Please, please read this Arthur Chu piece on “misogyny, entitlement and nerds”

Any of you people reading this blog, please go read this magnificent commentary in the Daily Beast by Arthur Chu (a fellow geek and historian famous for his Jeopardy appearances).  It says so much that I could not possibly put into words myself, especially touching on the horrible event on that college campus in California and some of the strikingly awful responses to it generated by people who are overwhelmingly white, male, and angry, not to mention misogynistic on a scale that is literally hard for me to even comprehend.

If you are a nerd, and especially if you are a male nerd, you really must read it.

Perhaps a big part of why this is difficult for me to accept is that once upon a time, I was like this myself.   And part of me fears that I still might be in some ways.  That terrifies me.

Once upon a time, I was one of those nerds.  A guy who tried to do everything right – stayed out of trouble, did well in school, was respectful to my elders and to other people in general, and accomplished much in the eyes of my parents and teachers.

And yet, there was something underneath that was a lot like some of these angry entitled young men.  I am still stunned at how naive and even selfish I was about this sort of thing, certainly all the way through high school and into early adulthood.  Yeah, sure, I was bullied a bit and there are plenty of stories I could tell about my treatment at the hands of some football players at my school(s).   I’m not sure what caused me to change, but I know there was a change, and like so many other things in my life involving change and the acknowledgement of personal failure it was a real  emotional struggle.  Even now it is painful and even embarrassing to admit to myself, much less in public like this, even if almost no one reads this blog.  But oh man was I an entitled chauvinist at times – a nerd too, but like Arthur says, there are plenty of nerds out there who need a serious attitude adjustment.

Anyway, I have already read this several times and will likely read it a few more times.  Chu really hits the nail on the head with this.  Maybe it will make a difference for some people.  I hope it does.

-Geoff

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