The Unicorn Files: A Kickstarter for a New Book Debunking the Myth of the Female Geek
On June 15, The Unicorn Files launched a Kickstarter to publish their book. The goal of creators Terra Clark Olsen and Nate Watters is simple: debunk the myth of the female geek. In other words, they want to show that female geeks are every bit real and relevant as any other geek. This includes their love of fandoms and genres, as well as their contributions to all corners of geekdom.
To make this idea a reality, Olsen and Watters began photographing and interviewing female geeks of all ages, colors, sizes, and backgrounds, and areas of geekdom. Geeks could also submit their own photos to The Unicorn Files Tumblr . On the Tumblr page you can see great examples of this diversity. Right away you might notice WatchPlayRead contributor Kara O’Connor as well as the myriad contributors, all talented and geeky women. In their book and on their Tumblr page they put a spotlight on women for their talents, contributions, and accomplishments. Furthermore, Olsen and Watters help bring recognition to this ever growing group of women that have been either ignored or written off as “fake geek girls” by the male-dominated geek community.
Some of the more recognizable people featured in the book are Kelly Sue Deconnick and Angela Weber. Our WatchPlayRead followers may notice our on-again/off-again comics editor, Adrienne Fox, in the book too.
Adrienne Fox: Can you tell me about what has been the most surprising or expected occurrence while working in this project?
Terra Clark Olsen: I’ve been surprised by how hard it has been to find women to model for us! I guess I should prepared for this, but a lot of women I’ve talked to don’t like to be photographed. Some women volunteered even though they don’t like being photographed, and then it’s my job to make them comfortable. The whole point of this project is capturing women and their personalities in order to tell their story better, so I try my best to put the model at ease (which usually entails making a fool of myself).
AF: How are you defining success for The Unicorn Files? Is it sales, experiences, or all the feels?
TCO: For me, success is measured in ALL the feels! I want women involved in this project to feel empowered and know that they are an important part of the geek community! I also hope that people who view this project either change their perception of female geeks or recognize that there is no mold for who is considered a geek. I want to challenge the gatekeepers, while empowering those that feel that they are on the margins.
AF: How did you get past the “girl with bookshelf” theme that so many of us geeky ladies put forth in profile pictures?
TCO: Haha, although there were a lot of bookshelves, we found that every woman’s home was drastically different. Our goal was to find something different in her space that would help us capture her story. Though challenging at times, I think we were able to do it.
You can support The Unicorn Files by going to their Kickstarter page and contributing to the project. At least check out some of the fun incentives offered.