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Why do people get so defensive over feminist issues?

(127 Posts)
amispartacus Sun 18-Dec-16 19:50:02

'I write them because my handwriting is neater' when discussing Christmas cards.

"I didn't like my surname" when discussing name changing.

"There's no issue with stereotyping".

It's amazing how defensive people get when feminism is discussed and how much justification goes on. Sometimes you wonder if people can't see it - and think you are making a fuss about nothing.

Katnisnevergreen Sun 18-Dec-16 20:01:19

Perhaps because some people don't like other women speaking for women kind as a whole? I personally don't see any problem with writing Christmas cards etc. If you don't like it, don't do it

Trills Sun 18-Dec-16 20:02:41

People like to think that they have made choices.

They don't like the idea that their choices have been influenced by living in a sexist society.

They'd rather just pretend that everything is fine because they chose for it to be this way.

Trills Sun 18-Dec-16 20:03:40

Funny how few DHs have the nicer handwriting.

Or how few men think their name is the one that is harder to spell.

Or how many women change their name on getting married ^because they hated it", but clearly didn't hate it enough to change it before that.

Smartleatherbag Sun 18-Dec-16 20:04:16

It's the whole "choicey choicey," individualism thing isn't it?

Trills Sun 18-Dec-16 20:07:59

I would prefer to think that I was in control of my own mind/

It's a big thing to ask, to accept that the choices we make are not freely chosen but made within the context of what we have been conditioned to believe.

I'd prefer to think that I like what I like because I like it.

But in reality much of what I like is things that I have in the past been rewarded (either individually or systematically) for doing.

Shallishanti Sun 18-Dec-16 20:09:19

yes it is
It's also a bit scary to think that there is a whole other way of looking at the world, - when you look in cold blood at what a shit deal women get I can see why you might prefer to keep the rose tinted glasses on. And some women, at a superficial level, may feel they are getting a good deal- eg if they are in a happy marriage with a well paid man, happen to look 'attractive' and don't find performing femininity tiresome.

user1475253854 Sun 18-Dec-16 20:10:19

Like PPs have said, they like to think it was their choice.

I find a slightly similar thing with relationships - ime the women in the more unequal/unhappy relationships are the most bitchy\judgey about other people's relationships/marriages/situations - I don't know whether it's because someone else has a better set-up than them or whether it's just because they are unhappy.

Pooky77 Sun 18-Dec-16 20:11:54

People defend the choices they have made why does it bother you so much what others do?

PurpleDaisies Sun 18-Dec-16 20:13:32

"I didn't like my surname" when discussing name changing.
I didn't like my surname. The combination of my surname and my career was bad. That's not me being defensive-it's true. confused

YourOtherLeft Sun 18-Dec-16 20:14:29

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

user1475253854 Sun 18-Dec-16 20:14:33

Yes shall I agree with that. Is it Greer who said women have no idea how much men hate us? It's much easier in many many ways to not think of the world like that and tbh in many ways I can understand why you would ignore it.

Trills Sun 18-Dec-16 20:18:56

People also tend to take things overly personally.

If someone says " thing xxx is done much more by women than by men, even though it has nothing to do with biology, therefore probably something sexist is happening", they will hear "you doing thing xxx is wrong".

Because thing xxx is very personal to them, they imagine that they heard "women should never do thing xxx".

Katnisnevergreen Sun 18-Dec-16 20:19:10

Genuinely though, have a partner that isn't a dick, and share things equally hmm
I'm not a troll thank you, and I am not defending a choice, just stating that just because you don't like something doesn't make it bad.
Does this mean I am abused or subjugated by my husband?

HairyLittlePoet Sun 18-Dec-16 20:21:43

I think because the alternative is to admit "yes, I've allowed myself to be designated submissive/inferior/dogsbody because I'm female, and I went along with it for an easy life."
Which is demoralising to say the least.
The fact that women offer defensive justifications suggests they are already aware of the unfairness of the concession they have been pressured to make.

amispartacus Sun 18-Dec-16 20:23:31

You can be guaranteed to see some very defensive responses. Choices don't happen in a vacuum but it's interesting to see how some people justify their decisions.

Trills Sun 18-Dec-16 20:23:50

The fact that women offer defensive justifications suggests they are already aware of the unfairness of the concession they have been pressured to make.

I disagree.

I don't think "the lady doth protest too much" is really an indicator of someone being guilty, or agreeing.

If I think you are accusing me of doing a bad thing, and I don't think it is bad, I would sound just as "defensive" as if I did think it was bad and was ashamed of my behaviour.

ICJump Sun 18-Dec-16 20:28:00

Is it mouldy and your a baker?
Killer /doctor
Rotten/green grocery
Cooper/alcoholic counsellor
Ok that's all I got. I'll get my coat

RebelRogue Sun 18-Dec-16 20:29:02

OH does have prettier handwriting than me,so if we go somewhere together that requires a car,he has to write them. We don't do xmas cards,except for dd's classmates which she did most by herself and i finished the rest as OH was making dinner. I wrote the ones for my kids at school as they're you kids.

I'd keep my surname if we got married as his would look stupid with my name,if i were to take it i'd change both,which would be fine as i hate my name,but i'll prolly be too lazy.
Dd has oh's name as again,her name would've looked stupid with mine.

Stereotyping does suck balls though.

Smartleatherbag Sun 18-Dec-16 20:32:25

Agree with Trills, completely, and op. Women don't want to admit it to themselves, that men hate us. As a class.

Trills Sun 18-Dec-16 20:32:27

"Stereotyping sucks balls"

Shall we get that printed on a t-shirt? grin

RebelRogue Sun 18-Dec-16 20:34:57

P.s. Can't speak for everyone,but some people are defensive because choices they genuinely made and make them happy are being ridiculed and analysed and made into something they should be ashamed off. So yeah,some women will take it personally,and see it as a direct criticism of their life and choices or being badgered to admit there's something wrong with them to think/act the way they do.

NotDavidTennant Sun 18-Dec-16 20:41:49

I think the campaign for women's equality has a necessarily different character from other equality campaigns.

Discrimination against women permeates much more into the private sphere of personal and family life than do other forms of inequality that tend to be driven by discrimination that takes place in the public sphere and are addressed by public action. That makes it more difficult to tackle discrimination against women because you are asking people to question and challenge how they live their private lives.

ISaySteadyOn Sun 18-Dec-16 20:42:27

It took me ages to unlearn that defensive response. I did take DH's name and I do like it better, but I can also see that I was influenced by society. It doesn't make me a bad person or a bad feminist; it makes me human.

I also think people have it in their heads that to be influenced by anything means you are weak minded so if a feminist begins to analyse the name changing thing, some namechangers hear it as 'you stupid fool.' And no one likes to hear that so they get defensive.

Smartleatherbag Sun 18-Dec-16 20:45:11

Yeah, I changed my name too. I did hate my own surname, but I know it was social convention that really did it. If I was getting t married today, I'd keep my own name. It was a mistake.

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