For the most part, I’d like to keep my tone and subject matter positive and fun. But sometimes I just have to get things off my chest. I’m gonna talk about Geek Elitism. Now, elitism can and will happen in any sector of fanhood. I have had to defend my knowledge and appreciation of heavy metal to many a metalhead dude that felt like putting a woman on the spot and making her prove how hardcore she is. This behavior and condescension was annoying in the metal scene and it’s even more annoying in geekdom.
I’ve never understood people’s need to compete and prove themselves as a bigger and better fan. Why? Why is that important? People can like whatever the hell they want and in varying levels that are different from you. There are many ways to be a fan. So let’s squash this little myth right here:
1.The ability to recall a vast amount of geeky trivia only proves one thing: You have a good memory. Good for you. I mean, what an accomplishment to be born with something not everyone is born with. I spend a lot of time getting excited about Star Trek and counting down the days til Jessica Jones has another season and hoping against hope I will not be too tired after a long day to watch Gotham with my husband. But I do not have a good memory. I was not blessed with the ability to store a lot of trivial information. It’s plagued my life and made me miserable. Forgetting friends birthdays and forgetting to call my mother and forgetting my coworkers names and forgetting what happened on the last episode of Supernatural. So know this, when you’re hanging all your fandom trivia knowledge over someone’s head to prove that you’re a better fan, you’re really just being a jerk.
2.”I saw it first” or “I did it first” or “I bought it first” definitely does not give you some sort of fandom supremacy. I have never been able to understand this. Everyone has to hear about SOMETHING from SOMEONE, so a claim of doing it first bears no weight in how good of a fan you are. Don’t get me wrong; you might be a great fan, and I’d love to chat with you about the things you love; but seeing it first, doing it first, buying it first really only means: I had spare time, I had spare energy, and I had spare money. Not everyone has all those things to spare at any given time, so it’s stands to reason that sometimes you will know or experience something before someone else.
I know I might have shattered a few sensitive feelings of superiority with this, but I really hope people take into account that pretentious behavior isn’t attractive to anyone and certainly does no favors for your “cool” factor. There is no need to prove your worth in fandom. It’s futile and often reeks of insecurity. There are many ways to be a fan and there are many things to enjoy in whatever way you choose to enjoy them.
So go out there and be the awesome person you are and love the things you love and let others do the same. This isn’t a competition. This is merely how we choose to spend our free time when we’re not slaving for the man.
Read more on this subject from my amazing friend Beth!