This morning I read an article that shocked me, and I just had to write about it. I wanted to show support to a growing nerd girl, and get the Gaming Angels Community behind something that has affected us all at one point in our life or another. This story is about a little girl named Katie, who’s mom is a blogger for “Chicago Now.” She wrote about an incident regarding her daughter at school:
At summer’s end, Katie and I went to Target to pick out her backpack, lunchbox and water bottle for the new school year. After great deliberation, she chose a Star Wars water bottle to match her Star Wars backpack.
Katie loves Star Wars, and she was very excited about her new items. For the first few months of school, she proudly filled her water bottle herself and helped me pack her lunch each morning.
But a week ago, as we were packing her lunch, Katie said, “My Star Wars water bottle is too small. It doesn’t hold enough water. Can I take a different one?” She searched through the cupboard until she found a pink water bottle and said, “I’ll bring this.”
I was perplexed. “Katie, that water bottle is no bigger than your Star Wars one. I think it is actually smaller.”
“It’s fine, I’ll just take it,” she insisted.
I kept pushing the issue, because it didn’t make sense to me. Suddenly, Katie burst into tears.
She wailed, “The first grade boys are teasing me at lunch because I have a Star Wars water bottle. They say it’s only for boys. Every day they make fun of me for drinking out of it. I want them to stop, so I’ll just bring a pink water bottle.”
I hugged her hard and felt my heart sink. Such a tender young age, and already she is embarrassed about the water bottle that brought her so much excitement and joy a few months ago.
Granted the boys are younger, but it’s ridiculous that this would happen to the poor girl. I grew up as a nerd with my Dad starting me off proper with Star Wars and Star Trek, not to mention sitting and watching Ghostbusters and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles on Saturday morning cartoons. Because of these nerdy tendancies I was also sometimes ostracised but not by the boys. Some of the other girls who played with Barbies and My Little Ponies (which I also played with) found it odd I would like things that were deemed “boyish.” It was definitely something that was challenging to grow up with, but as I got older it was easier. I learned that these geeky tendencies were part of who I was, and that there is nothing wrong with it no matter what anyone says.
This is a big reason why I like writing for Gaming Angels. We’ve all grown up with similar issues and we’ve found each other later in life and banded together to just offer that support for other girls, young or old, who share the same interests. So Katie, hang in there as those boys will grow up and they will learn that the geeky girl is something that’s very important to have and support. Plus you’re not alone and the rest of the geeky girl community is behind you. So you go to school with your awesome Star Wars backpack and drink proudly from that water bottle! Those boys are probably just jealous they don’t have one of their own anyway.
And Gaming Angels readers, please go and comment on Katie’s mom’s blog post. Katie and her mom are reading all of the encouraging comments and it’s seemed to have really boosting her self esteem. So lets keep it up!!
Thanks to Topless Robot for the tip