Dear fellow nerds,
Please understand that we are not an oppressed group. There are no institutional or societal systems stacked against us all because we happen to like cartoons and games and fantasy settings a little more than what may considered acceptable for adults.
Please stop comparing someone calling you a dork for playing Magic the Gathering during lunch to systemic racism and sexism. It makes you look bad. It makes us all look bad.
It’s not cute or comparable. Mkay?
I remember having a conversation with one of my very first boyfriends about how someone suggested I change my name when I wanted to enter the job world because nobody would want to hire someone with such an “ethnic sounding name.” My boyfriend compared this to how sometimes people might think he’s weird for being a gamer. I face palmed all the way into another dimension. I know he was well intentioned, but those two things are entirely different. Nobody is going to deny him an opportunity because he plays DnD on the weekends. Nobody even has to KNOW he plays DnD on the weekends. Meanwhile, I will never be able to hide the fact that I’m clearly not anyone’s idea of “all-American.” I can’t hide the fact that I’m a woman, and I shouldn’t have alter my name to be seen as more “hirable.” That’s the result of actual discrimination.
The minor shit I got in high school for being a nerd is nothing compared to the shit I got -and still get- for being a woman, and for being a black woman, at that. There are no long held prejudices and traditions in place that were designed to bring down anyone with a comic book collection. There’s no system or social hierarchy in place that puts people who identify as “nerds” at a disadvantage when looking for jobs, applying for loans, coming forward about sexual abuse, or anything else. Past high school, nobody really gives a shit about how much Skyrim you play.
In fact, in case you legitimately haven’t noticed, being considered “nerdy” is really fucking trendy right now. Game of Thrones is HBO’s most popular series. Shirts with corny shit like “Nerdy and Proud” are flying off the shelves of your local Hot Topic. The gaming industry generates BILLIONS in revenue per year. You’re free now, friends. You’re free. Leave the ghosts of middle school bullies in the past.
If I see one more misguided shit bubble of a human being claim that they are facing actual real oppression and widespread social stigma just because of their love for all things nerdy, I’m gonna just link them to this article so I don’t have to explain it anymore.
**Please share your thoughts below!**