The ‘fake geek girl’ is back, and no one is impressed

College Humor is not making many friends in the comics blogosphere, lately. The ad at right has appeared on the back page of several DC Comics books, and… Well. Take it away:

WonderAli: That Joke isn’t Funny Anymore. “College Humor, and DC by association, are perpetuating the message that comics simply cannot possibly be enjoyed by girls. They are for BOYS ONLY–mouth-breathing, women-hating boys at that. Sorry, intelligent woman who is enjoying the hell out of Wonder Woman, this book is not for you!”

The Mary Sue’s Susana Polo: So, The Back Cover Ad on Batman This Month Is a “Fake Geek Girl” Joke. “I just can’t decide which is more depressing to imagine: someone in marketing at College Humor (whose work I generally enjoy) pitching this specific example from their series of real life comic book “villains” to DC for an ad… or someone on DC’s marketing team saying “These ‘villains’ you came up with are all super funny, but you know… Some of our readers might feel targeted by the “guy who gets angry on forums” joke or the implications that they’re not good at personal interaction. And we probably shouldn’t use the one about executives… seeing as how we’re employed by them. So we’ll use the one that’s a girl. Girls don’t read comics anyway.””

iFanboy’s Jim Mroczkowski: Real Geeks Only, Ladies. “Funny how people who were bullied throughout their childhoods will become the most hateful bullies themselves at the first whiff of a victim. Hang on: when I typed “funny,” I misspelled “unimaginably depressing.” A round of applause for human nature, everybody.”

Are we seriously not past this crap, yet? UPDATE: Becky Allen says the same, only much better than I.

Here are all the ‘supervillains,’ if you’re really curious. Or, simply skip straight to restore your faith in humanity.

6 Replies to “The ‘fake geek girl’ is back, and no one is impressed”

  1. I just… Ugh. As part of their collection I can understand. Heck they bust on kids who are just growing up.

    The whole thing smacks of immaturity.

  2. In related news, I just read about how the Bronies in My Little Pony fandom is turning from “it’s cool that guys can like things targeted to girls” to “NO GIRLZ ALLOWED.” Seriously, what is the deal with the anti-girls-in-fandom thing? UGH.

  3. At first I thought, “Aw, come on, they’re just making a little joke.” Then I went to the link, and saw the entire context of the ads. Then I saw the “Star Wars” logo on the front of the t-shirt, and that really ticked me off.

    So I was prepared to disagree with you in the comments about College Humor’s ads–and I find myself agreeing, and feeling really angry and disappointed.

    Being a n00b fan way back in the ’80s I learned quickly that comic book geeks could be pretty territorial and either had an encyclopedic knowledge of their favorite comics or were really good at faking it. I never encountered hostility when I asked questions or tried to participate in conversations–a lot of polite tolerance, wincing at my ignorance–but in general most guys were happy to share their interests. A little too happy, sometimes.

    The current hostility toward women and new fans is not good for fandom in general. And it appears to extend beyond that. A male friend of mine who was cosplaying at DragonCon last year said he was verbally assaulted by someone who was angry that he was wearing the same Harry Potter costume. I mean, WTF? It sounds unreal.

  4. It could be because some male ‘nerds’ and ‘geeks’ are intimidated by women because they find it very difficult to relate to them, let alone to talk to them. So they turn to the no girls allowed, no awkward moments policy.

  5. On some level I get those “supervillain” stereotypes because I’ve seen my favorite message board being taken over by people who fit a number of those villain like characteristics. Interestingly enough, though, said people sucked the fun out of the whole community in pretty much the same way this “supervillain” series does: By casting people out. And that is usually just a sign of insecurity and weakness.
    Which, one might argue, is another classic trait of so called “geeks”.
    As for me, I think this simply warrants a nice “haters gonna hate” gif and a big “who cares”. Because in my opinion, this is a generation thing. Nobody growing up right now can possibly overlook the fact that things have changed in geekdom. It hasn’t been a gender question for at least several years. If some oldtimers don’t realize it yet, kick them in the groins. Geekdom is universal. No matter the old slogans they’ll recycle against it.

  6. I’m not sure it’s all that awful. It’s not very funny, but I just can’t manage to be offended. There are 6 “villians”, 4 of which are male. The other female is an Executive…which is the opposite of stereotyping.

    Out of the 6 “villians”, they picked the most attractive to put in an ad. And no I don’t mean “she’s hot” type of attractive, though that’s probably a factor.

    Good chance they figured a lot of people may not bother reading the text. The image is a cute girl in a Star Wars T and carrying a bow with a game controller on her hip like a pistol. Take away the text, and she’s rather likable. I could see how they would favor that image as the most attractive to college age people of either gender.

    But specifically look at the eyes of the 6 villians. This fake geek girl is the only one who isn’t off-putting or crazed looking. She’s the most likely to draw a reader in rather than repulse them. Even her “evil” is adorable.

    Yes, it’s a stereo-type, but it’s aimed at a sub-group. I don’t think it’s meant to imply that girls can’t be geeks, anymore than “The Pervert” is intended to imply all geeks are perverts. Or “The Executive” implies all middle aged women are high on the corporate ladder.

    Sure, it’s immature…but from what I know of College Humor…that’s pretty much their MO.

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