Thursday, 15 November 2012

I am a neckbeard; I don't have a neckbeard.

In my last post, L. Byron remarked that he doesn't know what the term 'neckbeard' really means, despite having been accused of having one. Since I chose to name my blog The Neckbeard Chronicles, I am presumably qualified to address this.

The term 'neckbeard' has two separate, but related, meanings. First of all, it refers to a beard grown on the neck. Secondly, it refers to those who possess aforementioned beards on their necks. This is a slur used by feminists and other open-minded progressives against denizens of the manosphere, particularly of the MRA persuasion.

But what does it mean? Well, Urban Dictionary defines 'neckbeard' as follows:
Derogatory term for slovenly nerdy people who have no sense of hygene or grooming. Often related to hobbies such as card gaming, video gaming, anime, et. al.

Talkative, self-important nerdy men (usually age 30 and up) who, through an inability to properly decode social cues, mistake others' strained tolerance of their blather for evidence of their own charm.

someone incapable of adult interaction or successful working relationships.
It can also be used as a verb, as in 'to neckbeard':
to hide in your room, lights off, blinds drawn, shying from society in order to play a video game. This is the stereotype for Dwarf Fortress players but the variety is getting bigger, with games including Minecraft, Warcraft, and Team Fortress 2.
Basically, a neckbeard is a slovenly, unhygienic, basement-dwelling nerd. This page has a different take on it, and draws the link between having neck hair (rather than a full beard) and lowered masculinity and virility. See also: pubestache.

Personally, I find the stereotype pretty funny. It's basically an extension of the Internet Tough Guy meme, but applied to PUAs and the like, whose real-life sexual prowess doesn't match up to their carefully constructed online reputation.

In my case, I do not actually have hair growing on my neck. I have enough work hours in the week to mandate regular shaving, although if I have some time off I let it grow out of sheer laziness.

I don't have a neckbeard, but I think I probably am something of a neckbeard. This would make me the polar opposite (in neckbeardian terms) to the guy I chose to be my avatar, Henry David Thoreau. In Henry's case, he had a neckbeard, but he most certainly was not a neckbeard. You follow?

But how big of a neckbeard am I really? This is a question every man must ask himself if he is ever to grow. I searched online for typical neckbeard characteristics and came across this blog by some guy called Leon, which dissects the anatomy of the neckbeard in some detail.

The primary identifiers of the neckbeard, according to Leon, are as follows:
BEARD The neckbeard of the Neckbeard (from which we derive its name) is one of the first physical identifiers [...] If you visually examine the area under the jawline you will notice large patches of fuzz that was missed by a razor blade.
As we've already established, I lack the requisite beard on my neck to be classed as a literal neckbeard.
SIZE It is a misconception that the Neckbeard is always bulbous or even cyclopean. The standard Neckbeard is skinny or medium in size whereas larger varieties typically belong to the Neckbearded Hambeast subtype.
Really, all this says is that a neckbeard can be of any size or shape. I envisage the average neckbeard as severely overweight and with a permanent sprinkling of Cheetos powder on his face. On the other hand, I am tall and broad-shouldered, with a semi-athletic build, which doesn't seem particularly neckbeardly.
SMELL Neckbeards do often smell strongly of body odour. They typically do not shower as often as humans.
Personal hygiene is something I take pretty seriously, though not to the point of becoming metrosexual. I.e. I shower daily.
ROLE PLAYING The Neckbearded Hambeast almost always plays roleplaying games. The few varieties that do not will instead play Yu-Gi-Oh, Pokemon, or another CCG which is followed entirely by elementary school children.
I haven't ever played a role playing game in my life. I rarely play video games, and those I do play are of an 'adult' nature like Silent Hill. I do have a load of consoles and games stashed away, but those are holdovers from my teenage years. Partial neckbeard points.
LANGUAGE One recent development by researchers has been the identification of a Neckbeard call which can often be used to identify the presence of the creature. Neckbeards, when distressed, will say “frack” in emulation of the popular science fiction television program Battlestar Galactica.
No, although you could argue that manosphere lingo (MRA, PUA, NAWALT, HB10, etc) is a form of this. I don't use it in real life, though.
PERSONAL EFFECTS Neckbeards generally wear t-shirts that came free with a video game reservation or were handed to them at some sort of Star Trek/anime/gaming convention. If they actually purchased a shirt it will certainly display a sarcastic or antisocial saying like “I See Dumb People” or “Chaotic Evil means never having to say you’re sorry.”
No. I don't even wear band t-shirts any more.
SWORDS Neckbeards love medieval weapons.
No again.
MATING HABITS The male Neckbeard, regardless of age, always pursues intercourse with teenage girls (albeit clumsily). [...] Regardless of any attempts, if the male Neckbeard mates at all it is exclusively with Neckbearded Hambeasts or, more commonly, the standard Hambeast (Fattus Bitchus). An attractive (even slightly) girlfriend should be an immediate indicator that the subject is not a Neckbeard.
I have never lusted after hambeasts, and the last time I pursued intercourse with a teenage girl was when I was a teenage boy. I have been involved with enough quality women to discount this as an indicator of my neckbeard status as well.

To summarise, all I have managed to prove is that I'm not really a neckbeard at all, am not qualified to address questions about neckbeards, and should probably have called my blog something else. I'm not sure whether to feel disappointed or elated to discover that I have poor neckbeard credentials.

I also found this, which is a feminist tumblr called Fuck Off, Neckbeards in which the permanently angry author tells various men to "fuck off" in protracted walls of text. As the other sites I consulted during research for this post will confirm, 'neckbeard' is synonymous with 'a man I don't like' in feminist vernacular.

- Mojo the Neckbeard (?)

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