So, I suppose I should introduce myself.
Hi, I’m Michelle Renee and I’m a geek. It’s been four months since my last convention and…I mean…I have a totally healthy relationship with my geekery and fandoms that in no way resembles an addiction of any kind.
I am very excited about (BF) Geek Girls because geek culture has been a big part of my life since I was a little girl. I grew up watching the 90’s X-Men, Batman, and Pokémon cartoons. I practically LIVED for The Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers and coerced my mom into making me a Pink Power Ranger costume, which she then couldn’t get off of me for months after Halloween. That is, until I decided my cousin was a Putty and kicked him so hard he fell over…on the cement…and then into a planter. I was forcibly stripped of my Ranger status after that.
I spent hours playing my Game Boy Color and N64. My mom taught me the ways of the classic arcade games and she was ruthless in her tutelage (I blame her for my friendship-destroying competitive streak). I even found ways to make non-geek activities geeky. My prized possession was my Catwoman bike and I would spend hours riding it dressed accordingly…as Catwoman à la Batman Returns. Another costume my mom regretted making for me, since she now has a series of holiday pictures featuring: Catwoman and Robin at the pumpkin patch, Catwoman and Santa Clause, Catwoman and The Easter Bunny, and (my personal favorite) Catwoman in red cowboy boots in honor of the 4th of July.
Even though I would sometimes make my mom shake her head (and try to convince people I didn’t belong to her), she encouraged my geeky ways and even introduced me to things she geeked out over. One of our favorite things to do together was watch Star Trek: TNG & Voyager, Xena: Warrior Princess, Hercules, and Andromeda. She read The Hobbit to me when I was young and I read The Lord of The Rings on my own starting in 6th grade. As I got older, we would have (very) heated debates over who was the better super hero, Batman or Superman. For the record, I am team Batman…to this day she wonders where she failed as a parent and asks the gods what she did to deserve such a “dark, misguided child”. My mom was a champion for me in a lot of ways because she never wanted me to feel I couldn’t do, or like certain things based on my gender. I was always free to be myself and like the things I liked which resulted later in finding a great group of peers who shared similar interests.
In junior high I found friends who were into anime, manga, and graphic novels. I even met someone who introduced me to fanfiction.net back in its early days when things were…well let’s just say you didn’t tell your parents you had discovered this site…and you definitely didn’t tell them about the Dragon Ball Z fic you were co-authoring. My friends and I would make up our own characters, dress up, and get kicked out of Rite Aid for reenacting the Black Knight scene from Holy Grail with pool noodles. I would go to friends’ houses and play video games for hours, everything from Mortal Kombat to Halo to DDR. My guy friends never batted an eyelash at my interests; in fact, they would give me comics to read or introduce me to new tv shows or movies. I was lucky that I got to do all these things with a very close, amazing group of people.
It wasn’t until my first year of college that I was hit with the term “fake geek girl”. Until I was 19, I never knew I was in a subculture and I definitely didn’t know it was traditionally the domain of men. I never even thought of my gender or how it pertained to how other people would perceive my level of interest in, dedication to, or knowledge of the things I loved. My friend’s boyfriend was over for a Soul Calibur tournament we were hosting at my house and we started talking about X-Men. Things started off amicably enough until I mentioned that I hadn’t really read any of the comics. That’s when the trouble started.
I started getting asked questions that required ridiculously specific answers and he kept getting angrier with every correct answer I gave. Now, I may not have read the comics but I LOVED the cartoon growing up and I liked the movies, and because of that I read up on my favorite characters’ storylines and histories. Finally, questions about Wolverine came up and he asked if Wolverine had the ability to produce claws before his skeleton was infused with adamantium. I could tell by the look on his face that he thought he had me. I told him that Wolverine possessed the ability to produce bone claws before the Weapon X program (even though at one time it was thought that they were bionic implants from the program). He tried to convince me that I was wrong and that I didn’t know what I was talking about. Providing actual comics (courtesy of my stepdad) as proof that I was correct didn’t seem to help. He started calling me names and using my gender against me, telling me I didn’t know what I was talking about simply because I was a girl. Essentially, telling me I didn’t belong in the world I loved because I didn’t have a Y-chromosome.
Looking back, that incident probably should have had a bigger effect on me than it did, considering how truly ugly things got that afternoon. However, I had a strong group of badass girl geeks surrounding me from the time I was young. So, my only response was to laugh at this sad little person who felt the need to tear someone else down to make himself feel superior. Sadly, that may have been my first encounter but, it was by no means my last. Which is why (BF) Geek Girls is so important to me.
I was lucky to have the support of my parents and friends. Support that makes it easy for me to laugh at terms like “fake geek girl” or accusations that I like the things I like solely to get the attention of the opposite sex. I want this site, blog, and any other projects to come to be that support system for other geeks. I want to create an environment where people can come together and fanperson over the things that make them happy without fear of judgment. Because here at (BF) Geek Girls there are no rules on how you must geek, what you must geek over, or even how much geeking knowledge you have. Simply be excellent to each other and geek on.