Lately, a term created with some friends, femmegeek, has been roiling around my brain, trying to capture a defining image, and a conversation with another MFR writer made me realize: Evie Frye.
Evie Frye: All Things FemmeGeek
What is a femmegeek?
Back in June 2015, I attended NY: Special Edition. It was an extension of New York Comic Con intended to be an added opportunity to buy the then sold out con tickets. It was one of my all time favorite cons simply because everyone and everything were so accessible. I had an opportunity to hear the then-upcoming Marguerite Bennett speak about her soon to be started DC Bombshells series. Something she said has stayed with me. She had worn some fancy dress upon which many people commented. She told the crowd at one panel that she didn’t need to wear jeans and tshirts to be a geek girl. She could dress fancy and wear makeup and still be geeky.
It occurred to me recently, that I’m not a geek girl. I don’t feel “girly.” In fact, when I mentioned recently an interest in 3D printed clothing and jewelry making me “the girliest girl ever to girl,” a friend told me, “it would take a lot more than that to make you girly.” I smiled with pride. I’m not a geek grrl because the term “grrl” implies a badass feminist with a rock n roll attitude. I’ve never really had that attitude.
What is a femmegeek compared to these terms? It’s someone who identifies as feminine, although not necessarily binary female. Originating as a term for female (and as the French word for woman) or feminine, it also has ties to the LGBTQIA community. This means that to be a femmegeek includes varieties of feminine attributes outside of the binary, cisgendered ones that words like girl or woman imply.
Evie Frye is everything I love about being a femmegeek.
She’s gorgeous, but she is amazingly badass. I mean, she’s an assassin for chrissakes.You don’t get more badass than that.
However, it’s not just that she’s gorgeous. Have you seen her weapons? I mean, for reals people, these things are like jewelry that kills.
She isn’t tied to some inappropriately sexy outfit for fanboys. She has gorgeous cloaks that combine all the swishy beauty of a princess dress with all the badassery needed to sneak around killing people with a garotte.
That’s the thing about Evie. She’s a beautiful character who kills beautifully. The character doesn’t have to be sexualized to be playable. She also doesn’t need to be masculinized to be an assassin. Evie doesn’t wear men’s clothes and pretend to be a boy. Her body is a woman’s body. She is just as playable as her male twin counterpart Jacob. She has no gameplay restrictions for being a female. A few years ago, the PS Vita Assassin’s Creed game Liberation had a cool Black female character. When she was dressed as a wealthy girl in beautiful clothing, however, she was unable to jump and climb. Her femme representation led to just terrible gameplay (oh, and that game crashed on my at 10 hours in both times I ran it…we shall never discuss Liberation again).
Even better, Evie has emotions. She cares about carrying on her father’s legacy and about her twin brother. That being said, she’s also the one focused on recovering the Pieces of Eden. Jacob is the one who goes on the social justice mission to save London’s poor. Traditional feminine (not feminist) narratives assume women as the nurturers. In a traditional narrative, therefore, Evie would be the motherly figure trying to save those who are weaker. In Evie and Jacob’s case, however, the female is the logical character seeking to focus less on the human condition. It’s not that she doesn’t care; it’s that her passions focus on her mission. Although this may be a traditionally male role, Evie fulfills it and does so with grace.
Gender can be a spectrum of qualities. Identifying with various qualities place an individual along this continuum of social construct. The idea of the term femmegeek is to look at those differing representations of feminine across this spectrum. While obviously female gender identified, Evie Frye exhibits some traditionally masculine qualities. Her logic and her cold-blooded killing skills could be considered masculine. Here’s the thing. Those considerations come from societal constructs. Gender comes from the ideas of societal structure. This means that those qualities considered either feminine or masculine have no meaning outside of social conceptions of power dynamic.
Feminine within the geek realm can be viewed in many ways. In some ways, people who identify with feminine may choose an aesthetic that specifically flouts the traditional “girly” feminine. In some ways, those who identify with feminine may choose to identify with skirts and makeup. In some ways, those who identify as feminine may choose some hybrid of these two. The goal of being a femmegeek is to explore these various identities as they are represented within our community.