Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Shame in the Face of Evaluation


This is interesting. Take your time to read it, because it's clever, and it deserves to be read even if it makes me angry. This entire entry is about it anyway, so if you don't read it then you're not going to understand. Renal Failure found it, and then I got angry about it. This is because I get wantonly angry about things even when they're intended to be lighthearted and funny.

Here's why the article pisses me off: It's followed by a whole slop of "Amen, sister!" and "OMG you are so right" and I just couldn't help thinking about how totally fucking wrong some of it was.

You would think (you would be wrong, but you would think it) that I would highly approve of a blog entry regarding the rules of how to woo nerdy girls, written from the perspective of a nerdy girl that wants to be appropriately wooed, being that I am one. But firstly, this doesn't help me. Secondly, I don't like rules. Thirdly, I highly resent the Cool Nerd movement, and this is a direct result of it. Half the fun of being a nerd, I think, is that I'm into shit that annoys everyone else, so I keep it cloak-and-dagger. It's like having a secret identity. Makes me feel like a superhero.

The elements of shame in the face of evaluation, elitism partnered with a consumptive self-doubt and hustling up confidence despite obvious social ineptitude are integral to Nerdism.

Right? Or is that just a Human thing?

There is no mention of how nerdy girls think, just that they do, in fact, think. But remember this, men courting nerdy girls: do not say asinine things like "you're pretty cool for a girl" or something equally douchebaggy, because that will just piss her off. It's not a compliment at all, because it's really your backass way of saying that girls are lesser than you, and she'll know you're a sexist and an asshole. Seriously, what kind of people raised you, you misogynistic dipshit? You should be ashamed of yourself. Watch your language.

Also, as much as I love 30Rock, because it's the first show I've ever seen where I identified with a character, don't tell nerdy girls they're like Liz Lemon. Nerdy girls are different - they want to be undefinable, they don't want to fit into a mold. They want to be accepted for the person they've chosen to become. It's likely that in the past they weren't, and they're not fucking changing for shit. Not for anyone.

Example: I am obsessed with the fact that no one can name an actress that could play me in a movie. It's fucking awesome. Then again, that could just be because I'm not thin, and what actresses out there are my size? Christina Hendricks? I flatter myself. I'm not like Kelly Osborne or anything, but I sure ain't a skinny bitch. And we know Hendricks can be bad ass because of Firefly, but can she be bad ass without all of the sexual overtones? And can she be funny?

I think I can be funny.

In the end, I think what pissed me off most about the list was that I didn't necessarily agree with the examples. Dropping the TS Elliot? Really? That's not nerdy. That's classy. Nerdy would be dropping Tamora Pierce (because - she writes young adult fantasy books about magic that are superpopular amongst sad, lonely teenage girls who wish they were feisty and special. Also, very little actual literary value. Damn I loved those books in high school).

But I gotta admit, I did agree with number six. Uninteresting people just aren't worth knowing at all. Don't forget though, "uninteresting" is a state of mind, not action. Go ahead and do boring things, just don't think boring thoughts.

I agree with number seven, but again, not the examples. And of course I agree with number eleven, but zombies are old hat. Everyone worth knowing either (1) read the Zombie Survival Guide years ago or (2) instinctively knows what it takes to be a survivor because of (a) intrinsic awesomosity or (b) excessive movie watching.

Maybe what pissed me off was the fact that I've always considered myself a nerd, and I don't fit the proposed stereotype. I don't play video games and do conventions and collect things, but that's more because I just don't pay attention to stuff, which stems from a desire to remain as unaffected as I can by marketing and tabloids. Which, by the way, totally doesn't work. Even if you focus on tuning it out, it's far too important to ignore things like that from an analytical cultural perspective, so I have to try to stay detached. Granted, I do detachment very well. I mean, I found out Ted Kennedy died about five minutes ago. This is how far out of the loop I am. Miles from the loop, in fact. Or kilometers, if you're unAmerican, you fucking Tory*.

You know what I love? Arguing about things.

* Don't tread on me.



Anonymous said...

What can I say. I still love Tamora Pierce.

M. said...

Arguing about things exhausts me sometimes. But sometimes, things that are supposed to be funny do piss me off, like you said.

So I get you. Fo sho.

Keely said...

Fascinating. I found your post (and subsequently, the Park Bench) through double sifted on Twitter. Though I'm an already-wooed nerd girl, I'd have to agree with most of your points. Especially the Liz Lemon thing. This may throw my nerd-girl status into question, but I don't even know who the hell she is.

Betsey said...

The problem is that you aren't a nerdy girl, Ross. Yes you're cerebral and so full of fucking awesome that it bursts out of your very being with every fucking step you take.

That does not make you a nerd.

That makes you all sorts of undefinable.


Mr London Street said...

That blog post struck me as the blog equivalent of lazy print journalism, I went tithe blogosphere to get away from that sort of tripe.

Anonymous said...

i think we hate being categorized. all of us - males and females - want to be adored for the special and unique critters that we are. when 'lists' pop up - especially lists that sort of ring true, but kinda don't - then we're fucked.

i don't collect shit, go to conventionsl or play video games, but i'm a nerd, motherfuckers! i was a nerd when all these young nerd girls were still pickin' shit out of their diapers and thinking nerd-baby thoughts.

so i'm mildly annoyed by the list, and mildly amused by the list... but mostly, i guess, i think it's a good thing that at least somewhere, there are penile-bearing humans who find nerdy girls worth wooing... that's a good thing!

Ginny said...

Jodie Foster could have played you. In 1983.

renalfailure said...

So you're angry at the list and not with me. Cool.

The list makes a fatal omission in my opinion: there's no mention of Mystery Science Theater 3000.

Chris said...

I read this. At leas the first part them I go bored. Then I thought what could what could combat my middle-agery. Then I thought that if I drove the Batmobile wouldn't it be like BJ heaven?

As a chick, wouldnt you wanna say you blew some guy in the Batmobile?

Chris said...

I forgot, I love nerd chicks. Not in the frat boy way of thinking that they are the low-hanging fruit on the punani tree(I am gonna trademark that saying) but because I need mental stimuli, I want a partner who is just that, a partner.

Plus I like girls that are quirky and get wet over robots.

Le Meems said...

It's like if you say you'r rich, you probably aren't.

I can say I'm fun. But then I wouldn't be.

Some things just are unmentionably, SO.

Writing about how to woo a nerdy girl is like writing how to woo a black girl, asian girl, fat girl, blonde girl, dumb girl, skinny girl.

Everyone's different. But I do know how to woo Magical Unicorn.

Pool Parties and Booze.
She's THAT easy.

Sid said...

Ted Kennedy??? After reading your list I realised that I'm not the stereotypical nerd. I'm just WEIRD. And I'm kewl with that. I make my friends laugh. Do I really need more?

Unknown said...

Nerd girl is about five seconds away from getting merchandised and sold.

Mongolian Girl said...

1) I love that you love arguing about things.
2) This...
"Nerdy girls are different - they want to be undefinable, they don't want to fit into a mold. They want to be accepted for the person they've chosen to become. It's likely that in the past they weren't, and they're not fucking changing for shit. Not for anyone."
...caused me wonder something I've never remotely wondered before. This...Am I a nerdy girl. Rassles? You've got some splainin' to do.

Kono said...

Lists, in my opinion, are like steaming piles of dung as in we can all make them, i do love the anger and passion though Razz and the wisdom to know uninteresting is a state of mind not action, skydivers and skate punks annoy the shit out of me cuz they think they're rad but for the most part have never had an inetersing thought, i used to think i was interesting cuz i did speedballs and knew how to make my own crack but in reality i was just an asshole who hid behind dusty curtains listening to the Dirty Three, the biggest compliment i get these days is that people tell me they would hate to live in my head for an hour amd i have a sneaky feeling you've had the same thing said to you. cheers.

formerly fun said...

You don't collect things? Wait, didn't you have a purse like forever, patched when it was coming to it's natural end, or was it shoes?

The nerd thing and classification thing, well, the human brain is inclined to find patterns so even if you're unique(like the rest of us) people still want to categorize you and will put you in the one that fits best, not perfect.

I think there are a lot more "nerdy" chickas out there but lots of them are incognito disguised as "what men want" or at least what they think men want.

And you are right, I've seen pics of you, read so many of your words, experienced your adventures second hand and I cannot for the life of me think of who would play you in a movie but I'm going to give it some thought.

Logical Libby said...

Nerdy girls don't like to be classified. Or hit on because they are nerdy.


Chris said...

You're definitely going to have to tell me how you got your nickname one day. First -- human thing, but it's mostly nerds who dwell on it. b) "geek chic" or "nerd cool" or whatever it is this time never lasts. Chuck and Big Bang Theory will be gone and forgotten in a year or two and replaced with Party of Five TNG, and the natural order of things will be restored. As we learned from Life of Brian, we are all individuals except for that one guy. Also, it's not about finding someone who looks like you to play you in the movie, but someone who can be like you. I would pick one of the Charlie's Angels girls and work out from there.

Georgia said...

Ahahahaha. I fucking loved Tamora Pierce and her books still go on my 'interim reading' when I am between books and just need something to read before bed.

I am so pleased with your displeasure at that narrow definition of nerdy girls. You don't have to be into classically dorky things to be a nerd. I think it's more being passionate about what you are into (and also kind of secretly passionate about being unique) and like you said, not changing for shit.

A Free Man said...

I don't know how Liz Lemon is and I hate stereotypes and I hate articles about how to get women (or men) for that matter. It's the stuff of Cosmo and Maxim and shit that I can't be bothered to read. If you need a ten point plan to woo someone then you aren't going to get someone.

That is all.

Unknown said...

I just realized I'm not even cool enough to be considered a nerd. Damn!

The Ambiguous Blob said...

I have never been nerdy. I don't know enough or have a deep enough passion about anything to become a nerd. However, I have mad respect for people who know ALL ABOUT something that they are passionate about.
I don't think that clumping all of the people in a stereotype ever works perfectly, but like you said, there are a few things on the list that you can relate to.

Blues said...

Dude, that was so the Cosmopolitan version of the nerdy girl. Give me a break.

I once had a guy tell me I was smart, like two men put together. And then he's all, "uh, I mean men as in humans." And I was like, right buddy, Freud fucks ya again.

Rassles said...

The interesting thing about all this, though, is that I actually really dig that Park Bench website, and I like the author's style and everything. But sometimes, you know. I get all mad about stupid shit.

Ellie said...

No one likes to be classified. Stereotypes are never enough, never all encompassing, never spot on because we are, and always will be -- no matter who we are -- greater than a stereotype. Don't waste your energy on it, Ras. You're too kick ass in every respect.

Erin said...

I didn't know who Liz Lemon was. Then again I didn't identify with any of the list except a couple of things that most non-nerds would identify with, too. Guess I'm not a nerd.

Is it me, or do conventions end up being just other settings in which people are classified and stratified and pressured to fit in?

Bottom line, some of us weren't built to be joiners. Maybe it's best to go ahead and shed the nerd label before someone comes along and thrusts video game controllers into our hands.