Oh, Crap

Rainn Wilson conspires to make me dislike him, too.

The Model UN chicks are "wildebeests" (translation: fat) shtick is bad enough, but his anecdote about giving up on feminism because one woman didn't read his mind to figure out they were doing dutch on a first date makes me wants to smash things. (It also pegs my bullshit meter in a big way. I don't know any woman who doesn't bring money on a first date. Or any date, for that matter.) What the world doesn't need is yet another story where some dude uses a random individual woman's failure to adhere to his unspoken expectations to discredit the entirety of feminism.

Meanwhile, I really don't get Lindsay's attempt to justify Wilson's horseshit on the basis that he was telling it from a place of still feeling "like a nerdy teenager."
So his nerdy teenager brain told him that it was okay for him to call those girls wildebeests, because it's coming from him, Rainn Wilson, the harmless, ignored outcast, not from some handsome evil bully. If a handsome evil bully said it, it would be bad, but it was just little old Rainn Wilson! He can't hurt a fly. That's probably what was going through his head on a subconscious level when he [referred to unattractive/nerdy girls as wildebeests, twice].
The whole reason feminism/womanism is necessary is because of the institutional inequity between the genders—which means that even guys who are relatively powerless compared to "handsome evil bullies" are privileged over women. Which is exactly why a nerdy guy picks on girls—because at least he's got a better position in the hierarchy, thanks to his undeserved male privilege, even if it is less than the quarterback's.

Point being, if he delivered that insult from a place of erstwhile nerdiness, that doesn't suggest he feels harmless; it suggests he still views girls (especially fat/ugly girls) as a target that can't hit back. That is, he's being harmful in a very specific direction.

All of which is ultimately irrelevant, anyway, because I know a nerdy teenage boy or two who knows better. And excusing or mitigating Wilson's nastiness on that basis is pretty insulting to them.

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