#geekgirl #poetrymonth

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Me and JG circa 2003

I’m a fiction writer, but I dabble in poetry for fun. A few months back, I was working with my students writing pieces using Sojourner Truth’s “Ain’t I a Woman” speech as a mentor selection. We talked a lot about stereotypes and what assumptions people make about them. It was powerful, and my kids really enjoyed writing their own pieces. At the time, Gamergate was all over Reddit. As a gamer who happens to be a girl, it hit home. There has been a building controversy over geek girls, in general, for years. When I played Everquest, fifteen years ago, most of my guildies weren’t convinced I was really a girl until we started using Teamspeak. I still get wide eyes sometimes when I talk about geeky things with people I’ve just met. There is this assumption about what gamer/geek girls should be and the backlash I’ve seen lately has seriously riled me up! Since I write with my students, and there was fire in muh belly, I wrote this piece. I thought I’d share it for poetry month.

Ain’t I a Geek?

I’ve high scored in Galaga, Tempest and Tron,
Ate ghosts and cherries with a bow in my hair,
Missed sleep to save Princess Peach,
(only to discover she was in another castle)
Explored Hyrule and Norrath and New Eden,
Azeroth and Sanctuary and Liberty City,
Battled for The Horde and The Pact.

And ain’t I a geek?

I’ve rolled a Nat20 to hit,
Pulled ten feet of rope from my Bag of Holding,
Cast Magic Missile, Prestidigitation,
And Cure Light Wounds.
Sold my armor for a diamond
And holy water to aid a fallen comrade.

And ain’t I a geek?

I’ve built my own computers,
Cut my hands on ragged, metal edges,
Held my breath for each first post,
Over-clocked and dual-carded,
Nvidia, Radeon, Geoforce, and AMD.

And ain’t I a geek?

I’ve boldly gone where
No girl has gone before,
Because I don’t care I’m still free,
You can’t take the sky from me.
Fantastic! Allons-y! Geronimo!
I’ve breathed in Bradbury and exhaled Tolkien,
Held my phaser in one hand and my staff in another,
I’ve worn my satin tights and
Fought for our rights.

And ain’t I a geek?

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