Friday, November 3, 2017

Bad Geeks

One of the things that pops up in my Google+ stream now and again are complaints about "Geek Guys" (or, to be more precise, the jerks among them) and their treatment of women ("Geek Girls" in particular). My first response to something like this tends to be my standard one - no group large enough to have entered the social consciousness is small enough to not have any assholes in it, and geek culture now having made inroads into the mainstream, there are more than enough geeks out there for them to have a presence.

But with a little more thought, I've come to the conclusion that there's also a greater expectation of empathy and understanding from stereotypical geeks, and that it may not be warranted. Back in the days before personal computers were ubiquitous and programmers could be treated like "rock stars," being a geek (or a nerd) could be kind of sucky. It was, for a very long time, a ticket to being pushed around by the stereotypical "jocks," ignored by just about everyone else and being told to put down the books and pick up some weights. Granted, this behavior wasn't as common as movies made it out to be, but there was, to be sure, a certain amount of truth in entertainment.

And I still think that it's something of a truism that suffering breeds resentment far more often than it breeds empathy. And I think the resentments of geek culture have come to manifest themselves as doing unto others as someone else had once done unto them. Which, even though it seemed fairly predictable, is something of a shame. It would be nice for some group or another to break the cycle, rather than perpetuate it.

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