“this is why men can’t load the dishwasher
that sounds like a mighty convenient line, but I can’t even see a plausible mechanism there
It's possible that was a John-Gray-ism, alternative title Pop-psychologists are from Uranus . Or some other book I'd like to send into orbit.
All I’m really trying to say is that a lot of people (myself included) have genuine negative experiences of trying to engage in discussions on feminist websites, and those negative experiences will inevitably shade the next discussion on a similar topic they try to have.
This is why feminists can't have nice things? :)
Look, I take your point that some feminists are annoying (in the same way that some PEOPLE are annoying, but they get to use different language to do it), but this shouldn't affect the usefulness of feminist theory *in general*, and it certainly shouldn't matter all the way over here in the PAS-bubble. We're some reasonable-assed bitches up in here.
As Keir noted, part of the problem for men discussing gender is that it will almost always be a discussion framed by women, and by women who have the benefit of a particular academic background, and will use a particular related vocabulary. (I don’t really know what “performative” means.)
First of all: Performative.
More seriously, here’s the thing. I was trying to have a conversation about masculinity. I explicitly said that there seems to be very little point having that conversation when it’s centred around women, and what they have taken away from men. And I was jumped all over for mentioning privilege. Which, incidentally, I never mentioned here except to resile from my comments on Twitter, or to respond to other people. And given how many expletives I generally populate my posts with, I don’t think I could be described as having an academic persuasion. I understand ideas because I read about them, because it’s important to me to do so, but I don’t generally expect other people to do so.
I have written over and over again about how important I think it is for men to have a place in feminist spaces. Because there’s very little point us having the discussion by ourselves. I’ve been an advocate of men and women talking about gender together. I’ve done that over and over again here. But after this discussion? I don’t really feel like Public Address is a safe space for me to be involved in it. After the way I’ve been spoken to, the tone argumenting, the general dismissing of my argument and experiences, I am stepping back in here incredibly warily. With an actual physical sensation of fear.
For what it’s worth, I’m also not sure that being yelled at by mean feminists is worse than the 2 rape threats I’ve had this week, after writing about men on a blog that gets, on average, less than 300 hits a week.(Though that particular post did get to a much wider audience.)
I do think there are feminist constructs that are useful. Privilege is one of them. Because it helps us to understand intersectionality, and as far as I am concerned, there’s little point having feminism without that. It also helps people to understand how feminism actually applies to them. I write about my own experiences being a woman, because it helps me to recognise how, in the grand scheme of things, my problems aren’t all that big. Which is why I also do a bunch of stuff to do with women in the Pacific.
Which is not to say that any of these concepts, or, in fact the science, is perfect. It all informs how we understand ourselves, our brains, and the world. I don’t understand why people seem to think that everything has to be explained by one theory, or one experiment, or one belief structure.
I'm really sorry you've suffered, Megan, and I hope you can come back and feel comfortable here. If I seemed to dismiss your experience, that was never my intention and I'm doubly sorry. I've found aspects of this discussion quite hard too. And I was furious at the way you invoked "immense privilege" on Twitter, because if you were talking about the men in that column, it seemed to me you were talking about people way out of the mainstream, like my boys. And I'm very, very protective of them. Let's move on.
I like how when men are angry, it tends to come out straightforwardly. Maybe that's an aspie preference?
Aaaaaanyway... Best response I've seen to Huckabee's arseholery re: Newtown, from John E. McIntyre:
Then in 1962 the Supreme Court decided that the State has its hands full teaching reading and writing and mathematics and science, which it doesn't always do very well anyhow, and maybe parents and the Church should do the praying and teaching about God. 1962. That's fifty years since Engel v. Vitale, so if you want to know why God waited half a century to show he was mad at the Supreme Court, and had little children in Connecticut shot to show it, you would have to ask Mr. Huckabee.
I do have a fondness for that man.
I do have a fondness for that man.
We are an Inclusive bunch.....
Watch, listen, drop jaw, scream at screen!!!
It is my Great Stress Reliever. My Daily Fox Entertainment.
To be clear, it is Mr. McIntyre I am fond of, not Mr. Huckabee...
I don’t understand why people seem to think that everything has to be explained by one theory, or one experiment, or one belief structure.
Megan, thank you for giving us another chance, and for being clear about it.
I find the net and twitter (which I know only a little about) make tone very hard to gauge, a veritable minefield at times, as people can respond far too quickly, to small pieces, not always in context, and then make sweeping generalisations, beyond their experience (I am guilty of that) - I strongly urge people to always use a Preview facility, where available, or at least read and reread before posting, to see what modifiers and clarifiers need to be present for objectivity, and empathy.
So then I told the story to Matthew, and he was all, "Yeah, I do that all the time."
Or speed up to walk in front of women on their own, or in places where your following them could be seen as threatening. Or cross the road. I find the instinct natural, which I guess is easy to say, but I've always struggled with being tall as well, so generally lean back or crouch in close proximity to others.
Being intimidated by people bigger and scarier than me at school might have some influence on this, but also it bugs me to think I could instill fear in others by virtue of existing. So I try to avoid it.
This conversation has been very hard to watch. I agreed with Russell up thread when he talked of empathy, because I was trying to look at it from his point of view as a parent, and the other parents who describe their experiences. We hope our children will turn out Ok, but who can give us a guarantee? Therefore, empathy. Logical leap?
Megan, FWIW, I appreciate your being here, and coming back to explain. And Danielle, I was going to play The Human League, but can we take it as read?
Lest our conversation here seems unreasonable, the nutty National Review chimes in (safely via DailyKos).
I was trying to have a conversation about masculinity.
And I've really appreciated your posts on the subject. You've provided much food for thought.
This conversation has been very hard to watch. I agreed with Russell up thread when he talked of empathy, because I was trying to look at it from his point of view as a parent, and the other parents who describe their experiences.
Yes. That's what my original post was about. The challenges facing me as a parent are the key fact of my life and have been for many years. It's a particularly acute fact when the headlines are as they are now.
Hi folks. I’m closing the thread now. Love you all.