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Feminism: Sex & gender discussions

AIBU to just not want to argue with men anymore?

30 replies

PiccadillyCervix · 08/01/2013 15:12

I'm fed up. All over the real world all over the internet, I got an earful from two twats on my friend's facebook page yesterday.She made the mistake of posting a picture that said women should not be any man's "waste of time" or something to that effect. Totally uncontroversial but apparently she is being sexist and it is equally important for men to know their own dignity and not be abused by women etc etc..and I just thought fuck off. I got in to it with both of them at first and then I was like why am I wasting my breath? They don't get it they never will, and the fact that upsets them means they want women to continue to know their place. So I blocked them. Should I keep arguing?

I just can't imagine seeing a little picture that says people of color should understand their worth and jumping all over it and being like white people have it bad too! It's obvious that being white comes with a privilege in my country and that I should be happy when other people are happy and feel good about themselves. I wish I could start a world wide public service campaign that says women, minorities, people with disabilities are just people and by trying to improve their lot in life it does not reduce your lot in life.

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LRDtheFeministDragon · 08/01/2013 15:31

No, don't keep arguing if you don't want to. It's not your god-given responsibility to explain things to people who're busy not listening.

You're right, it's perfectly possible to see someone talking about one group of people and not start jumping up and down whining that they've ignored others.

AmandaPayne · 08/01/2013 15:54

Honestly? I think arguing about anything on Facebook is an utter waste of time. I just have family and 'proper' friends, and we post general stuff about what we are up to - first day at school photo, holiday snaps, that kind of thing.

Even when people post more political stuff, I don't think people on Facebook are actually up for a discussion or to be persuaded of anything. Generally they are just posting inane comments, re-sharing rubbish or showing off. I just ignore any rubbish that does make its way onto my timeline.

I thin you are far better off working on the little things with people you truly know, or at least are talking to face to face. I posted on a recent thread how I asked a friend why she was assuming childcare had be weighed against her salary when both parents wanted to work (she was feeling guilty about how little she was working for). I think things like that can stay with people. I try and pick up on the things like gender stereotyping, etc on a day to day basis, and save the major discussions for either forums like this, people I know will be receptive, or at the very least those who are actively up for a proper debate.

It's frustrating though, I know. I have recently moved house and I am finding it really hard to find like minded friends, so am feeling particularly low right now.

JustAHolyFool · 08/01/2013 17:09

Totally agree with you, I just can't be arsed any more.

Blistory · 08/01/2013 19:26

Sadly, I'm rapidly coming to that point with women too. All the excuses for porn, abuse, rape, infantalising men. I get it, I really do, that it can be difficult to see it for what it is, but honestly, when it's pointed out time and time again, it's frustrating.

I can just about see how men don't really have to think about their position given how insulated they are by male privilige but to have that insulation provided by women themselves, it's like some grotesque parody.

Men, I just can't be arsed with if they're of that type but there has to be a better way to help women see things how they really are.

Not woman blaming - just depressed after a thread involving the use of porn.

hellsbells76 · 08/01/2013 19:36

Yes. I completely get what you mean. It's especially disheartening when this sort of crap comes from men you normally quite like and respect: makes you realise how deep that ingrained sexism and make privilege goes. I sometimes think I'd be happier just turning the internet off completely but that genie's out of the bottle now (and that same internet is at least partly responsible for me becoming much more clued up on these things so I suppose that's something to hang onto).

hellsbells76 · 08/01/2013 19:37

*male privilege, obvs.

SomersetONeil · 08/01/2013 19:37

Yes, I couldn't agree more.

It's so depressing and wearing to have the same arguments over and over again.

There are a couple of stalwart men on this site whose - I have to say, idea of a good time differs so vividly from mine - obviously think we're a bunch of complete idiots and yet just keep coming back and back and back, and can't stay away. They don't agree or sympathise with anything - but rather simply post to be some sort of male 'voice of reason' against the insanity they seem to think we spout. Why? Why would you persist? What do they get out of it? Confused One of them has moved from FWR into relationships recently.

And yes, when the handmaidens get involved too, you honestly do just feel like giving up.

It's so, so depressing sometimes.

MrsClown1 · 08/01/2013 20:28

Thank God I am not alone in my feelings. If I mention anything remotely feminist to my work colleagues they practically tell me to shut up so I dont any more.

Mind you, I had a deep discussion with a colleague of mine this morning. She is Indian so I asked her if she would mind discussing her opinion on what is happening in India at the moment. She said that women have been getting raped and murdered for years and no one has done anything. She said lots of staff in the call centres who work evenings have just disappeared and no one has done anything. I told her that I will be dancing on V Day in Sheffield for OneBillionRising to protest about what has happened. She thanked me for caring enough. I know my other colleagues think I am mad for doing it but I felt good because it seemed to mean something to her. She actually said in front of one of the colleagues who thinks I am mad 'I am a feminist'. It felt good.

Sorry to go on. I felt a bit inspired!

PiccadillyCervix · 08/01/2013 20:33

It is maybe more depressing when women come out with it I agree. One you can't understand why they would want to make their life harder just so they can enjoy the little touches like lipstick and having the door held for them or whatever it is they bleat on about but also because it makes you look mad. Because if these issues were really that bad..ALL women would be upset. Or so you would hope.

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PiccadillyCervix · 08/01/2013 20:42

mrsclown that's lovely, I have been so moved by the media coverage of the Indian women protesting. They are so brave, I have an Indian friend who lost her virginity against a wall in a back alley. She never felt she could ask for justice or even tell her family. She still has the physical scars as well as mental scars too. I don't know what it would take to get women in Western countries to get up and shout for their rights anymore.

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snowshapes · 08/01/2013 22:17

Yes, it is depressing. The male stalwarts on here have put me off commenting on certain threads because it is just so - I don't know - why do I need to explain why to me, as a woman, having rape crisis centres is important and it doesn't mean that I don't support other worthy causes. It's a silencing tactic because you just can't be bothered any more, just let them carry on spouting their claptrap. And that is on a women's rights site.

But generally, there are more men in public space and they have louder voices, so you have to be pretty determined to keep putting your (minority) opinion across, at the same time, as a woman you have more to do, so actually, you are just too bloody tired.

And yes, it is most disheartening when someone you actually respect in RL seriously does you down when you do stand up on a point of gender-equality principle. I did argue a point recently because something seemed to me to ingrain male privilege (though I did not use that phrase), and I was stunned, really, at the strength of the response. It felt like going out on a limb to state what seemed obvious to me. I'm not sure if I now propose to STFU or keep fighting the good fight.

JustAHolyFool · 08/01/2013 22:40

snowshapes yes I totally agree. I just cannot be bothered being told "yes but" or "what about" and then being told they have a right to an opinion.

It really makes me despair. They are so fucking tenacious and they are so convinced they're right.

One thing which is heartening about the horrible situation in India. Well 2 things: first, that it is actually getting attention. And second that there are so many men out protesting alongside the women. You so rarely see a man even vaguely interested in women's rights in this country, let alone out protesting.

hellsbells76 · 08/01/2013 22:48

I was arguing with various twonks on fb the other day about that victim-blaming 'how not to get raped' bollocks and so many men were loudly proclaiming how anti-rape they were but mainly through graphically violent descriptions of what they'd like to do to rapists, or by exhortations for women to carry guns (mostly Americans there, obviously). Of course they were only talking about 'real' stranger rape and they completely failed to see that their violent fantasies were part of the problem. They just don't get it. If it's not that, it's the faux-reasonable mansplaining and head-patting and whataboutery that DOES MY FUCKING HEAD IN (like the joker on the Polanski thread earlier). It's all so bloody tedious.

hellsbells76 · 08/01/2013 22:51

Oh yeah, I was going somewhere with that in response to your post. I can't help wondering, rather uncharitably perhaps, how many of the men protesting in India are motivated by genuine solidarity and how many by the outrage at the violation of one of 'their' women. I was struck by the picture of men with guitars singing that well known wife-beating misogynist cheating twat Lennon. Again...just not getting it.

JustAHolyFool · 08/01/2013 22:58

hellsbells yes, that thought has crossed my mind too, but I am trying not to be cynical.

PiccadillyCervix · 08/01/2013 22:59

I hope it is solidarity, as for the John Lennon thing is it that well known? I only found out about it this year which really fucked me off.. Because now I want every article about him to say and known wife beater.

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hellsbells76 · 08/01/2013 23:13

I suppose not, and that's another thing...once you've started thinking about this stuff and having your eyes opened, you get really fed up having to explain it all from the beginning. Feminism 101 - the most basic stuff. It should be widely known that Lennon was like that, but he's been virtually canonised. It should be bleeding obvious that drugging and raping a child is a Bad Thing no matter how many arty movies you've churned out. And it feels like having to go over and over this basic stuff is taking up energy we could be using to actually change things. Which, I'm quite sure, is why the MRA types use arguing round and round a subject as a silencing and delaying tactic.

mcmooncup · 08/01/2013 23:17

YANBU I despair on a day to day basis. I'm not sure if it is an ageing thing, but it all seems to be getting worse out there for women.

I am called Militant "McMooncup" by many acquaintances. It fucks me off.

Lessthanaballpark · 08/01/2013 23:31

Am so with you all. I constantly despair at how women collude, but I think there is something deeply psychological going on. There is something so sweet about going along with the status quo and knowing that you have the backing of the common man.

Being a feminist is so isolating.

PiccadillyCervix · 08/01/2013 23:46

I have always considered myself a feminist but in the past two years or so (around the time I had my daughter, no coincidence I am sure) I have felt increasingly militant about it. I also may have been quick to play devil's advocate back in the day about how men also get sidelined.. not sure why. I think it was important to me that I not feel like I was trying to put someone down, I didn't realize that I can't put someone down. Feminism is in no way capable of reversing things and making men in to second class citizens. I just didn't see it.

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hellsbells76 · 08/01/2013 23:47

That's such a good point. I've found myself becoming much more outspoken and generally giving much less of a fuck who agrees with me over the last few years and I attribute it to a combination of being older and more confident/secure in my opinions generally, and especially with realising I don't need/want a man in my life. I really did self-censor a huge amount when I was either with or looking for a boyfriend - I'd internalised that message that men don't want want a 'strident', 'Millie Tant' type. Since shaking off that idea that a woman is incomplete without a man, and realising that I'm actually happier without a relationship - god, that was a blinding revelation and one that flies so much in the face of dominant cultural norms - that I've been liberated in so many other ways too. I don't want to get all 'fish/bicycle' and I don't mean to denigrate women in relationships at all...this has just been my personal experience and what works for me and what has helped me to feel freer from all that abiding by the status quo crap...

hellsbells76 · 08/01/2013 23:50

Oh yes, and having the kids too. Trying to raise DS to be a respectful man (he notices and points out sexism to me at 10 which I'm pretty proud about) and trying to make it a marginally less shit world for DD to grow up in and give her a sense that she can do or be anything she wants. Those are all pretty powerful motivators.


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JustAHolyFool · 08/01/2013 23:50

hells I'm in a relationship but totally see where you're coming from. If we split up (and I really hope we don't, because I do love him and he makes me happy) then I doubt I'd be rushing into another relationship.

hellsbells76 · 08/01/2013 23:59

I'm really glad I didn't offend - some of my best friends are in relationships Wink and I'm happy for them (the non-abusive ones anyway!) but it was realising it doesn't really work for me and that's ok that was so liberating in so many ways. Hard to convey that without people thinking you're criticising their choices (or just being deviant) sometimes though Grin

Sorry, bit of a diversion...

PiccadillyCervix · 09/01/2013 00:19

No, relationships can definitely hinder feminism, dh and I have been together nearly a decade and in that time he has seen the side effects of my militant feminism Grin I pull him up on anything remotely sexist now and feel it's my duty to teach him Grin.. he does sometimes take the piss (good naturedly..but still ifykwim) but he has been pointing out stuff and telling me things that wound him up at work or news articles he has read that are basically feminism 101 and I see it getting through... he probably isn't up to your ds's level yet..but we are getting there! :)

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