A little over a week ago, actress Chloe Dykstra published an essay detailing her abusive relationship with her ex-boyfriend. She didn’t name the boyfriend, but it didn’t take long for the public to figure out she was talking about Chris Hardwick.
Chris started Nerdist, and is a man I have called King Nerd for years. I can’t say I was surprised to hear that he was a complete asshole – I had always had a weird feeling about him. But my ex absolutely loved him. Which makes sense, abusive assholes recognise each other in the wild.
Something about men who identify themselves as nerds, who feel that they have been wounded by women as teenage boys, is extremely dangerous to women. Men who felt victimized by women fail to understand that they can become abusers themselves. And let’s be honest, the “victimization” they feel is often rejection – a feeling that women deal with by internalizing, and men deal with by externalizing. That’s why a man immediately tells you “you’re fat anyway” right after you tell him you’re not interested.
So many “nerdy nice guys” get stuck in the mindset that women are bad to them, and that they cannot possibly be bad to women. This is where incels come from. For the men that don’t get sucked into the incel world, they see being in a relationship as a position of power. Relationships are not partnerships to this kind of abusive man, they are dictatorships. Suddenly, they feel extremely entitled and yet more insecure than ever. Now, now they have something to lose – so they hold on to their girlfriend – TIGHT.
Facts? or Feelings?
Society rarely demands men evaluate their feelings, so they never second guess these feelings of insecurity and entitlement. Women constantly check and recheck our feelings against reality because we’re constantly told that we’re hysterical. Men are never told that they’re being overly emotional, and thus, their feelings are reasonable by default.
King Nerd insists he did nothing wrong. He feels that he was reasonable and that this is normal relationship behavior. And that’s the really scary part. Legions of fans are also insisting that this is just a “bad relationship” and not anything morally wrong, or an abusive relationship. This pervasive mindset that nerdy guys are nice because they don’t like sports like those “Alpha Males” needs to be reevaluated. Gamergate showed the world the misogyny behind these “nerdy nice guys” and from the tweets regarding Chloe’s essay, nothing has changed.
Chloe’s essay was written to be a warning. Let this post serve as a call for introspection.
Check your feelings against reality. Make sure that your partner is supportive without being stifling. Check out Freedom Programme to learn more about abusive relationships, and help to get out of one.