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A Rant October 22, 2009

Posted by vorpalkeith in Life The Universe and Everything.

Those of you who follow me on Twitter will not that I had some things to say about this particular article. I felt I needed to go into a little more detail on why it bothered me so I’ve decided to give it a full blog write-up.

First, please read the article. And, as always, bear in mind that your mileage may vary.

I was a little offended by it. I don’t see why any woman wouldn’t either.

There are three points upon which this bothers me:

1) It assumes that nerds (note the subtle hint of disdain) are an oppressed minority. That’s just silly, and was played out in the 1980’s. We live in a world where things like Battlestar Galactica win Peabody Awards, nerds are billionaires, and the President of the United States collects Spider-Man and Conan comics.

2) It assumes that all men are scum. Any reasonable person knows this is patently untrue. Guys who are shy around men don’t have an added advantage of assuaged penis guilt, they are just reacting to the natural human fear of getting hurt.

3) It assumes that women are victims. The women that I know and choose to spend time with – and, yes, pursue relationships with – certainly aren’t. They’re strong, independent people that take no crap from anyone.

The author of the article says that he is intereste in what the role of men are in society. What it takes to be a man. That’s simply a matter of having testes. If his concern is about what it means to be a good man or a bad man, though, those are issues that have nothing to do with genitals.

Maybe my main problem is that he treats human beings, and human emotions as an academic problem. Not an individual basis.

To quote Patrick McGoohan from The Prisoner, “I am not a number!”



1. Leigh Woosey - October 31, 2009

Maybe my main problem is that he treats human beings, and human emotions as an academic problem

Well he is an academic, writing on an academic (sociological) resource blog- what else do you expect?

It assumes that all men are scum… It assumes that women are victims.

No he doesn’t, you’re the one putting those very loaded terms into the discussion. The OP discusses how in a patriarchal society the male ‘nerds’ (as presented in the strip and the Penny Arcade PUA discussion) still can’t seem to imagine dealing with a woman in a context that doesn’t involve seeing them as a potential mate..

Keith W. Cunningham - October 31, 2009

My point was that the span of human existence should never be treated as an academic problem, even by academics on academic journals. Breaking down life into facts and figures, raw data to be put on a spreadsheet, eliminates all of the context that makes being human actually worth it. It’s too . . . cold.

Keith W. Cunningham - October 31, 2009

Also, when did the concept of dating, or wanting to date someone become an offensive matter. Patriarchal society or not, young people getting together and falling in love is one of the best things in love (short of adorable puppies). It’s also the best way I know of for the human race to continue into the future outside of a laboratory setting.

2. Keith W. Cunningham - October 31, 2009

Quick correction, I mean best things in *life*.

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