Wednesday, April 23, 2008

But, But....You Don't Understand

No, see. The problem is that I do. Far too well.

And so you have to look at the development of female geeks, who not only have the same not-conventionally attractive, socially confused, and isolated early conditioning as male geeks....

So, a story.

I was visiting colleges. Which was a painful experience to begin with, because the school I really wanted to attend was not only the most expensive - both to visit and to attend - but the slowest in getting me my financial aid package. So I spent about a month going around to the other schools. All the while trying really hard to not compare them with what would one day be my alma mater.

(Yes, there is a happy ending to this story.)

So, I was visiting colleges. One in particular up in WA, to be exact. Doing the whole tour/sleepover/sitting in on classes thing. And there were a bunch of us, because it was that time of year, who were being hosted by the same woman. The visit itself was pretty uneventful - aside from the fact that I watched ER for the first time - except for two things....

....but the added stigma of not having their intelligence recognized, encouraged, or appreciated.

The Second Incident:

I sat in on an electronics class.

Which was completely my fault, as I'd asked for a science class. Physics, preferably.

I understood very little of it, but it sounded really interesting, and I thought it was cool that I understood even some of it. But all the students - who, looking back, must have been science majors themselves, considering the level of the class - kept making comments about how I must be bored out of my mind and how they were so sorry I'd gotten this class.

I wasn't. And why did they think I would be?

And did I really want to take classes with people like that? I thought the point of college was to leave those people behind in high school?

I mean, the idiot partner from my high school physics class may ignore me every time I say the right answer, but at least he cares enough to pretend that he's smarter than I am.

And being told that their only worth is their sexuality, and clearly they FAIL at that.

Because I'm all about non-linear narrative tonight, a confession.

I was one of those girls once upon a time. You know, those heartless bitches that turn guys into jerks.

Only once, though.

He asked me to go out when we were in 6th grade - and still in elementary school. I told him that I didn't really think we were old enough for that, but that I still wanted to be his friend. (I am so not making this up.) I got all pissed when he didn't want to be friends anymore and found it really awkward when did stuff like ask me to dance at this stupid thing they held for us at science camp.

I wanted to say no but I couldn't because we weren't allowed to. Dance rules. Grrr. I have no idea if he knew that I didn't want to touch him, but it would have been really hard not to know.

(no, really, this is all true)

You end up with a lot of touch-starved women.

All through elementary school - well, fourth grade onwards, my crush was on...damn, I completely forgot his name....anyway, he was cool. Cooler than I would ever be. The boy wore Grateful Dead and Led Zepplin T-shirts in 6th grade. I still don't own any music by either of those bands. He was super cool.

And he was a nerd, too! We were in GATE and science fairs together. He made a robot in 4th grade for his science project and demonstrated it to the class and I spent the whole time secretly wishing he would pick me to try the remote. For several obvious reasons. (It was a cool robot.)

But he worked really hard at ignoring me.

And right after the Nice Guy asked me to dance at science camp, it was my turn to ask my crush to dance - and get the same treatment I'd just gotten.

You end up with women who think, "I'm sick of being only appreciated in virtual spheres for my intelligence, but still not treated as being as intelligent as men, and I'm sick of being told I'm worthless because I'm not drop-dead gorgeous. If I can't be loved, I want to at least be desired."

The First Incident:

It was about the time when normal people would turn in for bed, and our host announced that there would be one more activity. Lucky us, we'd come on the night when they guys traditionally came to serenade the girls dorm.

Being the silly girl I was, my first thought was "how romantic!" And hiding in the darkest secretest shadows of my heart was the wish that I would picked as worthy of a serenade.*

She wanted to give us fair warning though, because last year the guys thought it would be funny to be all insulting and shit and call the women names while "serenading" them. One poor girl apparently got so upset she had to leave.

(Upset - like throwing things at them upset? - I wanted to ask.)

So she just wanted us to know that we didn't have to go if we didn't want to or if we didn't think we'd enjoy it.

Well, gee, guess who opted to opt out.

And guess who the other two girls spend at least a full half hour talking about when they came back. (Be warned, my spirit animal is a opossum.)

Yeah, there's no pressure at play at all in Operation Douche.

Quotes from sabotabby via the_red_shoes via hahathor via lauredhel.

*FYI to any interested parties, being serenaded in public is no longer a secret wish of mine. Unlike you are the late, great, Heath Ledger. Or you are a famous rock star who has written a hit single about me. Otherwise it's just creepy and/or immature.

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