The Misogyny & Entitlement of Nerd Culture

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The 1980s classic, "Revenge of The Nerds."
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All this week, people around the U.S. have been discussing sexism and sexist behavior, and the influence sexist stereotypes often have on what's frequently called "nerd culture."

On the big screen, we've all seen the old story of the geeky guy lusting after the girl—think Anthony Michael Hall and Molly Ringwald in Sixteen Candles, or when the lovable geek Lewis get the popular sorority sister in Revenge of The Nerds.

In the movies and in video games, the "geek" usually gets her—his prize. But what if he doesn't get the princess? How does he handle rejection? Without the Hollywood script and laugh track, these stories play out much differently in real life.

When you always see yourself as the victim—the geek bullied by the jocks—can you ever see yourself as the bully?

Elliot Rodgers didn't. After he killed six people at the University of California, Santa Barbara, he left behind a shocking manifesto—a misogynistic tirade against women who had rejected his advances.

It was a dark and terrifying document, but nerd champion Arthur Chu says he's heard tamer versions of the same sentiment before: Angry nerds mad about rejection from the opposite sex.

Arthur says it all stems from the tired tale of geek meets girl, geek relentlessly goes after girl, girl finally gives in and geek lives happily ever after—the nice guy syndrome where it doesn't actually matter if the girl gets her happy ending.

A champion of nerd culture, Arthur won Jeopardy 11 nights in a row and wrote about the misogyny of nerd culture as a columnist for the Daily Beast. Today he weighs in on sexism and nerd culture, and why triumph by “getting the girl” isn't always the answer.