Here’s what I’m talking about, but I’m only linking to it for context. If you want to avoid the link, it’s a video parody of “California Grrls” called “Geek & Gamer Girls” starring the women from the lightsaber lingerie fight video you might have seen last year. Appallingly, Seth Green is involved, and they somehow got the Star Wars blog involved. You can read up on it here.
What the heck is this? Sarah Palin’s feminism? Pointing out how sexy women are is not empowering.
The problem with this song isn’t that they’re just objectifying themselves for attention – that can be great fun to play with regardless of your gender. It’s that they’re just a pandering machine. The song is lazily written with low hanging fruit. And the whole concept is obviously just a marketing ploy. They say “Because like unicorns, geek girls are not supposed to exist!” Uh, welcome to jokes from 10 years ago. No one believes this. They also stole this idea from the poly-amorous community, which is just lazy. Lazy jokes may fly in WoW Trade Chat, but geek culture is about being clever.
If you want to be a proud geek anything, flaunt your brain and your personality, not your body. That’s what being a geek is about. That’s why we are who we are. Our culture focuses on superficiality and extroversion, and we who focus on our brains and introspective pursuits get ostracized in middle and high school for it.
Geeks come in all shapes and sizes. And the best thing about being a geek is we find everything interesting and worth getting worked up about, not just the mainstream limited views of what is the “right” thing to do or the “right” types of people that are pretty. We don’t care about the People magazine determination of what is pretty this week. We try to care more about what’s under the skin.
Shame on your Star Wars Blog for promoting this pandering, sexist garbage.
The way for us geeks to keep winning the culture war is to create an alternative to the superficial and extroverted mainstream. That’s not to say we can’t be superficial or extroverted, but if that’s your main shtick then you should reassess what you are trying to do. Are you really trying to be true to who you are, or are you trying to capitalize on what gets popularity in mainstream culture?
We all know using sex to sell to geeks works (look at most video game cover art). But the problem is that we’re trying to get past that. We trying to create a geek culture where everyone is welcome, because that’s our credo. And to do that, we have to embrace what makes geek culture strong, not pander to the mainstream methods of success.
To paraphrase a wise man: Is the mainstream more powerful? “No, no, no. Quicker, easier, more seductive.”
Don’t embrace the dark side.