wow, what a week in comments! boy oh boy! all the criticism of feminism a girl can handle!
Well, the title of this post says it all. Let’s break it down, yes?
1. Feminists hate men. As Tigtog says over at Finally, a Feminism 101 blog,
“Feminists hate misogyny, not men. Kinda like that “hate the sin, not the sinner” thing, sometimes it’s easy to separate the behaviour from the enactor and sometimes it’s not.
But it’s understandable how sometimes criticisms of misogynists come across as generalisations about all men, when read by someone who isn’t used to the jargon shorthand and feminist perspectives. Time to lurk and learn.”
Well, yeah. Pretty much. But to make a further point, sure, some feminists DO hate men, usually with good reason, like that they’ve been raped or abused or mistreated by a man, or maybe by multiple men, maybe once, maybe for their whole lives. After all, patriarchy encourages reminding women at all times where they stand, and a lot of men are willing to do carry that out, sometimes with force.
And, as Sage explained recently, that makes all men suspect until proven innocent. And yeah, maybe that seems unfair, and maybe it sucks, and maybe it shouldn’t be that way. But in response, I say it shouldn’t HAVE TO be that way. Repeated histories of abuse and domination tend to make an oppressed group suspicious, wary. Like Sage said, it’s a survival mechanism. So instead of getting all pissed off that you’re being held under suspicion of misogyny, maybe you should extend your understanding a bit and think about what may have been that woman’s reality that would cause her to place you under suspicion. And, maybe you need to check your privilege (EVERYONE needs to GO AND READ THIS POST and ALL THE LINKS, and especially this one) and stop getting your nose out of joint when it’s pointed out to you that A) you actually have privilege that you haven’t earned, and B) you’re not actually doing anything to make the situation any better. by holding onto privilege and refusing to acknowledge that you even have it in the first place, you are participating in patriarchal subordination of women. Like I said earlier, oppression is made up of both subjugation and privilege. If you don’t experience one, you’ve got the other. And, for the gazillionth time, men are not oppressed under patriarchy. So do the math. And go check out this post about male privilege, while you’re at it. And then try to actually think about it instead of knee-jerking.
UPDATE: But apparently, male privilege doesn’t exist, feminists are just stupid.
2. Feminists don’t really want equality. Well, sure. We feminists just want to rule the world. That’s what this is all about.
Here’s the thing: equality doesn’t mean bringing ourselves up to oppressor status. We don’t want to rule the world, because that would mean having power over someone else. We want to eliminate oppression based on gender differentiations that are socially constructed. And, since oppression is made up of both subjugation and privilege, that means eliminating unearned privilege. We don’t want unearned privilege, such like is given to men under patriarchy. We want nobody to be privileged over anyone else.
And here’s the other thing: you can’t treat unequals equally. That only furthers oppression (read: both subjugation and unearned privilege). And that’s not actually equality. So that means, for feminists, that the emphasis on our revolutionary work is always going to be on women. Why? Because men have the full weight of privilege afforded them as men by patriarchy behind them to further them along. And this is exactly what needs to be dismantled. Simply pretending that the playing field is level and that all players have come to the field as equals, is not even a shred helpful. It’s simply not true.
3. Feminists should count their blessings, take what they can get, be grateful for the scraps they’re given from patriarchy’s table. Well I’m sorry, but NO. THIS IS NOT ACCEPTABLE. I’m not going to sit and congratulate some guy in a comment thread for not being quite so bad as the misogynists just because he thinks women deserve equal pay, or that rape is evil, or that child molestors should be strung up by their balls, or that it’s cool his girlfriend makes more money than he does, or that he doesn’t catcall women in the street, or WHATEVER. Yeah, all of that is great. But it’s not enough.
I’m not going to sit back and quit pointing out male privilege when I see it rear its ugly head, just because you seem like a “nice guy” or because your girlfriend supports whatever you’re saying or because you would never dream of treating a woman so badly. That all may be true. However, it’s not really relevant. Good for you that you’re a decent human being who thinks other human beings should be treated with respect. But you know, when you come into a discussion, on a feminist blog, which should be treated like a space of solidarity between like-minded people where perhaps marginalized people can have their say without getting trampled all over by the dominant voices that oppress them everyday in their real lives, and you bring along all your baggage and privilege to wave in everyone’s face while simultaneously insisiting that you’re not like all those asshole misogynists and bigots, don’t be surprised if someone points out to you the inconsistancies in what you’re saying.
See, the world wouldn’t necessarily be a better place if there were more guys like so-and-so Privileged “nice guy” – chances are, it wouldn’t really change all that much, since Mr. Privileged “Nice Guy” actually condones the behaviour of misogynists, and contributes to gender oppression by not checking his privilege at the door. So no thanks, but fuck you very much for thinking of me, I’ll not take those scraps. They won’t fill my empty belly. I need something more substantial than what you’re dishing up.
UPDATE: It occurred to me I should fill my readers in on the specific comments that motivated this post, and the preceding post, yeah, I’m a miserable victim. Here are the specific comments that motivated this post:
I think you are taking a very bias opinion of what p-stone has to say just because of his Male priviledge [sic]…. you cannot accept p-stone because he is a man though he seemingly wants to try and understand the issue and bring up his own beliefs but yet because he is a man you try and turn everything around on him, if we want equality for everyone we have to allow it to everyone on the first go… If we want womens [sic] equality we need to treat each other with equal respect and I think because of todays [sic] society unfortunately there will always be people guys and yes even girls that take advantage of unaware prey. If there were more guys like p-stone around we would be alot [sic] better off than we are now.
Again, from the professional pick-up artists run woman tricking business to help guys get laid thread.