An Apology to Jon Finkel

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An Apology to Jon Finkel

imageBy now, you've probably heard all about Jon Finkel's bad date with Alyssa Bereznak. Actually, it wasn't the date itself that was bad, it was that Bereznak decided the best way to handle her lack of chemistry with Finkel was by mocking him on Gizmodo. Not because he was a jerk, or rude, or creepy, but rather because he played Magic: The Gathering, which clearly rendered him undateable.

Now, Alyssa is perfectly entitled to date men based on whatever criteria she likes. Some of us would be impressed by Finkel's vast success in MTG competitions - he was, at one point, World Champion - and being the best in the world at something is pretty damn impressive. But it's ok if Alyssa thinks playing card games is a waste of time; again, it's her love life, and she can conduct it however she likes.

Except.

Except humiliating someone by name online to make yourself seem cool is disgusting, unfair, and mean. To do it for fun and profit, as the original closing line of her article suggests, is worse. And to do it simply because your date - who, according to your own words is otherwise a perfectly decent person - committed a crime no greater than being passionate about something you don't personally give a damn about, is unforgivable.

By all accounts, Finkel is handling the entire affair with grace and poise, laughing off Berenzak's poorly-written blog post and generally getting on with his life. And Gawker is certainly no stranger to "nerd baiting," the practice of writing purposefully inflammatory posts simply to get web traffic, so Bereznak likely sees this entire uproar as a boon. Finkel will get plenty of attention, all positive, Bereznak will go on to write other, equally pointless posts, and the world will continue spinning on its axis. So why make any more of a fuss about it?

Because if the positions had been reversed, and a man had written a similarly snarky post claiming that a woman should put a "fondness for knitting" on her profile to prevent accidentally going out with her, the female community would be in an uproar - and rightly so. But if we're going to point out when men behave like jerks, it behooves us to do the same when women do it.

Alyssa Bereznak is a jerk. I don't care if you're trying to earn a living, I don't care if you get paid based on traffic, and I don't care if the thought of tapping land makes you wake up screaming in the middle of the night. There are some things that you simply don't do as a decent human being.

So on behalf of women everywhere, we Ladies of Nerdland would like to apologize to Jon Finkel for Alyssa's bad behavior. Hers is exactly the kind of behavior we despise, the kind that lives up to the mean girl stereotype. She probably won't have enough class to be ashamed of how shabbily she treated you, so we will be ashamed for her. And, also, of her.

Sincerely (names collected via Twitter),

@SusanArendt, @CrowChick, @inkycats, @trixie360, @sarahthebeef, @Hertzey, @Kathleen_Lrr, @kweenie, @RaeBeta, @Stephanieschopp, @Joygirl007, @Stefaniefogel, @nosolemoo, @HMarieYoung, @kjaphet, @EeveeHearts, @SigmaMorrigan, @s0osleepie, @lkhiggi, @ouroboring, @yuki_hime, @TallysTreasury, @caeliat, @Kitty11Chan, @conventioneerin, @AngelBlackChaos, @april_marie, @cavaticat, @Phantomess, @safaiagem, @Yureina

[Update: Added artwork from @CrowChick]

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Rock it Susan.

HEAR HEAR, SUSAN!
Fight both the jerks, and the double standards in one fantastic, classy post!
I love you Susan. You're fantastic.

I would like to add myself to this list of nerd ladies. Sorry Jon.

Seriously, a huge apology to Mr. Finkel because what that woman did was not only rude, but dirty.

Way to make all of us women look bad there lady, hope ya feel proud of yourself.

I'm glad that he's laughing this all off and not taking it too personally, shows you who the better person is, doesn't it?

Mature responses to immaturity.... in the internet

mind = blown

Good job girls, it's always refreshing to see things like this.

It's nice of you to apologize, but in all honesty... why should you have to? By now it's plainly obvious to all what sort of woman Alyssa Bereznak is, and this fine demonstration of her (sorely lacking) class and style have ensured that the future will bring her "men" as shallow and self-serving as she is. The universe has this funny way of evening things out.

Besides, nerd girls rock.

She should consider herself lucky if the guy even lets her make him a sammich.

Wait, what? You're saying I completely missed the point of the article which was that we all need to treat each other fairly and with respect? Nah, couldn't be.

Seriously though, I was promised a "horror" story at the beginning the unspellable name chick's blog about her dating experience, similar to something like the worst DM ever, but no. All I got was some lame-written post about how some people like different things than us and they should immediately mention this lest we diversify our entourage.

I find it rather ironic that people would look down on something like magic, but then they watch poker tournaments...

I may not be a woman but, as a slightly feminine man (or, at least according to all my friends), I would also like to add my name to the list of apologies.

Sheesh, way to overreact. People publicy humiliate each other over internet all the time, why did this go viral?

Poor guy.
Not all of us are like this, fellas. I don't care that my boyfriend plays Yugioh and the rest and I never will.
I Googled him to find out more about this and you know what? I think he's a good looking chap. He seems nice too, and the fact he actually left the house tells me he isn't a complete hermit who devotes his life to MTG.
Sucks to be her, to be honest. I'd hate to be as shallow, I don't know how I'd live with myself o_o;

His good to be shot of her, after all her true colours are shining through now. An maybe other men will notice that name and dismiss her as a blog writing hack. Can only hope.

Also, i love nerd girls, nothing will change that. One bad apple and all that. :-)

Nimcha:
Sheesh, way to overreact. People publicy humiliate each other over internet all the time, why did this go viral?

Probably because Gizmodo published it instead of it just being on some blog.

Nimcha:
Sheesh, way to overreact. People publicy humiliate each other over internet all the time, why did this go viral?

Probably because, unlike the myriad of trolls out there, web journalists and the like are meant to be professional about such things; that article, from a well-reknown website known for being professional about its work, isn't just a regular troll's piece of writing.

The Morrigan:
I would like to add myself to this list of nerd ladies. Sorry Jon.

Sure thing - got a twitter account?

Who... wait.... what?

No idea who any of them are, nor what's going on.

I met my current boyfriend (a tournament-level Magic player) via OKCupid. Three happy years and counting. :)

The thing that bothers me is that I knew nothing about this kerfuffle until I saw this article, and I had to read the original Gawker article to get caught up, thus adding to their pageviews. Boo.

Her article did upset me. It was entirely uncalled for and just down right bitchy, and makes a lot of us look bad.

I am glad he is taking it in stride and being the bigger person in this situation.

Sheesh Susan, comparing a former world champion of Magic The Gathering (a card game) to having a fondness for knitting isn't fair. Now if this hypothetical woman had to spend time preparing for a knitting tournament coming up, I'd head for zee hills too!

But no, I wouldn't name her in any blog 'article' complaining about a few dates.

I knew nothing of the date or anything until I read this article and I simply can't believe this. So very sorry Mr. Finkel on behalf of all good-hearted women who would loath to be around someone like Alyssa. You're the better person for taking it so well and there are much better women out there who would not only not mind you playing Magic, but would join in the game! Better luck to you sir.

And way to go Susan for calling Alyssa on her crap. It's mean girls like that, that makes it harder for men and women to interact.

Susan Arendt:

The Morrigan:
I would like to add myself to this list of nerd ladies. Sorry Jon.

Sure thing - got a twitter account?

@SigmaMorrigan

Thank you Susan for posting this, it is well put and explains it perfectly!

I just have a single Question...Why is this news or notification worthy? I fail to see the need to know about the high school type girls bad mouthing needs to be seen. If she wants to be a bitch let her. If she thinks treating other people online is fun or cool then let her. If we all stop talking about her eventually she will go away.

*shrug* Says what kind of chick she is. Ah well, she'll by the one FOREVER ALONE :'D

Nimcha:
Sheesh, way to overreact. People publicy humiliate each other over internet all the time, why did this go viral?

Because it is a story of
1) Dealing with internet drama as you should. "Respawn and carry on" and all that.
2) Why we have to police our borders. people SHOULDNT be publicly humiliating each other every day. Most of the time its harmless, but some peoples weak points are exposed and take massive damage from it.

One of our own has been wronged, and thats not cool. Im not suggest she be greifed until she bleeds, but she should know that turd wont float.

Huh, I had not heard of this before, but yeah, that was not a very classy thing to do. If you want to bash someone for being a jerk on a date, that's one thing. But for having a "nerdy" hobby? Come on.

Makes me glad I have a wife who plays Magic with me.

Gizmodo Australia is way ahead of you:

Link to artical:

http://www.gizmodo.com.au/2011/08/alyssa-bereznak-just-reminded-us-that-women-can-be-predators-online-too/

Yet more proof, that it you don't need to have a dick, to be a dick.

Honestly, I don't have a clue about MTG or anything like that, but some people really need to let the little things slide when looking for love.

Quite well said, mi'lady. As someone who wants to break into Magic, this is especialy maddening to me. Having dated a wonderful girl who loved to talk about comics, I'd also like to put forth that no, not all girls are like that.

Abandon4093:
Who... wait.... what?

No idea who any of them are, nor what's going on.

You have to read the article. I know that may be hard but it's generally what you do on a news site.

I don't usually condone violence but her physical and emotional pain would really better my mood.

Great that you bring it up, it's people like her that makes us (well, me at least) hesitate before mentioning our geeky side.
I don't really think you should have to apologize for her behavior, yet it's still nice to see that you distance yourselves to her.

As you said, the bad part wasn't not wanting to date a nerd, it was using MtG as the sole excuse to dismiss him, then call him dishonest and finally blog about him, using his name. That's a major dick move.

questionnairebot:
I just have a single Question...Why is this news or notification worthy? I fail to see the need to know about the high school type girls bad mouthing needs to be seen. If she wants to be a bitch let her. If she thinks treating other people online is fun or cool then let her. If we all stop talking about her eventually she will go away.

If a journalist publicly humiliates someone for no good reason, she deserved to be shunned. Besides, this is the internet, it's been buzzing about her all day today and yesterday. Internet will always be buzzing. It's good then that the Escapist talks about it, and officially distances themselves from unprofessional journalism.

Didn't he win the World Series of Poker?

That's 3.5 Million reasons for that wench to shut her damn mouth.

Way to go for enforcing the stereotype that women are shallow, asinine bitches who won't give a man the time of day if he isn't into EXACTLY the same things as she is. I would like to add my apologies on behalf of that conniving troll's behaviour. So sorry that you wasted your time on this pretentious twat, Jon.

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