1. You are not alone.
Those might sound like words of encouragement, and perhaps, to some, they are (if that’s the case then more power to you my fangirling sister!). But my intent is less like intelligent life reaching out into the vacuum of space in hopes of contacting an alien species that may or may not have the ‘Answer to the Question of Life, the Universe, and Everything’, and more along the lines of… you’re not special. At least not because of your ‘nerdy’ deemed hobbies or interests. Gone are the days of Angelina Jolie’s wildly inaccurate hacker movie where geeky girls were like grungy, pierced unicorns in a mythical Dungeons and Dragons game. Lots of girls just like you love to play Halo or CoD or WoW and read lots of fantasy books and comic books (Does Manga counts? I was never sure…). So don’t walk into an online game or forum and expect special treatment and undivided attention just because you have breasts, which I’m sure are totally glorious but do not make you, in fact, special or better than anyone else. Your perfect grade point average and the fact that you can do that weird backward bendy thing with your arm and how you’re one of five people in the universe who actually like anchovies on their pizza, combined with your nerdy glory, make you special.
2. It’s not a competition.
This can be said to many women over a variety of forums, but in my own personal experience, this is very prevalently among gamer/comic book/othernerdystuff girls. I’m not sure if this is an atmosphere we allow our male counterparts to create for us or if it is an environment entirely of our own making. Either way, it’s completely unnecessary. The basis of ‘nerding’ comes down to the sole fact that you really enjoy something, something that you are dedicating time and thought to. Whether you have read every obscure text of Tolkien and played video games since before you could talk (which may or may not have been my daughter), or you just really enjoyed the Lord of the Rings movies and got hooked on League of Legends because your boyfriend played, you can lay claim to your share of the nerdy booty. Ladies, we ought to be there to support and uplift one another during online role-play or LARPing or whatever, not cat fight over who totally understands more about a fictional world than the other. Oh, and I love Harry Potter more than ALL of you. Just saying.
Which brings me to….
3. There is not right or wrong way to love something.
Whether you have read every Harry Potter book, written novel length fanficiton about it and have the Deathly Hollows symbol tattooed to your inner wrist (not speaking personally, or anything…), or you simply watch the tragically short single season of Firefly over and over again in the privacy of your own bedroom, you just do you, sista. As stated, there is no right or wrong way to love something if you just simply love it. Unless, of course, you actually enjoyed the new Star Wars movies, in which case you must turn in your Nerd Badge and blaster. Sorry.
4. The way you look has nothing to do with it.
Like many of these, this point can be made in reference to a mixture of things. But here, specifically, I mean that your love for Doctor Who or Game of Thrones should not be based on your weight or height or if you have a lightening shaped scar on your forehead (which would be awesome and I would be totally jealous and hate you despite everything on this list). I have never been to a Comic Con. I would love to go, in fact my fiancé and I are planning to go to the big one in San Diego, CA this coming year, but I have a few friends whom go often and whom cosplay very seriously. Anyone who takes the time to design and create a costume is awesome in my book because I couldn’t mend a pillow case if someone held my book collection hostage. I have friends on the Book of Faces who do this; some of them have even made a career of it (who knew?!). And by the holy power of the original Star Wars films, are there some catty shenanigans that take place. One girl in particular comes to mind. And gorammit if nearly every single one of her posts recently isn’t about some ‘fat’ girl who dared to dress as the same character as her or a girl didn’t but nearly as much effort into it as she did. I just… seriously? Are you so insecure that that’s something that matters to you so deeply you feel the need to post cruel and mocking pictures on the internet? And yes, I remain friends with you so that I can judge your meanness, which is totally hypocritical, but this is my article so I’m allowed. Also, you have amazing boobs.
5. There be sexists afoot!
I enjoy, along with many other women, playing online video games. I played WoW for about six years on and off, experimented with WarHammer and Lord of the Rings Online, and have recently become addicted to League of Legends (yeah, thanks for that, I needed another distraction from my writing goals). During this time, I can honestly say that my gender has been blamed for everything ranging from breaking up a ‘guild’ to being an airheaded slut because I didn’t follow the supreme order of my male counterpart. Is this every guy? Of course not. But there are a lot of them, and if you want to participate in these environments you’re going to have to learn not to let it bother you, maybe even develop a sense of humor about it. Because your vagina will likely be blamed for the incompetence of a male player during a plethora of situations far beyond your nerdy control. And don’t even get me started on all the perverted commentary I’ve received based simply on the sound of my voice (which is dead sexy, by the way).