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When someone challenges your nerd cred

What happens when someone challenges your Nerd Cred? It’s not as rare as you think. Here are three accusations I’ve had thrown at me or are commonly discussed in the community.  #testmynerdcred

1. ‘You only like a nerdy trend to seem cool or sexually alluring’

Usually, our choice to be bear the title of ‘nerd’ or ‘geek’ (or whatever classification you chose) had little to do with trying to impress. I know, I certainly didn’t opt into geekdom to excite or to invite male attention.

My choice to proudly straddle the nerd-geek spectrum was (and has always been) a personal choice. I’m old enough to say that I liked ‘that nerdy stuff’ before it was cool, and when being a ‘geek’ or a ‘nerd’ was the epitome of being an A-grade loser.

I knew I was into comics, fantasy and anime before I realised boys could provide a whole new level of entertainment.

This is not a fashion ‘thing’. I repeat…this IS NOT A FASHION THING!

NB: Dear reader, if you do happen to be following a nerdy trend in the hopes of appearing cooler/sexier to your peers, I sincerely hope you stop and try to find the thing that makes you truly happy – just for you and no one else! You’re already perfect as you are, and fakery isn’t a great way to make friends or find satisfactory sexual relationships.

We’re supposed to be a community not an exclusive membership club

2. ‘What do you mean you don’t like…?’

This topic arose on Twitter a few days ago under #UnpopularOpinion (via @BlackGirlNerds) about the credibility of one’s nerdiness based on a person’s likes and dislikes.

When the ‘nerd’ or ‘geek’ (I use both words regularly within this context) community starts to attack its own simply because a person doesn’t like something, popular or otherwise, then we have a problem.

What right do you have to judge someone’s suitability based on your own bias?

Now, let me throw a huge, shiny chrome spanner in the works by stating unequivocally that I CAN’T STAND DOCTOR WHO!!

I’m sure there’s a Whovian out there having a flipping meltdown and breathing into a sonic-screwdriver-shaped asthma pump right now. But, take a breath friend! I find it dull and boring – that’s my right.

Phew! Now that’s out of the way… pray, let us continue.

I don’t like Doctor Who. Never have. Never will.


3. You don’t belong because you don’t conform

First, we’re humans, not The Borg and our community is not The Collective! Secondly, respect what a community is meant to represent:

“A community is a social unit of any size that shares common values.” (underlining my own)

In my opinion, one of the reasons we respect our calling as ‘nerd-geeks’ is because we refuse to be standardised. Sharing common values does not equate to a homogenised society.

We unite because there is a lack of acceptance for the things that we love. For years, many of us were misunderstood by family, friends and peers for enjoying ‘that weird stuff’

For example, I once told a colleague I was going to see a Marvel film. She looked at me as if she’d just stepped in doggy-doo and then said, “I’m not into that stuff.”

nerds are not immune from being prejudiced 

The ‘Nerd-Geek’ Community generally feels like an inclusive one, but we’re just as susceptible to prejudice as the rest of the world. Racism, sexism, homophobia and heterosexism (among some of the many prejudices in existence), still provide walls to be torn down. Our community is still a work in progress.

Group of people standing in front of white wall

Many of us will have found shelter within this community because we’ve come across some form of prejudice. It can happen at any age and to anyone, and we should know better than to perpetuate the prejudice that caused us to form these communities in the first place.

It’s easy to lose oneself in the hive mentality of social media like Twitter. But always remember we are a community of passionate individuals who share common values – and THAT is what makes us POWERFUL!

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