Vicky Spratt | Deputy Editor | Monday, 4 January 2016

\'Don\'t Date The Nerd, Be The Nerd\' - Sound Life Advice From Mark Zuckerberg

'Don't Date The Nerd, Be The Nerd' - Sound Life Advice From Mark Zuckerberg

The Debrief: It might just be a Facebook comment, but Zuckerberg has swiftly dismissed one of the prevailing stereotypes which still faces young women today: make sure you marry a wealthy man.

Don’t date the nerd, BE the nerd. Here's some sound life advice from Mark Zuckerberg. 

He’s the founder of Facebook, a philanthropist, a father and he’s had a film made about his early life starring Justin Timberlake, but now it turns out he’s also a feminist. 

Zuckerberg took to his own social network yesterday to write about the challenges he’s set for himself in 2016. These included reading two books every month and trying to meet a new person every day. 

Thousands shared his 'new year, new you' post and many commented that he’d inspired them but one particular comment provoked a response from the tech mogul himself. 

A grandmother wrote: ‘I keep telling my grand daughters to date the nerd in school, he may turn out to be a Mark Zuckerberg! Thanks for FB, I’ve reconnected with family and many old friends and class mates.’

Zuckerberg replied: ‘Even better would be to encourage them to *be* the nerd in their school so they can be the next successful inventor!’

It might just be a Facebook comment when all’s said and done, and, in 2016, it should be a given that women can be successful in their chosen field but what Zuckerberg has done is swiftly dismiss one of the prevailing stereotypes which still faces young women today: make sure you marry a wealthy man. 

It’s the plot line of countless fairy tales and crappy Hollywood films. Poor woman is scooped up and saved by handsome prince. Normal woman is spotted by millionaire and they ride off into the sunset to his fancy apartment. J Lo circa Maid in Manhattan, anyone? Fifty Shades of Grey?

Thankfully things are slowly changing. For instance, just last weekend Jennifer Lawrence’s new film Joy, the story of a resilient female inventor, hit cinemas.

However, women are still all too often defined by their ability to find and hold down a partner and, if they can do this successfully, they are judged on the appearance, bank balance and profession of that partner. The notion that marrying rich is something that young women should aspire to achieve is embedded in our culture. 

The Facebook founder’s message is clear: girls can be innovators too, girls are nerds as well, girls can be successes in their own right.  

Like this? You might also be interested in:

Facebook Won't Promote This Post About A Feminist Book, Because It's 'Profane'

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What Happens When You Block Mark Zuckerberg On Facebook?

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Tags: Facebook et al, Feminism