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Geek gatekeeping

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Geek gatekeeping is about the variety of ways that geekdom is defined to exclude women.

  • Girl stuff - not truly geeky.
  • Women are accused of being fake geek girls.
    • A variation is the accusation that feminist women, specifically, are fake geek girls. Sometimes this accusation is leveled by women.
  • Women are assumed to be here with my boyfriend.
  • The assumption that women are geeks' partners is a pervasive one in commentary on geek topics - rather than geeks in their own right.
  • At some tech industry events, women are presumed to be, and treated as, non-technical. (See Sarah Lamb talking about why she started Girl Geek Dinners)
  • Women trying to acquire professional credentials face a double bind:
    • In universities, computer science majors' social groups are often hostile to women (see Reagle, "On being a geek" in "Free as in sexist?"), and social isolation is detrimental to success in any academia area.
    • It's hard for women to be taken seriously if they choose to be self-taught instead of obtaining a degree in a STEM field. By contrast, male autodidacts can often achieve professional success (at least in software).

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