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As Bertrand Russell wrote of his own adolescence: “I was put off from suicide only by the desire to learn more mathematics.” At one point, I actually begged a psychiatrist to prescribe drugs that would chemically castrate me (I had researched which ones), because a life of mathematical asceticism was the only future that I could imagine for myself.
The psychiatrist refused to prescribe them, but he also couldn’t suggest any alternative: my case genuinely stumped him.
There are only individual women and men trying to play the cards they’re dealt, and the confluence of their interests sometimes leads to crappy outcomes.
No woman “owes” male nerds anything; no woman deserves blame if she prefers the Neanderthals; everyone’s free choice demands respect.
—is approximately where I get off the train, because it’s so alien to my actual lived experience.
But I suspect the thought that being a nerdy male might not make me “privileged”—that it might even have put me into one of society’s least privileged classes—is completely alien to your way of seeing things.
Anything, really, other than the curse of having been born a heterosexual male, which for me, meant being consumed by desires that one couldn’t act on or even admit without running the risk of becoming an objectifier or a stalker or a harasser or some other creature of the darkness.
Of course, I was smart enough to realize that maybe this was silly, maybe I was overanalyzing things.
The feminist blogosphere, as always, responded completely proportionally.
As well it might—for in some sense, there was nothing “wrong” with me.
In a different social context—for example, that of my great-grandparents in the shtetl—I would have gotten married at an early age and been completely fine.
This would usually be the point where I state for the record that I believe very strongly that all women are human beings.
Problem is, I’ve just conceived a sudden suspicion that one of them is actually a Vogon spy in a skin suit.