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Eventually he got over it and is now 97% on board with feminism, but wants people to understand that when done wrong it can be really scary.
The feminist blogosphere, as always, responded completely proportionally.
I stand by a lot of it, but if somebody links you here saying “HERE’S THE SORT OF GUY THIS SCOTT ALEXANDER PERSON IS, READ THIS SO YOU KNOW WHAT HIS BLOG IS REALLY ABOUT”, please read any other post instead.
There’s a whole list of Top Posts on the Top Posts bar above.
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.
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.A few days ago, in response to a discussion of sexual harassment at MIT, Aaronson reluctantly opened up about his experience as a young man: I check Feministing, and even radfem blogs like “I Blame the Patriarchy.” And yes, I’ve read many studies and task force reports about gender bias, and about the “privilege” and “entitlement” of the nerdy males that’s keeping women away from science.Alas, as much as I try to understand other people’s perspectives, the first reference to my “male privilege”—my privilege!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.I left each of those workshops with enough fresh paranoia and self-hatred to last me through another year.My recurring fantasy, through this period, was to have been born a woman, or a gay man, or best of all, completely asexual, so that I could simply devote my life to math, like my hero Paul Erdös did.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.(And after a decade of being coy about it, I suppose I’ve finally revealed the meaning of this blog’s title.) […] Now, the whole time I was struggling with this, I was also fighting a second battle: to maintain the liberal, enlightened, feminist ideals that I had held since childhood, against a powerful current pulling me away from them.I reminded myself, every day, that no, there’s no conspiracy to make the world a hell for shy male nerds.