What is it like to be a geek girl? How does the rest of the geek world welcome you? This documentary looks to explore and shine a light on what it’s like to be a woman in a very particular men’s world, the way they are treated, how they have to adapt to basically survive. In a world where people are threatened with doxxing, rape, and murder for being different, women find a way to make it work and get to enjoy their fandoms and interests.
Writer and director Gina Hara takes a subject close to heart and that of most geek girls and explores the way this world they evolve in affects them and how it may even shape how they think and do. She takes this subject and digs deep into it, going even where some would rather she wouldn’t. She exposes the culture and its toxic side, how a world where some worship extreme femininity (bishoujo, anime, collectibles, video games, etc) and do not want to see women in their men’s world. They love looking at, playing with, discussing women characters but do not want women’s input or opinions or even participation. Of course that is not the case with all the fans, all the geek boys, but it’s prevalent enough to make some women give up on their passion or refuse to talk about the world they evolve in on camera.
Hara transcends these issues and brings forth a portrait of these women in mostly men-dominated industries. She spotlights the difficulties encountered while making this documentary itself and the difficulties faced by women working in the geek world or simply trying to enjoy it. She brings forth points that most geek girls will be very familiar with, points the men in these industries need to pay attention to. Those who do not cause these issues for women in nerd worlds, the other men, should be aware of the issues and be allies in making things safer and more fun for women, this documentary should open some eyes at least with those men. Hopefully, the ones causing the issues will see this documentary with an open mind and see things from the geek girls point of view, from their experiences, from how this has affected them.
Geek Girls is a very timely documentary considering everything that has been coming out of late about some of the geek heavens and geek related press. It shows that the girls are here to stay, that they can overcome any obstacle working together and with men allies. It shows that the nerd world is a brutal place to be a woman at times and that some will choose to not speak about it openly due to fears of being doxxed or having serious threats placed on them. The film takes all of this and makes a very clear point in how hard it can be for women in men-dominated worlds, but that with the right education and cooperation, it can be livable, enjoyable even.
Geek Girls is not only timely, it’s a must see documentary that all nerds, geeks, and fans of various places, fandoms, and walks of life should seek out. It’s not always an easy watch, but Hara made sure to make it clear and show the opinions of many women across the nerdland, including gaming, comics, conventions, etc. It’s well-shot, it has a lot of heart, and it’s something that needs to be seen by more than the geek girls it discusses at length.