24/09/2013 11:39 BST | Updated 24/11/2013 05:12 GMT

Why the World Needs More Geek Girls

When it comes to both geek interests and skillsets, women are heavily involved and the percentage of those women is increasing.

"The Geeks will inherit the earth" stopped being a mournful/knowing thing that people said to each other in darkened rooms and started being a reality round about the time that home computers became as prevalent in households as televisions.

Entertainment? Money? War? Communication? Sexytimes? All those things that humanity seems to want really badly, the whatsits that mark today's markers of civilisation and progress? Yeah, Geekdom has it covered.

When it comes to both geek interests and skillsets, women are heavily involved and the percentage of those women is increasing.

I cheered to hear about Jennie Lamere, the 17 year old programmer who invented software which would block TV spoilers from Twitter. Look, I'm only on season three of Breaking Bad; I can't be expected to steer clear of Twitter for a whole fortnight in September.

I booed to hear about all the women scientists snubbed due to gender discrimination (although, to be fair, science has a rich history of now-famous Johnny-come-lately types stealing prior ideas, regardless of gender).

To celebrate XX Geekdom I set up Femflash 2013, a feminist writing competition that encourages a geek perspective. Great prizes, great judges and if you pop along to visit you can see the high calibre of the entries in 2011.


Slut shaming. Skewed standards of beauty. Work and parenthood. These issues are universal ones. But what of gender-based discrimination, intended or otherwise, which is more specific to geek culture?

• What of cybersexism, online trolling and bomb threats?

• What of the challenges surrounding the creation of female protagonists for video games?

• What of the lifelong gamer who's expected to froth about Final Fantasy X-ii rather than Half-Life because of their gender, and...

• What of the current discussions surrounding sexism in cosplay and SF fandom?

• What about the EU video for "Science - It's a Girl's Thing"?

• What of the Female Doctor?

• What of the lack of diversity in software development?

On a positive note, wouldn't it be interesting to consider the surge in interest for games where narrative and character is choice-driven? And wouldn't it be a joy to consider, yet again, the glory of Ada Lovelace?

And wouldn't it be interesting to do all that in 200 words?

This is why I hope some of you will consider entering Mookychick's FEMFLASH 2013.