Geeks may be outcasts in mainstream society, mocked for their lack of social graces, but they’re still taking over the world. The geeks we hear about are men like Bill Gates, a notorious computer geek who runs one of the world’s largest corporations and George Lucas who has created some of the most successful science fiction movies and videogames of the past 30 years. But where are the stories about the triumphant female geeks whose software has invaded desktop computers across the globe and whose inventions will change the future? She’s Such a Geek is a groundbreaking anthology that celebrates these women who have flourished in the male-dominated realms of technical and cultural arcana.
Editors Annalee Newitz and Charlie Anders bring together a diverse range of critical and personal essays about the meaning of female nerdhood by women who are in love with genomics, obsessed with blogging, learned about sex from Dungeons and Dragons, and aren’t afraid to match wits with men or computers. Some contributors like scientists/technologists Ellen Spertus, Roopa Ramamoorthi, and Corie Ralston work in traditionally male-dominated professions. Cyberlaw professor Wendy Seltzer describes how her involvement with law and politics started with a love for building computers. Others consider themselves cultural nerds: Devin Grayson writes comic books, while other contributors read science fiction and play in professional videogame competitions. The collection also features essays by high school girls, as well as nerdy mothers who are balancing childrearing with their careers.
Celebratory, polemical, wistful, angry, and just plain dorky, the women of She’s Such a Geek explain what it means to be passionately engaged with technical or obscure topics that are supposed to be “for boys only,” while busting stereotypes of what it means to be a geek and what it means to be female. More than anything, She’s Such a Geek is a celebration and call to arms: it’s a hopeful book which looks forward to a day when women will invent molecular motors, design the next ultra-tiny supercomputer, and run the government.