Saw this Buzzfeed “What’s your Geek Number” quiz* making the rounds today, and I got a bit ranty about it on the twitterz. I’m porting those tweets over here, and expounding on them, because I figured it was time to stop spamming my followers. >.>
(*I’m loath to link to it, but eh. Go ahead and have a gander at the questions.)
There’s a BuzzFeed quiz making the rounds about your “Geek Number.” And I get it, it’s a quiz on the internet, created for clicks. However.
It biases heavily toward comic book geekery, or “Have you seen ALL of X,” implying that if you haven’t, you’re not fan ENOUGH. If your favorite Doctor’s isn’t 1-8, it implies you’re not a REAL Doctor Who fan. And yet, most of the other fandoms it asks about are new. Sherlock! Supernatural! Harry Potter! So, becoming a fan of DW after the reboot is bad, but we’re ignoring other classic SF/F?
Also, questions asking geeks to wear some not-nice things as a badge of pride. Losing friends over canon arguments, skipping work for games. Oh, and several variations on “Do you judge people if they <do something that’s not geeky ENOUGH.>”
THIS IS PART OF WHERE THE FAKE GEEK GIRL THING STARTS. Measuring other people by how geeky they are/aren’t. Which is bullshit.
If you love a book, a movie, a fandom – from any decade – are passionate about it & want to share that with others, congrats, you’re a geek.
Even if you score a 1 on that ridiculous gorram quiz. We should be welcoming other fans, not telling them “You’re not fan ENOUGH.”
Part of what chapped my cheese is the idea that if you don’t consume a thing in its entirety, you’re not really a fan. Which, no. Look, I can binge-watch or binge-read with the best of them. But life happens. Other responsibilities take priority. Some times not only is there not enough time to devour a particular work from beginning to end, there’s also not always enough money.
The majority of the list is about more modern media. Which does not discount it, at all (you should see my DVR). But why doesn’t the older stuff count? The only things I’m seeing on here that’s pre-1980, at a second skimming, is the sneery jab at any Whovians unfamiliar with the show before Russell T. Davies picked it up and references to Dune, Lord of the Rings, and Star Trek: The Original Series. Geekery did not begin with GenX, dudes.
Where are some of the other new shows and books? Sleepy Hollow has an incredibly active fandom. True Dective. Vikings. Teen Wolf. Where’s The Hunger Games and Divergent?
What about makery? Steampunk’s an obvious hole in the list. Knitting? I can’t tell you how many panels I’ve been to at cons where a sizable chunk of the audience gets out their needles. Couple references in there to fanart, but it’s more “Have you ever drawn your characters?” and ignores the artists on DeviantArt and tumblr who make a living off of their commissions.
And music. Oh my gooses, I just realized the quizmaker totally neglected filk.
Point is, there are so damned many ways to be a geek. We ought not make other people feel like they have to check off a certain number of boxes to “count.” If you love something and want to share it with others, you are a geek. Said my friend @fyriat:
If you score a 1, then you have the chance to experience a bunch of neat stuff for the first time.
YES. More geeks are a good thing.
If I can change directions slightly, there was something else about this quiz that left me feeling bitey: I sort of figured, when I saw the first 35 questions (39 if you count the 4 manga ones) were about comic books, this wasn’t going to go anywhere good. I checked a few of those boxes! But not, apparently, enough.
I’m annoyed at the sudden desire I had, when I read the text summing up my score that suggested I had a ways to go, to defend myself as a geek. Because y’know, as a woman, I don’t have to do that all the damned time anyway. I have written and deleted and rewritten and redeleted a line following this one laying out the ways I’m a geek, but you know what? No. Not this time, because I can’t help but feel like doing so would undermine what I’ve said above:
If you are a fan of something you consider geeky then congrats, and welcome. You are a geek.
How about you share some of those things in comments? Introduce me to new stuff, or nerd out with me about stuff we both like. What’s your geeky passion?