Feminist bust-up w/my bro

(49 Posts)
ShirakawaKaede Tue 15-Oct-13 20:32:52

I know, it might sound stupid, but Godfrey Bloom had a hand in screwing up an otherwise (mostly) ok relationship with my brother. He reckoned the infamous article http://politics.co.uk/comment-analysis/2013/08/20/comment-let-s-face-it-men-and-women-are-fundamentally-differ was mostly reasonable.

Maybe I could've let that one slide, but then he got started on the Lose The Lads mags campaign and it only got worse from there. I've bunged the whole sorry transcript up on my (barely-even-up-and-running) blog http://likeimwasted.wordpress.com/type/aside/ - before I really get started on it, purely for lack of anywhere else to post (it's far, far too long to post here).

We're not speaking - I lost it with him and he was offended by my language - and I by his ridicule and derailing of the argument. In the meantime, I've been asked to apologise (largely to keep the peace as it's his birthday next week, and he'd like my husband & I to be there(!)) - which I'm willing to do, provided it's a mutual thing. But he won't understand that he was offensive.

Yes, I realise it seems petty, ludicrous, etc. but I feel like my beliefs are being trampled upon. And he has a daughter now, and another on the way. Hence his attitude concerns me. What would you do?

KaseyM Tue 15-Oct-13 22:36:26

It's a bit hard to read with the background but your bro seems like he's very blinkered and isn't willing to listen to a woman about what a woman feels.

If it's any consolation mine would probably say similar. They haven't had to think about these things and they cling on to the fact that some women are fine so therefore all women should be.

Stick to your guns. Don't apologise. But wait to see if he changes his mind a bit. No one changes their stance during the argument but they may think about it after.

YouMakeMeWannaLaLa Tue 15-Oct-13 23:01:01

I would never concede to my sibling, even if I new they were right and definitely not in the heat of an argument, so there's possibly a bit of that going on there, along with an enjoyment of winding his sister up, maybe? Depends on your relationship.

Not read the blog, but am certainly on your side.

I hate discussing feminism with many men because they can afford for it to just be a game to them (not saying they all feel this way). It's more an existential/philosophical debate to them, not their life. It's easy and safer for them to minimise it.

If I were you I might apologise for anger/insults but make it clear I haven't changed my mind and was not being 'hysterical'. You can give him a chinese burn if he accuses you of being hormonal wink

SabrinaMulhollandJjones Tue 15-Oct-13 23:28:01

No, I wouldn't concede to my brother on this point. Tbh, my bro can be a bit of a misogynist twat at times - but he does listen to me. I talked him round on the p3 debate very easily and he ended up signing the petition <proud> on really very little argument from me... so he does hear me.

Your brother sounds like he's a bit entrenched. Tell him you'll go to his birthday if he considers your point of view as a woman grin

OpheliaMonarch Wed 16-Oct-13 04:12:05

Binned my arse of a brother long ago, he's catholic, of the twatty variety.
"Our dad's dead, so I'm the man of the house and get to tell ALL the women what to do."
Yeah, what a gift he wasn't!

Anyway, read your blog, your brother seems like a garden variety ignorant sexist dick. Seriously, the original Bloom article he thought 'seemed fairly measured' was fucking awful.

Sorry, but your brother behaved like a wanker. He is wrong.

He also has a really bloody irritating habit of repeating received daily fail 'ideas' whilst trying to pass them off as original.

Also, patronising mansplaining of the most boring variety.

Anyway, assuming your brother can see through that heady mist of superiority he is oozing, this is a good article:

educoup.com/2013/04/20/the-disease-of-sexual-objectification-inside-a-society-that-turns-women-into-things/

Also, one of the links looked really good:

www.buffalo.edu/news/releases/2011/08/12769.html

Please don't apologise to this arse, he's obviously used to being in charge and is continuing this with his demand for an apology. He is defining what you do.

"Nothing further to say if fuck off and twat is all you can say. Im disappointed in you that you would get so nasty over some silly deabte."(sic)

Can't believe he said he's disappointed in you! I suspect you are disappointed that he's a misogynist, but he's the one that gets to be upset?

"Maybe dont discuss such stuff if youre going to get highly strung and swear off. Anyway"(sic)

In other words you are hysterical hmm and you're not allowed to be upset by him dismissing your beliefs. However, he's a precious flower who's feelings are hurt if you swear!

That is some passive aggressive bullshit. People swear when they are upset, how dare he say he is disappointed in you, that there is your problem.

www.psychologytoday.com/blog/passive-aggressive-diaries/201011/10-common-passive-aggressive-phrases-avoid

"Why Are You Getting So Upset?"

The passive aggressive person is a master at maintaining his calm and feigning shock when others, worn down by his indirect hostility, blow up in anger. In fact, he takes pleasure out of setting others up to lose their cool and then questioning their "overreactions."

This is also great:

www.derailingfordummies.com

And this quote sums it all up:

"There are the occasions that men—intellectual men, clever men, engaged men—insist on playing devil's advocate, desirous of a debate on some aspect of feminist theory or reproductive rights or some other subject generally filed under the heading: Women's Issues. These intellectual, clever, engaged men want to endlessly probe my argument for weaknesses, want to wrestle over details, want to argue just for fun—and they wonder, these intellectual, clever, engaged men, why my voice keeps raising and why my face is flushed and why, after an hour of fighting my corner, hot tears burn the corners of my eyes. Why do you have to take this stuff so personally? ask the intellectual, clever, and engaged men, who have never considered that the content of the abstract exercise that's so much fun for them is the stuff of my life."Melissa McEwan.

Hope it helps, just reminded me of my brother, he was a grade A tosser too.

Wow, that got really long. blush

UptoapointLordCopper Wed 16-Oct-13 08:41:31

That quote about intellectual men is so true. And "well, do you feel discriminated against?" like my experience is that of all women. How about the "they don't mind, they are used to it - it's only you with your middle-class sensibilities" - when discussing very limited rights some women have in some countries. God forbid that I should be used to being able to go out on my own and drive a car and think that other women should be able to too.

Sorry for rant. angry at everything these days.

ShirakawaKaede Wed 16-Oct-13 10:54:19

Thanks, everyone, I was starting to doubt myself a little - I feel better reading your posts!

Ophelia - the links you've put up are great, esp Derailing For Dummies & Educoup, and the quote is bang on - it is just a game for him - hence he only scanned the article before dismissing it...

I don't honestly think I will get anywhere in terms of seeing my point of view, as demonstrated by his reaction to the "Stop Ignoring Dead Women" campaign (after saying "but what about if a woman kills a man, what then?"):

"...Although if men were (are?) dying due to female violence I suspect we actually would not hear much about it because it is still little recognised that women are just as capable as men of domestic violence. It is far easier for it to be hidden due to shame on the part of the men to resist reporting it or talking about it and the ease with which a woman can turn round and say "he has been beating me and I just defended myself" or simply deny it completely AND throw projection out claiming that they are the sole victim. If domestic violence against women is not treated seriously, domestic violence against men simply isn't even on anyone's radar. It may be less common than Man > Women violence but it happens none the less, yet more invisibly. I know people it has happened to. Human on human violence is wrong full stop."

The waters are somewhat muddied by the fact that he is a survivor of domestic violence - I support and believe him, as do our immediate family. But he tends to be offended by anything re. male on female violence and take the "what about teh menz" line.

My husband, thankfully, is a feminist, and has the ability to remain calm when dealing with people who are irrational and infuriating - so he may be able to talk sense into him better than I can...

whatdoesittake48 Wed 16-Oct-13 12:23:51

I think you are on to a loser here. Some people simply will not be swayed by reasonable argument and especially not on a topic like this.

There comes a time when it is better just to accept they have an opinion and leave them to it.

Surviving this with dignity is the tricky bit. But I think it is fair to apologise if you offended him, if you got sweary or shouty and point out that your apology is by no means a recognition that he is right.

Are you more concerned by his attitude or the fact that he couldn't accept that you had your own opinion.

For me the latter annoys me much more than someone having a different opinion on things. I want validation of my point - not agreement. I try to offer that in return.I personally don't believe in the notion of "talking sense into someone". Your brother is entitled to his beliefs no matter how infuriating or irrational they may be.

However he doesn't have the right to disrespect your viewpoint.

perhaps you and your brother can agree to disagree and maybe try to be more respectful in the future. trying to change his viewpoint just isn't going to happen.

ShirakawaKaede Wed 16-Oct-13 12:48:29

The problem is, I'm happy to apologise for being sweary. But he will simply accept my apology and apparently doesn't seem to think he has anything to apologise for himself (like casually trashing things that I believe in).

In other words, I'd be essentially backing down, his opinions wouldn't change (not that that's likely, as whatdoesittake said) and worst of all, he still wouldn't realise that lack of respect with which he treated my beliefs is totally unacceptable.

"I want validation of my point - not agreement." - Exactly!

SabrinaMulhollandJjones Wed 16-Oct-13 13:19:17

Noooo don't apologise! He'll be even more smug... I would tell him ina tight-lipped way "we'll just have to agree to differ."

OpheliaMonarch Wed 16-Oct-13 16:53:07

He doesn't frequent Reddit does he? I completely sympathise with you.

Really don't think there is anything you can do. sad . But I wouldn't apologise, he will see this as conquering the stupid unreasonable woman no matter how many caveats you add. SabrinaMullhollandjjones is spot on.

Seriously, you bought up a misogynistic article, he defended it for no apparent reason.

That was how the conversation started, you were talking about sexism against WOMEN.

If you were angry about an article that said all Asian people shouldn't be allowed to drive, as they are naturally better at walking. Would he have derailed the conversation by saying, well, 'white people find it hard to pay for driving lessons'?
That was not the conversation you were having.

This is an old, old techniques used by guys who don't want to listen:

This article discusses how common it is in internet threads:

finallyfeminism101.wordpress.com/2007/10/18/phmt-argument/

They link to this:

The "What About the Mens?" Fallacy
Forgive me if there is already a law like this in place. I searched and could not find.

In any case, this "phallusy"1 fallacy4 is as follows:

In any discussion focusing on women's2 issues, the probability that someone will come around and say "men are , too!"3 approaches 1 the longer the discussion gets.

Honestly, he's like a baby MRA, he'd be cute if it all weren't so predictable, and didn't lead to the inevitable hate sites.

Hope you can agree to differ, didn't work with me and mine, but then there was more to it in than the misogyny my case. Hugs if you need them .

ApocalypseThen Wed 16-Oct-13 17:10:16

He wants you to apologise so you can come to his birthday. Don't even consider it. If you have a mutual disagreement, you have the right to say your piece and so does he (he's wrong but he's allowed to be). It's symptomatic of the chronic lack if respect he has for you and for women though that you should have to apologise so that he can tolerate your presence.

tribpot Wed 16-Oct-13 17:16:43

How come he hasn't been asked to apologise to keep the peace?

Let me guess: because it's the woman's job to be the appeaser. Well fuck that shit.

As a marginalised member of a disadvantaged group (male victims of domestic violence) I sympathise with him, and if you'd been talking about domestic violence things might be different. But I don't think being a reverse victim of one aspect of gender politics entitles him to unchallengeable opinions across the board.

LaFataMalvagia Wed 16-Oct-13 17:26:11

I always think arguments between siblings add an extra layer of confusingness. I think it probably depends on what your relationship with him is like in general.

My brother and I are fairly close and get on well but if I were to say that the sea is blue (for example) he'd be adamant that it is red. - But in his case I know he doesn't mean anything by it, we're both merely reverting to 10 year olds arguing over what film to watch/who gets the last donut etc.

Do you think if you apologized for swearing he would also apologize for belittling your argument? Also, do you think he really believes the stuff he says or he is just arguing for arguings sake?

LaFataMalvagia Wed 16-Oct-13 17:28:52

I missed the domestic violence bit. That makes the whole thing even more baffling. - on one hand I can understand a bit of the 'what about me?' and on the other surely if he knows how horrible domestic violence is he should be more sympathetic.

PumpkinGuts Wed 16-Oct-13 17:32:53

I would love to go to your party because I'm your sister and I live you. I won't apologise because I'm not sorry and I think you were wrong. Also also, I respect your intelligence too much to lie to you and deep down I know you'd hate for me to give you a false apology

Be as saccharin sweet as you can when you deliver lastbit grin

PumpkinGuts Wed 16-Oct-13 17:35:14

I really can't understand why he'd want you to apologise when he knows you don't mean it?

Other than for control

DioneTheDiabolist Wed 16-Oct-13 17:46:55

You say that you had a mostly ok relationship with your brother OP. I assume that means that it was a sometimes annoying but loving sibling relationship (sorry if I'm wrong on that point).

I understand you want validation of your point, but are you really saying that you would sacrifice your relationship with your brother for it?shock

ShirakawaKaede Wed 16-Oct-13 19:32:04

Pumpkinguts - nice idea - I may have to try that! Dione - you assume correctly - and there's no way I want to lose my relationship with my bro - believe it or not he can be wonderful, and we both want to be on good terms. But I don't think it's fair for him not to acknowledge his wrongs if I'm happy to admit mine.

ShirakawaKaede Wed 16-Oct-13 19:48:38

LaFataMalvagia -

Do you think if you apologized for swearing he would also apologize for belittling your argument? No, that's part of the problem! If we were to both apologise to each other, I'd be happy with that.

Also, do you think he really believes the stuff he says or he is just arguing for arguings sake? Sadly, I do think he believes the stuff he says.

He really is rather oblivious to sexism, and has a real bee in his bonnet re. male on female DV, and any campaigns which draw attention to it due, in part to the abuse he suffered, and the fact that she claimed that it was the other way round - leading to our dad's bro (note we no longer refer to him as "uncle") taking her side (not without ulterior motives) and changing the locks on their flat while he was out, convincing her to leave the country with their child, etc. Basically, it's all horribly complicated. He was wronged, and I and our immediate family believed and supported him. But it's left him with a deep suspicion of feminism....

That's what my husband and I think anyway. But the fact that he has suffered doesn't excuse his attitude, and I would hate for that to rub of on my niece(s).

Really appreciate you all giving your opinions & support. XX

ColderThanAWitchsTitty Wed 16-Oct-13 20:21:46

I understand you want validation of your point, but are you really saying that you would sacrifice your relationship with your brother for it?

if the brother throws down an ultimatum he is risking the relationship not the OP, why should he be allowed to have everything on his terms.

edam Wed 16-Oct-13 20:27:07

Sadly, he sounds like an obnoxious dick. Worrying for his dds. I'm sure he has redeeming qualities - at least, I hope so. But don't let him bully you if you aren't in the mood to be bullied.

BasilBabyEater Wed 16-Oct-13 21:07:29

Am I the only one who has normal reasonable nice brothers?

One of them is a feminist ally who totally gets it, the other isn't but he's not a nob and he wouldn't dream of demanding apologies or other control-freaky things as a condition of not continuing a tantrum.

Don't apologise, tell him you'd love to come to his birthday celebration, but if he wants to set conditions, you're not interested because you like your relationships to be functional and not mad.

DioneTheDiabolist Wed 16-Oct-13 21:07:40

OP, I absolutely believe you.smile. I think what has happened here is a sibling squabble which has touched a raw nerve on both sides.

Your feminism is an important part of who you are. His experience of DV has put him through hell. DV has a deep and lasting impact.sad The fact that he was then victimized by the law and seen as the abuser just compounded his feelings of fear and powerlessness. I suspect that when he pulls his "what about the menz" line, he is really saying "what about me". Do you really think that he wouldn't support his DDs were they to be abused?

SabrinaMulhollandJjones Wed 16-Oct-13 21:09:36

Men like him only get uppity when you mention his dd(s) - men that genuinely care become more feminist through love for their dd's. Various studies have shown it.

ShirakawaKaede Wed 16-Oct-13 21:20:32

Dione, I think you have it spot on. He would indeed support his daughters if they were abused (unlike aforementioned uncle, would you believe!). Of that I have no doubt. I hope in time he will come to realise the sexism that women face everyday and that lads' mags and page three only reinforce this.

SagaciousOne Tue 22-Oct-13 14:21:55

Lose the lads mags.

This is an interesting one. Why should an expression of men's sexuality be repressed?

Do we feel women's sexuality should be repressed shall we campaign for the removal of Mills and Boon or Black Lace publications?

Are we suggesting that we get rid of Heat's 'Torso of the Week' or ban the diet coke ads?

I'm in favour of neither - sex has always sold products and people have always enjoyed sexuality.

The women in these magazines are in them by choice they are paid to do something which frankly is not rocket science. If I could be paid to take my top off to be admired by loads of fans I definitely would (alas I suspect people would most likely lose their lunch!).

As for exploitation can anyone say Katie Price et al are exploited or are they laughing all the way to the bank their riches and fame giving them agency and control in their lives which few people could dream of?!

Furthermore if we take the unrealistic body image argument what about Vogue or Cosmo they are not full of stick thin airbrushed models are they?!

Or what about negative body image 'stars without their make up' springs to mind.

Censorship to score political points is never a good thing.

I think some people need to think on this a bit more and get over themselves.

SpookyWerewolf Tue 22-Oct-13 16:18:49

I think you can apologise for the swearing, but say that you still disagree about the campaign and feel that his passive aggressive needling about something you care deeply about was insensitive and hurtful.

If he'd like to know more about why you feel the way you do then point him in the direction of good feminism resources, I wouldn't get into another debate that turns hurtful.

The burden of proof placed on women to PROVE how sexist media doing damage, is disproportionate to 'proof' required in other debates. Partially I expect because women's opinions are disregarded generally. It ought to be enough for your brother that "It hurts me to see my gender reduced to sexual objects. The message it gives me and other women and girls is that we exist soley for male gratification, that message is repeated day in day out through mags like these."

P.s. the background of your blog makes it hard to read, I had to highlight each section of text to read it. Maybe consider a different background or text colour?

BasilBabyEater Tue 22-Oct-13 21:41:07

"Why should an expression of men's sexuality be repressed?"

Dur.

As if men's sexuality isn't formed by the culture (which is woman-hating) in which they live.

SagaciousOne Wed 23-Oct-13 20:03:55

"Dur.

As if men's sexuality isn't formed by the culture (which is woman-hating) in which they live."

That's a mature response Basil.

The fact your answer contains a hostile and frankly juvenile turn of phrase like Dur merely displays ignorance.

Similarly the assertion that men's sexuality is formed by the culture they live in fails to take account of men's personal experience of sexuality and assumes that men's (who incidently are not one homogenous group) are not valid. They may not be female but that does not mean they are not equally valid. If you believe in equality that point is self evident.

I have nothing against women expressing a female centric view of sexuality in fact I would encourage it, celebrate it even, but I believe the same should be true of male centric views, their is no inherent superiority in either.

I would suggest the next part of your riposte the proposition that society is intrinsically women hating is just evidence that you do not believe in equality but that you actually are an advocate of misandry.

You have made no attempt to address my points and as such your response cannot be taken seriously.

BasilBabyEater Wed 23-Oct-13 20:09:13

Blah blah blah.

That's an awful lot of words to say something really not worth saying.

SagaciousOne Wed 23-Oct-13 20:15:54

You're only proving my point.

I'm kind of quite pleased at your response in that sense.

But I am disappointed you wouldn't at least attempt to support your assertions.

Oh well...

BasilBabyEater Wed 23-Oct-13 20:21:40

I just can't be arsed because I don't think your arguments are worth engaging with.

You can't expect women to always be prepared to expend energy on male centred crap.

Someone else might feel like it. Good luck with that.

SagaciousOne Wed 23-Oct-13 20:29:46

I don't expect you to respond to this post but by all means feel free to do so. (I'm not going to debate with someone who does not want to debate).

I would just like to highlight again your inherent levels of misandry.

"You can't expect women to always be prepared to expend energy on male centred crap."

If I was to change the word 'women' to 'men' and 'male' to 'female' I have no doubt that you would find that to be a deeply offensive turn of phrase and misogynistic in the extreme.

I don't think I need elaborate further.

BasilBabyEater Wed 23-Oct-13 20:34:00

[hbiscuit]

BasilBabyEater Wed 23-Oct-13 20:34:44

Damn thlbiscuit

grin

ShirakawaKaede Tue 05-Nov-13 18:05:27

Oh god it's started again. I organised a fireworks party at my mum's in the hopes that my bro & I might be civil to each other, leave our differences at the door and simply enjoy the night. Then he starts liking shit from the "Men's Rights Initiative" - check their facebook page rather than their website - they show their true colours. Fuck's sake

SabrinaMulFUCKERJjones Tue 05-Nov-13 18:12:12

I'm afraid, your brother sounds like he's being a bit of a twat.

I would actually ignore him now - if he's getting into the men's rights stuff, he's either trying to wind you up for a laugh, or is really quite a nasty piece of work. I'd hide him on FB at least.

ShirakawaKaede Tue 05-Nov-13 18:32:16

Good idea, Sabrina! Have done exactly that.

NiceTabard Tue 05-Nov-13 19:19:29

sagacious why not start another thread if you want to discuss the reasons that it is important to have sexually appealing images of semi-dressed women in public spaces so that men can "express their sexuality".

This thread is for the OP to work out how to handle the conflict that has arisen with her brother, in the run up to her birthday. It's rather impolite to totally ignore what she and everyone else are talking about just to start banging on about how vital it is that men can look at pictures of tits on the bus.

NiceTabard Tue 05-Nov-13 19:20:00

his birthday, rather!

ThePitOfStupid Tue 05-Nov-13 19:28:19

I wish the diet coke ads could be banned, so they could stop being claimed as false equivalents.

freyasnow Tue 05-Nov-13 19:43:27

Well, you are handling it better than I would. I have disagreements with family members but people generally speak from the heart because we are family; it's not like a discussion on here. My brother doesn't interview me like he's Jeremy Paxman or declare he is disappointed in me as if he's a headmaster. In fact, my dad wouldn't say that and he was a headmaster.

I would not be apologising, or go to the birthday. If I said something so homophobic, or discussed gay rights as if it was some kind of sixth form debate rather than my sister's actual life, I would not be at all surprised if she told me to fuck off, and I would be the one apologising. The same applies to him saying these things to you as a woman.

ShirakawaKaede Mon 18-Nov-13 21:07:05

Well, fireworks night was just beautiful. He barely spoke to me the entire evening - I made an effort to be friendly (and not mention anything re. our disagreement). He pointedly said goodbye to everyone by name... except for me. He also seemed to think he could be best mates with DH and talked of going camping with him (he'd bought a bug-out bag). This angered DH no end as he a) has the same views on feminism as I do b) Would see it as utterly disloyal to be pally with someone who had upset me so much. And all this awkwardness in front of our friends as well. Great. Then he complains afterwards that HE feels uncomfortable. My DM doesn't see why bro should apologise since the stuff he said wasn't about me personally. Just my beliefs, so nevermind, eh? She likened my feminist ideals to him believing in ridiculous conspiracy theories. I walked out on her. I emailed my other bro in the US (generally much more reasonable). He agreed with DM and said the women in lads' mags were paid & there by choice, etc. (don't get me started) and that I had overstepped the mark. He suggested writing a letter apologising for swearing but leaving out all reference to the subject over which we argued.

Apologies for the self-pitying tone.

Thank fuck my husband supports me. I have no faith in my family considering (I don't expect people to necessarily agree) anything i say.

In case you didn't already think he was a prick: He texted DH "Feminism gives women an excuse to act like c***s & arseholes".

I despair.

WoTmania Mon 18-Nov-13 22:29:14

That's really rubbish shirakawa sad
Unfortunately IME a lot of men when actually challenged about idiotic views get like this: defensive and arseholey. And when you, as a mere female, won't be the one to back down and apologise they can turn really nasty.
They message he sent your DH was disgusting.

ShirakawaKaede Mon 18-Nov-13 22:35:39

What hurt me most is that my usually reasonable DM & other bro didn't see anything he said as being baiting/antagonising/offensive. DH actually asked him "Do you believe in equal rights?" ...No answer, he simply dodged the question. And this from someone who prides himself on being fair...

SabrinaMulhollandJjones Mon 18-Nov-13 22:51:03

I'm beginning to think this goes beyond arguing with or baiting a sister - this is full-on mra behaviour. Is this a very recent thing op?

Sorry he's being a twat - even sorrier he's managing to talk your family around angry

You married the right man though smile

Dervel Tue 19-Nov-13 02:34:17

Ok I am not sure I understand all of this, but just in case here goes:

You had an argument with your brother re: images of women in lads mags, and this was a brother accused of domestic violence towards his ex, when in fact in your estimation he was in fact a victim?

If I have that about right I think this response of his was telling:

"Read all of that from a mans point of view and think about how it sounds. I find it offensive in how weak and prone to brutish behaviour it seems to think men must be."

Now granted I have not read the article he is referring to, but that in my view triggered his abuse experience. Having been a victim himself, and to top it off being accused of it himself, it is entirely logical to me any article he reads that he detects paints men generally as women hating is going to trigger that sense of powerlessness (both in terms of the abuse, and more importantly the false accusation). In fact it likely will make him feel it reinforces circumstances that made him a victim in the first place.

Of course by the same token you've dealt with casual everyday sexism, so the debate itself is a topic that can push your buttons. In short, you were looking to your bro for solidarity against crap you've put up with your whole life simply for being a woman. Whereas he was looking for validation that no it's not fair to paint men as a gender in such a way that victimisation such as he experienced slip under the radar. Unfortunately sounds like you both missed each other's signals.

Now I am purposefully avoiding the rights and wrongs of the actual debate, as I think the subject itself was just the catalyst and not the underlying core of the problem. For the record, I do think the page 3/ lads mags release a steady stream of low level psychological pollution into our collective unconscious. I don't think banning them will solve the underlying, problems of some men's attitude to women. However A) I may well be wrong in that assumption and B) I don't think we'll lose much in the attempt, so perhaps we should give it try and see what happens.

Getting back to your bro, it clearly would help if he could see things from your (feminist) point of view, and if your husband is a feminist ally and your brother is friendly towards him, perhaps he could clue him in. Note I am not suggesting that because your hubby as a man can sort it out and you couldn't, simply that in the light of current hostility/circumstances he is a logical choice.

Anyway I hope it all works out for the best, and if I missed some fundamental element that render most of the above nonsense, please ignore me.

WoTmania Tue 19-Nov-13 16:27:56

My family have a habit of making offensive comments just to wind me up and then when I bite I get told I'm being shrill, or over sensitive etc. Sounds like your brother has done the same but that there's an undercurrent of actually meaning it in there.
Very disappointing that your DM and brother are refusing to back you up. Amazing how deep these things can be hidden...

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