A 12yo’s Thoughts On Being A Girl Geek

(My twelve year old daughter wanted to write about her views on being a young, female geek. She games on Xbox, Playstation, Wii and DS, loves superhero comics and their spin-off movies. She wanted to blog about her opinions on the hobbies she adores and I’ve left it largely unedited. ‘Boobs’ feature rather heavily.)

Living as a 12 year old is great for most, except for groaning at upcoming exams and dreading the next maths lesson. However this is a stupid way to describe me seeing as it is most unreliable. I love exams and maths, and that makes me an unusual person to meet yet even though my ability to love things that are for most unlovable, people are surprised the more they uncover about me. I am probably the most games-crazy girl you will ever meet. I shall forever remember the look on peoples face when I tell them about Halo or Red Dead Redemption. It sure is hilarious.

There is far more to gamers than meets the eye. We are a lot like Batman, by day – the average citizen, but by night – first class geeks (instead of caped vigilantes). This is great except because of school I am an afternoon gamer (stupid school/ stupid parents… joke mum, joke!). The reactions from people my age started to occur when I joined a new school and was surrounded by boys with the same interests – gaming and comics. I was able to talk with boys more (however my love for teasing them rotten has not died). They were surprised I knew what they were discussing because they judged it as a ‘boy thing’.

Perhaps one day, when the non-geeky female side of the human race has fully realised what they are missing, we female gamers won’t be given such a hard time and will be considered heroes for enlightening them on the pleasures of gaming (in my dreams). Being a non-virtual hero I can live without, but the thought of the female being greeted, when they start up a game, with sexism is just terrible. I hope to grow up in a world where the females are given the respect they deserve in games, films and comics. That is the issue I am addressing today.

I’m afraid that my opinions may be swayed and inaccurate due to the fact that boys in my age group and slightly above are obsessed with boobs and female gaming characters. I do recognise that there are many men who agree with the point that female geeks are trying to get across. If I say anything to offend I shall use the excuse that I am merely 12 and do not know any better. (Wink, wink)

It is clear to identify that women are mostly being shown as large bust ladies with barely anything in their wardrobe, an odd pair of undergarments here and there, maybe a coat and some breast plates (literally). The sizes of females’ boobs are massive and should at least weigh a kilo less because then they would be slightly more average. We are being shown images of slim ladies that have great bodies (I have to say there is no denying it). Having these images on the TV, in games and being mentioned in books is not helping us women feel less self-conscious about our appearance. It is far better and inspirational when there are women who are strong and able to make a stand in games etc. I can deal with big busted ladies but please, please at least give them some personality. For crying out loud I am sick to death of… “Oh Honey, save me from the evil people while I stand here and spur you on by popping my breasts out and jumping up and down.” I am only 12, it feels like I have a lifetime of these idiotic, eye-candy characters ahead of me! Instead I would like some female characters that either I would aspire to be more like, or are generally more well rounded. An example of a character I like is Harley Quinn, who, okay, dresses a bit sexy but has a (sick!) sense of humour, the ability to stand up for herself sometimes and a kick butt personality. Some other examples of female characters who I find strong, independent and interesting are Katniss Everdeen (Hunger Games), Wonder Woman (New 52 comics) and I wanted to give an example from gaming but nothing immediately sprang to mind which is quite depressing!

However, the way that females look are not the only sexist problems that the creative industries face. Token women are becoming popular and this must be stopped before it is a permanent necessity for games and films. Left 4 Dead 1 and 2 has Zoë and Rochelle for the games token females (please note I saw mum play a bit but am too young to play it all myself yet!) and Black Widow is the token female of the Avengers film. Even in Harry Potter I felt like Hermione is a token female for a lot of the story (but at least a brainy one!). It angers me to think that we are worthy of only one female per game or film. If we had more good female characters involved then us geeks would have a far more memorable time on our consoles and other technological devices. It would also be nice for boys my age to see there’s more to us girls than just boobs.

To summarise, my opinion on it all, is that films, games and books are a nice escape from my beloved maths homework however in order for me to fully enjoy this entertainment, the way many women are portrayed needs to change. This is an issue, we need to strike while the iron is hot and get this information common knowledge amongst all.

Thank you,

Mina, a 12 year olds opinion

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