Being called a ‘fake geek girl’ is much like being told you have cooties in middle school; you know it’s not true, you know it’s not even a real thing, and the whole concept as been cooked up by immature boys who either wanna exclude you from their fun or are actually scared of you.
I was in my late teens when I discovered my love of comic books; a late start, some may say, but while I had read a few when I was younger, they had never captured me the way books had. All that changed when I started reading Franka, by Dutch artist Henk Kuijpers, about a female investigator solving crimes all over the world.
Through the band My Chemical Romance I started reading Gerard Way’s comic book, The Umbrella Academy, and fascinated by the concept of people with super powers, I got into the X-Men universe. This was where I found my ultimate comic book love, Deadpool.
Unfortunately the world of comic book nerds has long been dominated by snobbish men, unwilling to let women participate in their hobby and unbelieving of our sincerity; most men I’ve encountered - in real life or online - have labelled me a fake geek the second I mention my graphic idols. In my experience, it’s the superhero genre that suffers from the highest percent of angry men, and Deadpool certainly has his ‘guardians’.
Their phrase of choice seems to be, ”You only like Deadpool because Ryan Reynolds is playing him.”
Now, this is problematic to me for several reasons; first of all, it’s not true; I started reading Deadpool comics long before ‘X-Men origins: Wolverine’ was even being made, so I had no idea Ryan Reynolds would be playing him.
Secondly, while I find Ryan Reynolds attractive, he is not in the comic books. Deadpool is an ugly bastard with a face and body full of scars (I’m ignoring you, ‘Reborn’), not a hunky heartthrob, so if attraction was the driving force, comic books would be just about the worst way to go.
But the most important problem is this; the notion that a woman can only be interested in something for romantic or sexual reasons discredits the female gender on a much larger scale - not only can we not enjoy art and literature without focusing on sex and love, these guys seem to believe that this is all we are.
This profound misunderstanding of female interests gives these men a free pass to not take us seriously at all; calling us ‘fake geek girls’ in just another vein of misogyny, telling us to stick to cooking and babymaking.