Part of the Anti-Moé Brigade’s agenda is to keep moé fans in a position of contempt with regards to the rest of the fandom. Indeed, moé is “sexist,” “creepy,” and “pedophilic,” so fans of moé must be sexist, creepy pedophiles. Nobody wants to associate themselves with sexist, creepy pedophiles. Sexist, creepy pedophiles belong outside the fandom. Moreover, they belong below the rest of the fandom. This is the Nerd Hierarchy.
The Nerd Hierarchy is an interesting concept. At its core, it centers on the idea of instilling a sense of “class structure” into a community based around a nerdy hobby, such as gaming or anime. Naturally, Nerd Hierarchy advocates are almost invariably out to place themselves in positions higher than other groups of nerds, and are often out to get nerds they find “acceptable” on-board with ostracizing (at best) and vilifying (at worst) nerds on lower rungs of the ladder.
Appearing as sort of the antithesis of the “nerd pride ‘movement’” that’s been gaining traction over the past few years is this “movement” of nerd denigration, in which nerds disparage other nerds for being too nerdy. It’s a strange thought process that seems preoccupied with pleasing general society, the same general society that so vehemently rejects nerds and nerdy hobbies. In a way, it feels like some people have forgotten where they came from, and, rather than stand with fellow nerds and show people in our own way that we’re not all bad, choose to stand against fellow nerds and show that they, too, can be that jerk from highschool and hate on nerds.
The Nerd Hierarchy concept, as employed by the Anti-Moé Brigade, seeks to turn the anime fandom at large against the moé fandom.
These people support moé and moé is killing anime!
It’s also for pedos!
And it’s creepy!
Thus pathologizing moé fans and discouraging them from participating in fandom. Moreover, it encourages moé fans to further wall themselves off from fandom and not participate in the moé discussion. To people seeking a legitimate dialogue about moé, this is a bad thing. A dialogue about such a contentious topic is only effective if it includes as many perspectives as possible. For the Anti-Moé Brigade, however, this is fine, as it allows them to spread their viewpoint unopposed.
I will continue to repeat this until everyone understands it:
“We all share a passion for the same medium and many of the same activities. However, a number of us need to be reminded that what we do and enjoy is found by many to be childish, silly, or creepy. Therefore, it is important that we ultimately stick together as anime fans and not cut each other down because somehow your cartoons are better than my cartoons, his cartoons, or her cartoons.”
Nerd Hierarchy is something that was made up so nerds can make others feel bad about liking different things and, in doing so, elevate their own position relative to other nerds. Being a nerd isn’t a zero-sum game, but people who advocate for Nerd Hierarchy treat it like one. For them to gain self-esteem, other nerds must lose theirs.
We can all lift each other up. We don’t have to play this dumb game where we cut down people we should instead, at least on a basic level, be identifying with, in order to please whomever. Nerd Hierarchy is useless, as it parses fandom into levels of “cool” that only matter to people who already subscribe to the Nerd Hierarchy (Who, no doubt, put themselves on top.). These people aren’t cool to the rest of the fandom, nor are they particularly cool to people outside the fandom.
The mentality that these people promote is ultimately self-serving and quite honestly a cop-out. It’s not easy to stand in solidarity with people you don’t agree with and who like things you dislike. It’s much easier and more convenient to simply try to dismiss people you don’t like from the community.
After all, they’re just nerds, right? Since when did nerds deserve any respect?