Suramya's Blog : Welcome to my crazy life…

October 13, 2022

No you are not disliked because you are a nerd. You are disliked because you are obnoxious and love gatekeeping

Filed under: My Thoughts — Suramya @ 10:57 PM

There is a ongoing thread on Twitter where someone is complaining that the girls who were ignoring this person in the 80’s because they liked comics and ‘geeky stuff’ now love guys who are into the same thing in 2022. (See the comic below). The idea being that girls are mean and only chase whatever is ‘cool’ at the time.

Girls didn’t like me because I was a Geek

This is of course absolute nonsense and multiple girls responded stating the same. One memorable response by dan-hell badford stated:

I have seen this behavior first hand in multiple communities. As soon as a girl (or anyone who is not a white male) tells that they are a fan of a particular comic/art/tv show etc almost immediately the response is “Prove it”. Once we had gone to Comic Con and a friend of mine was wearing a T-Shirt with an image & quote on it from one of the famous series and this random guy came up to us and started a conversation with a statement that went something like (it was a few years ago) “you are wearing this t-shirt but I can bet you know nothing about the series. If that is not the case then you should prove it by answering this question”. My friend basically told them to get lost. They were a fan and they didn’t need anyone’s approval or permission to be one. Others have comeback with similar idiotic takes. There is one post on twitter where this person basically states that only non-pretty/non-handsome people became geeks because they were outcasts and pretty people became popular. (I wish I had taken a screenshot but I didn’t and now can’t find it).

This is basic gatekeeping and part of the reason why I am not part of any Fandom. I am nerdy, I love comics, books, tech and techy topics and if you give me the chance and show interest I will talk your ear off talking about the latest tech-advances or a new TV show I have been watching. The more I like something the more I would want to introduce others to it. Unfortunately, these gatekeepers seem to think that the only way to be ‘a true fan’ is to adhere to their definition of a true fan, which is basically be a carbon copy of their thought process. To give you an idea of how these nincompoops think, check out this post that claims that all sub-cultures are dead because “that as soon as subcultures start getting really interesting, they get invaded by muggles, who ruin them.

This guy, seems to think that all cool things follow the following life flow:

  • Something is invented/created by the scene
  • Fanatics become aware of it and they contribute energy (time, money, adulation, organization, analysis) to support the creators.
  • Members of Public (MOPs) become aware of it and make it popular
  • Someone (‘Sociopaths’) work out how to monetize mops and fanatics get pushed out
  • Due to this the ‘cool’ dies.

Apparently you are only allowed to like something if you willing to be obsessed by it. Meaning that you need to spend all your waking time talking about just one thing. Thanks but no thanks. I love a lot of things in life and have better things to do than to obsess over one single topic for the rest of my life. Read the entire post if you want to be infuriated. My favorite part was: Mops relate to each other in “normal” ways, like people do on TV, which the fanatics find repellent. During intermission, geeks want to talk about the New Thing, but mops blather about sportsball and celebrities. Also, the mops also seem increasingly entitled, treating the fanatics as service workers. . Treating people with courtesy and talking about other things in the world doesn’t make you repellent, it makes you a normal human being.

These fans define their whole identity by their obsession with a particular show/comic/game/movie etc so any change or disinterest by others is taken as a personal attack. Another aspect is that they are not willing to understand that people dislike them not because they like xyz but because they are actively obnoxious. I remember one instance from college where there was this one guy in our class who was obnoxious in the extreme, would be rude to others and refuse to engage in common courtesies etc so I (along with most of the people) would actively avoid them as much as possible. One day I was cornered by them and they commented that “You don’t like me and don’t want to be my friend because I am Muslim”. So I responded that “I don’t avoid you because you are Muslim, I avoid you because you are an obnoxious ass”. They were shocked because they had created this mental image that ignored their behavior and blamed others for not liking them because they were Muslim (this was a few years after 9/11). These ‘nerds/fans’ are the same way. They can’t process the fact that people don’t like them because of their behavior so they create this fantasy that they are an outcast and not liked because they are Geeky/Nerdy.

This happens not just in Tech, Comics or Gaming but in every single art form or hobby. A little while ago a song by Metallica was featured in Stranger Things, this introduced a whole new generation of people to the band and their popularity/downloads spiked. Then some idiot posted a message stating “I’m Sorry Metallica for all the fake stranger things fans love ya”. The group immediately hit back stating “Don’t be sorry. Everyone is welcome in the Metallica Family. If they like Puppets, chances are they’ll find plenty of other songs to get into.”

It is worse for girls as they are constantly being asked to prove they are ‘worthy’ of being a fan. If you look at the comments to the first Tweet I linked to, the responses show how badly they were treated when they just wanted to be part of the fandom. I sometimes wonder what we could have achieved if all the stupid gatekeepers were no longer there and more people could be an active part of the fandom.

As John Scalzy put it Who Gets To Be a Geek? Anyone Who Wants to Be. There are so many interesting things out there, we should share them with others so that they can take joy in it as well. I wouldn’t have known about Babylon 5 if a random person in a book store hadn’t sat with me and told me about it because they saw that I liked Star Trek and recommended it to me. Similarly others have recommended stuff to me that I loved and some stuff that I hated but that doesn’t make it bad, it makes it different. Keep in mind that no one was born being an expert on something; every single person started off as a newbie at some point in time.

This gatekeeping is ridiculous as I want more people to like the stuff I like and its ok even if they like it and like something else. Because remember, variety is the spice of life. I don’t want to be reading/watching endless remakes/rewatches of the same trope/show, there are enough new stories to read and topics to learn about.

Or to put it another way, get a life. I/we don’t need your approval to be a fan of something.

– Suramya

No Comments »

No comments yet.

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URL

Leave a comment

Powered by WordPress