I've got nothing to prove.
As someone who self-identifies as a geek, it's a phrase I'm pretty familiar with. Saying it to kids in the school yards, my siblings' friends or the countless professionals I interact with daily is just another part of life as far as I'm concerned. I'm not a "basement-dwelling troll." I'm not "completely without social skills." I have even been known to wear makeup on occasion. And dresses! Shocking, I know.
But as a woman interested in things like science fiction and comic books, I run up against naysayers almost daily.
From now on, I might just walk around with a simple piece of white paper emblazoned with a youtube URL and tell my critics to get their asses on the Internet and pull their heads from the sand.
The video is "Nothing to Prove" from The Doubleclicks, a musical sister duo out of the Pacific Northwest. In addition to the music and lyrics -- which are fantastic -- the video features portrait after portrait of geeky women holding up signs featuring the derisive attitude and bullying they face daily simply for being a fan:
"I LOVE video games but BOYS tell me I'm not a 'real' gamer."
"Why are you surprised I want to be an astronaut when I grow up?"
"I own a comic and game shop, but people just assume I'm humoring my geeky husband!"
Angela and Aubrey Webber from The Doubleclicks are no strangers to the phenomenon they capture in the video being geeky women themselves. Regular performers at the musical variety show W00tstock, a cult phenomenon of San Diego Comic Con, they are young, female and incredibly talented with an enviable following for their live shows and records.
Watching the video yesterday morning, I was struck by the fact that even though I regularly think to myself, "Wow, I'm so lucky that I haven't had to deal with this kind of blatant critique," I'm not exactly honest with myself. Bullying, teasing and general derision from the larger pop culture community is something so "normal" to me that I rarely notice it outside of the few truly despicable stories I've heard.
I think this is video is going to be my rallying cry from now on -- or my theme song à la Ally McBeal. When I see a girl getting stared at by creepy older guys because the Batman logo is stretched tightly across her chest, I'm going to hold up my invisible stereo and blast it in the face of said older guy. It not the fault of a teenager that clothing manufacturers can't find a happy medium between "fitted" and "boxy" that doesn't also read "stretched so tight across the chest clearly the wearer wants to be seen as sexy." That girl probably just loves Batman. Deal with it.
The next time a commenter on a blog I write (Yes, I totally read the comments that I get) tries to say that the only reason I hang out in bookstores is to try and pick up my very own Joseph Gordon-Levitt, I'm going to type out lyrics and link him to the video in response. I don't want to pick up a man in a bookstore. Heck, my female friends can hardly hold my attention when I'm surrounded by bookshelves to peruse.
I loved this video. I loved the message.
I hope it gets shared far and wide with all the little girls who were teased for having to use their "brother's" lunch box because no girl should want a Star Wars lunch box of her own.
Send it to someone you love and remind them they have nothing to prove.