Is it Time We Change the Hierarchy of the Geekdom?
Geekdom, as we are calling it, is really just a word to conveniently clump all of us geeks into one big mass. This isn’t meant to be a way to say that there are no differences between the different geek groups because there is, but we’re using it to give a bigger look at us vs the rest of world.
And just like any group, we have a socially acceptable hierarchy. Basically what we mean by this is that we have a distinct line between those of us geeks who are socially acceptable to be and others who aren’t.
First let’s look at some of the rather socially acceptable geeks in the Geekdom. This is basically anyone stemming from video games, Japanese and Korean cultural enthusiasts, Sci-Fi, fantasy geeks, comic geeks, and binge watchers.
In all these cases, you have men and women who have outwardly confessed that they love something in these categories and it’s generally accepted in the Geekdom. It was not always like this, as we can see historically speaking of the stereotypes that plagued us in the 70s, 80s, and even 90s.
There are movies like Revenge of the Nerds who acted as both an early form of empowerment but also a sense of overwhelming shame in that it only reinforces that nerds were awkwardly dressed, socially inept people who were virginal and living in their mother’s basement.
Progress took a while but it was made. However there is still more progress to be made.
Luckily we have debunked that mentality in the sense that we now have many of us enjoying a renaissance era of sorts as it’s pretty clear to see that everyone has a geeky side to them.
Right now gamers and others are enjoying the freedom to not be harshly judged by others in the Geekdom but what about those who are in geek groups like Furries?
For those of you who don’t know what Furries are, Furries are fans who take on a Fursona, which is a persona, or personality of that person in an anthropomorphic manner. Although there is a group of Furries within the Furry Fandom who are sexually interested in Furries and their Fursonas, not everyone who’s in it however thinks this way, but there are all labeled as such regardless.
It’s because if this misunderstanding that Furries are considered a sexual fetish group. Confessing that you’re a Furry puts you in the fetish/awkward geek category, or as we’ve mentioned, a socially unacceptable geek.
So where is the proof of that sentence? One needs to only look at the internet for some prime examples. There have been relentless memes aimed at Furries, and even slurs like “Furf*gs.” On top of this, although it’s more acceptable to confess to coworkers and friends that you love games or other socially acceptable things in the Geekdom, confessing you’re a Furry is like tagging yourself with a red cloth piece and waving it.
Can you imagine confessing it at work? Or telling coworkers or even your boss that you went to a Furry convention over the weekend? There would probably be some rather awkward silence.
There are plenty of other groups that are treated this way, take for instance LARPers, or Live Action Role Players. They are also placed within the socially unacceptable geek category. We’ve heard comments made about people dressing up and reenacting fantasy scenarios like slaying a dragon, or dueling.
We know what it’s like to be judged, to be shunned and to be relegated to a stereotype.
The stereotype in this case creates a sense of childishness. Like LARPers are all little kids who grew up and couldn’t learn to be an adult. This too is just a huge misunderstanding. They are no more or less geeky then those of us who play these games in the privacy of our own homes or around a table with friends.
So what can we do to push against this dividing line between what’s socially acceptable and what’s not in the Geekdom?
Well, we do what we do best, we push against the majority. We push against those who decide that certain groups are okay and others aren’t, because we’ve all been weird or awkward at some point in our lives.
If anything we just want you to put yourself in the shoes of other geeks in the Geekdom and to realize that they aren’t so bad. They add a little flavor and spice to our very diverse Geekdom, and we should be proud of that.