The myth of the Virgin Nerd
There is a common myth, still persistent, even in this enlightened age of the post jock dominant world, that Geeks, Nerds, and other titles given to the smart, socially awkward among us are virgins, and this is a bad thing. This wraps up several misconceptions and stereotypes into one prejudicial statement that I would like to address. Let’s go back to front.
- Virginity is Bad, but only for boys
The pressure on adolescents to have sex is pretty damn strong. It is perpetuated in media, which uses sex to sell pretty much everything, is blasted from music and movies, and, why not? The human body has evolved to pump hormones into the developing body that seem custom tailored for marketing departments to be able to push the latest energy drink or cosmetic product. Complicate that with small town America who think that any activity that includes teenagers will lead to sex and/or drug use, and, therefore, must be shut down, and what are you left with? That’s right. Sex is the measure of a young man among his peers.
So, a young man is made fun of if he has not “scored” with a woman. Zod help him if he is attracted to boys! (I digress… this is not about homosexuality). So, virginity is bad for young men among his peers, in the same way it is a virtue for a young girl among her peers (The old double standard, still surviving, even now).
This cultural pressure is so bad that it has become a culture of forced sex. Rape culture is so pervasive that it is distorting not only how we raise male children, but how we raise females as well, and how we deal with sex altogether.
- Interests are only good when Accepted by Society
This one has always irked me. I am not a big fan of football. Sure, I go to Superbowl parties. I could care less about the game. I go to be with friends. Do you know how many games I have gone to in my life? Two. One was with my mother when I was about eight. We were at the Hoosier Dome, and were literally at the back wall of the stadium. The field was so far away I could not make out the numbers on the jerseys. The second game was in high school. The only reason I went was because I was waiting to go to the dance afterwards, and they would not let me wait outside the game. Other sports are similar. The only sport I got into at all was soccer, and, even then, it was only barely. But, it was clear when I was younger that the football players and the basketball players were the ones who got the good treatment. Why? Here’s the thing.
It’s a cycle of pointlessness. All sports are entertainments. The owners pay the players to entertain the fans. The fans pay to be entertained. Nothing other than entertainment is produced. That’s all well and good, and the same thing can be said of computer games. But the thing is that the amount of money, and the way it is handled is what is the issue.
Take the average grade school football player. Maybe he has some talent. He plays in high school. In high school, he is shown special treatment. They have special transportation to and from matches. They give him a letter for his letterman jacket. He can get a special ring. He goes on to college. He plays there. There is a multi-million dollar industry supporting him. He goes on the the NFL. Now it is a multi-BILLION dollar industry. All along the way are perks, special treatment, he is groomed, treated like a prize pony, and is recognized the world over. Children are taught by their parents to idolize him. The stadiums he plays in were built using taxpayer money. The tickets cost an enormous amount. Television networks fight for the right to broadcast the game.
At the end of his career, what has he produced? Statistics, highlights, videos, memories. That’s all well and good. But society puts him and his activities on a pedestal. Why? We need heroes. Fine. We are not in any good wars, so that makes sense. At least, no wars that make sense and produce heroes.
Why, then, do we have to stigmatize those that do not choose the same path?
Thankfully, things are changing. Now that people are realizing that being a geek pays a lot better than the average jock, they are waking up to it.
- Geeks don’t get the girls
This one, I think, irks me the most, because it is the least true, and the one most based on faulty knowledge. It presumes that girls cannot be geeks, and that all girls want non-geeks.
Guess what, jocks. Geek girls not only exist, but they are a lot more fun than the girls you like to date.
Think about it for a moment. Joe Average Jock asks Jane Average Cheerleader out on a date. He spends the evening talking about his Sports Team, which she knows a little about, since she is a Cheerleader. She starts talking about what she is into and he blankly stares off into space. This is what their marriage is going to look like.,
Meanwhile, Tom the Geek is out on a date with Meredith the Nerd. The spend the evening sharing a Butterbeer and trading Doctor Who and Monty Python quotes. On their thirties wedding anniversary, they share a booth at Gencon, promoting their new card game.
Jocks, geeks do get girls. We just don’t need to brag about it. We’re too busy having fun.