Tina Fey, Felicia Day, Rachel Maddow & Beyond! Serving Up Spicy Hot Geeks

I’m not gonna lie, our powers of observation are very strong over here, especially when the geek species is concerned. You gotta look out for your own.

Somehow this year, at least in the universe of our minds, the opposite of cool started being cool. Revenge of the Nerdettes or some shit. Fake guitars, big dorky glasses, suspenders … totally cool. Someone backed cool into a corner, it had nowhere to go … and so it went geek.

This offers us real geeks an opportunity to infiltrate everything and TAKE OVER, while the fake geeks can be nerdy in an ironic way … and continue to get laid, just as they’ve been doing all this time those crafty m*therf*ckers. So that’s a win/win.

So we’re going to take a moment to recognize the trendsetters … smart, talented women with really, really good-looking brains.

Tina Fey, Obvs

We’ll start out easy. You know Tina Fey. She’s clearly taking over our lives, littering our speech with extra prepositions (the extra ‘to’ in “I want to go to there” is a preposition, right?) and constant BLERGHING. She’s smokin’ hot, obviously, and totally hilarious. She even eclipsed a Vice Presidential candidate singlehandedly with an SNL spoof skit. I think we can all agree that she deserves a purple heart for keeping that crazy aerial huntress out of office.

Since odds are you’re already watching 30 Rock, you know this. But it bears repeating that Tina Fey has paved the way to the rise of the geek. She’s like our matron saint! And the best part is, she’s just being herself. She’s clearly a card-carrying nerd- I’ve seen some pics from her early Second City days, for real. 30 Rock‘s Liz Lemon is a geek to the max, and I’d say the televisiony apple didn’t fall too far from the tree.

Self deprecating humor: check. Sometimes physically falling down, uncoerced by gravity: check. Glasses: check. Well, you don’t have to wear glasses to be a hot nerd, but it helps, as Tina demonstrates.

Unfortunately, I have 20/20 vision, so I have to work a little harder to be a nerd hearthrob. Though my hawklike sight does come in handy for posts like this.

To wrap up, Tina Fey is nerdlite. She’s accessible (on my teevee!), popular and a socially acceptable object of geek affection.


Felicia Day

Along with Glee, self described “new media geek” and gamer Felicia Day is ushering in a new era of nerd humor that doesn’t need to be cynical to be smart. Felicia’s made appearances on House, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, an unaired episode of Dollhouse and viral phenomenon Dr. Horrible’s Sing Along Blog. She created and writes a World of Warcraft spoof web series, The Guild. Watch it — even if you don’t get all the insider talk and l33t speak, it’s still fun! Honestly, I’ve heard testimonies! What is l33tspeak, you may ask? I’ll tell you when you’re older. If you make it to the third season of The Guild, you will be semihandsomely rewarded with an almost lesbomoment with actress Michele Boyd.  And later Michelle Boyd does make out with a girl, fyi. Are you watching it yet?

Unabashedly geeky, Felicia Day is mainly a gaming geek –– you’d know if you follow her on twitter. She’s so likeable on screen that you want to sit down and grab a controller (or a keyboard) next to her. Now if I can just find her in WoW and befriend her. Only 11 million other subscibers to sort through, totally possible, right? Two million down…

Nominate Felicia Day for best actress to follow & the Guild for best online video web series.” And don’t forget to nominate Autostraddle for “best online magazine while you’re at it! Even if you aren’t familiar with Felicia yet (you will be), knowing her brings you the tiiiniest bit closer to Joss Whedon, and we know you want that. Don’t you? Nevermind, screw Joss. Yowza.

BONUS RANDOM GEEK FACTS: She has a BS in mathematics & is a professional-level violinist!


And finally, her music video “Do You Want to Date My Avatar,” which is very clever and spoof spot-on. And, you know, she wears a skirt…and gets spanked. Yeah.


Rachel Maddow

Oh Rachel. How charming you are. How I love your funny black glasses, your nerd voice and your nerd laugh. How I love that I can pretend to watch the news while looking at you. I mean, sometimes I have the volume up (though never at the end, as I think Maddow needs to start foregoing her daily dose of pop culture from that dude). Rachel Maddow is OBVIOUSLY a nerd, perhaps even more obviously than she is a gay lady extraordinaire. It’s a toss up.

Things we know about Rachel: She’s mainly a smarty kind of geek. She drives a sexy truck. She met her partner when she was her pool boi or yard boi or something HOW HOT IS THAT to turn a buck while finishing her dissertation. Ahem, dissertations are for NERDS. Also, I need to install a yard.

She loves making old-fashioned cocktails like a real leszgentleman. I bartended for a stint and all I learned was what kind of shoes tequila won’t stain (very few kinds).

She doesn’t even own the vehicle I use to worship her (a TV). She’s one of those funny non-tech geeks, because now that the opposite of cool is geeky, sometimes people like to do things the old-fashioned way like shoot 35mm or not have a TV because retro is the opposite of progress and it is opposite day for cool.

Rachel Maddow has secured a well rated news spot on MSNBC with her own show, duh. On this show she wears mascara like featured on the right and gets all gussied up for middle America, but it doesn’t matter because she is so gay. She often flirts with political pundit Ana Marie Cox because they are both hot smartynerds and yeah Ana is straight or whatever, but for real there is some chemistry. I love her, even though I don’t watch her as often as I should. When she covers assorted national queer disappointments like equality rights heartbreaks, it makes me so goddamn sad because she is so cute and stoic. Sigh.

Also, she’s the first openly gay anchor to host a big time news show! Take that, you and your steely blue eyes, Mr. Anderson Cooper! And she was the first openly gay Rhodes Scholar! How hot is that? Do well in school kids, scholarships will get you jobs and most importantly, they will get you laid.

Ana Marie Cox

You might know Ana Marie Cox, political powernerd and bedheadaholic, from her sexy bantering about on our dear Mz. Maddow’s show, but if you’re hardcore you’ve known about Cox for way longer than that.

See, Ana Marie Cox was a founder of the witty DC insider blog, Wonkette, and currently edits the Time Magazine website from her political perch in Washington.

She’s whip-smart and has a snarky, clever biting-her-tongue kind of smirk that’ll either knock you right over or drive you wild. Also, as often noted by our friend Dorothy Snarker, Ana Marie Cox and Rachel Maddow have so much sexual tension you could cut it with a knife. Like, seriously. Yeah, she’s married to Chris Lehmann, fellow  journonerd, but they must have some kind of arrangement, honestly. And not only does she flirt with Rachel Maddow, but she flirts with us too. Relentlessly! I had to stop following her on Twitter — it was distracting.

Speaking of Twitter, Ana Marie Cox is a serious social media junkie. She is the queen of TMI and we absolutely love her for it, because that is all we could ever aspire to be ourselves.

What other semi-respectable journalist would tweet us this? And sneak silly phone pics from inside press conferences? And those at all familiar with her know that her twitspace has one very popular recurring feature: photos of her messy hair the morning. All bedhead. All the time. Sex hair aside, she’s got some seriously sweet puppies. And that is not a weird boob euphemism. They are dogs.

Let’s get real here. Only nerds indulge themselves in this level of obsessively self-aware social media abuse. Thank you, Ana Marie Cox, for your endorsement of my lifestyle. Oh yeah, and my gay lifestyle too! Because she cares about the civil liberties of her downtrodden fangirls! Perhaps she will comfort us during these dark days of LGBT legislation?

And, as if she needed more proof that she is a total nerd, here are some bonus facts: 1. She loves Glee (and tweets about it, of course!), just like some other nerds around here. And 2. (This is the kicker) She’s friends with John Hodgman. Yeah the perfect nerd specimen who plays the PC in the Mac commercials. I think if Ana Marie, John and Rachel were in the same room it might create a rift in the fabric of the nerdiverse as we know it. Oh wait, that happened! And here we are. Hm, something to ponder. Maybe one of them could explain how we’re all still here.


Miranda July

Have you heard of Miranda July? Good lord, I hope so. If not, you have some homework, young lady. Yeah the real kind WITH BOOKS AND SHIT.

Miranda July is…well, she’s a lot of things. She’s kind of more like a whimsical sprite or some kind of otherworldly creature than your regular ol’ geek. You might know her. She’s the author of No One Belongs Here More Than You and she wrote, directed and starred in the pitch-perfect indie comedy Me and You and Everyone We Know (2005). She’s also produced all manner of totally quirky art, music and what have you for a long time.

She also has the most badass lineup of friends ever: she put out a zine called “Snarla” with Kathleen Hanna from Le Tigre, directed — moment of silence for their break up — Sleater-Kinney‘s “Get Up” video, sold retro home movies of her and Carrie Brownstein wrestling around to benefit the Obama campaign (what?!) and pals around with Khaela Maricich of The Blow. That’s like an unbelievable all-star, queer, feminist gifted and talented class for hotties! And she’s about as queer as you can get without being queer. Who knows — with friends like that I don’t know how you’d stay straight.

She is honestly one of the most delightful, bizarre and lovely nerds out there. And I do mean bizarre! She’s a different sort- a total weirdo, really, in absolutely the most complimentary sense of the word. If you’ve seen anything she’s laid hands on, you know what I mean. I can’t even imagine what the world looks like through her eyes. It’s like those people who can see colors when they hear music. I mean, like literally. It’s called synesthesia– look it up, it’s the coolest shit ever. If you are a synesthete, omg, you have to tell me! I digress!

What I mean by that whole synesthesia parallel is that Miranda July‘s style and art comes off like she’s a bookworm tripping on acid. And it is AMAZING. Check out this video where she explains to us how buttons are made. Seriously, buttons are a lot different than you might be thinking.


Another of her charms (there are so many! I’ll stop soon!) is her sexy schoolmarm style. Put her on your short list, for real. And after getting to know her art, you feel like you know her. She brings an amazing warmth and intimacy to what she does that verges on complete oversharing without ever being self-indulgent. Her humor is at once razor sharp, intoxicatingly odd and totally, totally heartbreaking. In her work, her characters are always a little weird, a little nerdy, a little off. And they may all be a piece of her, and I want all of those pieces. Let me sum up: Miranda July= a totally rad alien ambassador from some fucking cool far out nerdplanet. That’s lucid, right? Take me to your leader, immediately.

But I want more!

Yeah, I know- you can’t get enough! But these aren’t they only nerds in town. This is just a starter course — It’s Hot Geek Women 101 and I bet you can’t wait for the accompanying lab class. Where presumably you get to do experiments on these lovely ladies. Sign me up!

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Taylor has written 136 articles for us.


  1. I d4R3 U t0 WRit3 4 p05T in l33T 5p33K, 4nD W3’1l 533 H0w m4nY R34d3R2 W3 L023 ;)
    “I’ll explain it to you when you’re older” is an oft heard phrase amongst my friends, and I own and used to regularly wear fake glasses because I’ve wanted them my whole life.
    If you’ll excuse me I need to go watch the last two episodes of The Guild (not sure how I fell behind, but I’m now ashamed…please forgive me Felicia, for I have sinned!)

  2. I’m just a big smile right now.
    A big smile in a button up shirt and ginormous glasses. I am finally home.


    first of all, i keep wanting to ironically call you TayTay? i won’t — don’t worry — i just need you to know that it’s right there, on the tip of my fingers. second of all, HIGH FIVE! i love this post! you totally covered the bases of what makes each of these women so awesome / lovable.

    while i agree that Ken Jones can sometimes be a bit much, i think they’re friends? he used to be on her radio show many moons ago, so probs she really wants him on the teevee show. anyway.

  4. technostraddle you are really winning me over here, an i’m only a moderate geek. you are setting up your initial town right on my bountiful wheat hex! keep it up.

    i have synesthesia, or so i’ve been told. but not as much with music; i see colours in numbers, and in days of the week and dates and things.

    • I have it too! The numbers/names/dates/etc one, and music. Music is visible, but faint. I had major problems with the Stroop test in my stats class.

      Can we also talk about how Maddow was one of the AIDS activists who interrupted Al Gore’s announcement that he was running for prez? Not that geeky, but so cool!

    • omg the colors in numbers thing is way interesting. please explain your experience to me at great length.

      • I’m not really sure how to explain it, I’ve just always associated certain colours with certain numbers, specifically the numbers 1-10; larger numbers are just combinations of those colours. Like 3 is reddish and 7 is yellowish, but 137 is sort of orangey, as though the two colours were blending. And with the days of the week and months, it’s sort of the same. Thursday is green. Wednesday is brownish-orange, etc. I’m not convinced it’s actually synesthesia though; I think I probably just learned the numbers and days of the week in kindergarten using coloured signs and just carried those associations into my adult life. As for music, colours come more from playing than they do from listening. I associate certain notes and chords with colours. Like a B is green, and G is brown and A is red, etc. (are the only colours i know green and brown? wtf) I think maybe I’m just OCD or something and now the internet knows all about it.

        • I kinda do the same thing with numbers and people’s names. Also strange, I see the chord G and D with green. A is purple. F is white. It’s kind of weird but I like it.

  5. Pingback: Tina Fey, Felicia Day, Rachel Maddow & Beyond! Serving Up Spicy … My Lady’s Story

    • i didn’t think i could do her justice! because in mythbusters i get distracted by things exploding.

  6. I want Ana Marie Cox to not be straight so bad it hurts. Also, speaking of not straight, I had kind of thought Miranda July (whom I am obsessed with) was a real queer? Maybe that was just wishful thinking! Guys seriously I love her so much

  7. That pop culture guy bugs me because, most of the time, I’m like “YOU THINK THAT’S POP CULTURE?!” Plus, his hair makes me nervous.

  8. Tina Fey’s 2nd City pictures ARE hilarious. like, she was still adorable but omg the hair and clothes always make me LOL when I see them.

  9. This is a perfect list: I have lady crushes on all of these women, and I am straight. I also have two close friends who went to HS with Tina Fey (aka Elizabeth Fey). As I recall it, the yearbook pictures showed that they were in band together. possibly also on the newspaper together. Tina’s nerd cred was raging even then.

  10. I don’t think I can put in to words how much I love this post/these women. Like, for real. So great.

  11. I would check out Joanna Stern.She is the unofficial Queen of Netbooks and writes for gizmodo and previously for netbook magazine.And she’s on our team but I don’t think she likes talking about her sexuality.

  12. My world is now complete, Felicia Day plays L4D2! I’ll admit, I don’t quite understand the WoW thing… but I’m deff down for slaying zombies with a cricket bat.
    P.S. Technostraddle/this is basically the best ever. Eh?

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