Nerds and Geeks: Today's Stereotypes
"Nerds" and "Geeks," do these terms sound familiar to you? These are the terms we frequently use to put down a child who tries to study really hard so he/she can contribute to America. But have we ever thought of might happen if he/she is teased with those names again and again. To defend my point I would like to use an article, "America Needs its Nerds" by Leonid Fridman that talks about how the smart people are put down due to their intelligence. He compares America with other nations, proving other nations to be better in this situation. Anti- intellectualism in our society is growing and we need to bring it to an end or we do not stand a chance in succeeding like other nations.
Since we live in an anti- intellectualist society, nerds are ostracized while athletes are idolized. And this all starts from elementary or middle school. We rarely have a child who will grow up to be the next Albert Einstein, but have many children in schools who will be Kobe Bryant or Ronnie Brown. This is because some children in schools prefer playing sports rather than studying at home. They prefer staying outside and have fun with friends rather than stay home watching Lord of the Rings or Star Wars. In short, they prefer being socially active. But nerds and geeks are completely opposite; they prefer working on homework rather than playing sports. They prefer being alone and not getting involved in any social activity. And this kind of behavior is the main reason why nerds and geeks are most commonly known as social outcasts or abnormal.
Just because nerds or geeks don't get wasted or party hard, that doesn't mean they shouldn't be accepted in the society. They are people like us, just with high intelligence. Sports are not bad professions to approach towards, but you don't learn anything besides making touchdowns or three pointers. But for the people who don't want sports to be their profession, their goal is to make touchdown and three pointers in their life by contributing to America. And to make this contribution we have to study hard, support other people and not tease with names such as nerds and geeks.
As a result of people teasing nerds and geeks, many nerds and geeks are ashamed of themselves. Due to this, they become very upset with their life. Even parents are sometimes ashamed of their children, if they study too hard and not hang out with their friends. They expect their daughter to go to dancing class and not stay home studying mathematics all the time. They expect their son to go play baseball and not spend most of his time studying. These expectations are not just from one family, but its scattering across the United States. The solution to this problem is to fight the anti-intellectual values that pervade our society.
I don't think nerds and geeks should be ashamed of themselves, no matter how many times they are teased. Instead they should be more open about their intelligence and not take it too hard on themselves when they are teased. They should be proud of themselves so that their confidence will grow.
Since America is an anti-intellectualist nation, athletes are idolized more than professors. But in other countries like East Asia, professors are treated as Gurus. They are the ones who are idolized. In fact they are set up as an example rather than put down or teased. In short, nerds and geeks are looked up to and supported so that their country can improve.
Professors should be idolized more than athletes because they are the ones providing us with knowledge and education that will be very useful when we grow up. Athletes are entertaining, but shouldn't be idolized or given credit every time they do well in a game. I mean giving them credit isn't going to help us.
Due to the society's stereotypes, nerds and geeks are ostracized, and teased. We need to have children who will want to be the next Albert Einstein. We need parents to understand their children, when they don't want to play sports. We together as America need to support these high intelligence people, so they can help us in the future. The only solution to this problem would be the prevention of anti- intellectualism values that are scattering across our country, or we don't stand a chance of succeeding like other countries.
- Fridman, Leonid. "America Needs its Nerds." We, Too, Sing America. Ed. Chitra B. Divakaruni. San Francisco: McGraw- Hill, 1998. 175-178.