The other day I was doing some research for another blog post when a message popped up from a friend of mine, asking, “Have you seen this?” The link was to a a Storyhive project pitch to make a film about Geek Girls of Vancouver.
I immediately signed up, cast the maximum five votes for the project, and then got in touch with the group pitching the project to learn more.
Amanda Konkin, who also co-hosts Quiver: The Green Arrow Podcast, spoke with me and told me a bit about her Vancouver-based organization, 4geeksmedia, and why they wanted to make a film with a focus on female geeks.
“I’ve been a part of 4geeksmedia for about two years. It’s myself and three of my closest friends and we’ve been covering geek events in Vancouver and across the Lower Mainland,” she explained.
At these events, Konkin and her friends met tons of amazing geeky women, but felt their stories weren’t really being told.
“Mainstream culture seems to think that geeks are men and our experience is that’s not the case. We go to conventions all the time and often they’re mostly attended by women,” Konkin explained.
“When [Telus’ competition for creative film grants] Storyhive came about we thought it would be great to use some of the people we met to highlight geek women, which we think is an underrepresented group. We wanted to highlight these amazing women participating in geek culture,” Konkin added.
The women 4geeksmedia is proposing to profile are musician Kieran Strange; “Nerd Queen of Burlesque” and Geekenders artistic director Fairlith Harvey; actor, writer and voiceover artist Joanna Gaskell; Loraine Sammy of Racebending.com; and writer Shannon Campbell.
I asked Konkin if she could tell me a bit more about how she sees women geeks being marginalized. She said one of the biggest areas where women are excluded is in the marketing of geek culture.
“For example, I have a great pair of Converse sneakers that have Superman on them and they’re men’s. There’s no female equivalent to that. And another example is why are there no female superhero movies? It’s bizarre to think that women only want certain kinds of stories, or that men won’t watch women, when you look at the popularity of things like the Miss Marvel comics,” she said.
“I love a lot of cliché girly things but I would love if some of the superhero and geek stuff was marketed to me as well,” she added.
But Konkin is optimistic about the future and the potential influence of female fans:
“I hope people are realizing how powerful the geek community is in mainstream culture and how prevalent women are anywhere. You can see it on Tumblr or Pinterest, or anywhere women are taking over and having conversations on fandom in a way that just can’t be ignored.”
She also hopes the inclusivity she sees in geek culture will start to spill over more into broader culture.
“I think geek culture is pretty inclusive and recognizes the existence of multiple genders and I hope as geek culture becomes more mainstream, mainstream culture will start to learn something from geek culture,” she said.
Konkin hopes you’ll support 4geeksmedia’s Geek Girls of Vancouver project:
“It’s super easy and you can win a TV. You get 10 votes and five can do towards one project. So you can use your other votes to support other projects as well, and there are some really interesting ones.”
Visit http://www.storyhive.com/project/show/id/50 until April 27 to show your support, and check out the other projects at storyhive.com.