Raise your hand if you ever experienced the following: You meet new people and eventually the conversation turns towards your hobbies and free-time activities. So you tell everyone, proudly, your geeky passion when you see that look in the other person’s eye. A look most of us, one way or another, received at least once. That look that says ‘omg who could spend so much time and money on such a childish thing’. Sure, these days comic adaptations make millions at the box office and geeky passions become slowly more accepting. However, it is one thing to go and see a geeky movie and another to spend a great portion of one’s time and money on geeky passions.
Usually, we tend to ignore these encounters and feel grateful for our geeky communities. In the last few months, however, I had several encounters where fellow geeks rejected me among them for looking ‘not geeky enough’. Last weekend, I’ve bought a replica of Severus Snape’s wand in a geeky store and as I was at the counter, proudly paying for my new precious, the cashier asked me whether this’ll be the first wand I’ll buy as a present. This seemingly innocent question assumed that I a) usually don’t deal with geeky stuff and b) would never buy something like a wand for myself. It’s actually not the first time I’ve entered a geeky store or comic book store and was asked if I need any assistance/ advice on finding a present. While I’m grateful for the service, I cannot help but feel odd. Personally, I don’t wear geeky t-shirts or other geeky accessories anymore. I stopped doing that after people constantly mistook me for being much, much younger. I could stand next to my two best friends (who are as old as I am), who were wearing geeky clothing as well and would always been mistaken for several years younger. Even in my mid-twenties some people mistook me for being a teen. Often, these very same people belittled me so eventually, I began to dress more neutral if not elegant to be taken serious. Now, it seems, I reached a point in my appearance that I need to defend my geekyness.
A few months ago, my two best friends and I were in a Lego store when we met a fellow geek and that said geek began to talk about the vampire mockumentary ‘What we do in the shadows’ by Taika Waititi. I was excited to find out that someone else not only knew who Taika Waititi was, but seemed to love his new movie. I love Taika’s work for a few years now and even introduced my friends to Taika’s latest work. Prior to that they didn’t knew who he was and apart from that new movie, whom they haven’t seen at that time yet, they knew nothing about Taika at all. Yet, despite all this, and me uncontrollably babbling about the awesomeness of the movie (seriously, it is amazing!), that other girl, a total stranger to the three of us, ignored me and everything I said and talked exclusively to my friends. I could sense how uncomfortable she felt having this ‘girly girl’ trying to get herself involved in that geeky conversation. Once again, I was dressed rather elegantly while my friends were, one way or another, wearing geeky shirts or accessories. Sure, now you’ll probably think that this is an unlucky co-incidence for me to meet a shallow geek. However, another friend of mine, also dressed not-geeky, has these encounters where other geeks either ignore her, look down on her for looking ‘girlish’, or are (pleasantly) shocked to find out that she is a geek.
We tend to think that fellow geeks might be more accepting, but based on my experience I have to disagree (‘fake geek girl’- stigma, anyone??). Do male geeks experience this too? I’m very curious to know if this is an universal shallowness or attached to gender and/or clothing. Has anyone else experienced something similar? Please leave a comment down below!