Tuesday, May 27, 2014

"Fake Geek Girl" Fiction- There's No Such Thing As a Fake Geek

So many articles have been written about the “fake” geek girl. It’s a topic that means so much to me, and though this is my first article on the topic it probably won’t be the last. It's one of the few things a person can say to me that will rile me up to boiling in two seconds flat.Whether it is being called "fake," being harassed, or having unwanted attention, if you identify as female and have even one "geeky" interest, gender discrimination is sadly something you have probably experienced in one form or another. 

 I have been lucky. I was sheltered from this until I was fairly old. My father was a wonderful loving man, and a geek, he raised me to be one too. My gender had nothing to do with it. I was his child, he was simply passing on his passions and interests.

My high school science club was wonderful place for us. There was a LOT of us, which was wonderful. And there were a LOT of girls. Besides the academics, we played Magic the Gathering, D&D, had movie nights, and guess what? The teacher who ran the group? A woman. I am a geek girl born and raised, but as I got older, and tried to spread further into the community, the instances of being called out as “fake” or harassed began to grow. 

Just google image "fake geek girl" and prepare to be horrified.

Yep. Cause based on this one picture she posted, you sooo know her well enough to make that judgement...

Let me tell you something, guys. I still went through the same thing all of you boys did as children. Mocked and disliked for my intelligence, my clothes, my interests. Yeah, no one wanted to date me, trust me. I was a new girl from a poor family in a small Midwestern town who was into Hobbits and Elves. I’m great in Tolkien trivia contests, I can tell you all about end game raiding in WoW. (I was top 3 DPS in my raiding guild) Want to chat about Labyrinth or Mel Brooks? Fantasy authors?  Thor back in the JIM days? Dr. Who? Yeah, I have watched some of the “original” Doctors.  I have all the “street cred,” you could require of me, but to some it's never good enough. What's worse, geeky gals can be found perpetuating this nonsense, out of a sense of being "more geeky" or superior to other girls. 

That is the inherent problem, not just with geek guys, but the geek subculture in general.  Dominance is information. How much do you know? Can you prove it?  The years of bullying and exclusion endured by most geeks and nerds should make you WANT to be a more open, welcoming person. It should make you want to break the cycle, but sadly the opposite is too often true. All of that negativity is too often continued and turned inward towards the community.

Worse yet,  is the ways in which it gets turned on women.  Gals who cosplay are risk of harassment both verbal and physical. There is an implication that if you cosplay, you must also be sexually available to every Tom, Dick and Harry that ogles you or you are "teasing" them. We clearly came out just for you, right? Guys, we aren't “pretending” to get attention. We aren't dressing up in revealing outfits to tease you. Hell, you try to cosplay as a female character from a comic and NOT be in a revealing outfit! Hint, we like the characters, and we like costuming, that’s why we are dressing up. Check your ego. This is a girl you've probably just met, whom you've never seen before. This has nothing to do with you at all. 

Not to mention, why would your mythical “hot girl who is faking it” take all that time effort and money to make or buy a costume, buy convention tickets, travel to an event and spend an entire weekend worth of their personal time just to tease you or get sexual attention, when she could get that EXACT kind of attention by walking down the beach in a bikini? Not to mention if any female is near the "Standard beauty" end of the scale instead of "quirky cute" she is automatically set up for a hell of a lot more questioning. 

All we want, is to participate in our interest without belittlement and harassment. Can I please just go read my comic now? And GOD FORBID I want to talk with another human being about my interests, or bring said character to life with a costume. 

And thanks to the glory of the anonymous internet comment, what do women who speak out get? Death threats, rape threats, or ranked based on their bio picture and how “Do-able” they are. 

I JUST started getting into comic books. I wasn't allowed to read them as a child, my mom was crazy strict. (Except for Archie, of which I remember nothing, and didn't even really like.)  For any normal person, this would just be called a “new interest” but again, those darn ovaries!  I’m now a “Fake geek girl.”

Fast forward from high school to “Free Comic book day” last year in which I walked up to the cashier with my Thor comics in hand. The cashier, thinking he was making a joke, said to me “Now do you like Thor, or do you like Chris Hemsworth?” I was spitting fire I was so mad. Why? You may ask? 

Let’s dissect this shall we?

One, I like Thor, you know, the Norse God. My family is Scandinavian, I love Norse mythology, and I am in a historical re-enactment group in which I play Viking, and competitively throw axes on the weekend, (pretty damn well, too, I might add.) But again, this is me “proving” my cred. I shouldn't have to ramble a vitae off to you every time I purchase a comic.

Two, Chris Hemsworth is hot. So what?  I am allowed to be attracted to him. You have no say in that, and it has no bearing on whether or not I ALSO enjoy the comics. What’s with the “or”? Hemsworth OR Thor? How about AND?  Let’s also discuss the last many decades of comics shall we? What do female characters wear?  What’s that? Skin tight suits, loin cloths, bikinis? Outfits that leave absolutely nothing to the imagination?  Men have been ogling and objectifying women in comics and enjoying women for their aesthetics for about as long as comics have existed. It’s our turn now. The new movies hire young attractive actors.We like to look at them. Get over it. Oh you weren't just ogling Scarlett Johansson in the cat suit as she bent over with totally unnecessary camera angle? *cough* bullshit. You get to enjoy the comics for their story line and cheesecake, but we are only allowed to like the content? Hypocritical much? 

Three, shut up and take my money. All gender aside, I am a customer and I am trying to give you money. You know, that stuff you use to keep the lights on in your shop that pays your rent and buys your food? It shouldn't matter if a wookie walks into your shop, shut up, give them the comic and say “Thanks have a nice day!”

It deeply saddens me that this is even an issue. It should be simple, people enjoying something together. Why should it matter their age, gender, orientation? Why should it matter whether it’s an old passion, or a brand new interest? Here is a new person for you to meet and have fun discussions with about a shared interest. It doesn't have to be about sex (gasp!) It doesn't have to be a Jeopardy contest. It can just be two people enjoying a fandom together. (Notice I used the word people. We are in fact people, and more than just the sum of our dangly bits.)

Stop worrying so much about whether or not we have achieved the appropriate level of knowledge, or what we are wearing, or about our supposed nefarious machinations concerning your penis.  Just leave us to like what we like, and we will do the same.

~By GoblinGal

#fakegeekgirl #GenderInequality #geekgirl #gamergirl #fakegeek #girlsingames #Thor #GirlsLoveThor #nothingtoprove #nerdygirl #nerdgirl #yourtheproblem #cosplay #cosplayisnotconsent #womenincomics #YesAllWomen #Sexism #SexisminGames #whoareyoutosayshesnot #AdamSavage

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Fairy Doors

 I love working on all the fairy garden accessories. They are fun to make and allow me to try lots of different things fairly rapidly.  I wanted to make a couple fairy doors. These are very popular right now in gardens as d├ęcor, turning any tree or stone into a fairy house. As a bonus, if you are the type that is into fairy lore as I am, there is a bit of myth about them. Adding a fairy door is rumored to be a way to invite fairies come into your garden, and even to settle in make a home there. 

In fact some people believe that you should never place a fairy garden near the front of your house, as it may give the wee folk the impression that they have been invited further in than just your garden!

Of course, if you've ever seen my house or garden, you can easily see that it is far too late for that. My home is already completely overrun with all kinds of wee folk, goblins and pixies. (They are mostly well behaved...mostly.)

These are the first couple I made, a stone door and a wooden one. I like them because they are cute, simple and not very labor intensive, so I can make them very affordable for customers. Plus who doesn't want to invite some fairies in? (Sane people? I dunno.)

The stone door is essentially a larger version of the door on a castle I made. (You can see it on my website www.shroudedgrove.com under "3-D art -Sculpture" or on my Facebook page) You can also some of my goblins I've made on my other post here.

Below is the wooden door. I really tend to enjoy the process of mimicking wood. I'm quite happy with the results!

And there you have it the doors to your demise....I mean lovely garden decor....

Until next time!
By GoblinGal

#fairy #fairydoor #faery #faerydoors #fairygarden #faerygarden #gardendecor #sculpey #polymerclay #fantasyart #goblin #sculpture #garden #fairylore #celticfairy

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Mini Flower Pot Goblins

As I have been getting into polymer clay more, I have been re-visiting previous forms and sculptures.  It is really gratifying to see my improvements as I learn. Most recently I made these guys. They are a miniature form of my original flower pot goblin. They are built on top of tiny terracotta pot, which gives them a great looking base, as well as helps me control their size.

Part of the fun is changing up their faces and flowers! Since these pieces focus on the head of the goblin, it is really good practice working on faces. Learning detail and variability has been an interesting progress, and I am happy that I can see improvement.

I have so many more things I want to do in polymer clay, and so many more things I want to learn that I literally do not have time for it all! (I’m gonna dive in and try anyway! Yay time management skills!)

I am hoping to complete a sell-able reproducible set of my original five "Helper Goblins" so hopefully I will have those for you all soon!

I hope you like these little guys, and I’ll see you next time!

~By GoblinGal

#Fairy #FairyGarden #Garden Accessories #Goblin #GoblinArt #Polymer Clay #Fantasy Art #Faery #Gnome 

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Craft Fair Debut

Hey everyone! The weekend is almost upon us, and so is my first craft fair! I am going to be participating in a carnival and craft fair to raise money for a local school. It will be my first time vending in person, so I am definitely spending my last couple days being sure to get all my ducks in a row. I have been working hard over the past couple of months to build up a good sized stock to take on the road with me, as well as developing graphics and signs for a booth, and I can't wait to see it all up and running! Coming with me are several sculpture pieces including the goblins and dragons, and I am excited for them to get their first public debut!

If you are local to Southern California and want to come check me out, I will be at Meadow Green Elementary school in Whittier, Ca, from 11 AM-4 PM this Saturday May 3rd.

Hope to see you all there!

~By GoblinGal