Thursday, November 10, 2011

You Go Geek Girl!

I realized that I sort of sounded like a pompous jerk when I said I read a whole book the other afternoon, but really when most of the pages have pictures and are a series of lists... I feel any competent reader could breeze through 200 pages in an evening. [check out the speed reading skills on erin]

But really... I read this book so you don't have to. Here are some of the things I found disappointing (mostly because of my own expectations and wishes... I know).

  1. The introduction has 1 page describing the different terms that are generally used synonymously (geek, nerd, dweeb, dork etc). I felt this needed more explanation and historical context.
  2. The introduction has one section (a little less than a page) talking about she-geeks vs he-geeks. I felt this was insufficient setup for why she wrote a WHOLE BOOK on women geeks. 
  3. Most of the pages have pictures and are a series of lists (hypocrite for making my own list but whatever). I felt this work would have been more powerful if there was a more in-depth analysis of the history of each geek realm, the current landscape and perhaps even how feminism and current economic conditions have influenced girl geeks.
  4. There are very few examples of women of color. 
  5. The music geek chapter is basically only about one genre of music. I understand that you could write whole books on geek-ery about music with each genre covered (and people have, I've read a couple). And in an overview type book, you have to pick & choose... but it seems you could pick and choose over a cross section of music - not just pick several pixie singer/songwriter types. 
  6. Zooey Deschanel is not a geek. 
  7. Each chapter has a section about geek love. How to snag a geek girl that is interested in one of these geek specialties. Umm... please.
  8. Each of these geek love sections describes a male-female relationship. How heteronormative... bleh.
  9. The fangirl-geek section seems to not have an awareness of Henry Jenkins
  10. It seems like the basic premise of the book was "Girls have interests! They are passionate and that is cool!" I wanted more. 
  11. This is only a half disappointment - I wanted to feel like I belonged to one of these "specialties" of geek... but I didn't. There were bits and pieces of each that I felt spoke to me and the kind of person I am... and then I got to wondering if I am a geek at all... I always fancied myself one,  but maybe not because according to this book a geek is defined as "a person who is wildly passionate about an activity, interest or scientific field and strives to be an expert in said avocation" and well... while I think I am pretty passionate, it's not about 1 or 2 specific things and I am not an expert on anything. Guess I am not part of this club. sigh. peace out, sisterhood. 
All this being said, there were some interesting bits of knowledge and resources listed. Not a total waste and it is always refreshing to read something that makes you think that you'd like to expand upon this body of knowledge etc. 

And now for some quotes about music from movies. My pseudo-geek passion: 
What came first, the music or the misery? People worry about kids playing with guns, or watching violent videos, that some sort of culture of violence will take them over. Nobody worries about kids listening to thousands, literally thousands of songs about heartbreak, rejection, pain, misery, and loss. Did I listen to pop music because I was miserable? Or was I miserable because I listened to pop music? - Rob Gordon High Fidelity

 They don't even know what it is to be a fan. Y'know? To truly love some silly piece of music, or some band, so much that it hurts. - Sapphire Almost Famous

You gotta hear this one song, it'll change your life, I swear. - Sam Garden State

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