As they point out in their post, geeks have sometimes been an oppressed group. Other groups that have struggled and fought stereotyping have their own months - Hispanic Heritage and Women's History month. Why August? Well, some say the first web page was launched in August. Though remember, geeks do like to debate. And as another reason to choose August as Geek History Month, the first Geek Awards are apparently taking place on August 18th. They are hosted by AOL.
Geek Awards? Huh?
I like to think I am sorta in the loop with geek news. At least I hope all those hours on Twitter and the internet aren't for naught. But I haven't heard about these Geek Awards. My brain instantly went to awards about science, gaming, comics, sci-fi, fantasy, tech... the topics I think of when the word geek floats past. I think that's a reasonable jump. I got excited and felt an eensy bit of geek empowerment bubbling up. But then I clicked on the website. Their definition of geek is not my definition of geek.
As soon as I skimmed and saw that Justin Timberlake would be getting an award, those feelings of geek empowerment coiled back up inside my soul and withered.
I quote from the introduction post:
"Geeks have come a long way from being shunned like circus freaks and picked on in high school. Now geekdom is a badge of honor worn by the hardcore lovers of pop culture."
You see, they mean pop culture geeks. Have pop culture geeks ever really been shunned like circus freaks? I think that in some circles being knowledgeable about pop culture actually makes you the cool kid (though being an IT geek can put you there too). But I'm guessing they don't mean getting shunned like my high school days of gripping my Robert Jordan books in the corner of the classroom while getting weird looks. I bet those kids are still getting weird looks.
I'm not gonna lie. My kneejerk response was to feel entitled and violated. How dare they take my geek and make it about Lady Gaga?! But geek is flexible word. It's not like say The Sherpa Awards. Sherpa's pretty defined.
So they can have their awards. There are lots of types of geeks; I've encountered pop culture ones and camera geeks. I know no one group owns the word. But still. I think I'm going to allow myself a moment of unrighteous indignation that they are doing the word geek wrong.
And I don't get the hunch that Asylum.com follows the Geek Awards defintion either. Maybe they should use something else to back up August for Geek History Month.