So, the Geek Husband What Rules and I were talking this weekend about what assholes we were when we were younger, the offensive shit we thought was funny because we thought we were edgy and how not ok (and so not actually edgy) most of it was.
This came up because we were talking about how our generation, Generation X, grew up to be just as bad as our Boomer parents, if not worse in a lot of ways. I mean, as much as the Boomers bitch about Millenials, the Gen X-ers are standing behind them nodding along.
We talked about cultural awareness, and how it is an evolving thing. That yeah, in the late 80s/early 90s we were a fuck of a lot more progressive than most of our parents had been. But that most of our generation, like Joss Whedon, seem to have stopped there, quit evolving consciously, and like many feminist women of my generation, declared that we had defeated sexism/racism/classism, regardless of the avalanche of evidence to the contrary slapping them in the face like dick pics on Tinder.
That much like many people’s musical taste stops sometime in their late teens/early 20s, so does their social conscience.
The GHWR and I aren’t going to tell you we’re “more evolved” because that’s bullshit. But what we are is more informed. When someone tells us that calling them X hurts them, please call them Y, we do it. We might screw up occasionally, but we do our best to call them Y.
It’s not that fucking hard.
However, the thing I actually want to talk about is something I felt was a larval stage for most Nerd Women, and that is their “Exceptional Girl” phase. I see this a lot less often than I used to, but this is/was the girl who didn’t like make up, clothes, or pop music, like all those other (icky) girls, who rejected their male nerd friends. Oh no, she was one of the guys. She could cuss and talk Mecha, or D&D with the best of them. She was GOOD at math, or into computers, or science…
Part of Exceptional Girl-ism, is talking shit about other girls and women both in solidarity with the guys, and also just in general. It’s hating pink, and femininity.
Internalized misogyny is a hell of a drug.
Because we think it keeps us safe. We aren’t in danger from these dudes, they’re our friends, they would never do anything to hurt us or make us uncomfortable… Until someone in your friends group decides you actually are fuckable.
Then you find out really fucking fast just how much like those other girls you actually are. Those shallow bitches who only date hot guys with money and nice cars… When you don’t put out for whomever it is, or if you only put out for one of them, they will turn on you.
And because you’re an Exceptional Girl, you will not have a safety net of female friends to fall back on. If you’re lucky one or more former Exceptional Girls will be nearby and take you under their wings.
But like I said, while I still see this shit from women my age, who should know better, I see it less and less with the younger generations. It’s also possible that I am not in a place to be able to see it. But still, it doesn’t pop up in mass media as often. Tomboy, Just One of the Guys, hell, Sandra Bullock’s Miss Congeniality, all had this premise at their core. There’s a reason that Not Another Teen Movie makes fun of this premise.
I really do hope that the Exceptional Girl is going the way of the Dodo. I would be perfectly content if it died out with my generation, if not sooner.
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