A Response to Joe Peacock’s Booth Babes Need Not Apply
I am mostly content to write enthusiastic reviews and tales of my life as a geeky girl on my blog. After reading Booth Babes Need Not Apply on Geek Out, however, I decided I would go all controversial (I such an activist!) and compose a response.
At first I was going to ignore Joe Peacock’s harsh words, but after ruminating on it for a week I decided I just need to get my thoughts out. So here they are (as always, brilliant and freaking awesome):
The claim that a woman wearing less clothes than are deemed appropriate should be tested on her knowledge of geek is one I recently became acquainted with (ah, sweet ignorance, I miss thee). Even I’d Rather Vlog Naked‘s Nixie Pixel has had some depressing run-ins with this confused and angry side of our culture. And no one can deny her level of nerd, if they bother to watch her vlog.
What are we doing as a group, making the claim that someone does not belong simply because they are not fitting our definition of ‘correct’? Shouldn’t we be accepting of anyone, no matter their motives, background, or choice of dress? Does no one else watch anime?
I have always thought that Geek culture rocks because of its inclusiveness and an outlook that demands acceptance, not persecution. This whole debate of which pretty girls are fakes out to destroy our culture (dramatic much?) and which aren’t smacks of a bigger societal implication. Somewhere along the lines of ‘if it isn’t my kind of marriage than it’s against god.’ Where do we draw the line in making a decision on who belongs and who doesn’t? Wouldn’t it be better to simply erase the line?
Olivia Munn is one example thrown out by Joe Peacock in his post. This former Attack of the Show host may be seen as a ‘fake’ to some nerds, but as a female she gave me something really, really important: the realization that I don’t have to hide what I am to be seen as attractive. It can be really tough to break out of the mold that people put you into and to see yourself as anything but what others think you should be. These beautiful, confident women celebrating the things that make me who I am gave me the insight that I should just rock being myself. They are pioneers, examples to men and women everywhere who are struggling to accept themselves for who they are.
The trend of turning a girl into an object of suspicion and scorn simply because she is attractive or dresses in a way that the Puritans would not approve of makes me really, really sad for our community – and for the first time ever, ashamed for it. And rating a girl’s attractiveness as a ’6′ or ’9,’ Mr. Joe Peacock…well, maybe we are creating a problem instead of fixing one. Like, a sexist problem. I honestly have yet to see an attractive male nerd in Superman cosplay questioned about their ‘level of geek.’
All this said, I certainly am not on the ‘I hate Joe Peacock’ train. I am riding the ‘I am really disappointed in Joe Peacock’ bus. I actually think he adds a lot to the community – I mean, he has a blog on CNN! Talk about outreach power. He just needs to remember that with great power comes great responsibility (hehe), and he should work on his outlook on the female half of the species. And realize that he hurt a lot of feelings, and gave some geek girls a belly ache (being sad makes me nauseous).
For all the boys and girls out there who feel the need to get worked up about ‘booth babes,’ or pretty girls who show up at geek events: it’s tough being a woman in what was predominantly a man’s world for a long time. So give us a break, and give us the support we need instead of the judgment that seems so much easier to dole out.
Let’s just all geek out together on a sea of rainbows, sunshine, and Xboxes.
I loved Scalzi’s response Who Gets to be a Geek? Anyone Who Wants to Be. It’s a nice reminder that most geek boys most certainly do not feel the same as Joe Peacock. Click to check it out. Thanks so much for reading!