Gatekeeping: How Women Are Kept Out Of Nerd Culture
Start writing a post

Gatekeeping: How Women Are Kept Out Of Nerd Culture

The community is not as inviting as it might like to think.

Gatekeeping: How Women Are Kept Out Of Nerd Culture
Lulu Hoeller

Being both a woman and a nerd can be an incredibly irritating experience. From overly sexualized comic and video game characters to the absence of any representation at all, there are many annoyances that go with the territory. Not least of these is the treatment of us by male nerds, including one particularly insulting example: gatekeeping.

Gatekeeping is when someone harasses another person because they do not meet their standards of being a fan of some film, show, comic, etc. It is most common with movie and comic book franchises that could be considered nerdy. Gatekeeping often entails a barrage of obscure questions which the other person is expected to answer without flinching. The questions will most likely continue until one is answered incorrectly. A girl may have read "The Lord of the Rings"five times, but if she can’t speak Elvish, then she is obviously an imposter in the eyes of the guy interrogating her. I myself even have apprehensions about wearing my Captain America shirt around campus because my knowledge of the comic may not be far-reaching enough for some. Of course, this happens to men, too, but it is not nearly as likely that a man wearing a Batman shirt will be stopped in the middle of his walk to class to answer a question about his opinion on the most obscure issue of the comic in the way that a woman would be. There is no danger in having interests that are simply casual rather than all-consuming if you are a man.

This relates to the idea of the “fake geek girl” stereotype wherein men claim that women are only feigning interest in these topics to impress men. These boys whine about wanting a scarcity of nerdy girls and then complain when either they are thrown into the “friend zone” (another dangerous idea) or the girl does not meet their standards. It is most likely a defense mechanism against their own self-imposed beliefs that girls won’t be interested in them because they are nerds. If only these boys could realize that it isn’t their Pokémon card or comic book collection that makes them off-putting — it’s their attitude. So they preemptively attack women with false entitlement and self-confidence. This inflated ego and belief that they hold the rights both to the fandoms they enjoy and the women they want is disgusting. So, ladies, wear your Superman shirts with confidence regardless of your fandom knowledge, knowing instead that boys are simply afraid of you.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
the beatles
Wikipedia Commons

For as long as I can remember, I have been listening to The Beatles. Every year, my mom would appropriately blast “Birthday” on anyone’s birthday. I knew all of the words to “Back In The U.S.S.R” by the time I was 5 (Even though I had no idea what or where the U.S.S.R was). I grew up with John, Paul, George, and Ringo instead Justin, JC, Joey, Chris and Lance (I had to google N*SYNC to remember their names). The highlight of my short life was Paul McCartney in concert twice. I’m not someone to “fangirl” but those days I fangirled hard. The music of The Beatles has gotten me through everything. Their songs have brought me more joy, peace, and comfort. I can listen to them in any situation and find what I need. Here are the best lyrics from The Beatles for every and any occasion.

Keep Reading...Show less
Being Invisible The Best Super Power

The best superpower ever? Being invisible of course. Imagine just being able to go from seen to unseen on a dime. Who wouldn't want to have the opportunity to be invisible? Superman and Batman have nothing on being invisible with their superhero abilities. Here are some things that you could do while being invisible, because being invisible can benefit your social life too.

Keep Reading...Show less

19 Lessons I'll Never Forget from Growing Up In a Small Town

There have been many lessons learned.

houses under green sky
Photo by Alev Takil on Unsplash

Small towns certainly have their pros and cons. Many people who grow up in small towns find themselves counting the days until they get to escape their roots and plant new ones in bigger, "better" places. And that's fine. I'd be lying if I said I hadn't thought those same thoughts before too. We all have, but they say it's important to remember where you came from. When I think about where I come from, I can't help having an overwhelming feeling of gratitude for my roots. Being from a small town has taught me so many important lessons that I will carry with me for the rest of my life.

Keep Reading...Show less
​a woman sitting at a table having a coffee

I can't say "thank you" enough to express how grateful I am for you coming into my life. You have made such a huge impact on my life. I would not be the person I am today without you and I know that you will keep inspiring me to become an even better version of myself.

Keep Reading...Show less
Student Life

Waitlisted for a College Class? Here's What to Do!

Dealing with the inevitable realities of college life.

college students waiting in a long line in the hallway

Course registration at college can be a big hassle and is almost never talked about. Classes you want to take fill up before you get a chance to register. You might change your mind about a class you want to take and must struggle to find another class to fit in the same time period. You also have to make sure no classes clash by time. Like I said, it's a big hassle.

This semester, I was waitlisted for two classes. Most people in this situation, especially first years, freak out because they don't know what to do. Here is what you should do when this happens.

Keep Reading...Show less

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Facebook Comments