Leslie Simon Talks to Buzznet about ‘Geek Girls Unite’

Let’s face it: if you’re here on Buzznet, you’re probably at least a little bit geeky.

And this is a good thing.

Because as Leslie Simon explains in her new book, Geek Girls Unite, geek girls are currently conquering the world. In fact, Leslie gathered her own guild of geek girls together to help her create the book! With our sometimes scary knowledge of music, literature, pop culture, fashion and more, we make the world go round…or at least make it a hell of a lot more interesting.

Buzznet caught up with Leslie and got her to answer a few questions about GGU and her own geeky habits. CHECK IT OUT!

Buzznet: So, let’s get this out of the way right off the bat: Do you consider yourself a Geek Girl?What do you think is the geekiest thing about you/your geekiest interest?

Leslie Simon (LS): Absa-toot-ly! Honestly, I’m probably a little bit of every geek girl described in the book, but if I had to pick one to describe me wholly, I’d say I’m a Music Geek Girl with a heaping helping of Funny Geek Girl mixed in for good measure. As for my geekiest quirks, I’m often fueled so intensely by my passions, that it’s hard for me to function. Once I become smitten with a band, album or song, I can’t just enjoy it in moderation. It becomes all I think about and all I listen to. I’ve been known to play the same song on repeat for hours, even days on end (i.e. Grizzly Bear’s “Two Weeks” or Metric’s “Police And The Private”.) It’s a sickness, really. I hate to admit it, but I’m a pretty impatient person, which is why I dive into most things head over feet. It’s either all or nothing with me!

Buzznet: How challenging was it to go through all of the surveys and choose what to include in the book?Was there some stuff you just weren’t able to fit into the finished product?

LS: It was difficult, sure, but it was also one of my favorite parts of the process. I couldn’t believe that these amazing girls would take the time out of their busy schedules to help me with my book! Everyone’s answers were heartfelt and insightful. I learned so much about each girl and was really touched that they would open themselves up to me and share such intimate details about their lives. There were definitely tons of things I wasn’t able to fit in the finished product. I had to turn in the finished draft in July and so many amazing things have happened to—and from—geek girls since then. If anything, I’ve got two words for you: Melissa McCarthy. I’ve been a longtime fan of hers since appearing as Sookie on Gilmore Girls,but she absolutely killed it in Bridesmaids and is definitely taking the entire world by storm, proving that geek girls come in all different shapes and sizes. Heck, maybe I’ll just have to write a sequel to include all the things that ended up on the cutting-room floor. Someone get my publisher on the phone…

Buzznet: Do you think the whole “Geek Girls are considered cool” thing is going to be a continuing trend?Or will Geek Girls eventually have to hide our glasses and stop admitting in public that we can speak Klingon?

LS: The timing seems right for full-blown world domination and I think the Geek Girl Revolution has only just begun. I don’t have a crystal ball to see into the future—but, man, wouldn’t that come in handy!—but I really think pop-culture and society as a whole is more accepting and supportive than ever when it comes to being a living, breathing geek girl. Let’s just say that if you’re someone that doesn’t love and appreciate the effort of goddesses like Tina Fey, Rachel Maddow and Tavi Gevinson, then you’re someone that I don’t want to know. Period.

Buzznet: You’re going to be giving a talk at the first ever Geek Girl Con about girls in emo culture.Could you give us a little preview of what you’ll be touching on?

LS: Totes! During my time at Alternative Press, I was on the basement floor of the burgeoning emo scene and saw all the blood, sweat, tears and eyeliner that went into being a chart-topping success. Sadly, I was oftentimes the only girl backstage. At first, I felt like the Chosen One, but loneliness soon set in and I wondered, “Where my girls at?” Sure, there are plenty of female fans in front of the stage, but why aren’t there more on stage? During my solo panel called “Emo Music And The Music: How Girls Are Depicted On—And Off—Stage,” I plan on exploring topics like:

·How did girls fit into the start of the emo scene, and how has their presence changed in the years since?

·When children pick an instrument to learn, are they often influenced by gender stereotypes? In other words, why do girls choose the flute when boys choose guitar?

·What do emo songs teach us about gender roles? How have the sentiments changed from The Get Up Kids to All Time Low?

·There’s always been a fascination with the girls who inspire male musicians. Why do girls aspire to be muses instead of musicians?

·Besides starting a band, how else can girls influence and contribute to the music scene?

If anyone’s in the Seattle area on Oct. 9, then they should totally stop by the Experience Music Project and hear me babble for an hour about all things emo!

Buzznet: Any final words for the Geek Girls of Buzznet?

LS: Buzznet has always been great at fostering a supportive geek girl community and I hope the circle just gets bigger and bigger. If you ever feel like you don’t fit in, maybe it’s time to change the puzzle, not the piece. After all, being a geek doesn’t mean you’re banished to social Siberia. Instead, it should be the thing that connects likeminded misfits together. Your kindred spirits are out there; it just might take a hot minute to find them. The most important thing is to never stop looking. Geek girls unite!!

Wanna win a copy of Geek Girls Unite and a limited edition GGU tote bag? Just be a registered Buzznet member (sorry, you’ve GOTTA have an account here to win, but don’t you wanna join in the fun anyway?) and comment on this post telling us what makes you a Geek Girl! Then, on October 18th, we’ll choose a winner at random!