I am a geek. I play World of Warcraft. I purchased a big screen TV because I knew it would make my video games look better. I have Steampunk tattoos. I read fantasy novels. I am a woman who knows more about Firefly and anime, than about shoes (unless it’s a pair of shoes that goes with a costume I am wearing to a convention of course!). I am 25 years old, and the description I just gave you has fit me for quite some time. And I am quite proud of it. Really. So why is this still unacceptable to so many other people my age?
My high school years were full of people making fun of me for my nerdy habits. I just smiled and carried on, knowing that some day I would have more opportunities to be amongst people like myself. And, sure enough, once I graduated a whole new world opened up. Social networks were much more vivid than when I was in school. I now had my own job and money and I was old enough not to have to ask mom and dad if I could go places. I met many many people like myself, men and women alike. Folks my own age who were nerdy and proud!
Yet I still find that myself, and the rest of my geeky brethren still face a lot of the same social stigma that we faced in school. It happens less often now, as it is easier for me to associate with people like myself, but the fact remains, at least once a day, I see someone with geeky tastes similar to my own getting told to “get a life”. I even get told to “get a life” on occasion.
Why? What constitutes a life? I mean, I have a full time job that I have held for several years. I have an apartment that I share with my fiance, that we afford and have furnished quite comfortably. So what if I would rather play Dungeons & Dragons than participate in some fantasy football league? And why is it okay for other girls my age to go out and take trashy pictures of themselves at nightclubs, but I get people making fun of my outfit if I happen to use a picture of myself in costume as a profile picture somewhere? Is it just me, or shouldn’t that type of drama been over and done with in high school?
I am very proud of who I am and what I have accomplished in my life. So please, don’t read this article and think that I am, in any way, ashamed of being a geek. It has allowed me to meet wonderful people, do awesome things, and go to some pretty cool places. I’ve even made money off of some of my geeky habits! It’s great! I wrote this because I am genuinely curious what other opinions there are on this matter, and how others feel about this topic, geeks and non geeks alike. Is anyone else mystified as to why this type of social stigma still exists?