The Real Female Geek Anthem

I am in love with Marian Call. This is beautiful. (via Amy at Skepchick)

Lyrics of “I’ll Still be a Geek After Nobody Thinks it’s Chic (the Nerd Anthem)” from LyricWiki:

All the cool kids keep enthusiasm rationed
Right down to the last explosive ounce
But I’d rather indulge my many passions
Even if my squaritude’s a little too pronounced

Perhaps I do not strike you as a geek
Without the horn-rimmed glasses and knee-high argyle socks
But nerdery is more than wardrobe deep
And I’m a nerd down in my heart and that’s where nerdhood rocks

I’m better aquainted than a good girl ought to be
With Aragorn and Yo-Saf-Bridge and Worf and HAL and Han
But you don’t really know me and my culture don’t control me
So don’t you pigeon hole me ’cause my phaser’s set to stun!

I have been a nerd since long before I could have heard
That bookish girls should look and act a certain way
And I’ll still be a geek when I am utterly antique
Because I do not care what normal people say

My superpower’s draining fun from parties
But if I am a misfit then I’m in good company
With Auden, Austin, Hawking, Galileo and Van Gogh,
And countless other weirdos whom you really ought to know

So stow your expectations, no I won’t fix your PC
And I don’t mind being underrated or ignored
The world is much too interesting to entertain ennui
And I won’t ever play it cool so I won’t ever once be bored

Oh, I have been a nerd since long before anyone heard
That pale and scrawny was the latest fashion trend
And I’ll still be a geek after nobody thinks it’s chic
Because I don’t require approval in the end

In aught-four, D-Kwon’s Dance Grooves swept the country
And suddenly old moon boots were Italian haute couture
Time magazine reported that our time had finally come
I guess they didn’t know that we already run the world

I have been a nerd since my first five syllable word
And no TV series or movie changes that
And I’ll still be a geek now Vote for Pedro’s so last week
I do not care whether Milan endorses plaid

I have been a nerd since long before anyone heard
That thin and scrawny was the latest fashion trend
And I’ll still be a geek after nobody thinks it’s chic
Because I don’t require approval in the end

I have been a nerd since long before anyone heard
That thin and scrawny was the latest fashion trend
And I’ll still be a geek after nobody thinks it’s chic
You will find that I have nothing to defend

No, I don’t need your approval in the end…

Show Marian Call some love.

12 thoughts on “The Real Female Geek Anthem

  1. MadGastronomer

    Marian rocks! She was in my restaurant after her last Seattle show, and she’s going to come in and play there sometime. *squee*

  2. anna

    I appreciate the sentiment, but wow, that video is like an advertisement for White Geekiness. The overwhelming number of images of geeks shown or referred to are white, & the geek girls themselves seem to be all of the thin/white/conventionally pretty/sexy type. Yay?

    1. Restructure! Post author

      I noticed that too, but … um, I guess have no defense. I just mentally filed away the race and size problems of the video, because it’s so rare to see a female geek representation that is from the female geek perspective instead of the male geek perspective.

      I also noticed the “normal people” were portrayed with people of colour (which is better than “normal people” portrayed with only white people, I suppose), and that the fashionista (non-geek) is an Asian woman. As for the lyrics, the “pale” bit bothers me a bit too.

      Even as an Asian female geek, I read myself into a music video that is visually about white female geeks, because female geek representations from our (“women’s”) POV are so rare that my normally relatively hypervigilant race radar is turned off. In other words, I have lower standards and am probably unconsciously compromising some of my values because there is nothing else better … but I still can’t help but <3 this song about other geeks not defining my geekiness.

      I was actually fantasizing about doing a fan remake of this music video (including lyrics) to make it better (more diverse, more of a (geek) feminist slant), but then I realized that would be a huge project for me.

    2. MadGastronomer

      Huh. I didn’t actually watch the video, because I already know the song, but yeah. I will note, though, that she didn’t make the video.

      The only thing I can say about the “pale” lyric is that Marian can certainly be a bit self-centered, and definitely wrote it purely from her own point of view, and she really is very very pale. And scrawny (her word, not mine). Not an excuse, not if she wants the song to be taken up as a geek anthem, but yeah, she doesn’t as a rule think much about race issues. (I don’t know her very well, but we’ve met several times, and people I know do know her moderately well, and so this is both from my own experience with her and from that of people I know who know her.)

      Maybe we could put together a better, more representative video for the song? Not much to be done about the lyrics.

      1. Restructure! Post author

        For some reason, after replaying and analyzing the song too many times since I discovered it, I think the song originally is about her geek cred, and not really generalizable unless it applies. For example, she does not look like a geek because she lacks horned-rimmed glasses and knee-high argyle socks. Another example, I can’t find the link again to verify, but IIRC, she discovered Firefly, Serenity, and BSG later than other geeks, which is why she asserts her prior nerdiness and “no TV series or movie changes that”.

        Still, it’s a great song, because I strongly identify with most of it.

  3. MaryBeth Schroeder

    :D I like this. Also she mentioned Van Gogh and I just wrote a song about him. I call this “synchronicty”. Nerdy Girl Songwriters for Van Gogh Movement Begins.

  4. Ames

    Fun song, cringe-worthy video. Lots of images of sexay girls/women posed for the male gaze with requisite tight shirts over big breasts, patriarchy-compliant wardrobe, etc. Looks like the movement of geek women has captured the attention of the hegemony sufficiently for it to have begun co-opting, manipulating, and playing back our message to us in Patriarchy-compliant terms. Depressing.

    1. Restructure! Post author

      If you do a Google Image Search for gamer girl, it’s almost all soft porn. This has nothing to do with the movement of geek women capturing the attention of the hegemony; many male geeks and gamers think that geek and gamer “girls” are sex fantasies and therefore non-existent.

      I think the person who made the video is probably a female geek, but tried to get images of female geeks using Google Image Search, which is why it looks like that. It looks like the more pornographic images were avoided, which is why I think the video creator is female.

      1. Ames

        The fact that those images exist in abundance, all over every medium you can name (and you don’t have to consume games, comic books, anime, or online animation to see them) has everything to do with the fact that the male cultural hegemony has taken notice of the “girl gamers,” “girl geeks,” and anything “grrrl”-related. That a female takes part in this cultural movement does not in itself negate that reality. The hegemony wouldn’t work if it didn’t get just about everyone to go along with the program, that’s the insidiousness of it.

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