Friday, December 10, 2010
Overheard on CNN.com: She-geeks rejoice

 

COMMENT OF THE DAY: "Man, I wish the Pokemon crew would have done that for me!" --ShutYoTrap

 

Katie Goldman is an adorable 7-year-old from Evanston, Illinois, who wears a patch over her one lazy eye and loves "Star Wars," despite being teased about her interests in what some classmates said was a movie for boys. She received an outpouring of support. Her story captivated the hearts of readers in faraway states and perhaps galaxies. She-geeks everywhere wrote in to say that they could relate to her youthful conundrum. Check out what readers had to say about this and other stories on CNN.com today.

 

'The Force' is with you, Katie

 

response2cnn wrote, "Katie, my daughter takes her blue Star Wars lunchbox to school every day. You are not alone." KritterKat advised, "Don't let your kids conform! Have them invite school friends over for a sci-fi movie viewing, or have Star Wars themed birthday parties to invited all the kids into the geeky fun." mmcdonald says she's proud of having channeled her awkward years to become a successful adult. "I had lots of good friends that I still keep in touch with now. I guess all of my curiosity and love for Sci-Fi paid off." A few of the commenters blamed the state of Illinois. EZNYer wrote, "This kind of B.S. could only happen in Illinois. I know a ton of geek girls and they are celebrated in New York, not made fun of. Maybe bullying is just more prevalent in the suburbs and bible belt. It's a reflection of their parents demanding societal conformity over substance."

 

Social pressures made some of our commenters sad. 13MPBrat  recounted how her niece used to love Spider-Man until the girls in her class told her that was only for boys. "We tried to talk her out of it, but she was convinced and has never had that love of Spider-Man again. It is sad because there is this gender-appropriate idea still out there. I myself am a very proud she-geek and do my best to encourage all my nieces to follow their interests no matter what!" XWngLady said you can do whatever you want in this life. "I use to get teased because ever since I saw 'Star Wars,' I wanted to be a fighter pilot like Luke Skywalker and not Princess Leia like every other girl did. Well, as an adult, I joined the Army and later worked for the Air Force with planes and jets and all, but I still wear my high-heeled shoes and makeup and do girly things. You don't have to pick one or the other. You can do both." Other commenters took on the idea of being a geek, with some bearing the label with pride and others saying it's limiting. sofarsogood said, "Act like you care about the whole cyber-bullying issue today, and then use words like 'geek' and 'nerdy' in your article, come on." daniel490 had an interesting response: "Even the Bible says 'the geek shall inherit the Earth.' (The original text has a typo)."

 

Man guilty of kidnapping Elizabeth Smart

 

Brian David Mitchell, 57, was loudly singing "He died, the Great Redeemer died" when a federal jury announced Friday it had found him guilty of kidnapping Elizabeth Smart in 2002 and transporting the then-14-year-old girl across state lines with the intent to engage in sexual activity. We got a few comments from readers that probably shouldn't be printed in this post, ranging from suggestions of potential penal techniques to the kind of conduct Mitchell can expect in prison. Among the other comments were philosophies on the crime committed, as well as thoughts on the legal system as a whole.

 

Trejo said, "Very glad to hear the verdict. We wish Elizabeth and her family the very best." StephWI4 said, "It's so terrible what this man did to this woman, and she was only 14 years old. It's sickening and heartbreaking to read about this man taking away her innocence. I know it happens all the time everywhere around the world, but I'm so glad that this man has been served his justice." gowjo18 said, "The punishment is too good for him, but perhaps his buddies on the inside will catch wind of what he's in there for and 'redeem him.' " ram124 griped, "Kidnap and rape a 14-year-old and it took over 7 years to find him guilty and spending hundreds of thousands of dollars of tax money!" to which gowjo18 said, "Due process, respect it." The response that came back was: "It is expensive and an inefficient process. As a taxpayer in a country that is going bankrupt, I expect optimization." Finally, pogostick was among those who were upset by Wanda Barzee's deal to give testimony against her husband. "What is bizarre to me is this madman had a wife who stuck with him and went along with this psychopathic behavior. She is every bit as guilty as he is. Neither of them should ever get out of  prison. How did she only get 15 years?"

 

Life among U.S. enemies: Embedded with the Taliban

 

For nine days in October 2009, Norwegian journalist Paul Refsdal was behind the lines with the Taliban, embedded in a region where al Qaeda is active and Osama bin Laden was once rumored to be hiding. He followed the daily life of Dawran, a regional Taliban commander, between its extremes of directing attacks and being a family man. We received a lot of fascinating comments, most of which debated the documentary value of getting to know a member of the Taliban. A lot of readers were skeptical about the Taliban's motives, while others thought Refsdal's work was enlightening.

 

avidcroft wrote, "So he went out and filmed the Taliban. The end result is apparently a very boring movie that tried to humanize the Taliban. Seems like a waste of time to me." RockinRobyn said, "I am moved by the way he questions why coalition forces fight them. It sound almost like he feels sorry for the forces because something bad that happened to them must make them want to fight. It makes me feel like maybe there is hope for peace. If they have a desire to understand us, maybe we should do the same." But  clevesparkle said she was disgusted. "It's great to see the faces of the men trying to kill my husband and all the other American soldiers fighting for our freedom." Mystjm1 said the Taliban just need something to fight against. "Unfortunately, a person's ideology is an almost impossible adversary. I do not think the U.S. is the enemy. It's just some nebulous entity they can vent their frustrations against. If things do not change, it will always be someone 'else.' I hope they find a way to create a better future for themselves, somehow."

 

YOUR TURN: Now that you've read what other people are saying, do you find that your views align with theirs? Think of this as a wishing well in need of your 2 cents. Post a comment below or sound off on video.

 

Compiled by the CNN.com moderation staff. Some comments edited for length or clarity.

7 Comments
December 10, 2010
Click to view AndreaMilnes's profile

I gotcha back Katie, rocked a Padawan braid just for you today.

December 11, 2010
Click to view BeerParty's profile

Even the Star Wars geeks bully the pokemon fans. They are sub human.

December 11, 2010
Click to view mnmomma21's profile

Ahhhh!!  I need one of those hats!  Star Wars RULES!!

December 11, 2010
Click to view daniel940's profile

@BeerParty : every group has their Morlocks.  There's always a caste system.  The A/V club bullies the chess club who bully the SETI club.  The Pokemon fans probably bully the Voltron and Thundercats fans.

December 11, 2010
Click to view MarciVG's profile

I disagree with bullying and I have seen a lot of it  as a middle school teacher for over 10 years. But with that said, I am skeptical about this mother's tale of her daughter in such a public forum. As a resident of Evanston, I disagree that it is "a typical suburb or the bible belt". Evanston is one of the most inclusive and progressive places I have lived.  It is a community of many unique and very accepted individuals and that is why I think it is a great place to raise my daughter. I feel like this blogger is just wanting to make a name for herself during a time when bullying is a hot issue. It is a shame if her daughter was truly bullied about loving Star Wars. We live in Evanston as well, and my daughter has a core group of girl friends who all love Spiderman, Star Wars, and Robots. I have never seen any bullying happen for loving something that may or may not be marketed towards boys/girls. I hope all the moms out there who are concerned about bullying teach their children to be assertive and embrace themselves as individuals. Children are not often bullied for just being different, but instead, those children who struggle with confidence and assertiveness just get targeted, unfortunately. The best thing we can do is teach our children the skills to speak up for themselves and ask for assistance from a teacher or adult when their own words are not working against bullying. Not only blog about "how kids are so cruel".

December 11, 2010
Click to view sleepytime's profile

EZNYer's comment that this "could only happen in Illinois" really shows a profound ignorance of the world, the state of Illinois, the city of Evanston (which is a progressive, fairly urban college town right on the edge of Chicago) and people in general. The fact that he/she actually thinks that this area is in the Bible Belt further underscores the foolishness of the remark.

December 11, 2010
Click to view DCENOLA's profile

Katie.  Keep on loving what you love no matter what other people think.  George Lucas broke my brain (in a good way) when I was eight years old in 1977, and I couldn't thank him more.  I still love Star Wars.  Go to You Tube and search for "Sci-Fried Star Wars Christmas" for some family friendly fun from some OLD Star Wars nerds!

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