'Geek' or 'brainbox' should be hate crimes, academic says

18 December 2019, 08:36

Dr Sonja Falck wants protection for people with high IQ
Dr Sonja Falck wants protection for people with high IQ. Picture: PA
EJ Ward

By EJ Ward

Branding somebody a "brainbox" or "geek" ought to be made a hate crime, to protect people with high IQs, according to an academic.

Dr Sonja Falck, of the University of East London, said: “Insulting slurs about age, disability, religion and gender identity remained in widespread use until relatively recently.

“Society at the time turned a blind eye to their impact by passing them off as harmless banter.

“It is only with the benefit of hindsight that we realise how wrong we were.

“The same can be said about anti-IQ words like nerd, brainbox, geek, egg-head, smart-arse and dweeb.”

The Harley Street psychotherapist has just launched a new book called 'Extreme Intelligence', a study of discrimination against those with very high IQs.

Her views are based on eight years of analysis, which were spent talking high-ability children, mothers and fathers, and adults about their very own experiences.

Speaking at her book launch, she said the next Government must take legislative action to encourage societal change.

She claimed the jibes, often dismissed as ‘banter’, were as offensive as homophobic, racial and religious slurs.

And she wants the 1million ‘gifted’ Brits with an IQ of 132 or more to get the same legal protection as ethnic minorities and gay people.

"The N-word was common parlance in the UK until at least the 1960s," she said. "Other insulting slurs about age, disability, religion and gender identity remained in widespread use until relatively recently.

"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', 'smart-arse', 'dweeb' and 'smarty-pants'."

The Crown Prosecution Service says the term hate crime is "used to describe a range of criminal behaviour where the perpetrator is motivated by hostility or demonstrates hostility towards the victim's disability, race, religion, sexual orientation or transgender identity."

‘It would be progress for society to feel the same way about hate-filled, prejudicial slurs against our high-IQ community,’ Dr Falck said.

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