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January 5, 2016 / gus3

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.


Leave a Comment
  1. Thomas Holbrook II / Jan 6 2016 8:32 am

    Hold on for a moment. Zuckerberg never actually said for women not to date a nerd. Instead, he simply said it would be even better if they were the nerd in high school. I’m no feminist. I’m a Libertarian who believes in the individual and the value they have based on what they bring to the table. This is what Zuckerberg actually said:

    “Even better would be to encourage them to *be* the nerd in their school so they can be the next successful inventor!”

    If anything, the grandmother in question (who was well meaning by the way), should have been told that self reliance is a better idea than simply latching onto someone else, regardless of gender.

    • gus3 / Jan 6 2016 4:49 pm

      That’s even worse. We can’t all be engineers, or artists, or poets, or mechanics or or or…. And we can’t all be nerds or inventors. And its arrogant of Zuckerberg to think we can all be like him on any level.

  2. Charlie Whitman / Jan 6 2016 9:30 am

    Wow, this is silly. The context of the remark entirely matters, since what Zuckerberg said was, essentiallly, ‘If you want to make a lot of money off technology, don’t rely on someone else, get into technology yourself,’ or, ‘Don’t date the nerd; be the nerd.’ So Zuckerberg’s advice to women that they should be self-reliant gets somehow twisted into meaning something sexist? Really?

    I am not even a fan of Zuckerberg or Facebook (never had a Facebook account), but to attack him by twisting what he said to somehow mean almost the polar opposite of what he actually said seems a bit extreme.

    • gus3 / Jan 6 2016 5:12 pm

      You said it yourself: “advice to women”. Those choices are theirs, not his, and they are not inferior for rejecting his so-called “advice.”

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