Friday, May 1, 1998 by Dave Winer.
Chris Nolan is a columnist for the San Jose Mercury-News. I'm a regular reader of her column; it's informative, interesting and opinionated. Chris is a good read, I almost always learn something worthwhile in her column.
But yesterday's column crossed a line, and with all due respect, I have something to say about it.
She said: "There are some who believe that geeks make the best boyfriends because they can be easily trained. And there are some who believe that geeks make the worst boyfriends because they have to be trained."
It's always been fashionable for women to say things like this about men, privately, but now it's coming out in public.
Hey, get this, we're not pets. What a demeaning, limiting, arrogant and unhappy attitude. Where did it come from? What happened to loving a man for who he is? What happened to respect and The Golden Rule?
A question for women: Would you stand by silently as a man made an equivalent statement about women?
A question for men: If you don't like this, why do you stay silent?
Another question for women: Now that you know that at least some men don't like to be talked about this way, will you stop doing it, and stop allowing other women to say things like this in your presence, without objecting?
I wrote a piece, last May, about programmers; a positive statement about people who love technology, regardless of their gender.
I think programmers are seekers of truth and beauty, and can be the most loving and caring people you'll ever meet, if you just let us be ourselves.
Women, if you fall into Chris's Category A, a woman with a geek boyfriend that you want to train, please read that piece, and instead look for the seeker of truth and beauty in your man, and glow in the fact that he chose *you*. Let his quest bring out your truth, your beauty.
Listen and ask for details. Geeks can be meek. It may take a while for him to warm up, to trust you, but if you learn how to listen, he can bring you love and happiness. In buckets.
I think you have to be a very open-minded woman to get this, because the popular female culture says that men are trivial inferior beasts. They encourage you to ignore the depth and character and goodness and humanity in men.
The woman comes on strong, tries to take control, and the man clams up. This, I'm sure of it, is where today's sexual relationships between men and women go wrong. But if we can get past this, both men and women, it'll be a pretty amazing place to be.