Ok, equal time and all that. Do a Google image search for “sexy geek boys.” I’ll wait. So, an awful lot of the images that come up on that search happen to be either women (“sexy geek girls”), or male actors who play characters beloved by geeks, but who aren’t necessarily geeks themselves. The normal geek dudes who turn up mostly tend to be clothed, instead of half or all naked. This is kind of telling in and of itself about who is expected to perform sexy for whom.
After the Sexy Geek Girls post, I asked my Twitter followers and friends on Google+ if they felt that the cred challenging women got ever happened to guys who declared themselves geeks. The consensus was largely, no, with exceptions.
For the most part if a dude comes into geek space and identifies themselves as a geek, they will be accepted, unless they say or do something egregiously stupid. The exceptions to this rule are as one commenter said, “If a really built dude in a TapOut shirt comes in, I’m probably going to doubt his geekiness.” However, given my experiences with my buddy Eric, who teaches Judo, if that same dude comes in with a Spiderman shirt on, no one will look twice. There are rather a lot of martial arts nerds in geek culture. Other people did comment on their distrust of anyone too athletic, because of bullying at the hands of jocks in jr. high and high school (or the equivalent, as people answered from England, Germany and Italy, too). Or if, say, someone walked in wearing a suit, they’d assume he was looking for a gift for someone.
Apparently, according to one commenter on G+, in Italy the divide between nicely dressed and the sloppy geek uniform of t-shirts and jeans or khakis, is even greater. Dressing nicely is a seen as an act of the status quo, and if you aren’t wearing the uniform of the nerd, they aren’t likely to take you at all seriously.
But the one thing everyone commented on was the fact that no matter how geekily dressed women are, our geek credentials get questioned every single time. If we’re wearing a nerd shirt, guys will ask if it’s our boyfriend’s. We’ll get accused of dressing nerdy as a fashion statement as opposed to because we’re actually nerds. And nearly everyone agreed that if a guy comes into geek space dressed in the uniform, they do not question his cred. At all.
Now, on to the problem of sexy geek boys, and by “sexy geek boys” I mean guys who beefcake it up on the internet with geeky accessories.
There are really, very few of them. You’ll get some built cos-players, like the guys who did Power Guy, Wonder Man and Hunter for the Gender Bent Justice League at ComicCon last year. But you’re not going find page upon page of half naked dudes laying behind fanned out copies of the X-men, or licking game controllers, or looking coquette-ishly over the frames of their hipster glasses. In fact, if you google “Gender Bent Justice League” the majority of the pictures you’ll find on that first page are the female members of that group.
So I went back and googled “sexy geek boys.” First page of image results (19): 14 guys, only one of whom had his shirt off, everyone else was fully clothed, five women, three of whom were half naked, one was a head shot, one clothed.
Why when I’m google-ing “sexy geek boys” are women coming up at all? And why are most of them naked? And of the guys in that 14 three of them were recognizably famous to me but not necessarily geeks themselves, Steven Colbert, Tom Felton (Draco Malfoy), and Christopher Reeves as Clark Kent, and at least one other guy who I’m sure is an actor in something but I have no idea because I don’t have cable right now. Which is not to say actors can’t be geeks, I’m sure on some level many of them are, I hung out with the drama nerds in high school.
I, for one, would love to see more sexy geek boys strutting their stuff, maybe dry-humping an Xbox or something… I’m kidding. What I’d like to see is a little more parity in how women and men are treated in geek culture. I do recognize that when geek guys are built (but not always, see Martial Arts Nerds) they may face some of the same questioning women face, but not always, and not as intense, I don’t think. Most women backed me up on this, and it isn’t just the “pretty” girls who face this, even women who are not conventionally attractive get their geek cred challenged on a regular basis by virtue of their gender, but that is a whole nother post.
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