Earlier today I read an article entitled “Dear Fake Geek Girls: Please Go Away” and I must say, I was almost appalled by what I was reading.
The author Tara Tiger Brown discusses what it used to mean to be a geek and how that meaning has changed. She discussed its history in freak shows and how Geeks were originally individuals who worked for those shows. She discussed how in the 70s through early 90s, to admit that you were a geek was equal to social suicide. You just didn’t admit it. Which, at the time I understand.
However, with the stress upon diversity these days, there is a push to accept people for who they really are. We are finding classrooms and neighborhoods becoming more culturally diverse. We find teachers being taught to remember the different kinds of intelligences and the different ways that students learn. People are learning to accept the various world cultures that exist today that have nothing to do with nationality. You have the Ren Faire culture. The con culture. You have anime and manga. You have your gamers. You have your geeks.
Cultures in general are more accepting. So, what is it about the way cultures accept people now that Tara Tiger Brown can’t get past?
I can understand that part of her is jealous. She has been a geek for years. Now a large group of people are getting involved in geek culture and stealing the credit of geeks who have been at this for years. I have no issue with her jealousy. It makes perfect sense. She’s been trying to cultivate this hobby for years and had knowledge that many others did not have. Now suddenly a bunch of new people are coming around and no one is going to her for her knowledge anymore. Yes, she’s jealous.
But at the same time, just because some of us are newer to geek culture than she does not mean that we are less of a geek than she. When I was a kid, I was not involved in geek culture. Video games and Star Wars were my brother’s thing. We didn’t get along. So what one liked the other had to hate. Ren Faires, roleplaying games, LARP, etc… My parents considered those people freaks of nature and therefore wouldn’t bother with it. If my parents wouldn’t bother with it, then there was no way that I could find out about it.
I have been a geek in recent years. It wasn’t until recent years that I even was allowed to say “You know what, I frelling love science fiction.” It wasn’t until recent years that I had a chance to go to ren faires and LARPs and all that. Yeah, I’m newer to geek culture and yeah I got that chance because the internet opened up an opportunity for me that I would not have been able to get otherwise. But that doesn’t mean that I’m less of a geek than you because you had the books before me.
That just makes you sound like a jealous hipster. Grow up! Remember that part of being a geek is accepting that we’re the ones with hobbys that make us not fit in to social norm. And accepting that maybe the social norm is that everyone has an oddball hobby that makes them a geek.
Personally, I’m proud of being a geek and if you have a problem with that, then it’s on you. Not me. I’m gonna go back to my D&D 3.5 game. My level 6 halfling rogue just got a quest from Wee Jas that was blessed by both Pellor and Obad-hai.