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But then I removed it all, for a simple reason: because while I have the right to bare my own soul on my blog, I don’t have the right to bare people’s unless they want me to.Without further ado, and for the benefit of the world’s Twitterariat, I’m now just going to state nine of my core beliefs. I believe that women are authors of their own stories, that they don’t exist merely to please men, that they are not homogeneous, that they’re not slot machines that ‘pay out’ but only if you say the right things.I’m equally grateful to have gotten interesting, compassionate responses from feminist women.The most striking was that of Laurie Penny in the —a response that others of Penny’s views should study, if they want to understand how to win hearts and change minds.I do not intend for a moment to minimise Aaronson’s suffering.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. Feminism, however, is not to blame for making life hell for ‘shy, nerdy men.’ Patriarchy is to blame for that.When I started writing comment 171, I filled it with anecdotes from the happier part of my life (roughly, from age 24 onward): the part where I finally became able to ask; where women, with a frequency that I couldn’t have imagined as a teenager, actually answered ‘yes’; and where I got to learn about their own fears and insecurities and quirks.In the earlier draft, I also wrote about my wife’s experiences as a woman in computer science, which differed from Amy’s in some crucial ways.
And any teenage male nerds who read this blog, and who find themselves in a similar hole, will know that they too can get out without giving up on feminism.This whole affair makes me despair of the power of language to convey human reality—or at least, of my own ability to use language for that end.