OPINION: Cliché hate

Nerds and geeks shamed for their favorite pastimes


Katie Linkner

A student enjoys one of their books during a period of downtime. Everyone should be free to enjoy what they want during their freetime and should not be put down for their likes and dislikes.

Movies and TV shows depict so-called nerds and geeks as acne-ridden, glasses-wearing, socially awkward losers at the bottom of the social food chain. It’s arguably one of the most prominent stereotypes in today’s society. But why does this negative connotation continue to follow around the “geek” and “nerd” labels? What’s so bad about being one anyway?

Before I can attempt to answer these questions, it’s important to know that geek and nerd do not mean the same thing to those of us who wear these labels proudly. Nerds are usually seen as more academically inclined. They find joy in learning new things and often enjoy the learning aspect of school. To them, homework is not so much a burden but another way to learn.

Geeks, on the other hand, are totally different. Geeks are usually people who enjoy movies, TV shows, video games and books. They like being transported to new worlds and experiencing life through the eyes of different characters. Geeks binge watch shows and stay up at all hours of the night just to read one more chapter.

Even still, you might have a pretty poor view of these people. Nerds are socially awkward losers with no friends, and geeks are acne-ridden weirdos who like characters better than real people. I’m going to have to ask you to stop. Like all stereotypes, that’s just not right.

I’m going to have to ask you to stop. Like all stereotypes, that’s just not right.

— Staff Writer Sophia Bender

Of course there will always be those oddballs who do match these overused stereotypes, but most don’t. Not everyone who wears glasses is a nerd and not all nerds wear glasses. Some self-proclaimed geeks might be a bit socially awkward like myself but not all are. Not all geeks like all the same things. I love books and TV shows but video games aren’t my thing, and that works the other way around as well. We are not all losers. We are not all gross, acne-ridden teens. We are not all lonely. We just are.

You might still be thinking, however, that nerds are inherently weird for what they like. Uh, no. Stop making us feel bad for the things we enjoy. Putting other people down for the things that make them happy is a low blow.

This constant bullying of nerds and geeks has been going on for forever and is practically glorified in mainstream media. While in recent years many schools have tried to take action against bullying, nerds and geeks have continued to be ridiculed for their interests. The truth is, there’s no way for a school’s administration to prevent all bullying.  There’s no good reason to bully in general, so there’s no real reason to make fun of people for the interests.

I don’t understand what some of the things that hardcore geeks like to do is seen as something so taboo. I’m sorry I care about characters that authors or TV show writers have taken tons of time and effort to create. I know they’re not real, buddy, you don’t need to remind me.

Just because the character isn’t real doesn’t mean the idea isn’t. Maybe Dean Winchester isn’t real, and the hardships he goes through aren’t real, but there’s someone out there who has experienced something similar. It’s safe to say that none of us have actually been to Hell, but some have had experiences they might describe as such.

It’s safe to say that none of us have actually been to Hell, but some have had experiences they might describe as such.

— Staff Writer Sophia Bender

Along with caring for characters or anything along those lines comes the most taboo part of being a geek. The mere mention of it strikes fear into and instant criticism from those who don’t understand or like it. I’m talking about fanfiction, of course. Why all the hate?

Writers and readers get to explore the characters and worlds they love so much while also developing writing skills. Sure, there’s some bad fanfiction out there with wonky grammar and a lack of capitalization, but there’s also some great writing out there that could rival that of a published author. My point is that reading and writing fanfiction is valid. If you don’t like it, just stay away from it. There’s no need to make someone feel bad about enjoying something, no matter the content.

The negative connotation that the labels geek and nerd have need to go. They’re just as cliché and inaccurate as other typical names for a group of people — jocks, band kids, etc. No one is worse or less valid based on preferences of any kind. If you don’t like something, you are by no means obligated to participate, but don’t make others feel bad for what they like. It’s just not cool, dude.

Opinions expressed in editorials are those of the writer(s).  These views may not represent the adviser, The Prowler, advertisers/sponsors, the Starr’s Mill High School administration or staff , or Fayette County Public Schools as a whole.  Please see our FAQs for more information pertaining to the rights of The Prowler’s staff members.