|Syntactic Confectionery Delight|
Overly serious reply Re: Dress Codeby adamsj (Hermit)
|on Feb 04, 2001 at 20:59 UTC||Need Help??|
I'm going to make a supreme effort not to have to put a language advisory here.
On my home node, it says: Sure you can read my geek code (but I'm not a geek.
There's a long history of people taking on words and terminologies that were used toward them as insults and trying to reclaim them. Just in the United States in the last forty years, we've had:
Black people started using the N word as a self-descriptor in the mid-sixties. The comedian Richard Pryor was, at one time, the best known example of doing so. He later decided this wasn't a good idea and quit using it in his act.
In the later phases of feminism, the B word (probably I could use this one) was recognized as a way that women were described when they acted like men. Accordingly, lots of women started using it to describe themselves.
During the early seventies, many lesbians decided the D word was a perfectly good way to describe themselves. Gay men picked up the idea in relation to the F word, and by the late eighties, the major gay group was named Q Nation.
All these attempts were made in good conscience by people who were trying to do something good for their community. None of them succeeded in making those words stop being used as insults by people who hated them.
I do my very best to counteract the geek stereotype. I try to dress up rather than down. I shoot for slightly flashy at work. I tend to banded collars rather than shirt and tie (the tie gets in the way when you're opening up equipment), but I don't wear jeans on jeans day--ever. It's sort of personal gamesmanship, I guess, but I try to look and sound and be just a little better than those around me. I don't ever want to be mistaken for Dilbert--or Wally!
That means I actually learned how to tie my tie (I do wear ties fairly often, though usually not a suit) carefully (and keep it from turning up). I bought a really good pair of shoes (which also saved my back).
I really do believe that as long as tech people accept being called and treated like geeks, we'll not get what we deserve. During boom times, that isn't a problem--but we're entering a bust time, aren't we?
Those are my thoughts on the subject--no, let me add that there's nothing wrong with dressing how you want to dress.
I want (as an ex-hippie) to have the respectability that more formal dress gives me. I also found that, once I started dressing nicely well (as opposed to dressing nicely poorly) that I enjoyed it.
(It also helped me meet more women--but that's another story.)
They laughed at Joan of Arc, but she went right ahead and built it. --Gracie Allen