Jeopardy Champ: Let's End Misogyny in Nerd Culture

Idea of male entitlement has got to go: Arthur Chu

By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff

Posted May 28, 2014 12:48 PM CDT

(Newser) – When it comes to women, male nerds grow up in a media-fed culture of entitlement, writes Arthur Chu in the Daily Beast. From Steve Urkel to The Big Bang Theory, we've seen the story of the "awkward but lovable nerd" with the "unreciprocated crush on hot non-nerdy popular girl." The narrative goes that if the boy works hard enough at it, he's entitled to "get the girl." In other words, "men are taught that women are things to 'earn,'" and some are furious when they don't get what they believe they deserve. Chu, a recent Jeopardy champion and self-professed nerd, acknowledges his own "rants full of self-pity and entitlement" back when he "needed to grow up."

In real life, the unswerving pursuit of an unrequited love can lead to stalker-like behavior and worse—including rape culture and the Santa Barbara attack. Elliot Rodger's complaints beforehand amounted to a "standard frustrated angry geeky guy manifesto, except for the part about mass murder," Chu writes. It's time for men to recognize that "we are not the lovable nerdy protagonist" who somehow deserves a prize—and if we don't "get the girl," "it’s because other people’s bodies and other people’s love are not something that can be taken nor even something that can be earned—they can be given freely, by choice, or not." Click for the full piece.

Jim Parsons, right, and Simon Helberg in a scene from The Big Bang Theory.
Jim Parsons, right, and Simon Helberg in a scene from "The Big Bang Theory."   (AP Photo/CBS, Michael Yarish)
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