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The idea of geeks being marginalized

2

Posts

  • PonyPony Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    The Cat wrote: »
    On further thought, I find myself mightily offended by the notion of geek marginalisation. Marginalised is when you can't get a job or healthcare because of your neckbeard. Is this the case? No, I rather believe that it is not. Unless you happen to be living on an Indian reservation with a lifespan 20 years behind average and you can't get to a comic book store without hitching a lift for fifty miles, perhaps you should shut up. Think of this as a little addendum to ethan smith's excellently succinct post above.

    What a certain subset of geeks actually seem to be bemoaning is their desire to be part of a different subculture, one they can't pass in. My observations suggest that this is often Nightclub Culture, because lets face it, these guys aren't complaining about being shunned by the local survivalists or quilters or soccer players. The problem is that they think that that other subculture is the 'real' culture, just because it happens to contain people who get, on average, a lot more media attention. But this is because those people are largely a part of the media. They write the magazines and take the photos and own the clubs. That doesn't make them magically best. And this subset of geeks never seem to see past the glitz to the coke habits, the STIs, the twisted ankles from dancing in platforms, and the credit card debt. When I point that out, I'm not bashing clubbing enthusiasts, just pointing out that almost no-one's life is perfect. You can make your life really miserable by resenting other people for what you think they have, though.

    I concur.

    Pony on
  • PotatoNinjaPotatoNinja Fake Gamer Goat Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    I was prepared for the worst when I clicked on the link in the OP, and instead of being immensely offended I ran into more mild annoyance / pity.

    So I braced for the worst and clicked on the "how shy guys think" link and expected something terrifying, and instead got what seemed like the perfect accidental summation of this mindset.

    A long post about how a shy guy thinks and how hard it is to approach girls (for this guy in particular) and how unrealistic his views on relationships are and how he thought the universe "owed" him a girl aaaaand

    at the very end

    several bits of advice for women who want to date shy guys.

    That's kind of accidentally perfect. A long blog about how you're so messed up and how you have so much trouble approaching women and how unrealistic your goals and mindset is followed by a list of ways for women to approach you, without a hint of satire or self awareness.

    So that's geek marginalization to me. Not necessarily untrue, but irrelevant by comparison and often delivered without any self awareness, as if nobody else in the world encounters a society that thinks they are strange or abnormal because of their hobbies.

    PotatoNinja on
    Two goats enter, one car leaves
  • CasualCasual Wiggle Wiggle Wiggle Flap Flap Flap Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    Eh. I think to a degree pretty much everyone wants to feel oppressed these days because oppressed people get attention, they get concessions. Does this mean it's time for a geek Martin Luther King to step forward? I don't think so.

    I think now we're at the point where a group composed largely of white, middle class men (if it could be said to exist in any meaningful form at all) is trying to hop on the oppression bandwagon we should honestly shut the fuck up about it.

    Really, the nail was hit on the head already in this thread. This is about two things, getting laid and winning fights. The things we're told are the pinnacle of manhood. I mean do I accept the situation in the adult world where a guy could get beaten up for being geeky? Maybe, but the "jock" who beat you up didn't do it because you are a geek, he did it because he's an asshole and he wanted a fight. If your geekyness wasn't the excuse something else would've been.

    As for getting laid? Is it more difficult for geeks to get laid? In night clubs perhaps. What makes it difficult to get laid? Your knowledge of star trek, or the fact you can't look a woman in the eye, can't make small talk, your odd clothes and the way you spit when you talk? Which one of these things is the thing that makes you a geek? I think you can blame the autisim for not being popular with the ladies.

    If anything these days I think geeks are more fashionable than they have ever been. Just look at shows like the big bang theory. As long as we can learn to hop in the shower, shave off that neckbeard and throw on some half decent clothes, far from being discriminated against, we're in style!

    Casual on
    i write amazing erotic fiction

    its all about anthropomorphic dicks doing everyday things like buying shoes for their scrotum-feet
    Winky wrote: »
    Corgis are totally the white people of dogs
  • override367override367 ALL minions Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    Geeks have trouble getting laid because they don't go to parties and get shit faced, and as Seinfeld told us, 90% of the population is undateable and the human race would come grinding to a halt without liquor.

    The lesson: drink more

    override367 on
  • DelzhandDelzhand Venitah, Satariel! Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    What is a 'geek', anyway?

    A miserable pile of...

    wait...

    No, that's one of the signs! I'm a geek! noooooooo

    Delzhand on
    Steam|FFXIV|Switch SW-3472-4893-0802
  • Skoal CatSkoal Cat Registered User
    edited March 2011
    Delzhand wrote: »
    What is a 'geek', anyway?

    A miserable pile of...

    wait...

    No, that's one of the signs! I'm a geek! noooooooo

    Another sign is biting the head off of a live chicken
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geek_show
    I'm a bit of a side show geek

    Skoal Cat on
    ceres wrote: »
    Skoal Cat is correct.
  • Modern ManModern Man Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    Casual wrote: »
    Really, the nail was hit on the head already in this thread. This is about two things, getting laid and winning fights. The things we're told are the pinnacle of manhood. I mean do I accept the situation in the adult world where a guy could get beaten up for being geeky? Maybe, but the "jock" who beat you up didn't do it because you are a geek, he did it because he's an asshole and he wanted a fight. If your geekyness wasn't the excuse something else would've been.
    In the grown up world, people who beat up others open themselves up to a variety of criminal and civil charges. I doubt that most grown up "jocks" (whatever that means these days) have any real interest in getting arrested or sued for assaulting someone over their love of Star Trek.

    After high school, the whole jock/nerd/band geek/theater person distinction becomes irrelevant to most people. Yeah, some people are more interested in sports, others prefer the arts while others maintain an interest in science fiction and fantasy novels. But outside of people on the extremes, few people define themselves so narrowly based solely on their hobbies. Though I'm a gamer, that's way down the list of things like father, husband and lawyer in terms of how I describe myself.

    I don't thinks "geeks" are marginalized. I think people who define themselves primarily based on their hobbies are. That's true for people who cosplay in public as much as the sports fanatic who gets into fights with fans of rival teams.

    Modern Man on
    Aetian Jupiter - 41 Gunslinger - The Old Republic
    Rigorous Scholarship

  • mrt144mrt144 King of the Numbernames Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    Modern Man wrote: »
    I don't thinks "geeks" are marginalized. I think people who define themselves primarily based on their hobbies are. That's true for people who cosplay in public as much as the sports fanatic who gets into fights with fans of rival teams.

    this is why I love modern man. He says what I'm thinking!

    mrt144 on
  • FeralFeral MEMETICHARIZARD along with you if I get drunk well I know I'm gonna be gonna be the man whoRegistered User regular
    edited March 2011
    Certainly geeks are marginalized in some contexts. That we are mostly white & male doesn't mean we're not marginalized ever - an individual can be part of the dominant group in one context and a minority group in another context. I don't think that it's a social problem in the sense of racism or homophobia; I don't want to dramatize it. I don't think that geeks are being politically oppressed, and I don't think there's any reason for a persecution complex. If we're being intellectually honest, though, to say that geeks are not marginalized is as much an oversimplification as to say that geeks are marginalized.

    Something I find interesting is how much some of the dialogue in this thread directly mirrors dialogue about more heavily-oppressed minorities. Geeks are fine as long as they shave and lose weight and wear normal clothes! Sure, and black people are fine as long as they pull their pants up and stop using ebonics. Gay people are fine as long as they're not too flamboyant.

    The majority expects the minority to change to fit their expectations, not the other way around.

    Either having a beard & being introverted are value-neutral, in which case there's no reason to demand that such people change; or they are value-negative, in which case the stereotype that geeks are more likely to have those qualities is insulting.

    BTW, I do wonder if it's harder being a geek if you're not American, middle-class, white & male. I'm not talking about this from an XBL/Dickwolves/Internet Fuckwad sense (the marginalization of minority geeks by white male geeks). More like: are there particular intersections of nationality, ethnic identity, or economic status where geeks are subject to more marginalization? is there a corollary to the acting white hypothesis for geekery? I don't know.

    Feral on
    every person who doesn't like an acquired taste always seems to think everyone who likes it is faking it. it should be an official fallacy.
    the "no true scotch man" fallacy.
  • CasualCasual Wiggle Wiggle Wiggle Flap Flap Flap Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    Modern Man wrote: »
    Casual wrote: »
    Really, the nail was hit on the head already in this thread. This is about two things, getting laid and winning fights. The things we're told are the pinnacle of manhood. I mean do I accept the situation in the adult world where a guy could get beaten up for being geeky? Maybe, but the "jock" who beat you up didn't do it because you are a geek, he did it because he's an asshole and he wanted a fight. If your geekyness wasn't the excuse something else would've been.
    In the grown up world, people who beat up others open themselves up to a variety of criminal and civil charges. I doubt that most grown up "jocks" (whatever that means these days) have any real interest in getting arrested or sued for assaulting someone over their love of Star Trek.

    After high school, the whole jock/nerd/band geek/theater person distinction becomes irrelevant to most people. Yeah, some people are more interested in sports, others prefer the arts while others maintain an interest in science fiction and fantasy novels. But outside of people on the extremes, few people define themselves so narrowly based solely on their hobbies. Though I'm a gamer, that's way down the list of things like father, husband and lawyer in terms of how I describe myself.

    I don't thinks "geeks" are marginalized. I think people who define themselves primarily based on their hobbies are. That's true for people who cosplay in public as much as the sports fanatic who gets into fights with fans of rival teams.

    I agree. This is pretty much what I was trying to say. I think people are too comlicated to fit into neat little tick box personlity catagories. I think we're probably too complicated to even be discribed by many of them.

    Casual on
    i write amazing erotic fiction

    its all about anthropomorphic dicks doing everyday things like buying shoes for their scrotum-feet
    Winky wrote: »
    Corgis are totally the white people of dogs
  • LeitnerLeitner Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    To add to what Feral said.

    This thread seems to be being fairly reductive of the effects that bullying can have during ones formative years. It is unsuprising that lots of people keep that mentality into their adulthood.

    Going 'lol they need to get over it' strikes me as less then helpful or insightful here.

    Leitner on
  • Modern ManModern Man Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    Leitner wrote: »
    To add to what Feral said.

    This thread seems to be being fairly reductive of the effects that bullying can have during ones formative years. It is unsuprising that lots of people keep that mentality into their adulthood.

    Going 'lol they need to get over it' strikes me as less then helpful or insightful here.
    I don't think anyone is really saying that childhood bullying doesn't lead to long-term problems. Rather, the point is that once you get past a certain age, your love of geeky pursuits is unlikely to have much of an effect on your life, positive or negative, unless it's taken to the extreme. Saying you went to a Star Trek convention over the weekend might get you laughed at in high school, but will have little effect if you mention that to your co-workers.

    Part of the problem is that younger people, teenagers especially, are more likely to be poorly socialized and to develop obsessions about certain things. Most adults hopefully realize that wearing a Naruto headband on the subway will get you some odd looks, but a 14 year-old might not (or might not care).

    Modern Man on
    Aetian Jupiter - 41 Gunslinger - The Old Republic
    Rigorous Scholarship

  • PonyPony Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    Feral wrote: »
    BTW, I do wonder if it's harder being a geek if you're not American, middle-class, white & male. I'm not talking about this from an XBL/Dickwolves/Internet Fuckwad sense (the marginalization of minority geeks by white male geeks). More like: are there particular intersections of nationality, ethnic identity, or economic status where geeks are subject to more marginalization? is there a corollary to the acting white hypothesis for geekery? I don't know.

    In my experience and observation? Yes.

    Some of my female friends and black friends who are also (by most reasonable definitions) geeks run into a weird sort of discrimination from both geeks and non-geeks for not "acting like they are".

    Back when I used to go to Star Trek cons, there was a buddy of mine who's black. He loved Star Trek. This would constantly get him grief from both his black friends (who thought that Star Trek was a "white thing") and from white nerds, who would be uncomfortable around a black person and suspicious of him "co-opting" their hobby.

    He found his nerdy hobbies in general (didn't just like Star Trek, he loved anime and video games and comic books and Magic: the Gathering) alienated him from "black culture" and he generally wasn't a big fan of it. He didn't listen to hip hop, he didn't dress "gangsta", because he was a middle class suburb kid raised in a middle class suburb family. Social class and environment had a way, way bigger impact on his hobbies and cultural relations than his race.

    Dude was a nerd. The only thing that was a point of difference between him and other nerds at a Star Trek con was his race. Yet, he was always encouraged by his parents and his church to hang out with other black youths (who were generally of lower economic class and thus he had little in common with) and he found he was constantly shit on for "acting white" by being nerdy. Being nerdy was seen as a white thing, and all the other cultural touchstones of supposed urban black culture were what he was supposed to be embracing.

    He figured if he went to a Star Trek con, his fellow nerds would embrace him, overlook his race (after all, a huge element of Star Trek's message is multiculturalism n shit) and he'd be amongst "his people".

    As it turned out, he was treated as much of an alien as amongst black kids. It was a different kind of alienation, instead of being derided and mocked, he was feared and treated with suspicion and confusion. It's a similar kind of experience I go through in nerdy social gatherings of strangers, because my outwards appearance (clothing, demeanor, language, etc.) basically scream "bro" and a lot of those nerds are terrified of and totally hate bros.

    Even though nobody was actually outright rude to him, even though nobody yelled racial slurs at him or overtly mistreated him, he was looked at like an outsider and all of the Star Trek nerds would get quiet and awkward when he walked into them room. He would get stared at as weird, while a guy cosplaying a klingon or an andorian wouldn't get a single blink.

    He hated it. Toronto Trek was the first and last Star Trek con he ever went to. It actually soured his attitude towards the entire Trek fan community, which is a bit of an overreaction but an understandable one.

    I've heard similar stories from other friends of mine who are female or other visible ethnic minorities (excluding asians, apparently, who get embraced by white nerds normally) and I've encountered a similar form myself based on clothing and build and body language.

    I've generally found nerds, in their own social gatherings (comic shops, gaming stores, conventions, etc.) to be judgmental as shit, as you see in any insular culture composed of embittered outsiders.

    Pony on
  • monikermoniker Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    Feral wrote: »
    Certainly geeks are marginalized in some contexts. That we are mostly white & male doesn't mean we're not marginalized ever - an individual can be part of the dominant group in one context and a minority group in another context. I don't think that it's a social problem in the sense of racism or homophobia; I don't want to dramatize it. I don't think that geeks are being politically oppressed, and I don't think there's any reason for a persecution complex. If we're being intellectually honest, though, to say that geeks are not marginalized is as much an oversimplification as to say that geeks are marginalized.

    See, I would agree with this except for the fact that everyone is marginalized in that way. You had mentioned earlier how you can feel like an outsider around your co-workers because they're big into the NFL while you're into MMO's. When I read that I didn't really interpret it as the marginalization/outsider-ing of your geekiness but rather as a simple fact of adulthood. You're a captive audience to the people you work with, more or less, and having to feign interest or deal with shit that other people care about is just part and parcel to that.

    I worked at an office once with people who fawned over their newborns. To be blunt, I just don't give a damn about other people's kids unless they are friends or family. Even then, it can get grating. (Unless the kid is actually there and being adorable.) This is not making me part of an out-group because of my lack of kids, it's just parents being proud and talking to each other. In a different office I wouldn't be surprised if older folks felt uncomfortable bringing up their kids because they're surrounded by yuppies who wouldn't relate. That's just life. People should definitely try to be more conscious and considerate of these things but that's true of everybody, and for a lot more than just geekiness.

    moniker on
  • FeralFeral MEMETICHARIZARD along with you if I get drunk well I know I'm gonna be gonna be the man whoRegistered User regular
    edited March 2011
    moniker wrote: »
    Feral wrote: »
    Certainly geeks are marginalized in some contexts. That we are mostly white & male doesn't mean we're not marginalized ever - an individual can be part of the dominant group in one context and a minority group in another context. I don't think that it's a social problem in the sense of racism or homophobia; I don't want to dramatize it. I don't think that geeks are being politically oppressed, and I don't think there's any reason for a persecution complex. If we're being intellectually honest, though, to say that geeks are not marginalized is as much an oversimplification as to say that geeks are marginalized.

    See, I would agree with this except for the fact that everyone is marginalized in that way. You had mentioned earlier how you can feel like an outsider around your co-workers because they're big into the NFL while you're into MMO's. When I read that I didn't really interpret it as the marginalization/outsider-ing of your geekiness but rather as a simple fact of adulthood. You're a captive audience to the people you work with, more or less, and having to feign interest or deal with shit that other people care about is just part and parcel to that.

    I worked at an office once with people who fawned over their newborns. To be blunt, I just don't give a damn about other people's kids unless they are friends or family. Even then, it can get grating. (Unless the kid is actually there and being adorable.) This is not making me part of an out-group because of my lack of kids, it's just parents being proud and talking to each other. In a different office I wouldn't be surprised if older folks felt uncomfortable bringing up their kids because they're surrounded by yuppies who wouldn't relate. That's just life. People should definitely try to be more conscious and considerate of these things but that's true of everybody, and for a lot more than just geekiness.

    I totally agree.

    Feral on
    every person who doesn't like an acquired taste always seems to think everyone who likes it is faking it. it should be an official fallacy.
    the "no true scotch man" fallacy.
  • UniqueSnowflakeUniqueSnowflake Registered User
    edited March 2011
    Pony wrote: »
    It's a similar kind of experience I go through in nerdy social gatherings of strangers, because my outwards appearance (clothing, demeanor, language, etc.) basically scream "bro" and a lot of those nerds are terrified of and totally hate bros.

    Do you have any examples of how you've been treated??? Just the same general suspicion, hands-off approach your black friend got? Or something else?
    Pony wrote: »

    I've heard similar stories from other friends of mine who are female or other visible ethnic minorities (excluding asians, apparently, who get embraced by white nerds normally)

    Don't forget about the brown/Indian/SE Asian people either. Their culture fits nicely into the nerd/engineering student stereotype too, at least where I'm from.

    UniqueSnowflake on
  • mrt144mrt144 King of the Numbernames Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    Pony wrote: »
    Feral wrote: »
    BTW, I do wonder if it's harder being a geek if you're not American, middle-class, white & male. I'm not talking about this from an XBL/Dickwolves/Internet Fuckwad sense (the marginalization of minority geeks by white male geeks). More like: are there particular intersections of nationality, ethnic identity, or economic status where geeks are subject to more marginalization? is there a corollary to the acting white hypothesis for geekery? I don't know.

    In my experience and observation? Yes.

    Some of my female friends and black friends who are also (by most reasonable definitions) geeks run into a weird sort of discrimination from both geeks and non-geeks for not "acting like they are".

    Back when I used to go to Star Trek cons, there was a buddy of mine who's black. He loved Star Trek. This would constantly get him grief from both his black friends (who thought that Star Trek was a "white thing") and from white nerds, who would be uncomfortable around a black person and suspicious of him "co-opting" their hobby.

    He found his nerdy hobbies in general (didn't just like Star Trek, he loved anime and video games and comic books and Magic: the Gathering) alienated him from "black culture" and he generally wasn't a big fan of it. He didn't listen to hip hop, he didn't dress "gangsta", because he was a middle class suburb kid raised in a middle class suburb family. Social class and environment had a way, way bigger impact on his hobbies and cultural relations than his race.

    Dude was a nerd. The only thing that was a point of difference between him and other nerds at a Star Trek con was his race. Yet, he was always encouraged by his parents and his church to hang out with other black youths (who were generally of lower economic class and thus he had little in common with) and he found he was constantly shit on for "acting white" by being nerdy. Being nerdy was seen as a white thing, and all the other cultural touchstones of supposed urban black culture were what he was supposed to be embracing.

    He figured if he went to a Star Trek con, his fellow nerds would embrace him, overlook his race (after all, a huge element of Star Trek's message is multiculturalism n shit) and he'd be amongst "his people".

    As it turned out, he was treated as much of an alien as amongst black kids. It was a different kind of alienation, instead of being derided and mocked, he was feared and treated with suspicion and confusion. It's a similar kind of experience I go through in nerdy social gatherings of strangers, because my outwards appearance (clothing, demeanor, language, etc.) basically scream "bro" and a lot of those nerds are terrified of and totally hate bros.

    Even though nobody was actually outright rude to him, even though nobody yelled racial slurs at him or overtly mistreated him, he was looked at like an outsider and all of the Star Trek nerds would get quiet and awkward when he walked into them room. He would get stared at as weird, while a guy cosplaying a klingon or an andorian wouldn't get a single blink.

    He hated it. Toronto Trek was the first and last Star Trek con he ever went to. It actually soured his attitude towards the entire Trek fan community, which is a bit of an overreaction but an understandable one.

    I've heard similar stories from other friends of mine who are female or other visible ethnic minorities (excluding asians, apparently, who get embraced by white nerds normally) and I've encountered a similar form myself based on clothing and build and body language.

    I've generally found nerds, in their own social gatherings (comic shops, gaming stores, conventions, etc.) to be judgmental as shit, as you see in any insular culture composed of embittered outsiders.

    This just doesn't make sense to me in terms of why a nerd would do that, especially a trek nerd where there are hella black people in important roles. It's like part of the whole thrust behind Star Trek being post racial is lost. I'm upset about this and I don't even know your friend.

    mrt144 on
  • LucidLucid Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    Actually, I think Sisko from DS9 was the only major black character in star trek. The rest have been fairly minor, despite acclaim or interest.

    What Pony describes does sound absurd for something like Star Trek, but a lot of nerds like it purely for the futurism/technology and cool aliens. The heavy rationalism themes and social progression is kind of lost on a lot of sci fi nerds. I mean, it is popular across NA despite America having strong conservative ideology, while it's basically a largely anti conservative themed show in a lot of ways.

    Lucid on
  • sanstodosanstodo Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    Lucid wrote: »
    Actually, I think Sisko from DS9 was the only major black character in star trek. The rest have been fairly minor, despite acclaim or interest.

    What Pony describes does sound absurd for something like Star Trek, but a lot of nerds like it purely for the futurism/technology and cool aliens. The heavy rationalism themes and social progression is kind of lost on a lot of sci fi nerds. I mean, it is popular across NA despite America having strong conservative ideology, while it's basically a largely anti conservative themed show in a lot of ways.

    Well, there were Tuvok and Worf...

    sanstodo on
  • LockedOnTargetLockedOnTarget Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    JAEF wrote: »
    ElJeffe wrote: »
    Granted, I guess the argument could be stupider.

    I still don't see how you can say geeks are oppressed without defining "geeks" and "oppressed" in totally unrecognizable (and generally useless) manners...
    As you point out, the stigma is not against geeks so much as antisocial introverts, and while there's certainly some overlap between the two, they're in no way the same thing. And antisocial introverts are kind of stigmatized by definition. I mean yes, if you don't know how, or refuse, to interact with others in socially accepted ways, you are not going to be a part of mainstream society. Whoo, insight?
    This is pretty much the crux of it. Regardless of your hobbies or lifestyle or job, as long as you are capable of socializing with other human beings none of that shit really matters. Even if you're fanatically obsessed with the animoos and SRPGs and [whatever the fuck the author of that article assumes being a "geek" is about], as long as you're socially aware enough not to open conversations with "Hi I'm Jaef did you see Naruto's awesome magic spell this week?" I don't see how it's even possible to be marginalized as the article approaches it.

    That's not even touching on the rather awful content of the article.

    "Geek" and "Nerd" mean less and less as things like that used to be confined to the realm of the socially awkward introvert become ubiquitous.

    Naruto doesn't cast spells he uses Jutsu GOD why don't you go watch some FOOTBALL you LOSER JOCK

    LockedOnTarget on
  • JAEFJAEF Unstoppably Bald Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    I've made a huge mistake.

    JAEF on
    Battle.net ID: Jaef#1126 -- Steam: Jaef -- PSN: Jaef -- League of Legends: Jaef
    jaefster.png
  • LockedOnTargetLockedOnTarget Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    I am the Naruto police

    *adjusts headband*

    LockedOnTarget on
  • HappylilElfHappylilElf Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    sanstodo wrote: »
    Lucid wrote: »
    Actually, I think Sisko from DS9 was the only major black character in star trek. The rest have been fairly minor, despite acclaim or interest.

    What Pony describes does sound absurd for something like Star Trek, but a lot of nerds like it purely for the futurism/technology and cool aliens. The heavy rationalism themes and social progression is kind of lost on a lot of sci fi nerds. I mean, it is popular across NA despite America having strong conservative ideology, while it's basically a largely anti conservative themed show in a lot of ways.

    Well, there were Tuvok and Worf...

    Not really sure you can classify LeVar Burton's role as minor either.

    HappylilElf on
  • PonyPony Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    Pony wrote: »
    It's a similar kind of experience I go through in nerdy social gatherings of strangers, because my outwards appearance (clothing, demeanor, language, etc.) basically scream "bro" and a lot of those nerds are terrified of and totally hate bros.

    Do you have any examples of how you've been treated??? Just the same general suspicion, hands-off approach your black friend got? Or something else?

    It's a range. For the most part, I get treated with suspicion and coldness, like they don't hate me per se but I don't belong and I'm not one of them so they don't really trust me and act like they keep expecting me to suddenly start giving out wedgies.

    Periodically it actually gets hostile or passive aggressive. Just recently I went into a Games Workshop with a friend of mine and we were treated as unwelcome outsiders and at one point one of the staff more or less told us to leave.

    So, yeah.

    Insular groups, especially ones based on outsider status, tend to be judgmental as fuck to anyone who reminds them of the people they rebuke.

    Pony on
  • mcdermottmcdermott Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    sanstodo wrote: »
    Lucid wrote: »
    Actually, I think Sisko from DS9 was the only major black character in star trek. The rest have been fairly minor, despite acclaim or interest.

    What Pony describes does sound absurd for something like Star Trek, but a lot of nerds like it purely for the futurism/technology and cool aliens. The heavy rationalism themes and social progression is kind of lost on a lot of sci fi nerds. I mean, it is popular across NA despite America having strong conservative ideology, while it's basically a largely anti conservative themed show in a lot of ways.

    Well, there were Tuvok and Worf...

    Not really sure you can classify LeVar Burton's role as minor either.

    At the same time, I wouldn't count Tuvok or Worf; Worf was hidden behind enough makeup that he was definitely Klingon, not black, and Tuvok was (from the little I saw of that show) Vulcan first. Like, those two characters weren't human so I find it hard to count them. La Forge, though, is one. Uhura is another. And Sisko, and I'm sure they managed to fit a token black guy into Enterprise too (never saw it).

    And no, I don't find it hard to believe that a bunch of sci-fi nerds would act like that.

    I've found that geeks, in general, are no less likely to try and pidgeonhole people into stereotypes based on superficial characteristics (including race, dress, etc.), and often seem even more so. But maybe that's just me.

    mcdermott on
  • Skoal CatSkoal Cat Registered User
    edited March 2011
    mcdermott wrote: »
    sanstodo wrote: »
    Lucid wrote: »
    Actually, I think Sisko from DS9 was the only major black character in star trek. The rest have been fairly minor, despite acclaim or interest.

    What Pony describes does sound absurd for something like Star Trek, but a lot of nerds like it purely for the futurism/technology and cool aliens. The heavy rationalism themes and social progression is kind of lost on a lot of sci fi nerds. I mean, it is popular across NA despite America having strong conservative ideology, while it's basically a largely anti conservative themed show in a lot of ways.

    Well, there were Tuvok and Worf...

    Not really sure you can classify LeVar Burton's role as minor either.

    At the same time, I wouldn't count Tuvok or Worf; Worf was hidden behind enough makeup that he was definitely Klingon, not black, and Tuvok was (from the little I saw of that show) Vulcan first. Like, those two characters weren't human so I find it hard to count them.
    We're splitting hairs here, so lets try to reach a compromise. What if, for sake of argument, they each counted as roughly 2/3s of a black human.

    Skoal Cat on
    ceres wrote: »
    Skoal Cat is correct.
  • mcdermottmcdermott Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    Skoal Cat wrote: »
    mcdermott wrote: »
    sanstodo wrote: »
    Lucid wrote: »
    Actually, I think Sisko from DS9 was the only major black character in star trek. The rest have been fairly minor, despite acclaim or interest.

    What Pony describes does sound absurd for something like Star Trek, but a lot of nerds like it purely for the futurism/technology and cool aliens. The heavy rationalism themes and social progression is kind of lost on a lot of sci fi nerds. I mean, it is popular across NA despite America having strong conservative ideology, while it's basically a largely anti conservative themed show in a lot of ways.

    Well, there were Tuvok and Worf...

    Not really sure you can classify LeVar Burton's role as minor either.

    At the same time, I wouldn't count Tuvok or Worf; Worf was hidden behind enough makeup that he was definitely Klingon, not black, and Tuvok was (from the little I saw of that show) Vulcan first. Like, those two characters weren't human so I find it hard to count them.
    We're splitting hairs here, so lets try to reach a compromise. What if, for sake of argument, they each counted as roughly 2/3s of a black human.

    I'd settle for 3/5.
    I was being serious, though, in that I don't really count Klingons...I'd count Tuvok, perhaps, which brings you up to (by my memory) a single major black character per series.

    mcdermott on
  • Skoal CatSkoal Cat Registered User
    edited March 2011
    I always seem to get my math and my history confused.

    Skoal Cat on
    ceres wrote: »
    Skoal Cat is correct.
  • jakobaggerjakobagger LO THY DREAD EMPIRE CHAOS IS RESTORED Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    It seems to me, from reading stories on these boards and general observation, that culture in general - both "geek culture" and "black culture" (which is of coursejust lower socio-economic class culture, like Pony said. Because most of the poor are black and vice versa) and other sub-cultures - is much more ghettoized/balkanized than it is here in Europe (or Scandinavia anyway). Fewer people define themselves from a single trait, and people can be into football and blood bowl at the same time. Board game nerds can be nice, normal people, with the same average social skills as the rest of society. Etc. But I guess we don't really have trekkies.

    Maybe it starts with your weird high school culture cliqiushness from hell.

    jakobagger on
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  • monikermoniker Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    jakobagger wrote: »
    It seems to me, from reading stories on these boards and general observation, that culture in general - both "geek culture" and "black culture" (which is of coursejust lower socio-economic class culture, like Pony said. Because most of the poor are black and vice versa) and other sub-cultures - is much more ghettoized/balkanized than it is here in Europe (or Scandinavia anyway). Fewer people define themselves from a single trait, and people can be into football and blood bowl at the same time. Board game nerds can be nice, normal people, with the same average social skills as the rest of society. Etc. But I guess we don't really have trekkies.

    Maybe it starts with your weird high school culture cliqiushness from hell.

    Are these observations from the banlieues around Paris?

    moniker on
  • mcdermottmcdermott Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    jakobagger wrote: »
    It seems to me, from reading stories on these boards and general observation, that culture in general - both "geek culture" and "black culture" (which is of coursejust lower socio-economic class culture, like Pony said. Because most of the poor are black and vice versa) and other sub-cultures - is much more ghettoized/balkanized than it is here in Europe (or Scandinavia anyway). Fewer people define themselves from a single trait, and people can be into football and blood bowl at the same time. Board game nerds can be nice, normal people, with the same average social skills as the rest of society. Etc. But I guess we don't really have trekkies.

    Maybe it starts with your weird high school culture cliqiushness from hell.

    Whoa whoa whoa. Let's back this truck up. I'm gonna give you a pass because you're not from here, but only in movies and on TV are "black" and "poor" synonymous. Yes, blacks are grossly overrepresented among the poor. Their rate is higher. But among the poor whites vastly outnumber blacks, mainly because there are just a lot more whites to begin with. It's just that very little of our popular culture really delves into white poverty culture (aside from the occasional peek into Appalachia).

    There are plenty of middle (and upper) class blacks out there, too.

    mcdermott on
  • Loren MichaelLoren Michael Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    I think some people self-marginalize in high school as a defense mechanism, and never recover. I don't think the "geek" stuff is integral to the process, it's just one collection of aesthetic and entertainment preferences that people could use to signal tribal loyalty. Gothishness or whatever the hell the kids are doing these days are also means of accomplishing the same thing.

    Plenty of people--speaking from anecdote, which is statistically unbeatable--have geek aesthetic preferences but don't take it personally or seriously or so centrally as to make it socially crippling.

    Loren Michael on
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  • Ethan SmithEthan Smith Origin name: Beart4to Arlington, VARegistered User regular
    edited March 2011
    I think that the biggest problem that occurs to nerds or geeks or whatever is that, well, we're all socialized by the toys and culture that we consume as kids and young adults. And when you're a nerd, you're consuming this culture that views most minorities and women as these weird Others. I've been getting the feeling lately that the reason that most women are so vapid in 'nerd' TV or comics is that comics by and large don't have women or minorities in their demo.

    I guess if I had to keep it simple, most nerd culture socializes you for nothing besides being a nerd. The way women are portrayed is generally nothing besides a sex object, the morals tend to be elitist (to ridiculous degrees LOOKING AT YOU ORSON SCOTT CARD). This leads to a masturbatory behavior when it comes to nerd culture, and a villain ization of about everything else. Which makes it hard to break out of the viewpoint of being a nerd

    Ethan Smith on
    I would be ashamed to admit that I had risen from the ranks. When I rise it will be with the ranks, and not from the ranks..
  • ElitistbElitistb Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    In my part of the state, any statement to the effect of "I'm not really into sports" gets you a lot of odd looks and people asking if you're gay.

    As for video games, yeah, they're accepted. So long as they are sports games, halo, call of duty, or gears of war.

    Elitistb on
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  • mythagomythago Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    mrt144 wrote: »
    This just doesn't make sense to me in terms of why a nerd would do that, especially a trek nerd where there are hella black people in important roles. It's like part of the whole thrust behind Star Trek being post racial is lost. I'm upset about this and I don't even know your friend.

    It's a sad fact that being on the receiving end of stupidity ought to make people more aware of stupidity and more open to rooting out their stupidity, but often doesn't. So you have a lot of nerds who grew up with the same racism/sexism/classist bullshit that everybody does, but convince themselves that as they're more enlightened and mature than the mundane sheeple, they couldn't possibly hold any prejudiced or erroneous thoughts.

    That is, not only are they just as likely to have unexamined racism, but they are convinced that they can't be racist. Because they're superior people, being geeks and all.

    mythago on
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  • KabitzyKabitzy find me in Monsbaiya Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    I'm less marginalized for being a geek (which is kind of a silly thought to me, but whatever) than I am marginalized by geeks, despite having perfectly nerdy/geeky/what have you interests. The website "Fat, Ugly or Slutty" comes to mind.

    Kabitzy on
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  • valiancevaliance Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    mcdermott wrote: »
    jakobagger wrote: »
    It seems to me, from reading stories on these boards and general observation, that culture in general - both "geek culture" and "black culture" (which is of coursejust lower socio-economic class culture, like Pony said. Because most of the poor are black and vice versa) and other sub-cultures - is much more ghettoized/balkanized than it is here in Europe (or Scandinavia anyway). Fewer people define themselves from a single trait, and people can be into football and blood bowl at the same time. Board game nerds can be nice, normal people, with the same average social skills as the rest of society. Etc. But I guess we don't really have trekkies.

    Maybe it starts with your weird high school culture cliqiushness from hell.

    Whoa whoa whoa. Let's back this truck up. I'm gonna give you a pass because you're not from here, but only in movies and on TV are "black" and "poor" synonymous. Yes, blacks are grossly overrepresented among the poor. Their rate is higher. There are plenty of middle (and upper) class blacks out there, too. But among the poor whites vastly outnumber blacks, mainly because there are just a lot more whites to begin with. It's just that very little of our popular culture really delves into white poverty culture (aside from the occasional peek into Appalachia).

    Furthermore jakobagger you're eliding the parts of black culture which are NOT lower socioeconomic culture: jazz, the blues, rap, the food, the ways of speaking, the religion, the unique experience of slavery etc. The problems of black culture are to some extent generalizable and comparable to the problems of other cultures whose members are disproportionately of lower socioeconomic status; however, there are unique aspects to black culture which make it black culture--most notably the culture parts. Black culture isn't gangbanging, crime, baby mommas, and sagging pants. :v:

    valiance on
  • Eat it You Nasty Pig.Eat it You Nasty Pig. tell homeland security 'we are the bomb'Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    I think you would have a pretty difficult time separating any of those cultural elements from the poverty that was and is endemic in black america.

    anyway

    I always thought star trek was a weird commentary on race because they never addressed it directly. I mean, I understand it's supposed to be a post-racial society or whatever, but if that's the case, why is there only one black dude (or lady, depending on the series) on the enterprise? It just felt weird.

    I also don't think it should surprise us that lots of the "nerds" who are big into star trek are watching it for reasons that reinforce their own cultural preferences, rather than honestly interpreting the message of the material.

    Eat it You Nasty Pig. on
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  • valiancevaliance Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    I think you would have a pretty difficult time separating any of those cultural elements from the poverty that was and is endemic in black america.

    anyway

    I always thought star trek was a weird commentary on race because they never addressed it directly. I mean, I understand it's supposed to be a post-racial society or whatever, but if that's the case, why is there only one black dude (or lady, depending on the series) on the enterprise? It just felt weird.

    I also don't think it should surprise us that lots of the "nerds" who are big into star trek are watching it for reasons that reinforce their own cultural preferences, rather than honestly interpreting the message of the material.

    In the sense that poverty informs black art? sure. in the sense that the black experience is inextricable from poverty, or a direct result of it? no. not all poor cultures produce what black culture has produced in this country.

    valiance on
  • Eat it You Nasty Pig.Eat it You Nasty Pig. tell homeland security 'we are the bomb'Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    I don't understand what hair you're attempting to split there, or why it's meaningful. Unless you are claiming that a so called "rich" culture would be equally likely to come up with the blues.

    Eat it You Nasty Pig. on
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    do you lack faith, brother?
    or do you believe?
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