An Open Letter to Mark Zuckerberg
“Don’t date the nerd…” Wait, you really said that to our nation’s female students?
That’s rich coming from you, Mr. Married-Three-Years-and-Counting. It’s a good thing for you Priscilla doesn’t think like that.
“Don’t date the nerd”? Thank heavens Chuck Lorre and Bill Prady have already decided that’s bad advice. Otherwise, a major plotline of our #1 TV comedy wouldn’t exist. Yet Kaley Cuoco, Mayim Biyalik, and Melissa Rauch bring their performances to show just how wrong-minded you are. Judging from the ratings, I’d say it’s a fair assessment that millions of their viewers agree: it’s OK to date the nerd. It’s even OK to marry the nerd.
(I can already hear lots of people responding, “it’s only a TV show!” I answer that with, “Of course. But the best comedy is grounded in reality.”)
Then again, would you advise our male students not to date nerds? No way; you’d be a stereotypical sexist pig to say something like that. So why is it OK to give our female students the same advice? Reverse sexism is still sexism.
Oh, but context matters, right? Not in this case. You made a blanket statement, to the effect that intimate relationships where one person who doesn’t work in STEM fields should avoid dating someone else who does work in STEM. Because, clearly (at least in your eyes) the one who doesn’t work in STEM is trying to find a sugar daddy (or sugar mama).
And that wasn’t even the case you were responding to. The girl’s grandmother was advising her to look for a provider, for her and their children. The grandmother may have been mis-guided about a “potential” provider, but she understands one crucial point: someone must bring the food, clothing, and shelter for the family.
But why should any of us take relationship advice from you? Because you founded Facebook? That isn’t a qualification. Because you run a massively popular website and can broadcast such advice to millions (even through third-party news outlets)? That doesn’t automatically make it good advice. Our relationships, on any level, are not for you to judge. In this case, your so-called “advice” is worthy only of contempt. And so, in reponse I say:
Piss off, you sexist hypocrite.