Geeky girls and women have always been there. In fact, they can often be the driving force behind certain parts of fandom, such as fanfiction and other creative pursuits. But there’s no denying that certain areas of geekdom are often heavily male-dominated, and can feel unwelcoming to girls and women. A lot of girls find that, from an early age, they’re discouraged from sharing the same interests as some of their male counterparts. This can mean they abandon their interests or feel ashamed of them, and might make an effort to hide them. However, with the right encouragement, you can encourage girls to stick with their interests and find joy and even a community in them.
Show Her Strong Female Characters
Even outside of the fans of certain media, it can seem like the media itself leans very male. Fortunately, you don’t have to look very long before you also find some incredible female characters, writers, illustrators, directors, and more. If you want to encourage a girl who might be feeling like her interests aren’t right for her, showing her some strong female characters is a great way to start.
Even some of the biggest franchises have some incredible women and girls who are worthy of anyone’s attention. In Star Wars, you can learn all about the female Jedi who have starred throughout the movies, games, and more. Many people might think of the newer characters like Rey first, but there are some amazing women going further back into the franchise too. Of course, you don’t have to search for women in male-dominated properties. There are some incredible women who stand on their own too, from Captain Marvel and Wonder Woman to Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
Connect Her with Other Geeky Girls and Women
Sometimes being a geeky girl can be a little lonely. If she doesn’t know anyone who shares her interests or they all seem to be boys, it could leave her feeling like she’s not interested in the right things. Luckily, there are lots of ways girls could meet other girls and women who share the same passions as them. You could start by looking for classes or activities she could join, whether it’s a school club or a locally-run class that matches her interests. Another option is to look for events like conventions where there could be opportunities to meet others and maybe find some friends.
The internet is also the perfect place to meet other geeky girls, although you will obviously want to be cautious, depending on her age. You can try exploring things like forums or certain social media sites and apps. Tumblr is one of the top places to find girls and women who are into all things geeky and fandom, but you’ll want to wait until your child is at least a teenager before exploring social media.
Be Involved with the Things She Likes
Getting involved with the things that a child likes is one of the best ways you can encourage them. It’s not always easy to be enthusiastic about a child’s interests when it’s not something you’d really choose for yourself, but it’s important to be able to engage anyway. You can listen when she wants to tell you about her latest interest and join in when she wants to play make-believe based on her favorite movie or book. It doesn’t take much to praise her when she’s exploring her interests or to try to remember the things she tells you so you can ask questions later. You might even find yourself liking it all more than you thought you would.
Share Your Own Interests
If you’re something of a geek yourself, sharing your interests can be a lovely way to encourage a little geek girl too. It could be something that you loved when you were younger or it might be something that interests you now (as long as it’s age-appropriate). You can find things to do together, whether it’s going to see the latest movie or shopping for (and reading) books or comics.
Encourage Her to Be Creative and Curious
A lot of people who are into geeky interests can also be very creative. They might like writing fanfiction, making fan art, or even creating their own costumes to dress up as their favorite characters. If you want to encourage a girl who’s interested in all things geeky, give her outlets to be creative and curious about exploring her interests. That might include finding some fun classes for her to attend or getting her some tools and materials that help her to be creative in different ways.
Help Her Be Part of the Crowd
Being different can be a positive thing, but sometimes girls don’t want to be completely different from everyone else. Even if they enjoy their geeky pursuits, sometimes they want to be a part of the crowd too. You can help to support this by encouraging girls to get involved with activities that their peers are doing, even if it’s not the things they’re most passionate about. She might turn out to love it without really expecting to and make some friends along the way. She might love all things geeky, but it doesn’t mean she has to separate herself from those who don’t. Plus, she could find some people who want to share her interests.
Foster Her Self-worth
Self-worth is important for any child, and it can be difficult to help girls encourage theirs. But there are lots of ways you can make sure girls believe in themselves and feel happy with who they are. Just taking the time to listen to your child when they’re having a difficult time or encouraging them to keep going when things are hard can help to bolster their self-worth and self-belief. Encourage her to embrace the geeky side of herself, but also explore other parts of herself and ways to connect with the world.
When you know a girl who loves geeky things, help her know that she is safe to like whatever speaks to her and that she’s not alone.