NISI AND NATE DEBATE: NERDS!

I don’t know what Nate wrote yet, but he’s wrong, nerds aren’t oppressed, maybe you’re just not that nice a person!

Denise Soerens, Editor-in-Chief

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Let’s get one thing clear: the media has fooled you. Now, I know that might be funny, reading that sentence from a media outlet (a teeny-tiny-online-school-news-outlet, but a news outlet nonetheless!)… but it’s true! I’m not going to make any controversial statements outside of the topic at hand, but I think we can all agree that the nasty bi-partisanship of America has certainly been inflamed by the media. In this case (a much smaller case to be certain), the media has fooled you into thinking nerds are bullied. Wait, you might be asking yourself, is she seriously claiming nerds aren’t bullied? Yes, yes I am! Wait, you might be asking yourself, didn’t she come to this school because she was bullied? Yes, yes I was! Wait, you might be asking yourself (wow, you sure ask yourself a lot of questions!), doesn’t Denise “Nisi” Soerens consider herself a nerd? Yes, yes I do!

That’s right folks. I left public middle school, in part, because of a toxic school environment. And, I was a nerd. At the time, I was certain my intelligence was to blame, and what a snotty little brat I was in 8th grade. Let’s be clear, there is absolutely never any reason for bullying, but the bullies had a bit more to pick on than just my grades and interests.

I was and still am, a straight-A student, obsessed with Doctor Who, and I had some really weird interests. Duct tape, for one. Jeez, past Denise had some issues. Anyways. I was bullied! But so was everyone else in middle school. If you weren’t, you were just the sweetest most angelic person that no one would ever think of bugging. I was a little weird. So was everyone else. I wasn’t like the other girls. Neither was anyone else! I let my attitude turn me into a nasty person, and while I didn’t deserve to be bullied, I wasn’t super nice to everyone else, I only made friends with teachers, and let’s be honest, I gave the kids something to work with, given my caterpillar brows and snaggletooth.

The media has fooled you into thinking nerds are oppressed little sad boys and girls. Those big football jocks will squish your little nerdy self! That’s a stereotype from comic books and it’s a tired trope. Let’s be honest with ourselves- it’s actually “in” to be nerdy! Everyone’s in a fandom nowadays. The kids who are smart are the ones making class president and have lots of friends. Generation Z has flipped the jock-nerd stereotypes on their head, and cliques are way more intertwined and diverse than they used to be. Pokemon is popular! Superhero movies are the big thing! Nerd culture is thriving!

The only people who aren’t happy about this are the people who found an identity in their nerdiness. I was one of those people! I was so convinced that my bullies were just jealous of me, that I formed my identity in my nerdiness, and when others casually like Doctor Who, I would scoff and turn my nose at them. They weren’t real nerds! That’s gotta be, like, cultural appropriation, or something!

YAWN! Let people enjoy nerdy things, you nerds! Kids that liked anime weren’t bullied for watching anime, people didn’t sit with them because they hissed at other kids in the hallway. I can tell you firsthand, that while I was bullied, a lot of it was in retaliation, because I wasn’t so nice to other people to begin with. “Weird” “nerdy” kids find an identity in their weirdness and nerdiness, and use that as an excuse to be mean to people. I’m exposing us, guys!

This is a bit wordy and complicated, so let me attempt to break this down for you: the media has fooled you into thinking nerds are bullied because they’re nerds, whether that means geeky “star trek” nerds, or “good grades” nerds, or something else. It’s really not true. Everyone likes that kind of stuff, it’s popular, it’s fun, Gen-Z is accepting and different, and everyone gets bullied. In my personal experience, when you get bullied and you have formed an identity in your nerdiness, you almost develop a superiority complex. You think, they’re just bullying me because they’re jealous. Denise, maybe you were mean to them! Maybe you’re talking about duct tape a lot and that’s weird! Maybe they’re just mean people who think you’re ugly, and think that defines you!

There’s no reason to bully someone, ever. But if we’re honest with ourselves, some of us wear “I survived bullying” as a trophy, which is not healthy either. Mainstream culture adapting to “nerdy” things like sci-fi and academic excellence isn’t co-opting nerdy things, it’s just culture adapting to a more accepting environment. The way we make sure people aren’t bullied for nerdy things is to accept people who maybe only casually like things into our circles, instead of calling them fake geeks and the like.

Attached is a photo of me about 4-5 years apart. I wasn’t ugly, because I was in 7th grade, and everyone’s a little weird looking in 7th grade–its’ called puberty! And your attractiveness doesn’t define you. The reason I do show you this comparison, is to:

  1. Brag about my glo-up. Seriously. Wow.
  2. Show you that it gets better. Time at iUniversity Prep has encouraged me to be a better person. I’ve separated myself from my “nerd” identity, and now, I just find enjoyment in things I like! My only identity is in how I treat myself and others. I’ve become kinder, and I’m still trying to focus on others, rather than myself.

 

To conclude once more: “Nerd” isn’t a culture, and you can’t culturally appropriate nerds. Stop blaming others for your own character, and stop blaming your interests for other’s actions. Everyone is responsible for themselves. I love you guys, and VOTE NISI IN NISI AND NATE DEBATE BECAUSE MY ARTICLE IS AMAZING!

 

Kisses!

 

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