REAL GEEK GIRLS: Victoria McNally From The Mary Sue
The goal of my “Real Geek Girls” series is to show the world that girls truly can be geeky. For some, that seems like an obvious observation, but there’s always that one person, almost always a guy, who will talk about how girls are fake geeks who don’t know what they’re talking. Girls are just doing it look cool and lure in geek guys. They don’t know what it’s all about when it comes to “geek culture” and they’re somehow just there to be admired by geek guys. I’m here to let the world know that girls DO know what we’re talking about. We can be and we ARE just as geeky as the guys. Every now and again, I’ll interview a new geek girl just to highlight how many of us are out there, how real we are all. We come in all shapes and sizes, and love a many number of geeky things. I’m going to show the world that there are real geek girls, and they know as much, if not more, than the somehow more revered geek guy.
Meet Victoria McNally! She’s an incredible geeky girl who loves Sailor Moon!! Who doesn’t love Sailor Moon? She’s also a write at The Mary Sue and has one heck of a resume filled with awesome writing gigs. She’s also a huge Game of Thrones fanatic and I learned so much from her with this interview. I asked her a few fun questions along with questions about some of the work she does and what we can look forward too in the future or currently from her. She also gives fantastic advice that you’ll see towards the end. Don’t forget to follow her on twitter here and check out her website here.
What does being a Geek mean to you?
At it’s core, being a geek is about embracing what you love down to an almost trivial level, and finding ways of sharing those details with one another— sometimes to the point where only people who want to hear you talk about it are the other people who love that thing, too. Which doesn’t mean that you can’t share differing passions with one another, of course!
What’s your take on those people out there who think girls are ‘fake’ geeks to fit in?
I completely understand the impulse to want to guard your favorite stuff against people who you don’t think appreciate it as much as you do, because that’s pretty much human nature. But that doesn’t make it okay, especially because it tends to be lobbied against girls and women much more on average, and it can end up keeping genuinely interested people away entirely. I remember being fascinated by my local comic shop at a very early age, but never stepped inside one until I was in college because I was scared of how I would be received. I still get a little jittery sometimes even now if I don’t know exactly what I’m looking for. That kind of mentality is hard to break once you’re used to it.
Tell us a little about the writing you do at THE MARY SUE.
Before the site I used to write for, Geekosystem, merged with the Mary Sue in June, my background was mostly in pop culture, science, tech, space, and other general nerdy subjects. Now that we’re a part of TMS, though, I get to dig a little more into writing about feminism, as well as about certain interests of mine that didn’t always fit the Geeko audience—like the Sailor Moon Crystal recaps I do, for example.
If you could be in Game of Thrones which character would you be and why?
Ha, that’s basically like asking “What horrible thing would you like to happen to you the most?” I mean, I’ve always identified strongly with Daenerys Targaryen, but even with the promise of owning dragons I don’t know that I’d want to be her, given the amount of responsibility she has and all the mistake she’s made in Meereen so far. Maybe Olenna Tyrell—she’s lived a long life in one of Westeros’s richest families, and she doesn’t take crap from anybody. You could do a lot worse, right?
Sailor Moon is and will always be an awesome show, what do you love most about it?
There’s just so much to love! But I guess if I had to narrow it down, I appreciate that Sailor Moon has such a wealth of female characters with different strengths and weaknesses, and each of them grows and changes through their friendships with one another. Also, being a particular kind of emotional, feminine girl doesn’t make you inferior: it can also be a source of power.
If you were stranded on a desert island and could only have 3 things with you, what would those 3 things be?
Do I get to say a boat? A boat feels like cheating. Okay, barring any “things that will get me off the island” cheats, I’d say a copy of Shakespeare’s complete works, a swiss army knife and… a food replicator. Are things that doesn’t exist also off limits, too?
Tell us a little about BookWorks.
BookWorks is a start-up self-publishing association that I first started working with a few months after I graduated college. Their founder Betty Sargent, began the business as a way to provide resources to authors and other professionals who are interested in self-publishing. I used to be much more involved back when the business was much smaller (we now have a partnership with Publisher’s Weekly!), but now that I’m writing full-time, I usually contribute one short article a week to their blog. Betty is a publishing veteran and incredible mentor, and I’m proud to count her among one of my colleagues!
Who’s your favorite superhero and why?
Oof, that is tough. Saying Sailor Moon feels like an easy out, so if we’re looking strictly at western comics interpretations… the MCU Captain America. On the outside he’s this impressive, charismatic figure, but underneath he’s like a soft tiny puppy who wants to do the right thing and love everyone and make everything better—the perfect balance of the guy you feel like you want to protect, and the guy you want to protect you.
Is there anything you’re working on now or anything in the future we should look out for?
I’m in an all-female a cappella group in NYC that you should check out! We’re called Empire, and we have a pretty awesome Youtube channel, if I do say so myself.
What’s your advice to girls out there who feel embarrassed to be geeks?
Don’t ever let someone make you think you’re any less of a person for the things you like and the way that you choose to like them. Not every show or movie or book you fall in love with is going to be objectively good, of course, and not everyone is going to understand why you care so much (my parents are still baffled that I managed to make a career out of the stuff I would not shut up about as a kid), but you have every right to your own emotions and obsessions so long as you aren’t hurting anyone with them.