Image by the amazing Exey Panteleev.
Women’s magazines have a bad rap these days. They get ridiculed for being out of touch with today’s woman, overusing sex to sell units, promising sexual tricks they can’t possibly deliver, missing the mark by oversimplifying male sexuality, and trading on female insecurities to move magazines. We’ve had a number of responses to these magazines — which ostensibly are for us — such as BUST, Jane and Bitch. Many wonder just how these glossy behemoths stay in business, since they come up so short on substance. Or do they — do they deserve the bad rap they get, constantly being trotted out whenever a girl gives an example of ‘what’s wrong with women’s magazines’?
This month, Cosmopolitan proves that it’s their own damn fault.
In 7 Reasons to Date a “Moodle” they compare geek boys (male nerds) to poodles, and tell girls why they should consider dating geeks. I think a girl should hold a mirror up to Cosmo for a change, since they are ostensibly supposed to be serving our benefit. Let’s examine this fine example of what Cosmo has to offer together, with me riding shotgun:
(…) But it turns out that this slightly geeky breed of men might make the best boyfriends. Here’s why.
1. He’s capable of memorizing every line of Star Wars and Lord of the Rings so he shouldn’t have trouble remembering your birthday and favorite kind of flowers.
[VB translation: Real men are callous and don’t care about things that are meaningful to you. If you want a real man you will put up with this: geek boys are intellectual and like carefully crafted fantasy storytelling, which means they are effeminate and think details, such as paying attention to yours, are important.]
2. Sure, he may secretly want to get it on with his super hot neighbor, but knowing that you’re the hottest girl he’s ever been with will probably keep him from cheating.
[VB translation: Like all men he will always be on a callous pussyhunt to reinforce his shaky masculinity. But because he is a geek he *must* be desperate — why else would a man have passion about anything but money or sports? — and his desperation is something you can trade on like currency. This reminds you that women don’t have sex for love or pleasure, but only to get things from men.]
3. Geeks tend to be tech-savvy. Which means not only will he be able to fix a computer problem and upgrade your software, but he’ll actually enjoy doing it.
[VB translation: Men are meant to be used, not loved, and sex is the currency to get whatever they can do for you. No woman knows how to fix anything technical. Trading sex for IT service is acceptable, and you should have no guilt about this.]
4. Although the dumb jock thing is a total cliche, you’re unlikely to meet a dorky guy who can’t string together a sentence and carry on an intelligent conversation.
[VB translation: Jocks are generally dumb, and geeks never do sports. A dorky guy won’t ever have a hot body but this is a trade-off for having a man actually talk to you.]
5. Since he’s supersmart and probably already making a ton of money, he won’t think being a roadie for Vampire Weekend is a great “career opportunity.”
[VB translation: All geek dudes are smart and rich, you little gold digger.]
6. He was probably bullied during high school so he’ll be sympathetic when you vent about the office bitch…and help you plot a plan to bring her down.
[VB translation: Being nerdy means he’s used to being some guy’s bitch, just like a woman. You two can relate on this. Bonus: feminized men make great pets.]
7. He’ll never hog the bathroom to manscape.
[VB translation: While real men smell Monster Truck Rally fresh, geek boys are pigs because they never got dates. Everything we know about geeks we learned in Revenge of the Nerds 30 years ago, so we know they have no social and therefore sexual skills or intelligence, nor do they have good hygiene. This is another trade-off for all that money.]
Someone really wrote those seven points without irony, and a major mainstream magazine really published it like we’d all just gulp it down like a bunch of idiots. This really really pissed off John DeVore, who is an alpha nerd. I love John’s reaction, which began with:
(…) The article read like it was written by a bunch of mean girl anthropologists in little black dresses who just discovered a whole new species of men. They seemed so happy to find guys who weren’t smug investment bankers, aging jocks, or sociopathic musicians.
But by their definition, a nerd is a scrawny, wheezing, socially awkward savant utterly devoted to any woman who pays him even the slightest attention. That’s not a nerd. That’s a Mole Person. A shut-in with Mommy issues. Human veal.
Allowing these sorority girl scribblers to explain nerds is like asking a Klingon to explain The Force. I am qualified to characterize what a nerd is, namely because I am a nerd. An alpha nerd. I love what I love, and I own it. An alpha nerd can love Lord of the Rings, and the company of women. The two are not mutually exclusive.
A nerd is someone who is very passionate about very specific things. In some ways, most men are nerds. I know plenty of baseball nerds. World War II History nerds. I have a friend who’s a total gun nerd—he collects and refurbishes Civil War-era muskets. He also has a sizable arsenal of handguns, rifles, and I’m headed to his bunker when the dead start to rise. (… read more, thefrisky.com)
So here’s the thing. There are lots of great reasons to date geeks, but that Cosmo article didn’t actually give us anything of value, titillation, or tell us why geeks are hot (and they make us hot by proxy). If I was to write that piece, this is what I’d tell you:
As it happens, geek boys are all that and a bag of chips when it comes to dating. Don’t believe they hype about shut-ins and social skills; geeks will obsess about their fitness and organic foods as much as their latest coding project. Sure, some geeks are just as douchey as their over-macho counterparts, but the hot ones can be… the yummiest breed of male around. Geek men defy stereotypes, and in case you didn’t get the memo: smart = hot. If you’re lucky enough to snag a geeky boy, here’s what comes with all those tasty brains:
1. Geeks love media and many love serialized storytelling. You’ll finally have someone to take you to the movies, a lot, and a date that will be surprisingly game to see all kinds of films, in a theater — or snuggled under blankets with popcorn.
2. Nerd boys have spent a lot of time observing everyone, including other guys. This means they don’t need to overcompensate by pretending you don’t matter, and they know that there’s nothing to be gained by being insensitive. He’ll also have tech tricks for remembering everything, and are most likely to make a list of your lingerie sizes on their smartphone, for when he wants to get you a little treat.
3. Because he likes to learn about things before doing them, you can bet your Rabbit Habit that he’s taken the time to learn about sex — online, not on Jersey Shore. And he knows the difference between fantasy and reality, making him much more prone to honesty in monogamy; or he’s sweetly smart about his kinks. Nerds don’t just geek out on sci-fi and tech, after all.
4. Guys who are geeky get excited about all kinds of passions; while many can be initially shy, once you get going you’ll probably have such great conversations you’ll watch the hours fly by, and feel like a giddy teenager crushed out on talking about… everything.
5. They are ready for the zombie uprising. Seriously.
6. Geek boys love strong, independent women, and dig girls who have ideas, obsessions and passions. They’ll generally seek to engage with you about whatever’s on your mind, make perfect allies for your own “army of two” — but unlike macho men, won’t later expect you to become their mommy.
7. Because so much false bullshit about geek hygiene is pushed in magazines and culture, many nerd boys take exacting care of themselves. Don’t be surprised if he only wears certain things, prefers his own shampoo, and is sensitive about his appearance. And don’t be surprised if he asks you what kind of manscape turns you on.