“Geek” is not what you think

Satsuki, the Geeky Superhero

So I have a bit of a “vent”… not really a “rant”, although the subject does rub me the wrong way.

It’s the word “geek”.

According to dictionary.com:    Geek, noun

1. a digital-technology expert or enthusiast (a term of pride as self-reference, but often used disparagingly by others).
2. a person who has excessive enthusiasm for and some expertise about a specialized subject or activity: i.e. a foreign-film geek.
3. a peculiar person, especially one who is perceived to be overly intellectual, unfashionable, or socially awkward.

Sounds pretty straight-forward, doesn’t it? Most people think it’s easy to spot a geek. That guy in the button up shirt in the anime section at the bookstore? Geek. That girl holding the last three seasons of Doctor Who on DVD at the movie store? Geek. That guy with glasses in the AT&T shop discussing cell phones? Geek. Those girls having a lively discussion over who is cuter, Legolas or Aragorn? Geek. The group of guys sitting at the Starbucks discussing all of the latest video games? Definitely has to be Geeks.

The fact of the matter is… none of those stereotypes might actually be a geek, by definition. The guy in the anime store might be finding a new book for his teenager. The girl in the movie store might be getting a gift for someone else. The guy in the cell phone store might be finally trading in his Nokia for a smartphone. The girls discussing Lord of the Rings might have also discussed young Mickey Rourke vs. young Harrison Ford or John Travolta vs. Nick Cage, etc. You only heard one movie title as you walked by. The group of guys discussing video games might all be researchers studying why kids love video games.

Then again, all of them might actually BE geeks. Who knows? Why does it matter?

The reason for my irritation is an article that my sister Chandaroonie posted and tagged me on Facebook. She wanted my opinion, because she calls me a geek often.

I’m not a digital technology expert by any means… I love technology, and I can operate most anything, but if you ask me how many megabytes or processor speed that my equipment has, I’m going to calmly tell you to ask Samurai, I have no clue. (Samurai is my hubby, and a tech by trade. He IS a geek by definition.)

The only thing I’m really an enthusiast about is coffee, but not to the point that I complain if I don’t have fair-trade beans. I just want good flavor and freshly ground each morning.

I am, though, a peculiar person. I know I’m intelligent, unfashionable and socially awkward. I’m introverted on the inside and extroverted on the outside. I can appear to the world as put together, organized, two-steps-ahead of the competition, fierce, and take-charge. I’ve been put in leadership spots because of this. But inside, I’m nothing but Jell-O…. unorganized, meek, and wanting to cry. My fashion sense is a clean T-shirt and jeans, and usually flip-flops or sneakers. Dressing up usually means I’m not going. Makeup means someone got married or passed away. And I rarely talk to people I don’t know… I still get a wiggly tummy when I have to call in a pizza order because I don’t know who is going to answer. Thankfully my favorite pizza shop and I are on a first name basis now.

The article my sister posted can be found here: 8 things you need to know before dating a geek girl

This article got under my nerves. I could drone on and one about each of the 8 points she makes and why they are offensive. But I’m going to sum it up like this: The author contradicts herself at every turn. She tells her readers that not all geek girls watch Doctor Who or study quantum physics, but then later on says that geek girls love Neil DeGrasse Tyson, cosplaying, and Benedict Cumberbatch. It would be safe to say that she doesn’t know how a geek girl really thinks. Honestly, you just need to read the article to see what I mean.

I WILL agree that the points she makes – the actual numbered points – are accurate. A true geek girl does exemplify those characteristics. But not entirely in the way that she defines. What happened to being nice and respectable? What happened to just being yourself?

To the author’s credit, she seemingly wrote her response to a male’s article about how to find and keep a geeky girl, and why they are best girlfriends.

You can read that article here: Nerd Out: 8 reasons why geeky girls make the best girlfriends

The man’s article is not any better. His point of view is very chauvinistic, instructing men how to entice, claim, and keep a geeky girl.  Again, whatever happened to being nice and respectable? What happened to just being yourself?

Another thing…. Why aren’t their any articles on how to entice and keep a cheerleader? Because they are stereotyped as being easy? Why aren’t there articles on how to entice and keep an Emo/Goth chick? Because they are not ones you can take home to mommy, stereotypically speaking? What about an article about how to love a dumb jock, even though the lack of intelligence is frustrating?

BECAUSE IT’S WRONG. It’s rude. These articles, if they exist, would be so one-sided that they would be shot down before any major websites could get ahold of them.

So why is it ok to have an article on geeks? Why can’t we just like people for who they are?

A little Disclaimer: I’m not writing this to incite a discussion over points of views. It should be clear by this point in the thread that I believe everyone should be themselves. If you have to write an article on how to get the guy or the girl, then write it over how to be a great person, not how to attract a stereotype.

Second Disclaimer: There is absolutely nothing wrong with Neil DeGrasse Tyson, cosplaying, Doctor Who, Legolas, or Aragorn. I enjoy all of those topics. I can pick Benedict Cumberbatch out of a line-up, but I have no idea why he is famous. I think I just negated my whole blog post…


One thought on ““Geek” is not what you think

  1. I understand that your wish for this post here was to vent and not incite a discussion over points of views – but your writings have hit the nail on the head on so many issues here so thank you for posting!

    (I also read both articles you listed here as well so thank you for referencing!)

    I have more I want to share in thoughts but I respect your disclaimers hun so I’ll stop here but just know that this has been a lot of food for thought – and I think it was very well said. 🙂

    P.S. It’s good to see you here!


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