Maryam is confusing the two separate concepts of geeks and nerds in her post Girls and Geeks:
Geek to me stands for someone like my husband, addicted to his gadgets and his email and his Internet connection, very intelligent when it comes to machines, technology, and Internet and not so savvy when it comes to dealing with people, fashion and emotions.
I am lucky enough to know many smart and technologically advanced women, but I don't categorize them as geeks even though they are as good as if not better than any male geeks I know when it comes to dealing with computers. I guess what I want to say is that women as hard ass as they can be in the technical field still have some RAM left for the soft stuff. They are more than just geeks. Is my logic flawed? What do you all think?
People who have deep interests in a topic are geeks, those lacking in social skills are nerds. You can have one without the other. Geeks like to keep the distinction clear, in order to preserve our self-esteem.
You can be a geek either by the obscurity of the topic or by the depth of your interest. If you are into making miniature clay food for doll-houses like my friend Lexi, then you are probably a geek. You can also be a geek in more mainstream topics like computers and gadgets if you have a deep, almost obsessive interest. For that matter, if you care enough to take vacation time off to go to a conference (like say Blogher), then you are probably also a blogging geek. I heard a guy on NPR who's hobby is studying transcripts of cockpit voice recorders of plane crashes, which is just spectacularly geeky.
There are many types of geeks. You can be a computer geek, gadget geek, knitting geek, wine geek, or antiques geek. If you run a single topic blog on _____, then you are almost certainly a _____ geek.
In contrast, there is really only a single type of nerd. Nerds are lacking in social graces, have trouble communicating with people, dealing with emotions, and general human interaction. Sometimes excessive geekiness can lead to nerdiness because you are so obsessed by your interests that things like human contact and personal hygiene fall by the wayside.
I personally think that geekiness is what makes us all interesting. It is certainly a good thing to be a geek, but not a nerd. I've certainly known both men and women in each of the four categories: non-nerd geek, non-geek nerd, nerdy geek, and non-nerd non-geek (a.k.a. normal, boring person). It is probably true that nerds are more likely to be men. Men tend to be geeks in certain topics like computers, but if you account for the fact that you can be a geek in anything, I'd say men and women are equally geeky.
I think what Maryam was saying was that she knows many non-nerdy computer-geek women, while many of the nerdy computer and gadget geeks she knows are men. [Of course, just because most nerds are men, this does not mean that most men are nerds. So Dave, a non-nerdy geek can rest easy.]
[Just to be confusing, some groups of people reverse the usage of these two terms. The CS department at Carnegie Mellon reversed the terms when I was there (geek=bad, nerd=good), while my Chemical Engineering department used the terms properly (geek=good, nerd=bad). Keep this in mind if you're discussing the geek/nerd difference.]