Friday, August 02, 2013

On Being a Geek

So, Shaming.  Let's take a moment and talk about that.

There are so many kinds of shaming out there I can't even begin to count them.  Let's focus on geek shaming.  Not just girl shaming (which is really sad) but geek shaming, because I've been thinking a lot about it this week.

Because I am a woman, I am more aware of the girl shaming that goes on.  Fat shaming, skinny shaming, the list is endless because women can be vicious.  Geeky guys who think that girls can't also be geeks?  What. The. Heck?!  (The Doubleclicks have a brilliant response to that)  But we're not opening that can of worms right now.  That is for another, much longer, post.

I want to talk about geek shaming.

Recently my hubby was talking about getting a tattoo.  Of course, he wanted something that is incredibly geeky and this is why I love him.  So we chatted about tattoo shops and I mentioned one that I really enjoy over in Greenwood.  He pulled up their website and was looking through artist profiles when he came across one woman (it's an all girl shop) who "enjoys "vikings in loin cloth", Dune and an array of hobbit-nerdiness. Not in a multisided dice weirdo way, but more like an alternate universe way"  His response to this was to close the browser and yell at the screen.  I was very confused because I didn't take it personally.  So I asked him why he was taking her (seemingly innocent) comment so personally.  Of course the moment I asked that question, the answer stared blankly at me.  Because my sweet husband is one of those "weirdos".  My husband plays table top games, Magic The Gathering, D & D, Warhammer, the list goes on.  What right does this woman have to laud her particular brand of geekery over other geeks?

What right does ANY geek (or nerd) have to tout their brand of geek as more geeky than others?  To call other geeks "weirdos".  Have you forgotten what it was like in school?  We were ALL called weirdos.  We were the underdogs who got beat up because we LOVE weird things that the other kids didn't.  It was an amazing moment of revelation to realise that I too, had on occasion, held my geekery over others.  Shame on me.  Shame on you.  Shame on us all.  

We are geeks because we don't want to be like other people.  Because we want to be different.  Because we like different things.  Even if we can't understand why some people geek out over sports, fashion, etc doesn't give us the right to treat them as they treat us.  In fact, it should make us close our ranks and support our fellow geeks even more, regardless of what we all geek out over.  

I happen to be a knitting, costume history, fabric, sewing, LOTR, Dr. Who, Star Wars, TNG, Miyazaki, book geek.  My husband is a D&D, Magic, XBox, Video Game, science, reading geek.  Our kids, will be AMAZING.  They will be (hopefully) geeks like their (future) Mommy and Daddy.  We will raise them not to shame others, but to accept the differences.  After all, if we all liked the same thing, that would really get boring after a while.  

Darlings, don't shame others.  Listen to their passion for something you don't know about.  Watch their eyes light up and sparkle as they talk about what they love.  Understand that your eyes do the exact same thing when you talk about things you love.  Be a loving, accepting, open geek/nerd.  


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