Lady Geeks Unite!
Wednesday, Jan 06, 2016 06:00 am
Move over damsels in distress; women gamers and geeks are grabbing their swords and starting their own adventures. Female “geeks,” once thought to be a niche group of one or two women who liked Star Wars and video games, are quickly making their presence known. More and more women are participating in Comic Cons, where you will sometimes see more female cosplayers than male, participating in Magic: The Gathering Tournaments or WWE Live Events.
Lady Geeks Unite, an online community has helped foster Edmonton's female “geek” community, to give women who enjoy video games, comic books, My Little Pony, and all things counter-culture a venue. The group gives women a chance to get to know others that share their interests, without stereotyping or negativity. They meet on the first Thursday of every month.
“There’s still a lot of stereotyping out there, like it’s the guys’ club,” said Andrea Brown, one of the co-founders of Lady Geeks Unite. “There’s still a lot of stigma and sexual harassment when it comes to women who love nerdy things. For those with those anxiety issues, the online community is their only way to interact with people and be comfortable and that was really important.”
The group recently hosted their December Craft Market, where people of all ages and genders could purchase items from local vendors and share ideas and stories. With reasonable prices and beautiful products, everyone who came into Happy Harbour Comics left with a smile on their face and something unique in their bag. The next event will feature a screening of a documentary showcasing the history of Wonder Woman. While the group feels its important to celebrate women and build a positive community for women and girls of all ages, many are disappointed that there still a lack of strong female characters in the comics and games that they love.
“There’s still that damsel in distress type, but more female characters should get to showcase how strong they really are,” said Brown. “For example, we all know how strong and badass the Black Widow is, but her role in the Avengers films is downplayed to romantic interest, and we get to see more of the Hulk and Captain America with his shield.”
Brown also says that Doctor Who is her favourite in terms of consistently strong female characters, as the Doctor's companion is often female, but never a love interest. “She’s strong, independent, and often outsmarts the Doctor. That’s what more women would like to see.” While Lady Geeks Unite may be about celebrating women and their love of nerd culture, they aren’t out to exclude men. They invite everyone, regardless of age or race to come out and participate. “Just be friendly and want to have fun.”