RESOURCES FOR WOMEN IN COMPUTER SCIENCE
Lisa N. Michaud
THE GUY'S GUIDE TO GEEK GIRLS
A response in light-hearted fun to A GIRL'S GUIDE TO GEEK GUYS by Mikki Halpin and Victoria Maat
This work is copyrighted by Lisa Michaud, ©1996-2010. No profit may be obtained from its redistribution; any profit obtained from this work without prior consent of the author is a violation of copyright. Please do not reproduce this essay on another webpage. Do not alter the text of any copy you make in any way.
Images are from the comic strip General Protection Fault, copyrighted ©Jeffrey Darlington, used with permission. They may not be distributed.
The Guy's Guide to Geek Girls (original version)
is also available in the following languages (links to be repaired soon):
This version was last updated on September 15, 2010. It is a dynamic document; I change it sometimes.
Why the Geek Girl?
So you realized that you're never going to meet Angelia Jolie. Moreover, the babe in your Sociology class or the well-endowed new assistant in the office has given you the cold shoulder three weeks in a row. You're feeling fairly dejected. You obviously haven't considered dating a geek girl.
Unlike the vapid things you've been chasing, geek girls learned long ago to see through physical attributes to the person underneath. On the Internet, they can participate in great, virtual cybercommunities, second lives, and customized avatars on MMORPGs; they can interact with people intimately in a world where the physical layer is irrelevant. Most importantly, they are more attracted to intelligence than testosterone; they don't need guys who work out endlessly at the gym - not unless they can make obscure Science Fiction references and laugh at Physics jokes. Most importantly, they like fellow geeks - prefer them, even. With a geek girl, a geek guy has a decided advantage. They understand them; they are understood by them. This could actually work.
Where to Find Geek Girls
Contrary to popular belief, the geek girl is not some mythical, impossible-to-find creature. If you have never met one, well, you have not been looking in the right places. There is probably one right next to you in the laboratory; but if you are not fortunate enough to have one sitting at the next console, then look to the 'Net. Every geek girl knows that the Internet is not just a tool; it's a communications device. Most geek girls have a very active online life; that may be the only part of their life that is active right now. Look for them online, or even, if you're brave, in the lab; but be careful. A geek girl might not be as comfortable with you in person as she is online; sometimes it's best to try the 'indirect' route first.
Attracting the Geek Girl
Geek girls are not attracted to neanderthals. In fact, surviving out there amongst the net.tomcats, they have developed rather finely-honed defenses. Therefore, an email saying, "Me Tarzan, you Jane," will most likely be met with a spout of flame the likes of which you have probably never seen before, and if you can't get into your asbestos suit fast enough, it's not our fault.
Therefore, the brash approach is not always the best tactic. Before flooding the bandwidth with your testosterone, it is always good to acquaint yourself with the geek girl in question and familiarize yourself with her haunts. Read her favorite newsgroups or online forums for a while; verse yourself in her interests. When you feel ready, venture forth a post or two, but be careful; sound intelligent. Read the FAQ first. If it's been said before, don't repeat it. If it's off topic, don't mention it. Most importantly, if it's flamebait, KEEP YOUR MOUTH SHUT. One of the quickest ways to turn off a geek girl is to show yourself unknowledgeable of net.etiquette. Noobs need not apply.
If she likes what you said, the geek girl may write back to you in private email. Private email conversations are a great way to get to know a geek girl, but do not get ahead of yourself! Thanks to the joys of email, the geek girl has had to fend off as many come-ons as a blonde bombshell who frequents singles bars. Keep the conversation neutral until she changes it.
Talking to the Geek Girl
There are many topics of conversation the geek girl may be interested in discussing. One of the most popular ones is Science Fiction; geek girls are often avid SF fans, and many will gleefully deconstruct the latest Joss Whedon show for hours with you; however, there are a few things to keep in mind where the geek girl take on Science Fiction is concerned:
Geek Girl Appearance
So you finally get to meet your geek girl in person. What does she look like? Most geek girls have low-maintenance appearances in their regular, day-to-day lives. After all, their online life is often more active than their RL existence, so why bother? More important, however, is the comfort issue. They want to be comfortable; and, in the end, someone who prefers being comfortable to 'looking good' is probably someone who's a lot more comfortable to be around.
Jeans are the staple element of the geek girl wardrobe. Glasses, usually strong, are also a familiar touch. The hair can be any length, but in almost all cases, it is OUT OF THE WAY. They don't dress for success. They dress for comfort, for long hours in the lab, for convenience. This is not to say that geek girls aren't capable of looking nice; many of them do own makeup, jewelry, high heels, and push-up bras. Given the right motivation, these trappings can often be applied with great skill and to great effect. Most of the time, however, they are under fluorescent lighting and bent over the monitor, so understand if these things get used infrequently.
Maintaining the Geek Girl
Once you've got her, the next step is keeping her. To do this, just remember that your geek girl has a few special things about her that distinguish her from other women. All women like gifts, but the geek girl's tastes may be unique, and they may be closer to yours than you think. The average woman likes flowers, but the geek girl is not average (and would probably be insulted if you implied she were), so she may not wish to be bothered with something so transient. A Firefly mousepad would last much longer. Thinking of getting her a necklace? Why not a new sound card instead? A makeup table would not get much use, but an updated game console would probably see her more than you do. Use your brain when choosing the gifts; that's what she likes you for, anyway. (People have written to me to say that I've got it all wrong about the gifts thing. Remember that every geek girl, like every woman, is different. I really like flowers and jewelry myself; but when my husband buys me a PS3 game for my birthday, that is really cool as well.)
In closing, remember that a geek girl is a rewarding choice for a happy life. Unencumbered by many of the more ridiculous of society's trappings, she is a comfortable person who uses her brain and who wants to be with someone who does the same. If you qualify, a geek girl may be for you!