Ladies, just because you meet someone that's a lesbian or bisexual, it does not mean they want to fuck you and are going to fall in love with you. Lesbians and bisexuals aren't whores who would fuck any female. And guys, calm down, just because he's a homosexual does not mean he wants to fuck you up the ass, so stop being a pussy and be a man and talk to the guy, treat him like a human being, he deserves it.
Here is the thing, okay? Coming into a feminist conversation with, “Have you considered that sometimes women acquire free drinks at bars?” is like walking into graduate school during Philosophy finals and saying, “Have you considered that the color blue that I see may not be the color blue that you see?”
Imagine you are the guy who just walked into that Philosophy class and laid that shit down. Imagine the class full of students who have worked very hard and committed themselves and sacrificed to be here, students who have spent several years of their lives learning about this subject. Imagine now their feelings when you go to the head of the classroom with a smirk on your face and demand the professor give you an A for effort. Imagine now that they think you are a douchebag asshole, because they do, and because you are. You are a douchebag asshole because you are obviously so self-centered, arrogant, and completely ignorant of the world around you, that you thought you could walk into a high-level course with no background and no work and say something profoundly simplistic and totally unrelated and also everybody should congratulate you for having done this thing, so brave, so provocative.
You are not asking us a real question. You are simply illustrating, for all to see, your own ignorance. You are saying, “I have not considered the implications of the question I have just asked. I have not taken the time nor effort nor commitment to sit down and ask myself this question. Instead, I have come into your philosophy classroom/office/feminist blog and shat out my question with a smirk, because I believe that my two seconds of thought are worth more than your long-term analysis, because I believe I am worth more.”
In my experience, the men who are most likely to come into feminist groups to criticise them are self proclaimed ‘intellectuals’ who turn up to demonstrate to people just how oh-so-clever they are, to masturbate over their ‘logical’ arguments, to incite ‘new and stimulating’ debate about subjects that have been done to death, to willfully ignore how they are erasing experiences and silencing people, just so that they can have a few moments of ‘thrilling’ discussion in their otherwise dull, highly privileged lives. And when this brief adrenalin rush is over? They can go home, safe in the knowledge that they have shown all these silly hysterical women exactly what’s what, safe in their privilege which means that they do not have to give this encounter more than a passing thought. Believing that they have made a difference. And this makes me sick.
So, this is actually a pretty good example to use. Perhaps these men will read it and we can get it through their pseudo-intellectual heads that this is not ok. This is harmful behaviour and contributes absolutely nothing of worth to anything at all. Feminism has enough flaws as it is. Feminism is, by and large, racist, transphobic, ableist, homophobic, and classist. We do not have time to pander to these individuals too. If men really want to help? Commit to being a good ally and give us the opportunity to solve these problems without this almost constant hindrance.
So much about this, so true. People think they’re throwing you some curve ball when it’s really like they’re still in the early pre-cambrian bacterial stages of earth’s global evolution yet they’re convinced they’re multicellular organisms. And you’re like “no dude, it’s really clear that you’re not.”
Anyhow, just to add my own to the first example, it’s so complicated indeed and it’s come up twice for me in the past week. I went on a date last night and I was so, so relieved that they did not hassle me at all about buying my own drink. It was in contrast to two nights before, when I was trying to pay for my drink and another guy at the table really wanted to pay for it to me. So many things go through your head- my friends are always all like, “You might as well accept it if they’re offering,” and if I don’t accept the offer in most cases the guys are not like “cool, you must be upholding your internal, personal feminist values,” they’re often offended and feeling like I made a big deal out of nothing and feel it is a slight (and these guys aren’t assholes, to be clear, they’re just accustomed to what this action normally signals). And I myself feel like I’m being unnecessarily argumentative over what is basically just a generous offer, yet I feel really conflicted about accepting a drink from someone if I’m not actually interested in them (but they are in me), and just about the whole… situation. Anyhow. Yeah, it’s complicated, and there is often no win/win solution.
“As we have so recently and publicly discussed, girls and women have “anger issues” in that they are socialized to not demonstrate anger, but instead to sublimate it where it can sometimes then manifest itself as anxiety or depression. Girls are not born less angry and more anxious, they’re rewarded for being less angry and more anxious. So, it should come as no surprise to anyone that large groups of stressed out girls and women collectively facing the dissolution of a cohesive social structure might be more disposed to fall prey to mass psychosis. It is arguable that men and boys experience similarly jarring episodes of anger and anxiety-channelling mass psychosis, but we call it male aggression and fund military industrial complexes to deal with it.”—
This. People ask me why I’m so angry all the time. I’m angry all the time because it’s better than the fucking alternative. I’m angry all the time because anger is the correct response to what I see in the world, not anxiety or fear or sadness. I’m angry all the time because anger gets me moving, while depression and anxiety leave me frozen in place. That’s why I’m goddamn angry all the time.
Women stick their necks out to say that something is fucked-up, hurtful, oppressive, scary: Misogynist. They do this knowing full well that there will be social consequences. Remarkably, we’re all familiar with the idea that the women who do this are bitches/ugly/humorless/scolds/delusional (“you see sexism everywhere”)/hysterical/oversensitive/insensitive/etc. We know that we take on most of the risk, in this conversation. We know that we have to be very careful in terms of what we say, and to whom; that we will be expected to choose our targets and our words very carefully, seem “understanding,” seem “empathetic,” make all the right allowances, be oh so very polite. We labor over our words, swallow our anger, push through our fear (and most women who bring themselves to make these kinds of statements are very afraid of reprisal; we know it happens, in overt and subtle ways, pretty much every time), construct these carefully tortured and worked-out sentences; we work at this shit.
And then, after all that work, some dude makes a joke about how we need some dick — not even a joke he’s had to work on, really; that line’s been around forever — and everybody laughs, and it’s over. We get no apology. We get no consideration. We get no hearing. We get nothing. What this exchange ultimately proves to women, every time it’s played out, is that no matter how hard we work, we will never matter. We will never be heard. It’s just the same fucking thing, every day, like a punch to the gut: You think you can change shit? You think I care how you feel? You think I care what you think? No. Never. You think it fucking matters that you don’t like what I do to you? It doesn’t. I’m gonna fucking do what I want to you. Sit the fuck down, shut the fuck up, and take it. Or else I’m gonna tell everyone what a bitch you are, that you won’t play my game. My very special game, that I designed. And here are the rules for the game: You Lose.
This happens over and over and over again. Male friends, relatives, coworkers, random observers and passers-by on the internet, whatever. If you encounter dudes at all, you are statistically likely to encounter this mindset from at least one of them. I know I do, usually about once a day.
Then I come home, or go downstairs, or take off my headphones, and my female roommates do the same thing — and they wonder why I just wilt and stop talking. They don’t understand that it feels like being the last human being alive on earth. Like, “seriously? You’re not even in this with me? Which means … you’re not even in this with yourselves? Fuck. As a group, we really are fucked.”