Ugh I feel depressed, bet this have happened to y'all

(24 Posts)
PretzelTime Sat 12-Jan-13 20:50:59

Ok, not a super serious thread but do you Feminist board frequenters recognize this?

I was talking to a great person I respect and look up to SO MUCH IRL on FB. The topic was something that to me was so obviously misogynist - not saying what <paranoid> - that even a kinda sexist person would understand it. She couldn't see it, so I wrote patient replies trying to explain. She got mad and "yelled" at me.
I just feel sad, this is a highly intelligent and mature woman who couldn't see basic sexism, and I got yelled at in front of everyone (well on FB but you know) by someone I respect.

How do you people handle stuff like that?
And why do you think some women get all angry instead of saying "ok let's agree to disagree and end this convo now" or something. She is not usually like that.

meditrina Sat 12-Jan-13 20:58:01

You cannot force someone to respond in the way you think best; you can't impose your world views on someone else.

Being right isn't sufficient - being persuasive is more important (wish someone had told me that when I was much younger).

You are unlikely to "win" a debate on someone else's FB page. All you can do is state your view as persuasively as possible - just once - and hope at least some fo the wider audience has noted you words.

PretzelTime Sat 12-Jan-13 21:06:11

Thanks for replying!
Yes I understand meditrina, you can't impose your views on somebody else. I just feel so disappointed by her reaction. It wasn't some random person.
How do you mean by being persuasive is more important?

PretzelTime Sat 12-Jan-13 21:47:17

I'm actually Serious and Grown Up and Nice on FB, I don't post random stupid/strident crap there like on MN if that's what you're worried about grin

Would be interested to hear how others handle disagreement on very basic, very offensive things with people you know online and IRL.

kim147 Sat 12-Jan-13 22:06:57

I often have discussions on another forum - but you sometimes feel like you're fighting a losing battle as the person you're talking to just continues coming out with their crap and few people back you up.

Once I got a PM from someone telling me she never bothers putting her feminist views forward as it's a waste of time on this forum.

PretzelTime Sat 12-Jan-13 22:22:00

Hmm. Do you think the solution is to never explain why something is very offensive, in case the person gets unreasonably angry? Anyone ever got a "positive" reaction from it...?

MrsToddsShortcut Sun 13-Jan-13 09:09:24

Once, many years ago, I was with a a crowd of my girlfriends in a pub. A group of 4 men at the next table were being horribly racist and offensive.

We went over, asked to join them, and entered the conversation. By the end of the evening, two of them had conceded that we had good points to make about racism and that maybe they were being unreasonable.

It is possible to have a reasoned debate, but as Medetrina says, you have to be persuasive, rather than steam in telling people they are wrong.

We started with basics like "'but what if'...", and then asked them to explain why they thought what they did. The ones that ended up changing their minds were the ones that realised that their position wasn't entirely logical.

Not saying it's always possible, but we felt quite hopeful. I always challenge people with bigoted views but try to do it in away that opens a debate rather than start a fight or make them feel openly threatened in their views.

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Sun 13-Jan-13 09:23:32

I try and draw an analogy with another -ism, often people are m

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Sun 13-Jan-13 09:31:12

I try and draw an analogy with another -ism, often people are more aware of racism, say, than sexism. For example, "when you say women are better suited to childcare because they are more nurturing, would you ever say that black people are more nurturing than white, or that Christians are more nurturing than Jews?"

I think what you're up against here in addition is the nature of Facebook - you essentially called her wrong in front of all her friends and it takes quite a character to not be defensive on that basis, whatever the merits of what you said!

PretzelTime Sun 13-Jan-13 11:36:23

you essentially called her wrong in front of all her friends and it takes quite a character to not be defensive on that basis
Yes, oh dear, I came to my senses and realized this soon aftersad
Perhaps such things should be ignored on FB, but it was an upsetting and weird thing she posted that felt out of character for such a reasonable person. Others reacted too, after our convo. However I guess when it comes to FB and it's nature it's best not to say anything?
It's unfair isn't, people can post offensive sexist things but you can't comment on it...?
Thanks for your input both of you.
I'll try and draw an analogy with another -ism another time, and not on such a site.

PretzelTime Sun 13-Jan-13 11:40:35

By the way, the topic was how girl children was responsible for their abuse sad
OK but I'll try to let it go...

tribpot Sun 13-Jan-13 11:58:33

That's far beyond the level of 'normal' sexism, though. Victim-blaming, whilst horrific, pales into insignificance besides victim-blaming of children. I don't think that's something you can let stand, even on FB, even if you don't enter into a debate there (not really designed for debating stuff sensibly).

It's also hetero-centric victim blaming. The reason she sees female victims as complicit and not male victims is because heterosexual sex is desirable but homosexual sex isn't (apparently) - therefore the boy victim would not have had an element of consent in the crime, whereas the girl victim would. Or could. Also because women and girls are 'expected' to trade on their looks and sexuality so they would have more to gain by accepting the abuse. Obviously this is all bollocks - people have exploited other people since time began through sex.

The fact is that in every case where a crime was committed (and it is reasonable to suppose by the law of averages that some of those accused are innocent) an adult made a choice to exploit a child. Even if for some reason you chose to believe the child was not without blame you cannot by any logic make it more the fault of the victim than of the perpetrator.

JustAHolyFool Sun 13-Jan-13 12:03:05

I find it very hard to be persuasive because I get so pissed off.

Must try harder.

tribpot Sun 13-Jan-13 12:33:20

Yes - that's quite understandable. But prejudice is essentially illogical. The argument to respond with is logic because it stops it escalating into a battle of wills. It also really annoys the person with the prejudice because their argument is driven by emotion.

JustAHolyFool Sun 13-Jan-13 12:37:38

True tribpot. Think I'm just tired of coming up against what are, essentially, stupid opinions.

Maybe I just need to use some Socratic logic.

tribpot Sun 13-Jan-13 12:41:24

I completely sympathise. It is unbelievably wearing to come up against this over and over again but in this case there is very little grey area. Even if you believe that some of the older victims may have 'chosen' to be abused in return for favours or money or fame or whatever, in the style of groupies, you cannot escape the fact that they were also children.

CailinDana Sun 13-Jan-13 12:53:55

Chances are some of your words hit home and rather than admit she was wrong (which is tough to do and basically implies she at one point supported abuse) she got defensive. That's a normal reaction unfortunately, very few people will say "You know what I was wrong, I see how my views were awful and shit and I've changed my mind." Thing is though, most people end up having massive respect for someone who can change their mind and admit they were wrong. It is such a brave thing to do precisely because it's so hard.

It sounds like her position was indefensible, she felt like a twat, and reacted. I think deep down you probably made an impression though.

CailinDana Sun 13-Jan-13 12:56:26

Remember too that abuse is a minefield. So many women were abused when they were younger and rationalised it in some way, often by blaming themselves. By challenging the belief that a victim it to blame for abuse you might be challenging a very rickety defense mechanism that is preventing the person from confronting something awful that happened to them. So it could go deeper than just a desire to be right.

It's happened a couple of times in debates on MN that the people most keen to blame victims are ones that were victims themselves and are struggling to accept that.

PretzelTime Sun 13-Jan-13 14:05:06

CailinDana, it's a very interesting point and in this case, I think you hit the nail on the head. I remember that my fb friend said some alarming sexist and victim-blaming things about herself to me in the past, however back then I just thought it was something she said because she was being depressed and vulnerable at the moment, I didn't know those opinions had continued and gotten so extreme.
After the latest event others have reacted and there has been unfriending drama, sigh. She seems unreachable and have reacted in a really bad way - but now that I consider this I want to stay in touch in case she is just being very, very depressed and self-blaming again.

PiccadillyCervix Mon 14-Jan-13 03:49:03

Fb is not a platform for people to spout anything they want unchecked no matter how henious. You have a responsibility to call people on victim blaming nonsense. We all do. She embarrassed her self in front of her friends not you. you gave her a chance to concede she had been wrong and not end up looking like the twat her friends surely thought she was being.

PretzelTime Mon 14-Jan-13 10:09:06

Thanks Piccadilly. Saying that the victim (a kid!) has a responsibilty in it IS victimblaming and now that it's not so raw I feel sure that I did the right thing (others reacted strongly too.)
It's difficult when it's people you know and love isn't it? And sensitive topics!

GunsAndRoses Wed 16-Jan-13 01:05:23

What "By the way, the topic was how girl children was responsible for their abuse" shock She can't be that highly intelligent and mature to spout crap like that. I wouldn't have much respect for her if she goes round saying stuff like that. I don't think I would have much patience with her. I would probably tell her she is talking bullshit and if she started yelling the odds at me I would ignore her.

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Wed 16-Jan-13 07:28:22

Pretzel I think it is the right thing to challenge it but it does sound like your friend has had bad experiences which might be at the root of it, I hope you are able to reconnect with her.

WoTmania Wed 16-Jan-13 09:28:51

I just keep re-iterating my point and if appropriate will link to studies/articles etc. I try and stay extremely polite even if they aren't so no one can accuse me of rudeness or boullying. However it's immensely frustrating and I have deleted one friend over this (it was about Assange - he kept posting 'vigil for Assange', 'free Assange' type stuff on my wall) and a family member is on a restricted profile view so he can't post on any of my wall posts as he was being so idiotic and wrong-headed.

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