Clash of the Geek Girls

I realized something odd.

There are a lot of clichés about women being socially competitive, one-upping each other or playing with guys’ hearts and minds to get what they want. I don’t believe all of that and have seen just as many men warp into manipulative bastards. Hell, I think I’m a manipulative bastard in denial.

But I do believe in Geek Girl clashes.

You see, in quite a few nerd groups there’s one cool Geek Girl. That one girl who can toggle in and out of geekdom, able to dance amongst the geekiness without being smelly, totally fashionably inept or socially incapable. They seem to raise the normal cred of the geek group a bit, giving them a bridge to the regular world.

But, that’s the catch… in each group there’s only one.

When nerd groups intermingle (like at a LARP, convention, housewarming or other gathering) the Geek Girls instinctively go territorial and pull out the claws on each other. First impressions between them are almost always awful. They look for flaws and circle, waiting for an opportunity to strike. They might be polite to each other on the surface, but there’s a cold destruction under their gaze as they see this upstart trying to mingle and corrupt their nerds. One will start the coldness right off the bat and the others’ neck hairs will raise – ready for the impending duel.

Only one.

Maybe the ladies will dress provocatively to get a reaction. Maybe they’ll show up unannounced. Maybe they’ll schedule multiple nerd-based events to ensure exposure to their pack. Maybe Girl A will lecture Girl B on geeky things B already knows just to make her feel inferior. They might compare conventions they’ve attended or geek celebs they’ve hung out with – all while saying it in a “matter of fact” kind of tone. Whatever the method, subtle or combative, it’s a war and to the victor goes the spoils – junk food, RPG sessions, B-Movie nights, hangin’ out on new comic book day and overall adoration.

Even more disturbing is that the men are rarely aware of what’s going on. They may know that Girl A and Girl B seem to be at odds but they’ll chock it up to misunderstanding, miscommunication, bad timing or PMS and just stupidly hope that it goes away over time. They assume that everyone will get along and marinade themselves in the hobbies they mutually enjoy. Most of these nerd men are so happy to have multiple Geek Girls in their life that they’ll blindly overlook everything up to the two girls physically beating each other up. In their world, the only people who are assholes are jerks stressing them out at work or guys who leave Cheetos stains on their trade paperbacks. Geek Girl wars are out of their scope of understanding.

On a related note: If one of the men gets a girlfriend, she must go through the extensive Geek Girl approval process. If she’s a Girly Girl and no threat to the Geek Girl’s special territory, she may be regarded as a bimbo annoyance but allowed to live. If she is too enthralling, too geeky or begins to enjoy her boyfriend’s hobbies too much then she will be marginalized or, if need be, the guy will be carefully exiled from the circle until he breaks up with Nerd Girl Competitor X.

I don’t believe it’s a case of evil. It is nature and social hierarchies. Know this and tremble. 🙂

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