Geek Therapy: What Kind Of Message Does It Send?

Geek Culture

Something crossed my mentions feed on Twitter that caused me to pause and really think about the messages being sent about geek women and what it means to be a geek.

This thing is a new series of comedy shorts called Geek Therapy. It is made by Comediva (@comediva) and stars America Young (@America_Young) as the therapist. It currently has two episodes and I invite you take the less than five minutes required to watch them.

Now that you’ve watched them, let me first explain my issue with this series and let me know what you think.

I don’t like the elitist nature of this series. It is one of my biggest pet peeves and something that I rant about at least once a week. In fact, it is something that I will be discussing at GottaCon in February, and that is this idea that, in order to be able to call yourself a geek, you must fit specific criteria.

I’m sure you’ve all seen it. Yes, a part of me gets really ranty when people use the label because they think it’s cool to do so. For many people my age, being a geek was not considered cool when we were in school. Some of us feel that we are losing our unique identity by the co-opting of the label and by its exploitation in marketting. However, a bigger part of me is extremely overjoyed that more and more people are identifying as a geek because it means that my children can be proud of that label and it means more of the things that I love and geek-out over are being made available. If it means more things for me to consume, then please exploit me and I’ll happily embrace anyone who wants to label themselves a geek and share in the things that I love.

I fear that this type of elitist nature will turn people off from trying out things that are geeky and embracing us a group of people. It may only further enforce the stereotype of the asshat geek.

However, there is a great positive thing to this series. The person doing the educating on what it means to be a geek is female. For me personally, I don’t need female geeks in the media, especially as my gender identity is not feminine. However, for many, it is very important that there are strong, intelligent, feminine role models in the media, especially in geek content, and this series provides that and I’m in complete support of it. For that reason alone, I look forward to more Geek Therapy videos.

What do you think?

You can find more of Comediva’s YouTube videos here.

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4 thoughts on “Geek Therapy: What Kind Of Message Does It Send?

  1. I liked that it showed people wanting to become more geeky. I only hope that the comedienne truly does know about those things and loves them with a passion and is not just researching them to provide fodder for her webcast.

    I wasn’t called a geek in HS. I was called strange or weird. I always countered with, “I’m unique and you’re just jealous.” I was just a fledgling geek in HS and didn’t truly discover my true geekiness until college when I was introduced to D&D and The Sandman comics and renaissance fairs.

    As a teacher of gifted students, I encourage them to love their geekside. In my classroom, surrounded by lego creations, graphic novels, animal bones, and the ever present Yoda bobble-head, they are encouraged to find what they love and share it with each other.

    I think I’ll check out more of the eps before I make a decision as to whether I think this is a good thing or not. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Oh, I thought it was funny.

    And I’m surprised the therapist isn’t MORE elitist and stuck-up about her geeky crown because she’s a character in a comedy show. The “patients” are much more entertaining to watch because they’re so extreme.

    Anything making “geek” part of main-steam culture is good for me. And yeah, the fact that the geek is a woman with social skills is a huge plus!

  3. I DO think there’s a difference between liking “Geeky” things and BEING a Geek, because you can be a Geek about otherwise mainstream things– I am ABSOLUTELY a Beatles Geek, for example (I say with “Hello Goodbye” playing in the background as we speak), and it’s hard to think of any pop act in history more ubiquitous. But the endless trivia I could recite about them, the size of the collection of STUFF I have related to them, the fact that they broke up 8 years before I was even born, the sheer amount of THOUGHT I put into them, that’s what makes ME a Beatles GEEK and your typical person-who-likes-the-Beatles just, well, a person who likes the Beatles. Whereas I enjoy superhero movies, but I do NOT know all that much about individual superheroes’ histories in comics and whether Marvel or DC is really better and I’m not FILLED WITH EXCITEMENT over any news related to it, so I don’t claim to be a Superhero Geek, even though I LIKE superheroes.

    So I don’t think Geek is so much a What as a How.

    But on the other hand, one tends to feel comfortable in Geek Culture no matter WHAT ones particular Geekiness is.

    1. I would tend to agree with you. But there are many geeks who argue to no end that being a “Beatles Geek” or “Gleek” or [insert whatever someone is extremely passionate about] dilutes the label ‘geek’ and makes it meaningless. And to those people, I say bollocks. Then they say to me, “How would you like it if a jock called themselves a hockey geek?” and I respond, “Good for them! At least by labelling themselves such, I understand just how passionate they are about the sport.”

      There is a good section of geeks who think/feel that unless you like very specific things, you should not be allowed to use the title.

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