Dear fellow ladies who also happen to be geeks (and women who are not geeks too, but I don't tend to meet you as much so all bullet points may not apply or make sense to you without researching first),
Ha, bet you thought you weren't getting one of these, am I right?
But see, I would also like to co-exist with you in a happy peaceful land and while we may not run into quite the same issues as I would run into with the lovely gents I spoke to in my last letter (unless you find yourself thinking, 'That Callaghan chick is pretty smexy'--then you may need to look at that other letter too) I think we can probably improve the situation by laying down some ground rules.
Again, these are basic rules, I am in no way inferring that you, the reader, personally does or doesn't do any of these.
1. Be aware of slut-shaming. Society has weirdly lulled us into doing this that we don't even realize it half the time we participate in it and at conventions, it's absolutely rampant. We need to stop judging our fellow lady geeks based on their clothing or costume as it's neither an indicator of their 'sluttiness' or geek cred. We're supposed to be the crowd of misfits that takes all kinds and I'd love for us to go back to those roots.
2. Please stop uttering the phrase, "She's just wearing that for attention." ...OF COURSE SHE IS,WE ALL COSPLAY FOR ATTENTION! Hell, I just wrote about it. You don't dress up as a character recognizable to an entire mini-population of nerds because you want to skulk around in the shadows unnoticed. Unless that's your character... But even if you love that character, even if you love sewing and costume design, cosplay, on some level (and this goes for both men and women) cosplay is partly about embracing our inner camera-whore.
3. Remember we aren't in competition with each other. I'm not sure where this whole Highlander-esque "THERE CAN BE ONLY ONE" stigma came about that causes ladies to grump on other ladies, but dear god do we need to work hard to squash it. You can be beautiful and intelligent and geeky and that it no way makes me less beautiful, intelligent or geeky. My worth is not dependent on how we measure up against each other and vice versa.
4. I'm not hitting on you (Trust me, you'd know, it would be awkward and totally uneloquent) and I don't need anything from you, you really do look really nice today.
5. I really don't have a TMI filter. If you need to talk about something that most people consider extremely personal, that's fine, I'm a great listener. BUT give me a bit of a heads up that's where the conversation is going or I may get whiplash.
6. Men in a relationship are immediately unattractive to me. I realize this isn't the case for everyone but please sincerely believe he's my bro, I've no desire to try to steal him away. Also girl, you're fabulous, who would leave you? Stupid people, that's who.
7. Weight shaming, regardless if you're griping that someone is over or underweight, needs to stop.
8. Being feminist means we want equality. It doesn't make us man haters or women haters and dear gods can we please stop the term 'femme-nazi'? By associating something very beautiful and welcoming (the idea that regardless of gender we should all have the same human rights) with this really opposite concept (Nazism) we're only hurting ourselves. Feminism isn't about playing the victim and it isn't about shifting the sides in regards to oppression. It's about balance.
9. Self-deprecation is a monster and I won't let you participate in it if I'm in ear shot. The world tears you down enough, don't you understand how awesome you are?
10. If you find yourself saying, "I don't have friends that are girls, they're just so catty", it may be time to stop and re-evaluate the situation. Don't get me wrong, I was that awkward girl who got picked on a ton in grade school by the popular crowd, girls CAN be cruel... but that's a personality trait, not a gender one. Let's be honest for a second: Assholes are everywhere! We've dated them, we've been their friends, we've met them randomly on the street and they fell on various levels of the gender spectrum. Give girls a chance. I mean, you're pretty badass and you're a girl, right? You're reading my blog for some reason and I'm pretty sure I'm a lady.
Thanks for letting me talk about this. If I know you, know that I'm glad you're in my life and if I don't, know that I can't wait to meet you.
Continue to be amazing <3
The Geek Next Door