If you are in school, social values most likely dictate that you should try to avoid the kids labeled “nerds” or “geeks.” If you are one of these people, you know how mean kids can be. The main reason people are labeled “nerds” is usually based on their physical attributes and, occasionally, lack of confidence, but all types of people can be nerds. The birthplace of derogatory terms such as “geek,” “nerd,” and “loser” can be found all the way back to the early ’60s. The first appearance of the word “nerd” was actually in the Dr. Seuss book called If I Ran the Zoo.
Something that is a real struggle — not only for me, but for many people — is being both a girl and a “nerd.” As women, we are often labeled academically inadequate by our male counterparts. There are more men in the scientific and mathematical fields — especially since females have often been discouraged from entering these fields and have been told that they simply can’t be mathematicians and engineers due to their gender. However, that is slowly changing, with STEM programs recently encouraging girls to join the field. More people are coming to terms with the idea of girl nerds and are standing up against workforce discrimination. Women can be engineers, mathematicians, rocket scientists, or whatever they please.
For ages, the word “nerd” has been analogous to swirlies, wedgies, and lunch room beatdowns. It’s been a derogatory term for years, and sometimes it seems that once labeled one, there’s really no climbing back up the social ladder. It’s 2015, and it’s time to fight back! Be a nerd and be proud of it! Don’t hide in shame and don’t be scared of the word. Instead, relish in it! Stay on honor roll and obsess over Pokémon, history, trigonometry, or whatever you please. Most people shy away from being called a “geek” or a “nerd,” but I challenge you to stand up and be proud to be called a nerd.