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This is the most controversial post I have ever written in ten years of blogging. I wrote it because I was very angry at a specific incident. Not meant as a criticism of feminism, so much as of a certain way of operationalizing feminism. 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 was terrified that one of my female classmates would somehow find out that I sexually desired her, and that the instant she did, I would be scorned, laughed at, called a creep and a weirdo, maybe even expelled from school or sent to prison.

You can call that my personal psychological problem if you want, but it was strongly reinforced by everything I picked up from my environment: I left each of those workshops with enough fresh paranoia and self-hatred to last me through another year.

Of course, I was smart enough to realize that maybe this was silly, maybe I was overanalyzing things. So I scoured the feminist literature for any statement to the effect that my fears were as silly as I hoped they were. As Bertrand Russell wrote of his own adolescence: 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.

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. Now, the whole time I was struggling with this, I was also fighting a second battle: That I managed to climb out of the pit with my feminist beliefs mostly intact, you might call a triumph of abstract reason over experience.

Guy opens up for the first time about how he was so terrified of accidentally hurting women that he became suicidal and tried to get himself castrated. The feminist blogosphere, as always, responded completely proportionally. Amanda Marcotte, want to give us a representative sample? The eternal struggle of the sexist: Objective reality suggests that women are people, but the heart wants to believe they are a robot army put here for sexual service and housework.

This would usually be the point where I state for the record that I believe very strongly that all women are human beings. Anyway, Marcotte was bad enough, given that she runs one of the most-read feminist blogs on the Internet.

But there was one small ray of hope. On further reflection, Other Friend has a point. But I did feel like it treated him like a human being, which is rare and wonderful.

Having been a lonely, anxious, horny young person who hated herself and was bullied I can categorically say that it is an awful place to be. It takes a long time to heal. I can only offer Ms. Penny and the entire staff of the New Statesman the recognition appropriate for their achievement:.

But by bringing nerd-dom into the picture, Penny has made that basic picture exponentially more complicated. Luckily, this is a post about Scott Aaronson, so things that become exponentially more complicated fit the theme perfectly. It is a real shame that Aaronson picked up Andrea Dworkin rather than any of the many feminist theorists and writers who manage to combine raw rage with refusal to resort to sexual shame as an instructive tool.

Weaponised shame — male, female or other — has no place in any feminism I subscribe to. I live in a world where feminists throwing weaponized shame at nerds is an obvious and inescapable part of daily life. There continue to be a constant stream of feminist cartoons going around Tumblr featuring blubberous neckbearded fedora-wearing monsters threatening the virtue of innocent ladies.

Oops, I accidentally included three neo-Nazi caricatures of Jews in there. You did notice, right? There is a growing trend in Internet feminism that works exactly by conflating the ideas of nerd, misogynist, virgin, person who disagrees with feminist tactics or politics, and unlovable freak.

Ideals are always pretty awesome. Like Aaronson, I was terrified of making my desires known- to anyone. Or how about a triple whammy: Or how women asking random people for sex on the street get accepted more than two-thirds of the time, but men trying the same get zero percent. Or how the same study shows that the women who get declined get declined politely, while the men are treated with disgust and contempt. Grant that everyone involved in this conversation has admitted they consider themselves below average attractiveness except maybe Marcotte, whose daily tune-ups keep her skin-suit in excellent condition.

It would be pretty easy to mock teenage-me for not asking for dates when ten percent of people would have said yes. Asking ten people something takes what, five minutes? And would have saved how many years of misery? This is a pretty impressive market failure — in sheer utility cost, probably bigger than any of the market failures actual economists talk about. I take this very seriously and try not to slut-shame or tolerate those who do.

If anything, many actively make it worse. This is exactly those cartoons above and the feminists spreading them. Nerds are told that if they want to date girls, that makes them disgusting toxic blubberous monsters who are a walking offense to womankind. Geeks, Creeps, and Sex. Or more like me, who got asked out by a very pretty girl in middle school and ran away terrified because he knew nobody could actually like him and it was obviously some kind of nasty trick.

There was that one time when I looked at a woman and almost thought about asking her out! That means I must be feeling entitled to sex!

I had temporarily forgotten that as a toxic monster I must never show any sexuality to anybody! Again, this is not the most rational thing in the world. Self-loathing is easy to inculcate and encourage, even unintentionally.

When feminists say that the market failure for young women is caused by slut-shaming, I stop slut-shaming, and so do most other decent people. When Penny bares her suffering to the world for all to hear about, she gets sympathy, she gets praised as compassionate, she gets published in important magazines whose readers feel sorry for her and acknowledge that her experience sucks. When Aaronson talks about his suffering on his own blog, he gets Amanda Marcotte. He gets half the internet telling him he is now the worst person in the world.

This was my experience as well. When I complained that I felt miserable and alone, it was like throwing blood in the water. A feeding frenzy of feminists showed up to tell me I was a terrible person and deserved to die, sometimes in terms that made Marcotte look like grandmotherly kindness.

And when that happens, again and again and again, of course we learn to shut up about it. I bottled my feelings inside and never let them out and spent years feeling like I was a monster for even having them. Patriarchy is to blame for that. Patriarchy is yet another motte and bailey trick. The motte is that patriarchy is the existence of different gender roles in our society and the ways in which they are treated differently.

If you allow people to switch between these and their connotations willy-nilly, then you enable all sorts of mischief. Well, that sounds like a gender role. So what we need is more feminism. So, for example, we are told that the patriarchy causes male rape.

We are told that if we want to fight male rape, the best way to do so is to work hard to promote feminist principles. But once feminism has been promoted, the particular feminists benefitting from that extra social capital may well be the ones to successfully lobbying national governments to keep male rape legal on the ground that if raping men was illegal, they might make false accusations which could hurt women.

I mean, we live in a world where the Chinese Communist Party is the group that enforces Chinese capitalism and oppresses any workers who complain about it. We live in a world where the guy who spoke out against ritualized purity-obsessed organized religion ended up as the founder of the largest ritualized purity-obsessed organized religion of all time.

We live in a world where the police force, which is there to prevent theft and violence, is confiscating property and shooting people right and left. Feminists led the effort to stigmatize them and often still do. Discrimination against sex workers? People who have too much sex, or the wrong kind of sex? Male victims of domestic violence? Yes, many feminists have been on both sides of these issues, and there have been good feminists tirelessly working against the bad feminists.

Indeed, right now there are feminists who are telling the other feminists to lay off the nerd-shaming. My girlfriend is one of them. There are feminists on both sides of a lot of issues, including the important ones. Come back in and we can have a really interesting discussion about whether the feminists of screwed up as massively as the feminists of and did. Every time I say this, I get a stream of grateful emails thanking me for saying something so true to their experience.

Scott Aaronson has now said that getting exposed to feminist shaming was part of what made his adolescence miserable. There are a hell of a lot of people attracted to women who seem to have internalized the message that their attraction makes them sick and wrong and evil and creepy, that basically any interaction they have with a woman is coercive or harmful on their part, and that initiating a romantic interaction makes them a sexual predator.

I spent years of my life convinced that it was coercive to make it clear to girls that I wanted to date them, lest they feel pressured. So I could only ask them out with a clear conscience if I was in fact totally indifferent to their answer. I internalized these messages from exposure to feminist memes, norms, and communities.

It was feminist messages, not homophobic ones, that made it hardest for me to come to terms with my sexuality. Lots and lots of people are misinterpreting the way I did. The infuriating thing is that I think there might be. We could write articles acknowledging that certain conversations can exacerbate crippling guilt and self-loathing, particularly for people with anxiety, depression, or other mental illnesses that make them fixate on their own perceived worthlessness.

We could really, truly, not-just-lip-service integrate concern for those people into our activism.

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Drake consistently hit over. He was selected to ten major league all-star teams, received eight Golden Hands awards for his defense, and was named an MVP on ten teams.

He was recognized as the greatest Flamingo outfielder with no other player coming close to his talents. He often ate ice cream and drank pop while chasing balls down. Sometimes he even caught some behind his back. For over fifteen years, Drake had a front row seat to sixteen-inch softball history.

He witnessed super teams playing with great players and being managed by super managers. They have seven children: John Stock played softball for twenty- five years with some of the top teams of his time. He started playing neighborhood softball when he was fifteen in the schoolyard at Chopin Grammar School. He later played in the league at Smith Park.

In , the Playboys were an exceptional team. The highlight of that year was winning the Andy Frain Tournament. John did and joined the Hometown Touch. After the championship game, that coach told John that letting him go was the biggest mistake he made. John credits the high honor of being inducted into the Hall of Fame to his great teammates and all of the people who believed in him along the way. John lives in Las Vegas, Nevada. Traffic is a classic neighborhood softball team from the Riis Park area that evolved into a consistent top- fifteen team.

They started playing in a Sunday league at Riis Park in In , they took second in the Westchester Tournament of Champions and finished fifth in the Forest Park No Gloves Nationals in , proof that twenty-seven years later, Traffic is still competitive. Led by two different managers — Dean Pritt and Nick Gatta — Traffic has always had a strong core of dedicated and loyal players. Eight of the players on the team that won the televised team Old Style Tournament grew-up within four blocks of each other.

Throughout the years, players have come-and-gone, but the team has always competed at the top level while still maintaining that neighborhood feel. This is exactly those cartoons above and the feminists spreading them.

Nerds are told that if they want to date girls, that makes them disgusting toxic blubberous monsters who are a walking offense to womankind. Geeks, Creeps, and Sex. Or more like me, who got asked out by a very pretty girl in middle school and ran away terrified because he knew nobody could actually like him and it was obviously some kind of nasty trick. There was that one time when I looked at a woman and almost thought about asking her out!

That means I must be feeling entitled to sex! I had temporarily forgotten that as a toxic monster I must never show any sexuality to anybody! Again, this is not the most rational thing in the world. Self-loathing is easy to inculcate and encourage, even unintentionally. When feminists say that the market failure for young women is caused by slut-shaming, I stop slut-shaming, and so do most other decent people. When Penny bares her suffering to the world for all to hear about, she gets sympathy, she gets praised as compassionate, she gets published in important magazines whose readers feel sorry for her and acknowledge that her experience sucks.

When Aaronson talks about his suffering on his own blog, he gets Amanda Marcotte. He gets half the internet telling him he is now the worst person in the world. This was my experience as well. When I complained that I felt miserable and alone, it was like throwing blood in the water. A feeding frenzy of feminists showed up to tell me I was a terrible person and deserved to die, sometimes in terms that made Marcotte look like grandmotherly kindness.

And when that happens, again and again and again, of course we learn to shut up about it. I bottled my feelings inside and never let them out and spent years feeling like I was a monster for even having them. Patriarchy is to blame for that. Patriarchy is yet another motte and bailey trick. The motte is that patriarchy is the existence of different gender roles in our society and the ways in which they are treated differently. If you allow people to switch between these and their connotations willy-nilly, then you enable all sorts of mischief.

Well, that sounds like a gender role. So what we need is more feminism. So, for example, we are told that the patriarchy causes male rape. We are told that if we want to fight male rape, the best way to do so is to work hard to promote feminist principles. But once feminism has been promoted, the particular feminists benefitting from that extra social capital may well be the ones to successfully lobbying national governments to keep male rape legal on the ground that if raping men was illegal, they might make false accusations which could hurt women.

I mean, we live in a world where the Chinese Communist Party is the group that enforces Chinese capitalism and oppresses any workers who complain about it. We live in a world where the guy who spoke out against ritualized purity-obsessed organized religion ended up as the founder of the largest ritualized purity-obsessed organized religion of all time.

We live in a world where the police force, which is there to prevent theft and violence, is confiscating property and shooting people right and left. Feminists led the effort to stigmatize them and often still do. Discrimination against sex workers? People who have too much sex, or the wrong kind of sex? Male victims of domestic violence?

Yes, many feminists have been on both sides of these issues, and there have been good feminists tirelessly working against the bad feminists. Indeed, right now there are feminists who are telling the other feminists to lay off the nerd-shaming. My girlfriend is one of them. There are feminists on both sides of a lot of issues, including the important ones.

Come back in and we can have a really interesting discussion about whether the feminists of screwed up as massively as the feminists of and did. Every time I say this, I get a stream of grateful emails thanking me for saying something so true to their experience.

Scott Aaronson has now said that getting exposed to feminist shaming was part of what made his adolescence miserable. There are a hell of a lot of people attracted to women who seem to have internalized the message that their attraction makes them sick and wrong and evil and creepy, that basically any interaction they have with a woman is coercive or harmful on their part, and that initiating a romantic interaction makes them a sexual predator.

I spent years of my life convinced that it was coercive to make it clear to girls that I wanted to date them, lest they feel pressured. So I could only ask them out with a clear conscience if I was in fact totally indifferent to their answer.

I internalized these messages from exposure to feminist memes, norms, and communities. It was feminist messages, not homophobic ones, that made it hardest for me to come to terms with my sexuality. Lots and lots of people are misinterpreting the way I did.

The infuriating thing is that I think there might be. We could write articles acknowledging that certain conversations can exacerbate crippling guilt and self-loathing, particularly for people with anxiety, depression, or other mental illnesses that make them fixate on their own perceived worthlessness. We could really, truly, not-just-lip-service integrate concern for those people into our activism.

We could acknowledge how common this experience is and have resources to help people. We could stop misidentifying anguish as entitlement, and stop acting like anguish that does have entitlement at its root is deserved or desirable or hilarious.

Penny, as an I think? HughRistik, who is some sort of weird metrosexual something I mock him because I love him , is telling her feminist shaming tactics have made it worse. If patriarchy means everything in the world, then yes, it is the fault of patriarchy.

The closest it really comes is to say that:. This is why Silicon Valley is fucked up. I really fucking hope that it got better, or at least is getting better, At the same time, I want you to understand that that very real suffering does not cancel out male privilege, or make it somehow alright.

The bailey, the sneaky definition used to push a political point once people have agreed to the motte, is that privilege is a one-dimensional axis such that for any two people, one has privilege over the other, and that first person has it better in every single way, and that second person has it worse in every single way. But as soon as they are not being explicitly challenged about the definition, this is the way they revert back to using the word.

Go back to the original Amanda Marcotte article. But Aaronson is admitting about a hundred times that he recognizes the importance of the ways women are oppressed. Her obvious worldview is — since privilege and oppression are a completely one dimensional axis, for Aaronson to claim that there is anything whatsoever that has ever been bad for men must be interpreted as a claim that they are the ones who are really oppressed and therefore women are not the ones who are really oppressed and therefore nothing whatsoever has ever been bad for women.

By Insane Moon Logic, it sort of makes sense. She has to be a jerk to him, otherwise it would be a tacit admission that he has problems, which means only he has problems, which means no woman has ever had problems, which means all women are oppressors. I have felt pain before too. It would be incredibly crass to try to quantify exactly how your pain compares to my pain and lord it over you if mine was worse. Instead I will try to help you with your pain, just as I hope that you will help me with mine.

But the one-dimensional view sucks. Also, he had it coming! I am not the first person to notice that there are a lot of Jews in Silicon Valley. Imagine how an anti-Semite might think about this. In fact, he might he add exactly the same comment we see in the Statesman article: But once again this only works when you have the dumb one-dimensional model of privilege.

Some Jews are rich, therefore all Jews are rich, therefore all Jews are privileged, therefore no Jew could be oppressed in any way, therefore Jews are the oppressors. And much the same is true of nerds. In fact, have you noticed actual nerds and actual Jews tend to be the same people? Scott Aaronson is Jewish. Laurie Penny, who declares her nerd-girl credentials, is Jewish. They dress weird and talk weird. But worst of all, they have the chutzpah to do all that and also be successful.

Propaganda against the Jews is described as follows:. Since Jews were ugly, they depended on reprehensible methods of sexual conquest. Non-violent means such as money were common, but also violence. Streicher specialized in stories and images alleging Jewish sexual violence.

In a typical example, a girl cowers under the huge claw-like hand of a Jew, his evil silhouette in the background. The caption at the bottom of the page: Keep away from Jews! Although Jews were too cowardly to engage in manly combat and too disgusting to be physically attractive to German women, they were eager to overpower and rape German women, thereby corrupting the Aryan racial stock.

So let me specify what I am obviously not saying. I am not saying that prejudice against nerds is literally motivated by occult anti-Semitism, or accusing anyone of being anti-Semitic. I am saying that whatever structural oppression means, it should be about structure. And the structure society uses to marginalize and belittle nerds is very similar to a multi-purpose structure society has used to belittle weird groups in the past with catastrophic results.

There is a well-known, dangerous form of oppression that works just fine when the group involved have the same skin color as the rest of society, the same sex as the rest of society, and in many cases are totally indistinguishable from the rest of society except to themselves. It works by taking a group of unattractive, socially excluded people, mocking them, accusing them of being out to violate women, then denying that there could possibly be any problem with these attacks because they include rich people who dominate a specific industry.

Once again, this only makes sense if you assume a one-dimensional zero-sum model of privilege, where the fact that miserable male nerds are concentrating on their own desire for the release of death, instead of what women think they should be concentrating on, means they must be universally denying women can have problems.

New Republic has changed their title. You can still see it in the URL, though]. What can I say? This is a strange and difficult age, one of fast-paced change and misunderstandings. Nerd culture is changing, technology is changing, and our frameworks for gender and power are changing — for the better.

And the backlash to that change is painful as good, smart people try to rationalise their own failure to be better, to be cleverer, to see the other side for the human beings they are. You may be wondering whether you missed the part of Star Wars where Darth Vader is so terrified of hurting or offending other people that he stops interacting with anybody and becomes suicidally depressed for years.

Finally, Vader mentions this fact in the comments section of a blog about obscure Sith rituals. The brave Rebel Alliance springs into action and gets all of the Coruscant newspapers to publish articles on how Vader is entitled and needs to check his privilege. Maybe this was one of those things that got taken out in the Special Edition?

So the question is — how come various feminists keep independently choosing the Empire as a metaphor for their enemies? Transsexuals claimed to be suffering.

This was a problem, because some of them were transwomen who had started with the male gender role. And they claimed to be suffering!

The solution is to deny their suffering. Not only deny their suffering and accuse them of being rapists, but to insist that they are privileged — no, super-privileged — no, the most privileged — no, a giant all-powerful all-encompassing mass of privilege that controls everything in the world,.

So they became an Empire. Is there no end to people who are not us, suffering in inconvenient ways? They say that when they feel haunted by scrupulosity, that shaming them all the time actually makes the problem worse! So how better to rub in the concept of very privileged people than to draw in the old Empire analogy, right? Chancellor Palpatine is, by universal agreement, a great guy. But sometimes people get in the way of his mission of helping the underprivileged, and then he has to, you know, tell it like it is.

When the Senate is not sure they want to hand over power to the Chancellor, he declares that they are corrupt and oppose democracy. Indeed, in Order 66 , Palpatine says straight out:. They never check, they never ask, they never think…Tell them you can save them, and they will never ask—from what, from whom? Just say tyranny, oppression, vague bogeymen.

And if the people in the Star Wars universe had seen the Star Wars movies, I have no doubt whatsoever that Chancellor Palpatine would have discredited his opponents by saying they were the Empire. Unlike Aaronson, I was also female, so when I tried to pull myself out of that hell into a life of the mind, I found sexism standing in my way. I am still punished every day by men who believe that I do not deserve my work as a writer and scholar.

Science is a way that shy, nerdy men pull themselves out of the horror of their teenage years. But shy, nerdy women have to try to pull themselves out of that same horror into a world that hates, fears and resents them because they are women.

There is something to be discussed here, but I am having trouble isolating Ms. Their likelihood of becoming professors is nicely predicted by the percent of degrees they earn at a couple decade interval. Women in her demographic group — twenty-something and childless — out-earn their male counterparts by almost ten cents on the dollar.

Over seventy five percent of psychology majors are female — a disproportionate which blows out of the water the comparatively miniscule disproportion favoring men in mathematics.

When Penny says she as a woman is being pushed down and excluded from every opportunity in academic life, she means that women in a very small subset of subjects centered around computer science and engineering face a gender imbalance about as bad as men do in another collection of subjects such as psychology and education. I hold her to account for the even higher imbalance in favor of women in psychology and education. That sounds extremely fair. By late high school, the gap between men and women in math and programming is already as large as it will ever be.

But less than twenty percent of high school students who choose to the AP Computer Science test are women. Nothing that happens between twelfth grade and death decreases the percent of women interested in computer science one whit.

I want to say that I want to say that whether we attribute this to inborn ability or to acculturation, the entire gender gap has been determined in high school if not before. If anything, women actually gain a few percentage points as they enter Silicon Valley. What the heck do high schoolers know about whether Silicon Valley culture is sexist or not? Even if you admit that all the online articles talking about this are being read by fourteen year olds in between Harry Potter and Twilight , these articles are a very new phenomenon and my stats are older than they are.

The entire case for Silicon Valley misogyny driving women out of tech is a giant post hoc ergo propter hoc. My own field is medicine. More than half of medical students are female. In two years, more than half of doctors in the UK will be female, and the US is close behind. Medicine is better-paying and more prestigious than programming. Medicine is full of extremely abrasive personalities. Medicine has long work hours. Medicine will laugh at you hysterically if you say you want to balance work and family life.

So any explanation of the low number of women in Silicon Valley has to equally well explain their comparatively high numbers in medicine. Look at these low-status people. We already dislike them, now we have an even better reason to dislike them that nicely wraps up an otherwise embarassing mystery.

Time for a better theory. A look at percent female physicians by subspecialty is instructive. The specialty with the most women is pediatrics, followed by child psychiatry, followed by obstetrics, followed by — you get the picture.

The specialties with the least women are the various surgeries — the ones where your patient is immobilized, anaesthetized, opened up, and turned into a not-quite-color-coded collection of tubes and wires to poke and prod at — the ones that bear more than a passing resemblance to engineering. It seems really obvious to me that women — in high schools and everywhere else — have a statistical predilection to like working with people especially children and to dislike working with abstract technical poking and prodding.

This is a bias clearly inculcated well before SATs and AP exams, one that affects medics and programmers alike. The cultural origins are far too varied to enumerate. Many people very justly bring up the issue of how our society genders toys , with parents getting very angry when girls play with stereotypically male toys and vice versa.

On the other hand, I also think people who neglect biological causes are doing the issue a disservice. Did you know that young monkeys express pretty much exactly the same gendered toy preferences as human children? Rhesus monkeys , vervet monkeys , pretty much whatever species of monkeys you try it on, the male monkeys enjoy wheeled toys more and the female monkeys plush toys more. When intersex children are raised as other than their biological gender, their toy preference and behavior are consistently that associated with their biological gender and not the gender they are being raised as, even when they themselves are unaware their biological gender is different.

This occurs even when parents reinforce them more for playing with their gender-being-raised-as toys. You can even successfully correlate the degree of this with the precise amount of androgen they get in the womb, and if you experimentally manipulate the amount of hormones monkeys receive in the womb, their gendered play will change accordingly. The end result of all this is probably our old friend gene-culture interaction, where certain small innate differences become ossified into social roles that then magnify the differences immensely.

As a result, high school girls are only a fifth as likely to be interested in computer science as high school boys, and sure enough women are only a fifth as well represented in Silicon Valley as men. All of this information is accessible for free to anyone who spends ten minutes doing a basic Google search.

But instead we have to keep hearing how nerds are gross and disgusting and entitled and should feel constant shame for how they bully and harass the poor female programmers out of every industry they participate in. This is that motte-and-bailey thing with patriarchy again. People will believe what they want to believe. Any space with a four-to-one male: Add into this mix the fact that nerds usually have poor social skills explaining exactly why would take a literature review to put that last one to shame, but hopefully everyone can agree this is true , and you get people who are pretty sure they are supposed to do something but have no idea what.

But once you accept this model, it starts to look like feminists and I are trying to solve the same problem. The problem is that nerds are scared and confused and feel lonely and have no idea how to approach women. In psychology, entitlement as a construct is usually blended with narcissism. Predictors of narcissism include high emotional intelligence, high social skills but uniquely among Dark Triad traits not high nonverbal ie mathematical intelligence, and high extraversion.

Another interesting fact about narcissists is that they tend to have more sexual partners than non-narcissists. But even this seems to require further clarification. Do they mean nerds hold sexist attitudes?

The research 1 , 2 , 3 , 4 shows that sexist attitudes are best predicted by low levels of education, high levels of religious belief, and whites only low neuroticism. Besides, in a survey I did of people on an incredibly nerdy forum last year, the average was extremely feminist, so much so that the average nerdy man was more feminist than the average non-nerdy woman. Do they mean nerds are more likely to rape people? But the rest include: A male nerd has dared to express that he is sad about being alone and miserable.

He is just about the most unentitled untitled? You have better examples? A better word for this untitlement is, perhaps, scrupulosity , where you believe you are uniquely terrible and deserve nothing. Scrupulosity is often linked to obsessive compulsive disorder, which the recent survey suggests nerds have at higher rates than the general population and which is known to be more common in high-IQ people.

When you tell a highly-untitled, high-scrupulosity person that they are entitled, it goes about as well as telling an anorexic person that they are fat. And how come, with laser-like focus, you only pick on the scrupulous ones? When Laurie Penny writes to women, she says:. What I most wanted to say, to all the messed-up teenagers and angry adults out there, is that the fight for your survival is political.

The fight to own your emotions, your rage and pain and lust and fear, all those unspeakable secrets that we do not share because we worry that we will be hurt or shunned, is deeply political. All that rage and entitlement and hurt.

You shut up and get on with your life. If you remember only one thing from this entire post, remember that Anakin Skywalker is unbearably annoying remember this:. The past is over. I do not hold, and have never held, any ill will toward the women who rejected me. Some of them continue to be my close friends. Nor did Aaronson mention any ill will to anyone who rejected him.

Talking about how nerds should let go of our past resentment to our crushes is a giant red herring. Little Caitlin can do what she wants with her life. But dehumanizing and perpetrating stereotypes about a whole group of people who already have it pretty bad is not okay.

And this post is way too long for most people who read those responses to get their misconceptions corrected. So before I close, let me give a brief summary of what I am trying to say:. There are a lot of really nasty stereotypes perpetuated about nerds, especially regarding how they are monsters, nobody can love them, and they are too disgusting to have relationships the same way other people do.

Although both men and women suffer from these stereotypes, men really do have a harder time getting relationships, and the experience is not the same. You cannot define this problem away by saying that because Mark Zuckerberg is a billionnaire, nerds are privileged, so they already have it too good.

The Jews are a classic example of a group that were both economically advantaged in a particular industry, but also faced unfair stereotypes. Whether women also have problems, and whether their problems are even worse, is not the point under discussion and is not relevant. Nerds are not uniquely evil, they are not especially engaged in oppressing women, and they are not driving women out of Silicon Valley. The feminist problem of nerds being desperate and not having any social skills and therefore being creeps to women is the same as the nerd problem of nerds being desperate and not having any social skills and therefore having to live their life desperate and without social skills.

If you want to debate or fisk this article, I would recommend using these paragraphs as starting points instead of whatever bizarre perversions of my words the brain of the worst person reading this can dream up.

We bring our broken hearts and blue balls to the table when we talk gender politics, especially if we are straight folks.

The road ahead will be long. I believe in you. I believe in all of us. We are great at learning stuff. We can do anything we put our minds to, although I suspect this thing, this refusing to let the trauma of nerdolescence create more violence, this will be hardest of all.

I see a vision here of everybody, nerdy men, nerdy women, feminists, the media, whoever — cooperating to solve our mutual problems and treat each other with respect. Of course I am on board with this vision. First of all, a whole lot of other side is not Laurie Penny. They are the people gleefully mocking our pain and telling us we deserve it. But even the good people are worrisome enough.

They admit that nerdy men, lesbians, bisexuals, etc may be in pain, but they deny categorically any possible role of feminist shaming culture in causing that pain and want to take any self-reflection on their part off of the table of potential compromise. The reality of Prof. So here is my offer to Ms. If she accepts and is in some kind of heavily nerd-populated city NYC? I will use my connections in the nerd community to get her ten dates within ten days with intelligent, kind, respectful nerdy men of whom she approves.

Comments are now closed, because this got linked on Instapundit and I know from experience that bad things happen if you leave the comments open after that point. Also, my comment software starts acting weird after like a thousand. If you must comment on this further, go bother Ozy on their open thread ].

None of those were mistakes, least of all calling biology a hard science. Durka Dougall, a former surgical trainee who is now a fourth year public health specialist trainee in London, believes specialty stereotypes in surgery are gradually becoming redundant.

Having moved to public health, Dougall says neither she nor her colleagues fit the traditional stereotype of the public health doctor. None of those characteristics fit my personality. How do you do, Dr. I meant the doctor — Dr.

Ripley was so surprised that he dropped his hat and forgot to pick it up again. He had never seen a woman doctor before, and his whole conservative soul rose up in revolt at the idea.

He could not recall any Biblical injunction that the man should remain ever the doctor and the woman the nurse, and yet he felt as if a blasphemy had been committed.

His face betrayed his feelings only too clearly. They cannot claim both. Ripley felt irritated by the quiet manner in which the lady crossquestioned him. But if you insist upon an answer, I must say that I do not think medicine a suitable profession for women and that I have a personal objection to masculine ladies. The lady, however, simply raised her eyebrows and smiled.

The idea that the social sciences and biology are less rigorous than e. Freud is generally considered the father of psychology, and he certainly did not engage in rigorous science. Psychology has long been the domain of wild speculation and Saying Things In An Authoritative Voice rather than actual science.

If anything, the increase in its scientific rigor has probably coincided with increased female participation. That is pretty much a fact. Biology is the softest of hard sciences… So much speculation so little hard data. Is this meant as some sort of joke? If this is the place for pointing out typos: It seems to me that the articles are inherently worthy to be written, being all of well-researched, well-supported, extremely well-written, and on a very important and very contentious topic, upon which you elucidate many things, very clearly.

Is there something that us in the peanut gallery can do that would help you regret writing these less? Thank you and keep up the good work! When I worked at a small non-software company and was the only woman on the engineering team, I continually struggled with bro-culture, not being taken seriously, people trying to push me into fluffy design work, etc. Now that I work at Google there are few such issues.

So from one side it can look like flagrant dismissal of very glaring problems, from the other like making mountains out of molehills, when really the people involved are working in very different environments. I wish we could get past the idea that we live in a monoculture where everybodies experience is exactly the same at least based on demographics. There are environments that are great and there are environments that are awful. And there are probably reasons for each of these things.

But we have to look at these environments as individual situations in order to properly understand them. This is a case where the desire for simple models really hinders us.

Are you saying that brogrammers actually exist? I always thought they were like hippogryphs: In reality I grew up as your typical nerd and the stories of the two Scotts resonated with me pretty deeply.

I was a very shy nerd as a kid and never had a girlfriend until after graduating high school. Dickinson, even as someone that does watch your Twitter feed you still come across not-very-well in a lot of brogrammer methods. I say that knowing it is not nice, but it is true and it is necessary. Folk can both vastly overstate your sins — and in fairness, a good deal of the — and you still be a sinner. I called a person who has engaged in an open campaign to blacklist me FWIW insane.

Marcotte accuses people of not considering women to be people; this person literally accuses them of being violent terrorists. Actually, yeah, I think you are a manifestly terrible person and rightly the target of Internet feminists.

Which is to say, I can have full sympathy for Scott Aaronson, and a fuckton of respect for him, cuz his book is great, and I can like Scott Alexander for being a voice of reason, and so on. I can even kinda-sorta respect some folks here who I disagree with, given a belief that we should make peace when we can. I experienced it at a moment in my life that I was being exposed to many more different people than I would on my regular work life.

All the programmers I actually know seem fairly non-bro-like, though. Generally, these cases involve high school students, typically under the age of consent, being raped and then charged for child support years later. In many cases, this does include back child support ie, for time where the rape victim was in high school. They do exist, and in ever increasing numbers. Seventy years ago, accounting was a relatively unrewarding profession, and so was left to the nebbishy math geeks.

When financial markets began to shift and a good accountant could make bank, it became a more desirable profession, and the bros and frat boys i. The same thing has started happening in tech.

At first, computers were really just a hobby for nerds. Then money and status were discovered in the field, and predictably the bros have moved in and begun shoving the nerds aside as they claim their rightful spot at the center of the tech industry money-status-and-influence trough. In fact, it seems to me that people like Amanda Marcotte are in that same group. Her bullying has nothing to do with justice, and everything to do with throwing nerds under the bus in a grab for a larger slice of the internet influence pie.

In my RL presence, the idea that women can be technical has never seriously been questioned. On this, I think Google is rather singular in getting it mostly right, at least most of the time. Myself, I think it is because they are so utterly data driven that they can actually kinda get unconscious bias and find ways around it.

I may or may not have a conflict of interest here. Take my post for what it is worth. You can find complaints. Again, the work environment is pretty dependent on your specific team. Plus, you know, there was a group specifically for women software engineers that met up for lunches and things, which helped people build support networks. The fact that some workplaces can be full of nerds and free of brogrammers says that the problem is clearly NOT nerds.

You really believe that pulling offers on OkCupid is the main thing there is to talk about when it comes to privilege and entitlement? If I may draw upon the traditions of my people and answer a question with a question; do you think that the differing experiences on OKCupid reflects absolutely no difference in how most men and women in America, in recent times, according to members of most subcultures, some restrictions may reply, etc.

I think that it obviously is. I am also answering my rhetorical question here to state my point clearly and directly; that while the numbers and experiments listed in the article are not necessarily the thing and the whole of the thing when it comes to the discussion, they are worth discussing.

How many of the named feminists are low income earners? Also, why cannot other social goods be seriously discussed? A discussion of income differences would be unlikely to wander into sex and romance; why is the reverse not happening a problem?

I think the link about childless women in their twenties earning more than childless men in their twenties was more on-point for the economics question. Well, on the economic question: Nor, I think, are most nerds. It depends on where you draw the boundaries, of course, but being nerdy is not the ticket to wealth that some people believe.

If you want to talk about class and money, talk about class and money; it has little to do with nerdiness or the lack of it. Which is of course silly. The silent majority, the median feminist, would never say that sort of thing. To which I can only say… how is that supposed to help anything? A silent majority is silent. Which means I care about the mean, not the median.

It matters for at least three reasons. I considered myself a staunch feminist for my entire adult life. I first encountered Social Justice a couple years ago, and it horrified and depressed me for weeks, but my response was to assume that it was just a tragedy of dissimilar-group friction, and to rationalize it all by attempting to study up on and internalize Social Justice theory and narrative.

The second time Social Justice injected itself into my bubble was a few months ago. I lost a friendship of fifteen years in the fallout, and I am definitely not a feminist any more. My social circle indicates that my experience is not an isolated one. My reading here and elsewhere indicates that the phenomenon is in fact remarkably widespread and clearly growing. If you think Feminism is valuable, perhaps it would be a good idea to address the easily identifiable population engaged in actively driving people out of it, rather than sneering at those who pluck up the courage to jump ship.

Would feminists identify your previously-held views as feminist? Given your reaction to social justice, my initial inclination is to say that they would not — and that you considering yourself a feminist was more likely to be the result of an incomplete understanding of feminist theory, rather than of your actually agreeing with feminist theory. When I first encountered Social Justice, what upset me was the lynch mob dynamic. Trying to understand it, I went to the personal spaces of the people leading the mob, one of which this was one:.

The second run-in was sufficiently farcical that rationalization was impossible. Ozy is very good at this, but the larger thrust of the movement seems overwhelming. Whether I was really truly a feminist in the first place, I thought I was, and I rallied instinctively to feminist causes and appeals.

What does that do to the movement? Okay, I get that. It kind of depends on the social groups you find? Scott, if this is too far off tone, pls give me a chance to re-word it? Or just dump it. Blog niceness is more important. Voted for Hillary, then for Sarah. Supports free contraceptives of all kinds and abortion no limits, and no limits on who can get it.

Supports affirmative action for women preferably without lowering requirements. Supports tenure track adjustments, family leave, childcare, etc, everywhere, and equal pay laws with teeth. Pretty strong versions of all the above. If forming hate-mobs is controversial within the movement, what does that say about the movement? Can reasonable people agree to disagree about hate-mobs? It is dark matter — it is something you are imagining because it fills a hole in what you want to believe.

We all have the same level of access to tumblr, facebook, twitter, blogspot reddit, 4chan, wordpress, and every single other thing on the internet. Is not spoken for.

First, if your problem is with Amanda Marcotte types and your reaction is to attack feminism, you will be reasonably seen as attacking feminism,. The fact is, there is no meaningful spoken-for strain of feminist thought that disagrees with anything Amanda Marcotte has to say. I will never credit an argument from your movement, I will never help your movement, and I will say to anyone like myself:.

S he posits that real, policy-making, active feminists are too busy advancing actual feminism to reply to the likes of Marcotte. The zero-sum privilege narrative which Scott decimates in this article is fundamental to modern feminism, and is promoted by almost all the modern feminist advocacy groups. Seems reasonable that plenty of other conflict averse people would be the same. I think reasonable feminists exist, which is not the same thing as saying that reasonable feminism as a movement exists.

I think there is a big difference between blog comments that have favorable opinions of the label and professors, published writers, or even just well read blog authors. If reasonable feminism exists, there are surely links to papers, conference notes, or stand-alone posts that can quickly prove that it both exists and matters. The net consequences of a movement like feminism is often determined by the outliers and radicals, I agree. Depending on which signals you throw up, different people are going to struggle to read the post without having their brains turn off.

Truthy, but not very precise; it does a better job of designating the villain than it does of informing the reader. This will very predictably create a more polarized readership, with more heat and less light. The squishy middle, and low-heat efficient LED lights of arguments, are the opposite of what sells newspapers and gets pageviews.

Actually I think this demonstrates one of the best uses of the Moloch meme. The demon god of Carthage is still a potent enough symbol that hating it is satisfying, but removed from existing institutions so as to avoid catching any actual humans in the periphery.

Moloch has victims, not allies. Nobody consents, silently or otherwise. Even better, it encourages to look for the strings that Moloch is using to control a particular situation, both as a weapon and as a justification for our Moloch-directed anger.

Normally I think Scott does a really commendable job of being reasonable on difficult issues, but I think for parts of this post he really slipped into chimp-stick-bangining mode. I still think this is one of the better articles on the subject, though, just because mokey-politicking is hard to do perfectly reasonably. This implies there are only a few types of feminist but I think the slightly reduced accuracy in truth is worth it.

First, what the real feminists are doing is, well, doing. Second, if they had time to deal with the sort of magazines that Marcotte fans — or her enemies — read, what magazines would publish them?

Third, who has the stomach to dissect that sort of thing? And they are very wrong. But nothing will stop them behaving like that. There is room for disagreement within feminism. The Real Feminists are there, tirelessly working to change any condition that might harm a woman in any way, no matter how slight or unlikely. But the Real Feminists are too busy to change any condition that hurts men, no matter how large, no matter if it trades on their own name in order to wreak destruction.

The Real Feminists wanted to protect women from domestic violence, so they did something about it. They spoke and used their political power to have laws passed protecting women from domestic violence.

In passing these laws, either they or the Not Real Feminists did a lot of harm to men, by erasing and covering up the fact that men are domestically abused as often as women, and enshrining into law the men are presumptively guilty and do not deserve equal protection under the law because they are threats to women. If the Real Feminists are not responsible for this, then they just saw it happening right next to them, carried out by people using their names and using their political power, and made no effort whatsoever to stop it.

This is a tribal conflict. Feminism, is inherently tribal. So of there are fifty reasonable people calling themselves feminists or even just pursuing gender equality, for each Jezebelian, it would maybe be a reasonably good idea if they spoke up. Heck, even Shagrat and Gorbag a few chapters later come off as just ordinary working stiffs in the wrong place at the wrong time.

And you may get shot for it, with the person who looses the arrow not feeling the least bit guilty. Absent explicit dissent, you stand where the tribal banner stands, and you will be judged by the words of the tribal chief.

I am a feminist explicitly uninterested in tribes, lynch mobs, etc. Feminist is a useful word with a long and proud history, and I see no reason not to use it. That would make you an explicitly dissenting feminist, which in this context is a good thing to be. I take that as being mildly opposed to lynch mobs, which is a mildly good thing.

They typically end with everybody in earshot at least tagging along. The number of people hanging around in the tribal commons not talking about lynching, that just factors into the size of the lynch mob that may or may not be raised against me.

If you want to keep the word, you need to fight the heretics who are corrupting — betraying — both it and your ideals. Suppose you are a proud member of Group X. Some costumed mud wrestlers adopt the term X. Will you jump in the mud pit to wrestle them? Probably better to continue clean real work in the real world, especially as, if a known real X jumped into the mud, that would increase their clicks. You are a proud member of group X. Every single time a member of group X has done anything in the public eye, they have been a costumed mud wrestler.

Claiming membership in group X allows costumed mud wrestlers to maliciously hurt people with no repercussions. Costumed mud wrestlers founded group X and have constituted group X for over fifty years. When you say you are a member of Group X who is not a costumed mud wrestler, am I obligated to believe you? We were working for their Liberation too.

I think your metaphor is missing something. This occurred to me as well. I actually am in a weird place here: She is much-loved and respected in my family, and a significant part of my childhood, so I have had plenty of exposure to feminism throughout my life.

I explicitly disavow solidarity with the radfems. Seriously, they no more represent the mainstream feminist view than televangelists preaching salvation or eternal torment on late-night TV or any proselytizing young-earth creationist represent mainstream Christianity for the record, I am non-religious and do not hold Christianity in terribly high regard.

It marginalizes those of us who are trying to improve things. And I personally know a lot of decent people who self-identify as feminist in the motte sense of the word—as I myself did at one point before I met the bailey feminists—but those are the tenets of classical feminism that have been so widely adopted that it makes about as much sense to self-identify as feminist on that basis as it makes to self-identify as abolitionist because you oppose the reinstatement of slavery.

Shakesville gives an unmistakable impression of being run by very decent people who are honestly on the side of goodness and compassion. Melissa McEwan became prominent in exactly the same scandal as Amanda Marcotte did — as feminist supporters of John Edwards whom he wrote of over nasty things they wrote. The difference is that the Marcotte things were actually nasty and the McEwan things were disagreement with things that other people hold to be sacred.

I think Shakesville are bad enough. And I personally know a lot of decent people who self-identify as feminist in the motte sense of the word—as I myself did at one point before I met the bailey feminists—but those are the tenets of classical feminism that have been so widely adopted…. The great mass of cultural believers are important, because they are the main source of power for the Church. But the true believers are probably more relevant for an outsider, because they decide what actually gets done with that power.

Off the top of my head: The first four are obviously far more prominent than Marcotte. Butler is a little more prominent. The rest are less prominent. That was off the top of my head. Google hit counts confirms, with one exception: Rebecca Watson, which it places above Oprah. This is surely because she has a common name.

In quotes, she still is a bit higher than Marcotte in quotes. Reading her bio on wikipedia gives no indication that I should have heard of her. Putting her ahead of multi-award winning authors also seems a bit strange, but I guess in the world of new media, writing books does not count for much. Books have never been popular. Thing of Things just recently linked me to an enthusiastic defense of Doxxing by Watson, and Sarkeesian is essentially gender-swapped Jack Thompson.

Maybe I should fix that, but maybe they should too, as it were. Can you post some links to the self-identified feminists that explicitly reject the view Scott Alexander describes?

I have gone through the article and double checked that there are qualifiers everywhere there should be qualifiers. Part of what I like about his work is how extraordinarily fair minded it is. There are not many people who can write a defense of a set of ideas they disagree with that could have been written by an articulate believer. This post felt different, as though the calm, logical persona had gotten entangled with deeply felt emotions—and not just the emotion of favoring truth and honesty.

This time it was clear that it was his own tribe he was defending. I feel like Toggle made a valiant effort to leap out of the pit of tribalism and the thread crashed back down even harder. Let me give it another shot:. I would hope this framing can help us explain why a silent majority is not relevant here, without erasing or aggressing said majority.

My girlfriend spent years believing that if you initiated a conversation with someone or sat down near them without permission they would justifiably hate you forever. Both my girlfriend and I are convinced that if we were heterosexual men our lives would have been hell on earth. I found myself thinking that section III is quite weak in comparison to the rest of the post. Suppose we live in a world where the conclusion is false.

Now suppose in that world there is a contingent of horrible nerds who endlessly spam women on dating sites with messages because they feel entitled to sex. Attractive women, in your hypothetical, are being harassed by evil sex-crazed nerds and they have an easier time finding partners. Regardless of all the reasons a woman would normally and reasonably reject an uninvited sexual propositions, regardless of how uncomfortable a sufficiently large and continuous a stream of such propositions might be in most contexts, in the specific context of a woman having difficulty finding a partner the presence of such a stream of propositions does reduce the difficulty.

A woman in such a position has all the other available options for finding a partner, plus the added option of accepting one of the propositions. I respond that the more interesting question is: I think this gets to the more interesting question as to why women have an easier time finding dates than men do. I think a big part of it is fear.

The other part is probably slut-shaming. The biological reality is that men are stronger than women and more prone to violent impulses. Therefore women must be a little more selective in the partners they choose. So which is better, having no options, or being overwhelmed with options, all of which are unattractive and scary?

Is it worse to feel pathologically unwanted, or constantly in threat of violence? What triggers the creepy factor? However, I would argue that these behaviors all in fact are kind of threatening in their own way.

So we can see how over-attachment can turn into rage. Finally, immaturity is a trait that often yields rage. If that makes sense. If a woman wants to tell me how it really is then that would be cool.

Or can he just not see? Like, remember the whole thing last year I think where everyone started talking about shitty dudes in the 1st-person shooter scene, like, dudes who were being terrible to women. These dudes were certainly nerds. Some were absolute jerks. It got lots of attention. Anyway, I basically agree with Scott. I speak out about it. But there is stuff that happens to women by nerds that really sucks. We gotta talk about that too. Veronica D — The rampant abuse problem in gaming has been an issue for several years now, possibly more than a decade.

Thanks for the input. This makes sense with the hypothesis that men desire casual sex more than women do, but both sexes desire romance equally. This seems like a strange thing to be afraid of , per se. Like, from a male perspective, I can see how that would suck, but not to the point where it causes fear. Personally I would be very unlikely to turn down sex for this reason, so this is hard for me to relate to.

I wonder if the reason women feel like this is because of slut-shaming, or maybe patriarchal stuff in general. Like the idea that if a man has sex with you he has taken something from you, and he is the victorious one.

The idea of being used for sex by a random guy makes me feel gross. I think perhaps a part of it is the dehumanizing aspect that is involved in the first instance, but not in the second.

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