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I'm going to write a book: 'Why I'm no longer talking to men about feminism'

(90 Posts)
TheEighthHorcrux Sun 14-Jun-20 01:14:18

I am so, so, so frustrated and tired of explaining why it's important that sex based spaces and conversations about the lived experiences of women is important.

Got into a debate about JK Rowling today with a close friend of mine. I am so very deeply hurt that despite saying that I believe anyone and everyone deserves kindness and love and acceptance, I was scoffed at by them in sharing my lived experience as a woman.

These experiences centred around:
- childbirth
- sexual assault

I really cannot fathom how someone can blithely dismiss the lived experiences of another person and resolutely ignore the fact that they are asking the same for another group of people.

I'm so angry.

Angry for being laughed at by someone I loved when I dared talk about my experiences (why is this ok to do to women but not men and trans folk?), and angry for being made out to be a bigot in what is becoming a tug of war over who is the most oppressed rather than a discussion of how we can work together.

I am past knowing whether I am articulating myself well enough. I am very angry without knowing where to put the anger. I stand with JK Rowling.

OP’s posts: |
Melia100 Sun 14-Jun-20 01:16:30

flowers TheEighthHorcrux

MrsPeacockInTheLibrary Sun 14-Jun-20 01:25:26

I am angry too. I get it. Happy to talk more. PM me if it helps.

Dicotyledon Sun 14-Jun-20 01:31:03

I got told that men were not infiltrating lesbian groups because of evil terfs. The conversation went downhill from there and I just walked away.

LockdownLump Sun 14-Jun-20 01:33:58

I'll buy it X

TheEighthHorcrux Sun 14-Jun-20 01:42:25

It's awful to be shut down and silenced in such a way.

Especially because I don't feel that what I am saying is radical and beyond the pale.

Sex is a biological fact. Gender is a social construct.

In my opinion it is the concept of gender that needs to take a hike. Not careful consideration on the lived experiences of either sex, and intersex people.

I will call you he or she or rose or billy: Whatever you want. I will use the pronouns you choose to describe yourself. I'll embrace your fashion and personality.

But I won't pretend that some things have happened to me because I have a female body. And things need to change.

I have never experienced anything so dehumanising, alienating and degrading as childbirth. It is something that has shaped my present and future and influenced my decision to have children in the future,

Why should I just put up and shut up about this? I deserve dignity, respects and the chance to explain a aw

OP’s posts: |
TheEighthHorcrux Sun 14-Jun-20 01:44:52

The chance to explain why I feel this way and the changes I suggest.

OP’s posts: |
Ozgirl75 Sun 14-Jun-20 08:41:02

It can be worth it. I talk to my husband all the time about women’s issues and he has been really influenced by this. So much so that when his work said they were going to introduce unisex toilets he made them poll the women to see if they really wanted that (answer - no and the idea has been quietly dropped).
I’ve also given him specific things to say to help women at his work advocate for themselves, and things he can do and say when there is no female voice in the room.
After being together for 20 years this side of him where he has been so open to learning about this has made me so proud of him.
It helps that he’s fairly high up at work.

Wondersense Sun 14-Jun-20 08:47:33

Unfortunately, men can be absolutely blind when it comes to the vulnerabilities of women. Laughad at? As you sure he's even friend material??? confused

ScrimpshawTheSecond Sun 14-Jun-20 08:56:22


Good title. I'd also buy it.

twoHopes Sun 14-Jun-20 09:55:36

OP - I'm 100% with you. I've had men say I must be making it up when I tell them about some of the experiences I've had. They think I'm being melodramatic to make a point. It makes me want to scream.

MujeresLibres Sun 14-Jun-20 10:45:51

Do it. I'll buy it and give out copies at Christmas.

NeurotrashWarrior Sun 14-Jun-20 10:49:04

I'm not getting anywhere with a number of women either though, even when they have had children and have suffered DV and more confused

Vaunting Sun 14-Jun-20 10:50:39

Please do it. I’d buy it for me and for friends.

Eggotchi Sun 14-Jun-20 10:58:52

Another potential customer here!

TheEighthHorcrux Sun 14-Jun-20 11:08:35

I am still baffled and heartbroken and saddened by the reaction. And today I literally can't stop thinking about it.

I am pretty sure I am not hateful or a bigot. That my adamancy that sex is important for a number of reasons doesn't come from a place that wants to restrict anyone's human rights.

When I had my daughter it was traumatic both during and after. I was poked and prodded at, my autonomy was stolen from me, my dignity wasn't safeguarded and I was dismissed for almost all of my valid concerns.

Sharing this was met with an eye roll and a scoff. Like this is not important? Like we should not be talking about this? Like we should just quietly accept it and move on? Like my experiences in childbirth haven't affected me for almost 5 years after the fact.

Similarly, sharing my experiences of sexual abuse from the ages of 12-16 and how this shapes my response to this issue was met with a tut. In that moment I felt the full rage that Jk Rowling must be feeling following her disclosure of abuse. The implication is that people are bored of it. Of course women are raped and degraded and subject to torture and worse all over the world because of the biology and bodies they were born with.

But that's boring now. Why on earth would you want to reduce yourself to your genitals??? 'Woman' is a feeling. I've yet to see the specific criteria of feeling that makes a woman though. And he was not able to give this to me.

I am rambling. But I'm so angry. So, so angry. I am angry that all attempts at reasonable, intelligent discusssion are shut down with screams of transphobe and violent sexual threats. Mostly I am angry because I feel so impotent in what I can do in the face of such scathing disrespect for my sex and my experiences that have shaped my life - all of which wouldn't have occurred if I was male.

OP’s posts: |
OhHolyJesus Sun 14-Jun-20 11:12:35

Would also buy and distribute copies.

Has JKR wrote the forward.

WomaninBoots Sun 14-Jun-20 11:33:10

I hear you. flowers

I was talking a male friend about this a while ago, talking about being sexually assaulted. I gave up in the end. It was fairly polite and he didn't call me a bigot but he just wasnt getting it.

Thankfully my DH has finally got it and he's pretty damn angry about it too. So there is hope. I still don't think he 100% gets the feeling of vulnerability it all brings but he believes me when I talk about it.

BolloxtoGender Sun 14-Jun-20 11:35:40

Maybe swap ‘feminism’ with ‘misogyny’ for equivalence?

But yes, that’s a preorder from me.

Helmetbymidnight Sun 14-Jun-20 11:48:15

i get you op. Do it.

you know you could also do it essay style and ask for contributors?

my literary agent is gc - she'd rep it im sure.

i think helen joyce and maybe kathleen stock are writing books- but theyll be more academic/generalist(?) in focus i think.

Helmetbymidnight Sun 14-Jun-20 11:52:18

ive been talking to women who've been very sneery about the idea of single sex spaces for safety reasons 'are you saying all men and/or tw are predators?' etc- yet are very happy to believe tw are in constant danger from men.
why Tw's fear is legitimate but ours is not, i dont know.

Helmetbymidnight Sun 14-Jun-20 11:54:35

I really cannot fathom how someone can blithely dismiss the lived experiences of another person and resolutely ignore the fact that they are asking the same for another group of people.

you said it better than i did. yes. exactly.

twoHopes Sun 14-Jun-20 12:12:26

I really cannot fathom how someone can blithely dismiss the lived experiences of another person and resolutely ignore the fact that they are asking the same for another group of people.

It's because men can empathise with transwomen. They think "imagine how difficult my life would be if I started wearing dresses and make up and going by a female name". But they struggle to empathise with what it's like to be sexually harassed or objectified. In fact many men feel jealous of women - they think "imagine how amazing it would be to have all these men lusting after you".

onalongsabbatical Sun 14-Jun-20 12:19:43

Please write this book, we all need it. I'm writing a feminist book too but I'm confused as to what my angle is at the moment 9because it's more of a personal memoir type book at the moment). There cannot be too many books that can say these things. If you want to put in research/women's voices, I'm up for being asked.
But yes please do it.

ScrimpshawTheSecond Sun 14-Jun-20 12:43:07

A collection of essays would be amazing. There are several women on this board (and ex of this board) whom I would want to ask to provide contributions.

Each facet of the issues facing us with gender ideology, approached in turn.

This is really presumptuous, but imagining a contents page, here:

Child protection & Safeguarding
Transing children - medical issues
Freedom of Speech

What did I miss?

This could be incredible.

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