Fake geeks? Wait what?

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.


3 thoughts on “Fake geeks? Wait what?

  1. I didn’t take that same concept away from the article. I saw it more as reaching out to people who border on geek culture merely for the attention. She’s saying she’s upset with people who PRETEND to be interested in things like scifi, Ren faires, video games, etc. These people are either unsure of themselves/their interests, or are using it solely to gain the attention because it has become more socially acceptable and they want their limelight back any way they can get it.

    True geeks are born everyday. We may not have been immersed in it our whole lives, as you’ve pointed out yourself as an example, but we deserve the label because we’re doing what we love IN SPITE OF the ever-changing popular opinions on it. Like any passing fad, it’s what’s popular now, and will likely be replaced by something else in the future. However, true geeks don’t care whether or not our culture is popular. In the end, we’ll still continue doing what we love because it’s who we are, and dammit, it’s FUN!

    Check out Marian Call’s song (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T4snBkoMwLw) “I’ll Still Be A Geek After Nobody Thinks Its Chic.”

  2. I understand that. I really do. But at the same time, it opens the door for some major bullying issues that are now circulating geek culture. There is a huge trend lately of people questioning someone’s geek credibility. If I questioned your screen writer credibility, you’d probably be hurt. You put a lot of time and thought into your work. Then I, big screen writer, come along and tell you to prove to me that you really belong. Instead of trying to remove pretenders, it gives an elitist air of someone trying to ostracize those that they don’t want around. There’s no definition of what makes a geek and because of it, people are bullying others to remove them.

    That and she went into the whole “Being a geek meant that you were a social outcast… I was bullied for it… blah blah blah” which I find to be a piece of crap. I was bullied long before I ever became a geek. I know tons of people who are not geeks who are bullied. Being bullied happens to everyone so stop using it as an excuse.

    That’s my view on it.

  3. Valid points. It does put a nasty twist on geek culture. I’ve never known fellow geeks who evolved into bullies themselves, and it’s my belief that any geeks who do so are among the biggest hypocrites. Sure, bullying exists in all crowds, but the media often targets geeks and nerds as the stereotypical victims in bullying cases, so we should all know better.

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