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I think to have a productive discussion, we need to stop focusing on who the "bad guy" is and look more for an explanation about why something is culturally normal.

So, as a nerdy teen that was unfortunately probably quite misogynistic, I write this post, to perhaps explain (but not to justify) the bitterness and hatred that many fellow geeks harbour. Whilst I'm not saying women don't have this experience too, I don't think it's exactly the same, and I also don't know if a lot of "normal" people appreciate just how devastating it can be.

See one thing I'd like to say is that whilst the situation is bad for everyone, the minority status of girls in gaming (at least in the early 2000s) meant as a teenage boy, it felt like they had a certain privilege. So what I'll do is try and illustrate my feelings as they used to be in the hope of providing a better understanding of it all.

This is how I felt as a kid.

Here me out, as I'm just trying to explain people's attitudes. As a nerdy, bad at socialising, rejected by anyone (due to being creepy/awkward/unconfident/ashamed) guy growing up, you find a sanctum, a cave, full of people like you, where instead of like at school where people are "ranked" on their social ability, they are instead ranked on their gaming ability, knowledge, ability to stick at a shitty internet argument, whatever. Either way, it feels like your world where you're free of the bullshit that comes with being a nerdy teenage boy. Free from the bullying, the failure, the powerlessness. The only issue is that you are one of a giant mass of people - it's extremely hard to discern who you are simply because everyone is pretty much like you - slightly sick sense of humour, loving LAN parties, wearing nerdy t-shirts. As a guy you're kind of part of a big mass and you feel like there is no way to discern yourself, or get attention (and attention is important if you lack a normal amount of it).

So then, a girl comes along. Everyone fawns over them, gives them huge amounts of attention, invites them to everything - say you spent months trying to befriend people enough to get invited to the coolest LANs or OPed on the most popular IRC channels. A pretty girl in nerd circles was seemingly such a rarity that they'd have this shit given to them instantly, lavished with attention (and as we can see now, not necessarily the good kind). It was even worse if they were pretty and wore "slutty" cosplay outfits - now you're competing for the attention of the girl again and it's just like school and that horrible place we abandoned. So you get jealous, bitter, and resentful. You get even more jealous, bitter, and resentful when said girls make blog posts about how bad they've got it, when they are getting all the attention and advantages you've dreamed about since you can remember, but all they have to do is put up with a little creepiness? How dare they. You try to talk to them, a half assed flirt (because you don't really get the chance to talk to girls) and are shot down as being creepy and only into girls for sex - not true - you sometimes feel the deepest connection you've ever had for someone because they have bridged into your world and might just be the one. Your mind gets completely carried away like this because you're confused, jealous, naive and desperate. You have no idea what to do, only that this girl has gone and taken the only known quantity you had and made it just like the shitty world where you felt worthless and helpless. So yeah, bitterness and resentment.

Now, I've grown up a lot now, and through hard work and finding a father figure in day-to-day life, am a confident, rounded guy, and don't have these issues, and realise just how wrong I was.

I'm not saying the above is "right" in any way shape or form, but in order to fix the internet community we have to understand just why people are so resentful and misogynistic. My experiences weren't true for all people, and they were not in any way accurate, but I definitely did harbour feelings like this until I grew up and grew into a decent human.

The funny thing is, they've left their scars and in some ways I remember it like it was yesterday.

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