Women Of Geekdom 2013 is not a sci-fi fan’s version of a Cheryl Cole calendar; it’s a project that celebrates women who are geeky and proud. The 12 months of fantasy-themed pictures prove that you can’t decide what denotes a fangirl based on looks. Husband and wife team, Shaun and Laura Rosado, came up with the idea as a backlash to the idea that some women are ‘fakers’, feigning interest in comics and sci-fi shows for attention. They launched the idea on funding platform Kickstarter to gauge interest and were inundated with pledges.
“To date, Women of Geekdom is the most successful calendar project in the history of Kickstarter,” Shaun Rosado tells us. “We were able to raise nearly triple our original budget! This allowed us to invest in higher quality paper stocks, lodging for the ladies who flew from all over the United States and also allowed us to have a real make-up and costume budget.” The women themselves were recruited via Twitter, conventions and through guests on the pair’s podcast, Shauncastic, with each posing as a character from their favourite program, movie, videogame or graphic novel: from Doctor Who to Neil Gaiman’s Death.
It took months to come together and a band of volunteers dubbed ‘the hero squad’ to complete the project, but Rosado says it was worth the hard work. “I literally got to create something my wife had thought up and breathe life into it with her,” Rosado continues. “It was an amazing experience. So amazing in fact that all the ladies got matching tattoos to memorialise the event! In the end most of the staff got tattooed as well. We chose a USB for connectivity and used white ink so it looks like a scar. It is really cool and something we can always remember fondly.”
There are also some great stories to tell, like the Splash-inspired shoot for April that ended up with locals trying to shove the crew out of the way and crawling over the rocks to get close to the would-be mermaid. “Despite all the precautions we took, someone took offense and called the police on us,” he says, “but while I was explaining, [the photographer] Melissa Wyatt and [model] Sandy Bergeron were in the zone, getting some of the best photographs of the entire shoot. So in the end, with all the crazy costuming problems, people gawking and police, it was 100% worth it.”
Women Of Geekdom isn’t about objectifying women; it’s about celebrating them, with a portion of the proceeds being donated to The Wayne Foundation, a charity that aims to stamp out domestic sex trafficking. There are also plans to create a Men Of Geekdom version, too. “If one women or girl sees this calendar and finds a piece of her self in it or feels empowered by seeing someone she can relate to, then we’ve done our job,” says Rosado. “In the end, we’d love to make this calendar successful enough that we could make a new printing every year and showcase a wide array of fans from all over the world of both genders celebrating their geekdom.”