WHAT IS THIS?
Fake Geek Girls is a podcast looking at nerdy pop culture from both a fan and critical perspective, encouraging the things we love to do better.
WHO ARE YOU?
We are Merri and Missy, two girls who love talking about the things they love both as fans and as critics. That means that sometimes we giggle our way through a conversation about 2018 masterpiece Venom, and sometimes we have serious conversations about the ways that fatphobia and racism shape the media we consume. Sometime’s it’s light and breezy, sometimes it’s heavy, but we try to be productive rather than tearing things down just for the sake of getting sweet dunks in.
To us, critique is a labor of love—we enjoy geek culture, and want it to be the best it can be. In the process of discussing pop culture and the geek community, we hope to enrich our own understanding of the things we love and the communities we’re a part of, and help others do the same.
ISN’T CRITIQUE ALWAYS NEGATIVE?
A common misconception! The words “criticism” and “critique” have multiple meanings—sometimes they’re used to mean “a complaint or grievance about something,” but they can also mean “analysis.” It’s analysis that we do here, as we aim to discuss pop culture in context. That means discussing things like where tropes come from, why a piece of media does or doesn’t resonate with us, or what something means beyond the literal.
In practice, this includes us using Venom to discuss Carl Jung’s concept of the shadow self, or considering the Star Wars franchise’s use of the Hero’s Journey and whether that means it’s a successful story. It’s not about us telling you what you can or can’t like because it does or doesn’t do something well—it’s about exploring where pop culture comes from, what it says beneath the surface, and why that matters.
YOU GUYS THROW AROUND A LOT OF CONCEPTS. IS THERE A GOOD READING LIST?
The things we reference are ever-expanding, but some good, accessible introductions to concepts we frequently discuss include:
- White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack by Peggy McIntosh (PDF download)
- Mapping the Margins: Intersectionality, Identity Politics, and Violence Against Women of Color by Kimberlé Williams Crenshaw (PDF download)
- Why Heteronormativity Is a Bad Thing by Kristen Cochrane
- What ‘Capitalism’ Is and How It Affects People by Kim Kelly
Our episodes also contain reading lists of the material we reference. Much of it is academic and therefore sometimes intentionally difficult to read, but some easier introductions to criticism and many of the concepts we refer to include:
- Critical Practice by Catherine Belsey
- This one is actually pretty dry and dense but is a good introduction to lots of different kinds of criticism.
- Keywords for American Cultural Studies ed. by Bruce Burgett and Glenn Hendler
- A broad but useful introduction to a lot of the things we discuss
- New Keywords ed. by Tony Bennett, Lawrence Grossberg, and Meaghan Morris
- Another broad but useful introduction to words we toss around frequently