I, the geek male, am the unfortunate soul.... I will never find a woman that will understand me...
This sense of identity becomes important to many male geeks... The suddenly here comes a female that appears to be interested. If the reality is that the female has a truly strong passion for something, to the point of cosplaying, than the immature geek male ego will label her as either attention seeking (if she is attractive and can cosplay well) or as a an obscenity (because their body type and a costume don't match well.)A chubby batman costume at a convention is just another poor costume. A chubby catwoman on the other hand is going to receive a lot of negative attention.
WIth the growing popularity of Manga and Anime in the United States, more female characters are being discovered by more female fans, the potential market is expanding. This is a good thing, in my opinion. While the old guard of geek males may not want their social territory intruded upon females, the safe could also be applied to the jock population. immature males want women that will respect the males' interests, but not intrude on them. The idea of a Boys' Night Out is so old and established we have the Masonic Order, the Knights of Columbus, and even the Shriners.
The social knee jerk reaction of "girls, ewwww" will, I hope, fade out, but I doubt it. Men have been trying to say "no girls allowed" for all of history.
Well, there's always been a subset (and always will) of any fandom that is constituted of women. Now, the problem is that because the fandoms are mainly male (with a few exceptions), the women get shoe-horned into unjust stereotypes perpetuated by the guys.
For comics, this is the 'fake geek girl' phenomenon, because SURELY how could teh wimminz understand teh comicz? *eye-roll* The idea is that there are girls out there that don't know anything about the fandom/niche they're talking about, trying to get male attention instead. There are more than a few problems with this. 1) women are people too, and can have interests like these (sometimes knowing more than the majority of the guys - see that facebook picture of the girl in the steampunk Joker costume which turns out to be from an obscure canon comic). 2) Why the hell would they try and get the geek's attention if they don't know this stuff in the first place? That's the epitome of stupid. There is no reason anyone would do that type of s*** for a bunch of strangers whose most visible characteristic is the enjoyment of something they do not. Seriously. 3) It's just social gatekeeping. See, for a long-ass time, geeks and nerds were bullied, shunned and ostracised from society, and that sort of makes an unbreakable bond between those that have suffered, like a band of brothers, if you will. Please note that 'brother', because, since in their time there was that much derision, lots of people hid their enjoyment of all things geeky/nerdy and appeared normal, and are coming out of the woodworks. Why women in particular? Well, once again we go back to the whole 'mainly male' thing, as the absence of girls in the community at the start meant that that was the status quo that got established, and so any guy who enjoys the stuff is gonna be accepted, but any girl is going to get butthurt guys shrieking like their boy parts just got chopped off.
For cosplay, the problem is, due to the nature of many female characters and cosplay costumes(See: fanservice, fanservce everywhere!), the objectification and sexualisation of female participants. Now, this is a much less serious problem than comics' problem, in that it isn't stopping them from joining, but because of the more obvious sexual part in this equation, there's a much larger component of creepers and assholes everywhere. This is exacerbated by America's stance on sexual harassment, rape etc. but isn't that much better everywhere else. On a positive note, however, a recent asshole who groped female cosplayers has pretty much been banned from every Australian convention. Now, the biggest problem is when these two intersect, and you have female cosplayers who are objectified, mocked, and told they don't belong (once again, see female steampunk joker).
We have a long way to go. But we're gonna get there at some point. Just gotta get it through their heads that girls are people too.
SuperHero Alias: The Baron.
Powers: Teleport objects and entities through shadows.
Women in fandom? Why not? Movies, books, music and cosplay are all about having fun. The more the merry in my mind.
Unfortunately, both men and women are prejudiced beings with lots of messy emotions and baggage. Cultural standards, sexual/hormonal drives, and mean poopy-headed people litter fandom like WW2 ordnance.
Take cosplay for example. It should be a time to show off costuming skills and celebrate your favorite character. As Kashiro pointed out objectification and harassment can be a huge issue. If I walk into a convention dressed like Laura Croft or some other character that someone has spent hours, erum... fantasying over, she/he probably won't be able to remember I'm a real person with real feelings. Another cosplay bomb is the 'well, you're not the right shape for that character.' Superhero boobs (big and small) are made of lies; trying to replicate them is not comfortable or safe. However, trolls will look for any excuse to make you feel bad. In a prefect world, I would square my shoulders and wear whatever cosplay I choose. However, in the real world, words hurt. Is making costumes and acting in character still fun? Yes. Is it fun enough to put up with the crap? Depends on the day.
This was honestly the first time I've heard about the "Fake Geek Girl." I didn't quite understand what the prompt was talking about. A girl who fakes being a geek for a nefarious plot? When I read the following phrase 'social gatekeeping,' things made a lot more sense. I've run into the boys' club mentality a few times. However, what's really sad is that I've seen geeks off all sexes start excluding people. A common techniques is 'quantity of trivia.' Don't know how to pronounce Superman's birth name? You're not a real DC geek. Being a geek isn't about knowledge. It's about passion. That's what makes trying to label fake verus real a complete waste of time. How people express passion varies by personality, skills, and resources - one writes fanfiction the other makes a shrine of collectibles. Do girls express themselves differently than guys? Of course. However, as I said before, being a geek is simply about passion.
Are all expressions of 'geek passion' good? Hell, no. Passion is good, but if it takes control, the geek forgets to treat the people around him/her like people. Kids come to blows over the latest collect-them-all card game; adults get into three hour arguments over D&D rules. This quickly sucks all the fun out of the game. This is something that women are just as guilty of as men.
The presence of women in fandom shouldn't be a big deal. However, the phrase 'battle of the sexes' wouldn't have been coined if boys and girls were good at sharing the playground/workforce/etc.