Dykstra’s allegations of Hardwick’s cruel and controlling behavior — she says he isolated her, dictated her schedule, coerced her into unwanted sex, yelled at her constantly, triggered her anorexia and had her blacklisted after she left him — has many of us wondering, again, if the misogynist streak in nerdom will ever go away. On the primary level, of course, her story echoes every other recent testimony of a man using his status and connections to secure the obedience of a vulnerable younger woman. Each allegation is evidence that Hollywood’s specific power hierarchies and cult of personality are ideal preconditions for this exact abuse.
But there is no getting around the geek problem. From the dark days of Gamergate, to the dudes throwing tantrums about lady Ghostbusters and feminist Star Wars, to 4chan-inspired incel terrorism, nerds are itching for gender war.