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Bring Back Nerd Chic

Bring Back Nerd Chic

Writer and Go Magazine Guru Diana Cage calls to embrace intellectualism and to bring back nerd chic. And with that said, how about putting a lesbian in the White House?

The other day I watched my girlfriend take a pen out of my hand and stick it, next to two other pens, in the breast pocket of her smartly-fitted plaid shirt. She did it out of politeness, knowing full well that had she left it in my hand it would have ended up rolling around in the bottom of my giant handbag and by the time we'd gotten to our favorite café it would be impossible to find. For a quick second I wanted to tease her about having pens in her front pocket but her braininess is why I fell in love with her and that little visual reminder just made me melt.

There's a trend toward anti-intellectualism in this country, we all know about it, and it isn't groundbreaking to point it out. I mean, yawn, whatever that's tired and I sort of feel stupid for even saying it. But its ubiquity is starting to bug me. Remember how Obama's education was the target of much criticism during both the primaries and general election, as if being well educated is a bad thing. Remember how the GOP kept saying there was no-way Obama could relate to the "working man"? If I were the working man I'd be insulted that the political party that claims to represent me assumes me to have a 4th grade education. Although, judging from the Joe the Plumber guy they might be on to something.

All the hokey mispronunciations and other random stupid Bushisms the country enjoyed over the last eight years were glamorized because it made him seem just like a normal guy... well, a normal dumb guy. Anyway, Bush went to Harvard, which sort of looks bad for Harvard. They should have at least taught him to pronounce nuclear.

But somehow, this time around, intelligence and reason prevailed and we ended up with an intellectual as Commander in Chief and one as First Lady as well. And now, because our First Lady is intelligent and well-spoken, instead of criticizing her as elitist, the crazies have started in with the "everyone knows we gave her that education as a present for being black" or whatever that tired, racist line of reasoning is.


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Here's a fun example of a dig on Michelle Obama's education from a cuckoo Christian rightwing website,, as reported by Huffington Post, "After all, in spite of the fact that affirmative action got her an Ivy League degree and a $7,000-a-week salary and, moreover, has sent billions of dollars for no particularly good reason to Africa, she insists this is a mean country." I can't even really parse what that writer is saying, well except for the unfounded dig at affirmative action having "got her" a degree. As for the rest of it, what does sending money to Africa have to do with anything? And why do right wing crazies only bring up humanitarian relief sent to Africa?

Look, this is a perfect example of why we need a lesbian in the White House; someone needs to explain concepts like systematic oppression and their effects on oppressed populations. Someone needs to point out that discussions about class and race are valid and important. Someone needs to point out that the people that get heard the most, Ann Coulter, Rush Limbaugh, the cheesy used car salesman for God Rick Warren, etc, are actually morons. The loudest media darling talking heads aren't bringing up intelligent, thought-provoking ideas that need attention; they are all just sound-biting vapid homophobic, sexist, racist resentment. And I can't keep pointing it out because I'm only talking to you guys and we were probably all in the same gender studies class.

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Diana Cage