сряда, 20 юли 2011 г.

The Rise of (Female) Nerds

So I saw this video a while ago:




I have to say, I feel rather irritated by it.

I don't know why this is, maybe because I personally am very careful how I use the word "nerd" and which things I refer to as "nerdy". Maybe it's because I see what most of these ladies are doing and am offended by how little effort they're putting into it. Because let me tell you something, girls - if you want to draw in the nerd crowd, you're going to have to do better than saying you like Star Wars.

Seriously, who thinks that movie is nerdy anymore? In the words of the great Adam Scott of Parks and Recreation: "Everyone's seen it!"

You know who is nerdy? Alison Haislip. And also she is amazingly hot, but that's not the point. She is the living proof that girl nerds do exist on this earth. She has a huge video game collection, watches Doctor Who, knows her comic book superheroes and the lyrics to at least one Animaniacs song. I can't even remember it all. But listen to this interview with her and you will be convinced. She has the right to call herself a nerd because of all those things she likes and feels passionate about.

Alison is a rarity, though, because as the aforementioned girls show us, the popular belief about nerds is that you need to only say you are interested or know about one single thing that is currently considered nerdy to call yourself one. You know who Batman is? Nerd. You have touched an action figure at some point in your life? Nerd. You have watched you little brother play Call of Duty? Nerd (by proxy).

I think the reason behind such behavior can be explained with the growing popularity that nerds have gained among their peers nowadays. It's become cool to be a nerd. ComicCon has more and more visitors every year, every blockbuster now seems to be based on a comic book superhero, even TV Shows seem to have caught on - we have vampires and aliens and The Big Bang Theory (which I doubt any true nerds follow regularly, though). It's a strange social phenomenon that is bizzare, but not inexplicable. In the words of Patton Oswalt:

"You get old enough to know that every single thing - punk rock, hip hop - everything becomes mainstream. It has to, so that something else could react to it. Staying underground and staying edgy is just as stagnating as staying mainstream and bloated."
This doesn't mean that nerd culture is dead. Just that it's getting harder to prove that you are a true nerd because there are so many people now who claim the same by just saying they have watched an episode of Firefly.

But I guess the question for this particular post is: Why are girls doing it more often than guys? I guess it stems from the common (male) understanding that girls who like nerdy things are some sort of social unicorns - you've heard about them, but never actually seen one yourself. And you just know you wanna be a fucking unicorn, because that is awesome, man.

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