This is not going to be my most politically correct post. So if you're easily offended you might skip this.
I was chatting with a male Wikipedian the other day. He had been dating a young lady who wasn't much interested in Wikipedia. She preferred music.
This was a problem.
There's nothing wrong with music, actually. And the lady herself is a fine human being. What he wants, though, is a geek goddess: gorgeous, and into the open source movement. Fascinating, plus able to code a brilliant bot. And it's not like that ought to be such an unrealistic goal for a fellow who's young, good-looking, affable, and educated.
So I told him my theory. And so help me, I'll tell you too: geekdom is basically a talent that develops when people can't get a date.
Just think how many marketable computer skills get self-taught by young males as they search for pornography.
Now when an actual female shows up in the world of geekdom, a bunch of guys gravitate to her. Years before I joined Wikipedia I participated in another online community (gasp...a MUD...yes I'm really a geek). And I ran a fansite for the game and the top two questions on my FAQ read as follows:
1. Are you female?
2. I mean really, are you female?
I survived that barrage because my own geek roots run unusually deep (named after a physicist, etc.), but normally a woman in this situation ends up spending her evenings at dinner and the movies and never achieves her full geek potential. Exceptions exist, of course. Hence the stereotypical female geek--the one who's been looked over by 400 pimply faced pornmonsters who each decided that even a pimply faced pornmonster has his standards.
Maybe that's not kind to women. But heck, it ain't kind to men either.
So what's a guy to do? Especially one like my buddy who's a pretty good catch himself (he even has clear skin) but just wants a woman whose interests are something like his own? He could soar across cyberspace like a hawk looking for attractive single female geeks, but it's crowded up there because he's riding the same thermals as thousands of other hawks, and his potential beloved is going to get snapped up as quickly as a white mouse on an asphalt sidewalk next door to the aviary.
"Look for a wannabe geek and teach her Dreamweaver," I suggested. "Or just listen to more music and read the movie listings. The one you're already with sounds like a sweet girl."