There is a perception that geeks are mostly males. But, if we take a look an at the statistics from 2014, a different picture emerges. According to a market research in 2014, 46.67% of comic fans are female. Perhaps only looking at statistics isn't fair. If you have attended a recent comic fan convention, you will notice female participation is consistently rising especially among the 15 to 30 age group. This article covers the rise of women in geek culture.
Gender does not have much effect on the behaviour of fans
"Comics" and"video gaming" and "hardcore fans" have traditionally been associated with males. Does this mean females should pick something else? Of course not. In the article "Has geek culture finally embraced gender parity?":
“Men and women exhibited interest in the same sorts of things, similar spending patterns and similar attendance levels. If anything, women are slightly more intense in their fandom by certain measures.”
Women can revolutionize the geek culture too
In the tech sector, computer programming and book book stories have traditionally been associated with male nerds. Women are studying computer science and reading comics in ever increasing numbers. Smart "nerdy girls" are contributing and making contribution to geek culture. In the article "11 women who are changing geek culture", the author introduces 11 women who serve as role models to the next generation of geek girls. Some profile include:
- Lindsey Stirling – YouTube’s violin virtuoso
- Oni Hartstein – mother of fan conventions
- Catherine Lewis- Cosplay svengali
They have and continue to make the voices of females geeks louder. In the same way men feel like nerds, so do women. Kimberly Bryant answers the question, "What’s it like being a nerd?" as follow:
I grew up as a nerdy kid, always into reading books, math, and science. I was not really heavily into coding or gaming or technology as a kid, but more broadly interested in general intellectual pursuits. I think the geek phenom is currently identified with computer scientists, gamers, and those generally interested in tech and tech gadgetry. My daughter is certainly more of a geek than I am and has been a heavy gamer since the age of 7. She is the “true computer scientist” in our family.
Female geek roles have some advice for the next generation of geek girls:
"Follow what you love. Always embrace who you are. Commit to your own passions."
Female role models
Captain Marvel is first solo female superhero movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It will be released on March 8, 2019. It is no coincidence that International Women's Day falls on the same day.
The Marvel website introduces Captain Marvel as:
A bold leader who doesn't sugarcoat, Carol is guided by a strong sense of duty and honor. Carol brings the heroes together as an official team and ensures they're prepared for the challenges ahead.
The release of Captain Marvel does imply and more equal standing of women on the screen and in geek culture. The traits associated with the Captain Marvel character focus on empowering women. It takes comic movies into a new era where women have greater participation. And it means the world to female comic movie fans of all ages including 8 year old Illie (AKA: Mini Captain Marvel). Illie attend attended the premier screening and met her real life superhero Brie Larson.
Reddit user, Sammiesammiesammie, posted a photo of her daughter touching the Captain Marvel poster on Reddit and wrote:
" I’ll be honest – I thought the ‘girl power’ crap was overblown. But seeing my daughter look at this and feel like she could be a superhero, too made me well up. "
Others feel the same with the following comment:
" That scene gave me the chills. And I also totally agree, it means so much to me to finally see women as superheroes on the big screen, and them being a lead role. It means a lot to me, I can't even imagine how much it means to little girls." – Curae
Women are as smart as men. They should be encouraged to dream big to pursue careers that once were less available. The rise of the female geek means their time is now – a time to wear your geek flag on your sleeve. Female geeks should embrace their fandom with full enthusiasm and passion. And if they do, they'll find others like them who love geek culture from comics to games to cosplay to film and TV to collectibles and so much more. I'm certain the Marvel Cinematic Universe and the rest of us will be better off with the release of Captain Marvel on International Women's Day.