Terms related to the derogatory use of the word ‘nerd’ should be considered a hate crime according to a psychology lecturer.
Dr Sonja Falck, who is a psychology lecturer and psychotherapist, says that ‘divisive and humiliating’ anti-IQ insults are harmful and have a long-lasting impact–sometimes for an entire lifetime.
Dr Falck proposes to include the brightest 2% of the population as a protected group, afforded similar rights and protections as ethnic minorities and LGBT individuals, according to The Daily Mail.
The university lecturer wants terms such “braniac,” “know-it-all,” “smart-a***,” “dweeb” and “brain box” to be covered by hate crime legislation, protecting intelligent people from stereotyped abuse.
Her views have been molded by eight years of research, working with gifted individuals, and her own experiences.
In addition to her research, Dr Falck has also written a book called called ‘Extreme Intelligence’ which delves into the abuse suffered by intellectually gifted individuals.
Dr Falck, who is also a member of the high-IQ society Mensa, said: “The N-word was common parlance in the UK until at least the 1960s.
“Other insulting slurs about age, disability, religion and gender identity remained in widespread use until relatively recently,” said Falck.
“Society at the time turned a blind eye to their impact by passing them off as harmless banter,” the doctor continued, “It is only with the benefit of hindsight and academic research that we realise how wrong we were.”
“The same can be said about anti-IQ words like ‘nerd’, ‘brainbox’, ‘geek’, ‘egg-head’, ‘dweeb’ and ‘smarty-pants’
“Slurs such as these will continue to be used unabated at the expense of the brightest members of society unless and until legislative action is taken.”