On the Whole “Nerd Girl” Thing

I’m pretty dismayed that in the new damn millennium, the term “NERD” is gendered. Nerd. Geek. Gamer. Otaku. If you’ve attended a comic con or anime con or gaming con any time in the past ten years, it’s empirically observable that these terms apply to people of all genders. Yet there are those in the new damn millennium who feel that these terms are reserved for men. SMBC Theater has a sketch that accurately portrays this nerd-shaming phenomenon.

Sadly, this satirical sketch isn’t too far from the truth. Two recent incidents in the comics nerdosphere highlight the so-called “Nerd Girl Thing.” Comics web journalist Dirk Manning shared a meme on his facebook page that says “Dear girls who take pictures in slutty clothes & glasses & label the caption ‘nerd lol’ You’re not a nerd; you’re a whore who found glasses.” Dirk clarifies that he didn’t intend to call anyone a whore. He agreed with the sentiment and he objected to women objectifying themselves to pander “to what they see as the lowest common denominator of the social hierarchy (‘nerds’) in desperate bids for attention.” Ugh, it hurts to even copy and paste that.

In a similar vein, comic artist Tony Harris called out cosplayers who dress up for attention from nerds but don’t know a thing about the characters they are portraying. His facebook post is pretty long and pretty angry.

Checking my “Give a Shit” stat.

Oh… I don’t give a shit!

From time immemorial, nerds have been the social outcasts of the playground. Long taunted by jocks, cheerleaders, and even the band kids, nerds have been shunned by almost every strata of the pre-college hierarchy. We know what it feels like to be bullied, to be picked on, to be shamed. And now that nerdom is becoming mainstream and attracting non-outcasts, now we turn around and do the same?

Grow. The fuck. Up.

I don’t understand why you would want to keep awesome things to yourself. Awesome, nerdy things must be shared if we want more awesome nerdy things. We wouldn’t have awesome comic book movies if non-nerds didn’t buy tickets.

To me, beyond comics or toys or Kamen Rider, at its core Nerdom is about acceptance. Accepting who you are and not measuring or judging yourself by other’s so called standards is the very essence of Nerdom. And in turn, accepting others for who they are or choose to be is all a part of that. Why do you give a shit if a girl where’s a costume because she thinks its awesome yet has no idea who the character is? At least she’s comfortable enough with herself to go out in the world dressed in something fucking rad. That’s nerd to me.

To anyone who’s ever been accused of being a poseur by a butthurt nerd, you can hang out with the rest of us. Those dudes think their lawn is shrinking. The rest of us recognize that nerdom grows stronger with more of us so come on in and join the party!