Geeky girly girl

If pressed, I would probably have to categorize myself as a geek or a nerd, after all I am in physics and I enjoy playing with computers and other technodorky things (I once asked for a graphing calculator for Christmas... I really, really wanted it). But I also like pretty dresses and shoes, I wear makeup and occasionally paint my nails just because they will be pretty for a few days (maybe... if I'm lucky and don't wreck them in the lab) and that makes me happy. I wouldn't give up either part of myself for anything.

To me, there is nothing wrong with the statement that "I am a geeky girly girl".

So I thought it was interesting to see this article on Wired about a collection of stories written by self-proclaimed "she-geeks". While I think it's great the sentiment is out there, and that the dad of two little girls was intrigued by it and is now armed with a new perspective, my reaction is kind of "so?". Are we so new? The "she-geek"?

Sure, I've met with resistance to my girlieness in this male-dominated kingdom of dorkdom such as comments about the uselessness of my nailpolish, the impracticality of my shoes, or "what's the occasion" if I wear a skirt. I've always chalked this up to misunderstanding... after all, there aren't really enough other gals around here to make a reasonable sample of what a she-physicist should look/act like, but to me there's no reason I should look or act any different than any other woman... well, except I can wear jeans and a t-shirt to work with no objection from anyone, which is nice, at times.

So, while some may look at me and think I'm a dichotomy, I will continue to get just as hot under the collar for those cute little vintage heels as I will for a sweet RAM upgrade (today I have an extra 1GB woot!).

... and really, I don't think I'm very rare.

1 comment:

EthidiumBromide said...

You already know my passion for shoes (fyi, I have a feeling I am going to wind up keeping half the blue shoes I ordered because I love them too much to send them back, even though I don't have a real need for any).
While there are a decent number of women in my field (strangely enough, my lab in particular is almost all female though that is not the norm), most dress more like the classic scientist -- jeans, sneakers, sweatshirt, hair pulled back, zero makeup. Then I walk into the lab every morning... fabulous heels, lace pencil skirt, makeup, flat ironed hair. Yeah. I don't really fit in.
I didn't USED to be like this, but when I was an undergrad I interned for Congress where the above uniform was required, and when I transitioned into my Ph.D. program, I couldn't give up the lovely skirts and my coveted shoe collection.
I think people often question my fashion choices (as in, WHY would she show up in heels and a skirt just to crawl around on the floor trying to fix the purification equipment?!) but it's just who I am. Who says that just because you're a scientist, you have to look like one? *shrug* Sometimes I think people don't take me as seriously because I take the time to look respectable everyday, but that's their loss if they don't recognize my potential as a scientist and my contributions to the field.