nerd by the standards set by Mr. Harris.

    His rant seemed pointless and for me was just another name to add to the list of asshole creators I don't bother with. The so called fake nerds are attractive and the real nerds are ugly trolls, when did this happen I've always seen nerdy girls as beautiful, give me a nerd or a fake one over a fake tan, fake blonde, tracksuit/pajamas in public wearing girl anyday.

    Nerd culture should be welcoming and inviting, i've never quized a girl to see if her head is a warehouse fullk of geek trivia.

    Recently I've started to attend a meet up for comic geeks in a pub in dublin, and the male to female ratio is terrible, first two meetings one girl, most recent zero, the more diversity into nerd culture the better the more people the better that way it'll be forced to move out of the basement and we can just leave the "I don't like change" trolls down there to play with their other real basement dwelling nerds
      CommentAuthormister hex
    • CommentTimeDec 17th 2012
    "WITH GREAT POWER COMES GREAT RESPONSIBILTY" is like, THE FIRST NERD COMMANDMENT. So I don't CARE if some girl dresses up like Power Girl but has NO IDEA ABOUT POWER GIRL'S INCONSISTENT CHARACTERIZATION SINCE PAUL LEVITZ WAS WRITING HER. I really don't. I'm just glad a girl dressed up like Power Girl. (And seriously? Earth Two Supergirl is called "Power Girl"? Boob Window? Whatever, man ....)

    Sexism in comics = WRONG.
    • CommentTimeDec 17th 2012
    I think Tony Harris's complaint was not that these girls are fake nerds, it was that they are dressing up a slutty characters entirely to have people say, "wow, you're hot." They're not interested in the subculture at all, and not even pretending to be. There's no street cred to had on their part from pretending to be a nerd. They're simply doing it for male attention. Now whether his caricature is accurate, or proliferate enough for a generalisation, I don't know. But to tar him with sexism, or with attacking people who are into "our" culture, is inaccurate, lazy, and pretty much the mob rule.

    Incidentally, my own thoughts on cosplayers, as someone who has tables to sell my shitty comics at cons, is that they don't buy anything. Cheap bastards.
  7.  (10932.13)
    • CommentTimeDec 17th 2012
    If it's about sexy cosplay costumes, it's a much bigger debate that really doesn't have anything specifically to do with nerdery, it's about feminism, sexism and sexualisation in our culture. I guess one specifically nerdy problem with it is that there are so many over-sexualised female characters in games.
    • CommentAuthorbadbear
    • CommentTimeDec 17th 2012
    Geez. You can't win. You say you like videogames and girls ostracize you for being weird. You say you like comic books and guys say you're a fake.

    I mean, I know there are people out there wearing big glasses even though they have 20/20 vision and those people are dumb. But who cares? They're just teenagers aren't they? Young girls are stupid and try to attract attention from boys. Big news. Geez. As someone here has already mentioned, they used to wear Ramones shirts having never listened to punk - now they wear batman shirts having never read a comic. Big whup. They're just kids.
    • CommentAuthorbadbear
    • CommentTimeDec 17th 2012
    What if girl-geekery is a burgeoning sub-culture and it just takes a different form from boy-geekery? What then? Maybe it's more about dressing up and playing sodding angry-birds like all of that is a legitimate way to spend your time. Who's to say they're wrong eh?
  8.  (10932.17)
    Let the record show: my finger is hovering over the DEPLOY URETHRAL MAGGOT button. Not because anyone's being mean or ignorant or stupid, but because "the debate" is so fucktardingly fucktarded that it's shitting up my board.

    For now: proceed with caution. Be insightful about this ridiculous fucking subject if you can, otherwise: silence is your friend.
    • CommentAuthorOddcult
    • CommentTimeDec 17th 2012
    Well, cockmaggots hold no fear for me, so I'm going to dive in with some opinions that are close to what some others have mentioned already, but with a few additional thoughts of my own.

    First - this isn't a non-existant problem. But I do think that the issue has been incorrectly identified.

    Next - Whilst I think Tony Harris was a total knob about this and got it badly wrong, I think that a lot of the reaction to what he was saying is also quite indicative of White Knight Syndrome. Many of the responses to it were as poor as the initial rant and that's the debate that I suspect the Urethral Attack Maggot Deployment Officer above may have issue with.

    To continue with my own thoughts on the topic and why it's a confused and incorrectly diagnosed issue from both sides, it's not really about castigating or criticising people who are new to hobbies or who are genuinely passionate about them, or even those who take elements of them and stick them on t-shirts. I've as little a problem with - well, anyone really, let's not just say 'girls' - wearing a Batman t-shirt without reading it as I have with Top Shop selling pink, glittery Motorhead and Iron Maiden t-shirts. Wearing them means little, except that the designs have become iconic. You're wearing a Che t-shirt, but know fuck all about South and Central American revolutions? Fuuuuuuck yooooou! Er.. no. It's cool.


    And here's the thing. Well, two things, which as I've said have been incorrectly diagnosed as the 'Fake Geek Girl' problem.

    Attention seeking. Yeah, you know what I mean. On the old WEF, it used to be known as 'nerd-baiting', and that's a place that had plenty of girls (women, females...) who were utterly integrated into the group dynamic. But you'd still get some people who would talk about their sex-lives or who they wanted to fuck, or who posted pictures of themselves, in fairly attention-seeking ways. There and elsewhere, sometimes it's funny, but it almost became a cliche that from time to time you'd get someone turning up with some kind of attention seeky topic about which female superhero or celebrity they'd like to have sex with. That wasn't about being a 'fake geek'. It was just about attention seeking, in a place where hobbies and things people enjoyed, which were talked about by both sexes, were discussed. But you'd get three types of responses. It would be ignored. It would be slated. Or it would get white knighted. It's pretty tiresome and people should be able to rise above it, but sadly they don't. I mean... sure, there's a time and a place, but it also feels like there's an assumption that acting in a certain way in spaces dedicated to fiction or comics or film will result in extra attention, and if it's criticised, then well, that's sexism. Which is rubbish.

    Now, my final point is a tricky one, where I am on dodgy ground, but it does relate to the 'sexy cosplay' thing and the way that some elements of marketing have co-opted comics and sf etc culture and are mixing it with traditionally sexist portrayals of women to make money. I have no problem with people dressing how they want to, but I also feel that there's an element of exploitation of cosplay galleries being put up on some websites, and the sexualisation of certain characters, then people dressing up as them.

    Okay, let me unpack that a bit. Team Unicorn and that bloody 'Geek and Gamer Girl' video (which I'm not linking to) is *not* expressive third-wave feminism. The people involved get the benefit of the doubt as to whether they're 'genuine' or not, as I'm sure they love what they do and debates about whether they're fake or not are largely irrelevant, but they're pretty much fuck all different to the original Katy Perry video they're parodying, in terms of an intention to attract attention by titillation. Whether they're 'fake' or not is a debate that's the same as whether any music video is fake. It's clearly not a thing just done for fun, for the love of it. And that's okay, but it's still unrealistic. Fake geek girls? Whatever. Keeping a certain type of body image and artificial notion of availability at the centre of the male gaze? Absolutely.

    Models who see cosplay at conventions well-attended by media professionals, trying to get recognised and get work as a result? Same thing. I mean, good on them for doing it and thinking of something original and making cool outfits and putting up with a lot of the shit that they put up with as a result, but still a symptom of that commercialised male gaze bullshit.

    So, what I think I'm saying really is that there is resistance to 'girls' doing 'geeky' things, but there's also a high level of integration too and increasingly so, but there are also problematic issues with the way women are both portrayed by and to subcultures, which are worse because they're commercially driven and exploitative.
  9.  (10932.19)
    So, I write a lot about geeky things on my blog, and I love doing it because popular culture is a great vehicle for understanding theory concepts and ideas about aesthetics and blah blah blah. But even more than geeky things, I really love art, especially late 19th and early 20th century art. But I don't really write about that so much because there aren't so many people interested in digging into the subject, at least in my experience.

    You know what I would love?

    Some fake art history girls. Or fake art history guys for that matter. Fake art history anyone, really. Because even a poser has the potential to turn into someone I can have a good conversation with. And yeah, it might be kind of disappointing if I can't engage them at first, but everyone's new to a subject at some point or other. Oh man, if Symbolism was popular enough to have an entire subculture complete with poser hangers on...!

    Although, in fairness, I'm not sure how you could do Sexy Symbolist Cosplay. Like, what would you do, dress as a floating eyeball in a bikini? Or sexy cubism? Try to hug the person and you'd get impaled on all the angles.

    But like, when someone describes something as Tim Burtonesque I COULD be a dick and denounce them for not knowing about German Expressionism, but it's actually more fun to say, "Well, hey, actually there's this thing called German Expressionism that came before Burton. You might be into it. Check out The Cabinet of Doctor Caligari or Metropolis! It's great, freaky stuff."

    I just don't understand why the reaction to a neophyte would be to cast them from your proverbial doorstep. It just seems like... well, bad business, really, and a bad way of making friends.
    • CommentAuthorbadbear
    • CommentTimeDec 17th 2012 edited
    All cubism is sexy.... Or is that just me?

    (Sorry. Totally off topic.)

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