In The Dark Knight, Harvey Dent says that you either die a hero or live long enough to see yourself become the villain. People of the nerd community, we have become the villains! The Ghostbusters reboot was recently released featuring an all-female cast. I went to see it because I love the original Ghostbusters movies and I thought it was a cool idea to refresh the franchise that way. Sadly there were some who were less than receptive and behaved like assholes. Newsflash! It’s 2016. Women can do pretty much anything that men can do if they have the desire and skillset. An all-female cast doesn’t mean a movie’s going to be about cramps and heavy flow days. Grow up.
I thought the movie was great and respectful to the original franchise. The three remaining original Ghostbusters made appearances there was a bust of Harold Ramis (RIP). The actresses who played Janine and Dana in the original movies also had cameos. It never claimed to be a remake and Dan Aykroyd is the Executive Producer.
There was nothing about this movie that anyone should be upset about yet, people still felt the need to harass Leslie Jones on Twitter. I was raised in a Christian house, so I won’t repeat what was said, but it was bad enough to get right-wing CEO Milo Yiannopolos permanently banned.
A permanent ban was previously unprecedented, but Twitter appears to be taking a stand against online bullying and harassment. We have the right to free speech, but there’s a difference between speaking your mind and harassing someone. If you don’t understand that please stop reading and go check your front yard. Your Trump signs and Tea Party flag are blowing away.
Seriously, WHY?!?! It’s just a freakin’ movie! Nobody is forcing you to see it and if you saw it and didn’t like it, that’s fine. Nobody said you had to like it. People died in Orlando just because they were LGBTQ. Mass shootings and terrorist attacks are taking place all over the world. Police officers are committing murder in the street. It’s an election year and our choices are Professor Umbridge and Voldemort. THERE ARE BIGGER ISSUES THAN A FREAKIN’ MOVIE!
The toxic mentality behind things like the harassment of Leslie Jones and Gamergate has to go. The War on Nerds is real, people! The last thing we should do is allow anyone within our community or any outside force to pit us against each other. Ned Stark (RIP) told his daughters in Season 1 of Game of Thrones that Winter is Coming and they needed to pull together as a family to survive the dark days ahead. If you don’t believe the dark days are here, read the last paragraph. If you still don’t, read it again until you do. A community is where people come together and accept each other. Martin Luther King Jr. said, “We must learn to live together as brothers or perish together as fools.” I’m not a fool and I don’t think you are either.
Some members of the nerd community seem to think that we live in a John Hughes movie. Let me put this in a way they’ll understand. THIS IS REALITY! THE WORLD DOESN’T WORK THAT WAY! Remember how you walked the halls in high school receiving daily torture because you didn’t fit someone else’s mold of who you should be and what you should like? That sucked, right? All you wanted was to be accepted by your peers, but instead you got shut out and ostracized. So you sought out others like you, befriended them, and become part of a community that accepted you.
You may think there’s no such thing as a female nerd or even a nerd of color. Let me assure you both as a woman and a nerd that female nerds are real. I experienced the same things you did. The popular kids looked at me like I was dirt on their shoes until they wanted or needed something. Sorry boys, but you’re not the only ones who had to deal with rejection from the opposite sex. You can stop taking your aggressions out on all women now, k? Thanks. Let me assure you that there are also nerds of color. A few of my African American friends even refer to themselves as “Blerds.” Being a nerd has nothing to with race, gender, sexual orientation, etc. and has everything to do with being passionate and knowledgeable about the things we love. I’ll make this crystal clear: HEY WHITE MALE NERDS! YOU CAN’T OWN AN ENTIRE SUB-CULTURE!
You may think I’m harsh, but I’m pissed off because I love the nerd community and it’s being corrupted. I’m pissed off because there’s a mentality of exclusion. How dare you stand shoulder to shoulder with me? We both endured the same abuse and rejection throughout our young lives and we both had a choice. We could’ve allowed it to make us bitter, angry, hateful, people or we could’ve allowed it to make us better, stronger, and more compassionate. You made the wrong choice.
Here’s the good news: We don’t have to continue making bad choices. We can stop being villains. Here’s how:
Put yourself in check: I know it’s hard, but if you struggle with accepting others into the nerd community, try reaching out. You don’t have to do anything big, just try striking up a conversation next time you’re at a con or the comic shop. You might enjoy it. You might end up making new friends or finding love.
Put your friends in check: If your friends are doing stuff like harassing people online, acting like misogynist jerks, or taking a woman’s cosplay as an open invitation to act like complete pervs, call them on it. Tell them what they’re doing is wrong. Cuss them out if you have to. If they get disrespectful with you, find some new friends.
Let’s be heroes again.