Is “Nerd Girl” An Oxymoron?

It has recently come to my attention that my status as a nerd may be in question. Apparently, according to some of my fellow humans, my inherent female-ness exempts me from certifiable nerddom.

"Fake nerd girls" have earned their own meme for becoming so problematic.
“Fake nerd girls” have earned their own meme for becoming so problematic.

Where were these authority figures while I was withering away in nerdy, socially-awkward seventh-grade misery? Where were they in high school while I was desperately trying to prove I wasn’t a nerd, to tell me I had nothing to worry about because it wasn’t physically possible for me to be one anyways?

I suppose I should be celebrating my newfound freedom, running towards the welcoming embrace of the cool kids with arms outstretched. But, as it happens, I’ve grown rather attached to the label. So, in solidarity with the ladies featured on a recent music video by “The Doubleclicks,” I hereby present a selection of my Nerd Credentials in order to possibly retain at least an honorary membership in this exclusive branch of the Pen 15 club:

  • When I was little, I successfully bribed my babysitter to let me stay up past my bedtime, by promising to show him my secrets… in Super Mario World.
  • In elementary school, I was a member of a small, contraband POG gambling ring that met illegally behind the baseball diamond.
Forgive me, Lord, for I have coveted my neighbour’s Slammer.
  • When my dad and former stepmom split their possessions in my early teen years, the thing I was most sad about her taking was the Sega Genesis.
  • In middle school, when the boy of my dreams, who was coincidentally the boy of almost every girl in my grade’s dreams, asked me the question “Will you go out with me?” I responded, “Where? You mean, outside?” (This has nothing to do with nerdy pursuits but everything to do with having the essence of a nerd.)
  • In high school, when a friend of mine told me his girlfriend made him choose between her and Zelda, and he chose Zelda, I gave him a high five.
  • On Halloween, I went to school dressed in a handmade Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle costume. In university. When almost no one else dressed up. Two years in a row. (I had initially intended to go the full four, as a different turtle each year, but due to unfortunate circumstances the costume was lost forever).
Michelangelo, he’s a party dude!
  • A boy once tried to win my heart by giving me the Chrono Trigger soundtrack for my birthday. I had no intention of giving him my heart, but I gleefully and guiltlessly accepted the gift anyways.
  • On my wedding day, my husband and I bounced out at the end of the ceremony to the 8-Bit Mario theme. With matching Game Boy Colours in our hands, an impromptu gift from one of our wedding officiators.
The moment when we simultaneously realized the serious registry-signing song had ended and the 8-Bit Mario song might start prematurely...
The terrifying moment when we simultaneously realized the serious registry-signing song had ended, the person managing the iPod had lost control, and the 8-Bit Mario song might start prematurely and totally ruin the ending… (photo: Amanda Gregor Photography)
  • My first published article (outside of my university newspaper, that is) was entitled “Rise of the Nerds.” My first published cover article, written for a Christian publication, was about why there are probably video games in heaven.
  • I once spent an entire weekend, while holed up in my apartment due to a typhoon, building a Gundam model.
Hours and hours of meticulous labour...
Hours and hours of meticulous labour…
I hereby present Zaku II, land edition. 1/44 of actual size.
I hereby present Zaku II, land edition. 1/44 of actual size.
Press at TGS, baby! All your press passes are belong to us!
Press at TGS, baby! All your press passes are belong to us!
  • When I see kids while walking in a mall or otherwise crowded area, I walk a little slower and a little closer, in hopes of catching their Miis on Streetpass.
  • Possibly the biggest idealogical difference my marriage suffers from is Star Wars (me) vs. Star Trek (him).
  • And finally, I never go anywhere without a towel.

Well, it’s not an exhaustive list, but it’ll have to do. I’m a little worried, though – I can’t speak Elvish (although I have beaten Zelda: Ocarina of Time in Japanese), and I can count the Pokemon characters I know on one hand (although I once won a Star Wars character-naming duel against my youth group’s top Star Wars enthusiast). I might not make the cut.

Oh well, I’ve come this far so I might as well pack up my application for Officially Sanctioned Nerdiness and send it off to the powers that be, praying they’ll consider me. So, who do I send this thing to, anyways?

“There are no fake geeks, only real jerks.” – From the Doubleclicks video

15 thoughts on “Is “Nerd Girl” An Oxymoron?

    1. Thanks, heh, I think… Last I checked that article isn’t online anymore because the magazine it was in changed. I still have my print copy though so I think I’ll post it here at some point, as you’re not the first person to ask. Cheers!

  1. I somehow haven’t encountered issues with this yet, but it may have been the way I dressed/acted/carried myself for years. Now that I’ve taken a liking to pretty dresses though…..

  2. I don’t know any girls who write nerd on their hands, either… haha. 🙂 But girls who can list every Hobbit family, or planet in the Star Wars ‘verse, or cried when a video game was over, or dressed like total dorks because it was simultaneously awesome– well, those I know plenty of. I’m a nerd, and I own it… and anyone (male or female) who feels magical enough to try to strip me of my self-proclaimed title…well, they’re welcome to TRY.

    Great post. 😀

    1. I have totally cried at the end of a video game, hahaha. RPGs especially require way more investment than a movie. How do you go on with life after that? Hahaha… “they’re welcome to TRY.” Love it.

  3. Don’t feel bad about getting the ankle-braced boot.

    I lift weights, that sort of thing immediately renders my BA and MA completely invalid. Not even beating Demon’s Souls, Dark Souls and killing that wall-with-a-brain in DOOM II can make up for it. Hell, I’m pretty sure that my original working GameBoy -the one in greyscale that looks like a VCR tape that has (c)1989 stamped to the board, which you can see by taking off the battery cover- still wouldn’t be enough. Not even as a peace offering!

    The only option is to create and lead an army to counter their own, stop them before their reign of tyranny goes any further. They will bring protractors, T-89 calculators, compasses and hand sanitizer. We will bring real weapons, machine guns, rocket launchers, the coveted BFG, and we will make them soil themselves because real nerds don’t give a fuck about labels and are more concerned with the outcomes: only poseurs bring hand sanitizer to a DM.

    1. Hahaha. I had that old gameboy too! And I don’t feel bad. It doesn’t affect me much, personally, to be honest. I got used to not caring what people think of me long ago (all part of growing up as a nerd, heh). But I felt I had to say something anyways.

  4. I would like to congratulate you on your nerd status. Also, I say, bugger the cool kids! 😛 Pogs were cool anyway. The Silmarillion is legendary. Star Trek all the way love, sorry. You have just made my day by suggesting that their might be video games in Heaven. (I’d love to read that article if you have it. Also I miss playing Golden Eye on the N64 and I really wish I had had a SNES.

    1. Why thank you! *bows* I tried looking for the article I mentioned, but the magazine it was in has since changed names and apparently done away with the online archives. I still have a copy of the print magazine it was in, though, I’ll see if I can upload it here at some point. Cheers!

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