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A male friend of mine has become a "feminist" and I want to hit him over the head with a big stick

(27 Posts)
dancingwithmyselfandthecat Fri 31-Oct-14 12:37:56

"That's not very feminist of you"
"Call yourself a feminist when you aren't helping women!"
"I went to a local feminist discussion group. And they didn't seem to be interested in what I had to say. How do they expect to be listened to when they don't listen to me."

....is a selection of comments from dinner the other night.

Don't get me wrong, I think men should be feminist/feminist allies. I am delighted to the fact that a highly priviliged man who has previously shown absolutely no awareness in women's issues has woken up to gendered disadvantage and the need for equality and emancipation. (He is gay and socialises almost exclusively with other gay men, no sisters, doesn't even work with women so it is quite impressive that he has seen beyond his own bubble I suppose).

But I am irritated by his "ooh look at me. I am a FEMINIST now" and the half cocked ideas which he has picked up off twitter.

But what is driving me mad is his hypocrisy and his attempts to shut down female view points (such as over dinner) with the "bad feminist" line.

Eg one woman at the dinner is more right wing than this particular male friend. By no means Nigel Farage, just Tony Blair to his Tony Benn if you get what I mean. This woman was told off for being a "bad feminist" because "your ideas won't help women". When I said that perhaps what was most important was that we listen to women's voices (ie shut up and stop interrupting) he replied "I don't have to listen to stupid women's voices".

The irony being - as I pointed out to him - that any man who does a lot of cocaine and supports one of the most evil industries in the world with terrible effects on women and children has no business a) using the "not helping women" line or b) saying that anyone else's worldview is stupid.

This morning I get a text from male friend saying words to the effect of
"I am really upset that you aren't more supportive about me being a feminist, but then what did I expect you didn't even thank me for signing up to the no more page 3 campaign".

He became a "feminist" before the Emma Watson speech, but that has added fuel to his fire.

DH has invited him over for a drink this evening. I want to get a big stick with "stop being a hypocritical wazzock" emblazoned on the side and hit him over the head with it.

WIBU?

browneyedgirl86 Fri 31-Oct-14 12:42:10

Yanbu! Your friend sounds a right charmer! I wouldn't entertain his crap if he started it.

BarbarianMum Fri 31-Oct-14 12:43:24

YABU because violence is always wrong but I can see why your tempted

Maybe you could become a gay activist who doesn't need to listen to members of the LGT community in response?

Inertia Fri 31-Oct-14 12:44:20

What makes him think that feminism is all about him?

calculatorsatdawn Fri 31-Oct-14 12:46:40

his heart may be in the right place but he sounds like a total helmet.

I have 2 male friends who regularly post things on facebook about feminism and links to various campaigns but the way both of them treat women in their personal life is pretty grim. Every time one of them posts somethig I just want to comment 'charity begins at home. start by treating the women you know like human beings and not mobile vaginas, when you've nailed that then maybe move on to the gender pay gap'

Casmama Fri 31-Oct-14 12:49:15

It may be useful to compare feminism to racism or disablism and ask if he would take similar attitudes. Good that he's trying, pity he is so self-congratulatory about it and spectacularly missing the point at times.

dancingwithmyselfandthecat Fri 31-Oct-14 12:49:26

Maybe you could become a gay activist who doesn't need to listen to members of the LGT community in response?

I am sorely tempted. I suggested to DH that I buy a load of queer theory books and tell him that he was a "bad gay". (Male friend that is, not DH.) DH just rolled his eyes and said "more unreasonable people. That's exactly what the world needs".

What makes him think that feminism is all about him?
If I were more cynical and/or a more engaged feminist than I actually am, I would say that it is because he carries around inordinate amounts of male privilege which have never been successfully challenged. But I'll play nice and say that he's just enthusiastic and naive.

bodhranbae Fri 31-Oct-14 12:51:23

YANBU

My sister's ex was like this. Constantly haranguing all of us. My poor sister was completely oppressed by him ... ironically enough.

When I became a victim of male violence and ended up in hospital I was suddenly a project for him which was even more intolerable.
A complete and utter fuckwit.

Your friend sounds like a prize arse and I would ban him from the house. And yes you are right to highlight his cocaine use and how that impacts on women/children. I would use THAT fact as the "stick" to beat him senseless with.

To be honest, from what you have described, he sounds like pretty much every tedious coke head I have ever known.

rookiemater Fri 31-Oct-14 12:58:20

This reminds me about my (early twenties at the time) nephew spouting off about women's oppression.

I suggested he could do his bit by emptying the dishwasher rather than leaving it until his Mum came home, and perhaps muck in with a bit of the cooking and housework, but he looked at me as if I was from another planet - which perhaps I am, it's the one inhabited by slightly older and therefore no longer to be listened to as not sexually desirable females.

I then realised that his views on female oppression were only really in connection with females he didn't know and were trotted out as theory, because he thinks it's what women like to hear, rather than based on his own behaviour.

dancingwithmyselfandthecat Fri 31-Oct-14 13:12:13

Bodran poor you and your poor sister! I do actually wonder if some prize fuckwits use "feminism" as a cover (subconsciously or deliberately) for their terrible treatment of women - "I'm a feminist, so obviously I can't be an abuser" type thing.

Rookie when I was in my late teens I refused to help my mother with the housework on the grounds that my father wasn't helping. Now I might have been right in that he should have helped more, but I somehow failed to see that my "principled stand" worked remarkably in my own interest and against the interest of the other woman in the house. I still cringe with the memory. (My mother, fortunately, has forgiven me on the grounds that "you were a teenager. And you were mostly quite nice.")

LadyLuck10 Fri 31-Oct-14 13:14:28

Tell him to join the feminism section on mn, he'll fit right in.

amandabarnes01 Fri 31-Oct-14 13:15:54

Your friend sounds like he has an attitude problem above anything!

Minikievs Fri 31-Oct-14 13:16:33

Has he got one of those irritating t shirts that all the politicians/z list celebs seem to be wearing? Ugh.

TheAwfulDaughter Fri 31-Oct-14 13:22:24

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

avocadotoast Fri 31-Oct-14 13:51:33

He sounds like a dickhead. I'd want to whack him with a stick too wink

rogerthecabinboy Fri 31-Oct-14 13:56:29

He sounds like a complete twat.

TimeWarp Fri 31-Oct-14 14:06:20

Send him a text asking him if he can't see the irony of him deciding that women can't do feminism correctly and him telling them that they should stop making their own decisions and do what a man (him) tells them to instead.

Or, everytime he tells you that you are not feminist enough, tell him "You are a mysoginist for dismissing my opinion as less valid than yours".

Or, as recommended above, whack him with a stick. That would be the most fun option.

JeanneDeMontbaston Fri 31-Oct-14 14:22:29

Your friend has not become a feminist.

He has become a mansplainer.

This blog (and this post) might help him tone it down a bit and see where he's made himself come across as a bit of a twit. quiteirregular.wordpress.com/2014/06/23/but-im-a-man-arguments-gender-and-privilege/

WorraLiberty Fri 31-Oct-14 14:35:26

Have you posted this in the right section?

Either way YANBU

People like that wind me up, whether they are male or female.

Tell him to bore off.

UptheChimney Fri 31-Oct-14 14:57:03

his attempts to shut down female view points (such as over dinner) with the "bad feminist" line

This is mansplaining pure & simple, and he is clearly NOT a feminist. At All.

In fact, his behaviour is misogynistic and steaming with male privilege. No real feminist questions other women's feminism like that. No self-aware male sympathiser with feminism oh yes, I'm one of those who think that men can't be feminists. Yet would expect that all women should bow down before their priceless views on feminism.

Tell him to fuck off, because he's using a form of gender violence on you.

Here are some more links he needs to read:

pamelaclark.tumblr.com/post/87113711124/35-practical-tools-for-men-to-further-feminist

finallyfeminism101.wordpress.com/2007/03/11/faq-what-is-male-privilege/

In fact, just send him to Feminism 101. Don't waste your time on explaining to him why he is so far from being a feminist that he's a misogynist joke.

ithoughtofitfirst Fri 31-Oct-14 15:55:27

Urgh. Annoying.

Yanbu.

hackmum Fri 31-Oct-14 17:22:53

You know those t-shirts that say "This is what a feminist looks like"? Get him one that says "This is what a twat looks like".

canweseethebunnies Fri 31-Oct-14 18:01:55

So he wants every woman to personally thank him for signing the 'no to page 3' petition? What an arse!

I second becoming a lgbt activist and telling him he's a bad gay! Although he'll probably think that is highly offensive and won't get the irony at all.

PumpkinGordino Fri 31-Oct-14 18:11:24

god how tedious for you. yanbu

uglyswan Fri 31-Oct-14 19:10:13

You could print this out and give it to him with his drink tonight...

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