“ He misunderstands privilege pretty massively in his first post though.
There was something I was taught while taking a political theory class. The first thing you need to do when attacking a problem is ask if it is systemic or individual. A failure at this stage leads to bad theory and bad policy. He, without a doubt, erred on that question. He took an individual issue, wrapped up in his own experiences, insecurities, and misunderstandings, and tried to turn it into a systemic issue. Whatever the honesty of his position, and I respect him for that, his logic is still fundamentally wrong.
There was an excellent response to his article by another male "nerd" I'm trying to find currently. But as someone who fit the definition myself, though I don't work in any tech field, I can explicitly say blaming feminism or women is wrong.
I also question this attempt to suggest "nerds" do not have privilege. Being considered a "nerd" did not erase the fact that I'm white, or male. Just like being a poor "redneck" doesn't erase white privilege, even if you have no class privilege. Privilege, in the pure sense, is a complex system of interconnected and sometimes contradictory social views of an individual based on a given label or quality. You can have both positive ones (white, male) and negative ones ("nerd" or non-normative in other ways). The negative one does not erase the positive, and in this case I'd be very hesitant to suggest it is of equal force.
Especially since the view of "nerds" as effeminate and unmasculine is not due to feminism, but due to the same gender norms feminists try to move past. ”
“ See, I asked whether nerds suffered "real"and "measurable" bigotry because it is the standard you offered–but now you want to shift so that only "equivalent" bigotry counts. Why should one sort of bigotry need to be "equivalent" to another kind to make discussing it legitimate? As for nerds having "entire sites and shows that pander to their tastes," that is also true of most every group–certainly women, gays, and African Americans–that you consider as having cleared some vague threshold that nerds haven't. Can you really suggest that there isn't representation and voices for women on television? ”
“ When transgender individuals explain the harrows of feeling like a man in a woman's body, or vice versa, are you similarly inclined to label their experience as "rooted in internal feelings" as if that automatically makes it irrelevant? Yes, there is a difference between external discrimination and internal feelings–but how is that difference relevant here? ”
The comment that begat this small Internet miracle wasn't perfect. Neither were the responses to it–as ever online, some needless cruelty and lack of charity followed.
But Aaronson and his interlocutors did transform an obscure, not-particularly-edifying debate into a broad, widely read conversation that encompassed more earnest, productive, revelatory perspectives than I'd have thought possible. The conversation has already captivated a corner of the Internet, but deserves wider attention, both as a model of public discourse and a window into the human experience. It began with the most personal thing that the professor had ever publicly shared.Read more...