The term has been heard all over the internets lately, and it’s become a really disparaging phrase. Those three words have been used to describe not just someone who may be opportunistic, but anyone who happens to identify as being a woman. And even if someone is being opportunistic, really who cares.
At one time, I recall finding a woman who was really into “geek culture” to be really awesome and someone I could talk to for hours about this awesome thing that happened to be my hobby. Because then I could talk to someone and not have them give me a weird look when I tell them the story about how hilarious it was to have a halfling paladin begin a paladin charge. On a Shetland pony. Forget the fact that in the table top D&D group I was involved that we never had anyone commit to a paladin charge before, that wasn’t the humourous part. It was the fact that one of the first times the commitment was made, it was by a halfling on a Shetland pony. Charging a giant.
To most, that story would have made no sense, but to anyone who knew of the aspects of Second Edition Advanced Dungeons and Dragons, Skills and Powers, Combat and Tactics, they’d get the concept and find why it was so funny. Halflings, after all, weren’t known for being paladins. Most of the time whenever I talked to someone outside of my little group, I’d get this look or often the question of “so when are you gonna finally grow out of this”. As though because I was an adult, that such things as this were rather frivolous. Childish.
I’ve had close female friends I’ve been able to talk to about stuff like video games, comic books and movies that appeal to “geek culture”. I’ve had long conversations about the Sims, finding the interesting things about Second Life, hearing about a friend’s raiding in World of Warcraft and showing off the world of Tyria in Guild Wars 2. And hearing that sound once they saw it, that sound that said “I have to get this game”.
I recall that the first comics an ex girlfriend began reading were the Sandman books, and later one of the Death series by Neil Gaiman. She liked the portrayal of Death, as someone who wasn’t this image of doom, but as someone who looked a little more positively about the afterlife. We even read one of the children’s books together that Gaiman wrote, all thanks to the Sandman series.
I honestly do not understand why this attitude prevails that women don’t have a vested interest in something simply because they happen to be women. There’s a good chance that a lot of women out there who happen to read comic know more about them than I do. Simply because I have drifted away from the medium in the last decade. When you do find someone who really likes the same or similar things that you do, talk to them. Don’t grill them or doubt their passion for something. They don’t exist to threaten your love of something. They could end up being a really good friend and someone to talk to for hours about all of those things you enjoy reading or watching or playing.
The next woman you talk to that happens to play video games could be your next raid partner in World of Warcraft or Guild Wars 2. So make sure you’re not a jerk to them. And don’t see them for only one thing, because the chances you lose a friend, or a possible friend, increase when you act like a jerk.