"Orange is the New Black" (OITNB) premiered on Netflix on July 13 and I, like many others, settled down with a family sized bag of Sun Chips to unapologetically binge-watch the entire season that very same Saturday. It struck me how many people on the show are seen doing something that's unusual for television: reading books.
Portland nerd-rock band The Doubleclicks have a cute new music video that counters the "Fake Geek Girls" meme. The video for the song "Nothing to Prove" features women from all over the country (and a couple fellows like Wil Wheaton) holding up signs explaining how and why they're geeks.
Nerds are the kings of our culture these days—but what is a nerd, exactly, and who gets to call themselves one? This show digs into gender, race, and nerdery with an organizer of GeekGirlCon, comedy nerd Phoebe Robinson, music nerd turned Yale lecturer Allyson McCabe, and (of course!) a rigorous discussion of feminism in Star Trek with two hardcore Trekkies. Listen in!
In addition to thinking of nerds as people who are intellectually focused and slightly obsessive, I'd argue that a lot of us attach a gender (male) and race (white, South Asian, or East Asian) to the stereotype of a nerd. When I asked for suggestions of who pops into mind when you think of the idea of nerdiness, white guys accounted for most of the answers I received. And just do a quick Google image search for "geek"—most of the results you'll get back will be pictures of skinny, white men in bottle-bottom glasses.
My name's Jarrah Hodge, creator of the feminist blog Gender Focus. I've been calling myself a feminist since I was 15 and I've been called a nerd for much longer than that, so I'm really excited to get this opportunity to start this guest blog on feminism and nerd/geek culture for Bitch! Over the next couple of months I'll be looking at a range of topics in geekdom, including gender and racial dimensions of the nerd/geek stereotype and feminist analysis of different facets of geek culture, from fanfiction to libraries to board gaming.