The Time I Met a "Fake Nerd Boy"

Categories: Geek
fakenerdboy2.jpg
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I can't help but picture how things would have been different if Joshua Polman had been Jessica Polman, though, and I think that you can find a parallel in how cosplayers are treated.

Women often go to insane lengths to craft elaborate re-creations of various geek characters. Of course men do as well, but I have literally never seen a man grilled on his knowledge of a series by a woman or another man because of it. Sure, there's some "I know more than you"-ing going on, but that's just nerds being nerds. Sports nuts do the same thing. What's lacking is this vicious quizzing to determine the worth of the fandom currently strutting about in her Batgirl get-up.

So imagine if you will Jessica Polman who built a Dalek and takes it around to conventions. Maybe she puts on an Amy Pond costume to help sell it; maybe she just wears jeans and a cute Tee Fury shirt or something. Then, while some male Whovian is taking pictures, she slips up and refers to Matt Smith as the Twelfth Doctor or gets Eccleston's name wrong.

Don't try to tell me that that wouldn't have resulted in a typical mansplaining verbal beatdown about how she was just another fake nerd girl out to rip off true fans who actually care about Doctor Who or sci-fi in general or whatever. I've been covering this convention since it was founded, and it totally would have. Not because Comipalooza is more sexist or misogynistic than other conventions, but because this weird trope of the geek-hating female pretending otherwise is a very powerful personal fantasy for geeks with woman issues.

Hell, I get a pass all the time for messing up minor points of Whovian fandom or comic books in articles. People correct me, with fiendish glee sometimes, but no one ever tells me that I need to get out and go do some more manly hobby.

There's no one right way to be a fan of something. I'm not less of a Whovian because I can't build a Dalek any more than Polman is less of a Whovian because he doesn't have my encyclopedic knowledge of the Eighth Doctor's adventures in the divergent universe. Likewise, a woman who spends time and money crafting the perfect Zatanna outfit or an Arkham Asylum-era Harley Quinn costume is clearly someone who likes DC Comics. Maybe not the way you do, and maybe you don't appreciate the way she expresses her love, but you can't take it away from her just because she fails to answer a pop quiz.

There's no such thing as a fake nerd. The only thing false about loving a geeky show or book is if you presume to decide who can love it besides you, and that's not love; it's jealousy.

Jef has a new story, a tale of headless strippers and The Rolling Stones, available now in Broken Mirrors, Fractured Minds. You can also connect with him on Facebook.

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2 comments
eudemonist
eudemonist

"Don't try to tell me that that wouldn't have resulted in a typical mansplaining verbal beatdown about how she was just another fake nerd girl out to rip off true fans who actually care about Doctor Who or sci-fi in general or whatever. I've been covering this convention since it was founded, and it totally would have."

So...you're witnessed these verbal beatdowns take place?  I've been going for the past four years, and have yet to see such a thing.

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