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Arguments I’m Done Having

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Here are some arguments that I, Paprika, am done having. I know there are more, and I’ll probably write a sequel later, but right now it’s 2:33 a.m., and I have a paper to finish.

I got really cranky in this post. I tried not to, but I couldn’t help it. I blame John Thune.

Argument: Sexism against women is dead, thanks to feminism! Now everyone is sexist against the menz! Oh, the menz. How sad they all are.

Reality: Sorry, but no. There is no sexism against men. Prejudice? On occasion. But not sexism. You see, were this really a magical post-feminist utopia, a lot of shit would be different. For example: reproductive freedom would be a given; Planned Parenthood wouldn’t have to fight for government funding; there would be no rape, no domestic violence, no street harassment, no subway flashers, no workplace discrimination; lady health issues would be taken seriously; they’d finally do something to make PAP smears more pleasant (I request a cashmere bathrobe); women wouldn’t be constantly slut-shamed just for like, getting laid and stuff; eating disorders would be practically non-existent because, ZOMG, women’s natural bodies are actually kinda beautiful!; women would be welcomed into all workplaces and academic fields (mechanics! physics! the ladies are infiltrating the world!); women could get angry without being dismissed as “hysterical” or “narcissistic”; all MRAs would have stupided themselves out of existence a long time ago; and blaming an eleven-year-old girl for her gang rape would be a complete fucking impossibility.

Also, there would be no patriarchy. And that wouldn’t just help women—it would help everyone. Because while the patriarchy is especially harmful to women given that, you know, they’re not allowed to join, it also forces men into specific roles they might not actually want. In fact, were the patriarchy to finally collapse on itself like the metaphorical broken futon it is, the world would be better for everyone.

And I know this is hard to believe, but despite being a cray-cray dude-hating feminist, that’s basically the world I want.

Argument: Reverse racism! It oppresses me.

Reality: Didn’t I just address this? …Oh wait, I was talking about sexism. Well, whatever—same tree, different branch.

You know, here’s the thing. As with gender, individuals can be prejudiced against whatever group they want. I, for example, am prejudiced against fish. I can’t help it—they’re so creepy, what with their oily sheens, big dumb eyes, and perpetually gasping mouths.

I can barely even stand to look at this picture.

And, sure, people of color can be prejudiced against other groups. But this is Amurrica, and there just is no institutionalized racism against white people. There can’t be, what with all the institutionalized racism against non-white people. Sorry.

White people, as a group, are fine. And you know all those “freedoms” you keep bitching about?—you know, the ones that are being stolen from you by the lazy, dirty, not-white people? They aren’t freedoms, they’re privileges. You’re not actually entitled to all the scholarships, or guaranteed admittance to the undergraduate business program of your dreams. I mean, you think you are, and that’s fine, but you’re full of shit.

Just saying.

Argument: Clinically depressed people are just weak! They need to pick up their brains by their bootstraps, or something.

Reality: I wish people would understand the massive difference between occasionally feeling down, and actually being depressed. That one time last month when you had a case of The Sads, which you got over by going for a bike ride, eating some waffles, and watching terrible Lifetime movies =/ depression. You know why? Because you got over it by going for a bike ride, eating some waffles, and watching terrible Lifetime movies.

I know—it looked like depression to you. But clinical depression isn’t cured that way, on account of it being, you know, clinical. It’s not the same. You overcame your situational Sads—congratulations. I bet that was hard.

Now if you could just remember that your particular experience is not actually representative of everyone else’s, we’ll be fine.

Argument: You need to stop ranting about the state of the world and take action!

Reality: People really love the word “rant,” don’t they? But it has such a negative connotation.

If I mention a terrible news story and then go off on a tangent about how we all need to move to the moon because the world is awful and there’s no point living on earth anymore, that’s a rant. If I mention a terrible news story and then offer a clear, logical analysis, that is not a rant. Not even if I sound angry when I give it. It’s just a firmly-worded opinion, and there’s nothing wrong with that.

Of course, I don’t think there’s anything inherently wrong with rants, either, as long as they’re in moderation. Sometimes ranting is very soothing. Personally, just voicing my feelings can help me de-stress.

But what I really take issue with is this idea that you’re only allowed to complain if you’re also, say, camping outside the state capital surrounded by throngs of protesters. Social activism is a privilege. It requires time and money that a lot of people (myself included) simply don’t have. Even on a small scale, it at least necessitates a consistent internet connection. Not everyone has these things. That doesn’t mean they don’t get to be angry.

Besides, simply sharing information is a hugely important step in itself. And if the only people voicing their anger are those lucky enough to travel to protests (which in South Dakota is no easy task), or people able to donate money to the causes of their choice, etc., well, we have lost a lot of voices.

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About Paprika

Paprika Davis is a perpetually annoyed twenty-something college student waitress who would rather be a squirrel. The lack of commas in the previous sentence bothers her, but her laziness overrides her desire to improve the writing.

33 responses »

  1. Oooo… wouldn’t it BE swell to never have to have those arguments again… hmmm… oh well. In the No More Sexism/Racism Utopia, I bet that happens!

    Reply
  2. IlliterateVagrant

    “Argument: Sexism against women is dead, thanks to feminism! Now everyone is sexist against the menz! Oh, the menz. How sad they all are.”

    Fallacy in logic. Sexism does not have a 1:1 ratio. There can be unbalances in the amount of sexism, sexism can fail to exist or be plentiful on both sides independently from one another. Sexism is not dead against women or men, there will always be sexism due to uneducation and the unwillingness to learn. My arguement is as follows.

    Let me enlighten you as to the definition of racism

    1. a belief or doctrine that inherent differences among the various human races determine cultural or individual achievement, usually involving the idea that one’s own race is superior and has the right to rule others.
    2. a policy, system of government, etc., based upon or fostering such a doctrine; discrimination.
    3. hatred or intolerance of another race or other races.

    Thus regardless of how EFFECTIVE racism is (institutionalized or not) against white or black people isn’t the issue. Hate based on race will always be racism even against whitey.

    Let me enlighten you as to the definition of sexism.

    1. attitudes or behavior based on traditional stereotypes of sexual roles.
    2. discrimination or devaluation based on a person’s sex, as in restricted job opportunities; especially, such discrimination directed against women.

    Sure sexism against women is much more effective based on our patriarchal history, but it is fallacious to assume that sexism isn’t possible against men. It is just as possible, yet more ineffective since men have traditionally controlled the means that power is derived from.

    Since this is my first post, I’ll save you of any notion that I think a patriarchal society is good and women don’t deserve the exact same rights as men. The issue is that when laws are passed that finally DO protect the rights of women, they often do so at the EXPENSE of men rather than protect both parties’ rights equally.

    I’m sure you want an example.

    In raging debate are of course the issues involving Planned Parenthood, and the right of the woman to choose the outcome of her pregnancy. If a man’s decision has NO WEIGHT but he is still required to pay “child support,” even if he doesn’t want the child then that represents inequality. Thus on the same ticket if the man WANTS the child how can the government expect the woman to carry an unwanted pregnancy to term? That treads on the woman’s rights. In either case someone is getting the shaft, and there really isn’t a compromise that can be reached. This is understandable, so to pass a law that tries not to step on men’s or women’s rights is impossible because the GENDER ROLES of both man and woman are different and selected by nature. It is impossible for man to carry child so he must find a mate.

    How do you resolve this compromise then? Dude, no way in hell to do it perfectly fairly, but to be offended at men for being upset that they are being “reverse discriminated” against would be the same as me being upset that you won’t concede in letting me have a choice what happens to YOUR body. The ultimate choice should always rest with the individual, and historically speaking, the governement hasn’t proven to have a great track record enforcing policies based in morality and ethics versus logic.

    The true way to make sure no rights are tread on is to practice personal accountability and make sure that both parties are willing to accept consequences of actions. If left to the government to decide how this works, it would limit personal responsibility for actions and harbor an environment where people can use legal force to get their way, sometimes unethically, rather than work things out and accept consequences.

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  3. SNORT.

    Oh, lawsey, thanks for the… enlightenment (where enlightenment= huge pile of steaming bull pucky).

    Let me break it down. First, read the fucking comment policy. We have one. You don’t get to enlighten-jizz all over it with impunity. If you violate it again, all of your comments will be replaced with rude and amusing gifs, because we are NOT nice accommodationist anti-racist feminists here. This is our castle, and bad behavior gets you thrown right the fuck out.

    Second– institutionalized. INSTITUTIONALIZED.

    Let me put it there again: INSTI-FUCKING GOD DAMNED-TUTIONALIZED .

    The cyoot little example of “reverse sexism” you’ve provided at the end of your condescending strawpile of a comment?

    That is not institutionalized sexism. That is fucking biology. Neither men nor women can do much about our respective roles in reproduction. Cis-men do not have the capacity to build a baby inside of their bodies, so that means that the only way for them to avoid the situation you describe is to…OHMYGAAAWD talk to the lady of their evening about what would happpen in the event of an unwanted pregnancy, an OHMYGAAAWD LISTEN to her and make a rational choice about whether to have sex with said lady based on said answer. See, unlike you, we here at P&P know that men are not irrational sex maniacs who cannot help but to think with their dicks, and definitely definitely can’t be expected to take responsibility for their choices.

    This is the male version of the choice that women have, men just have this choice before the event. And if you have any doubts about whether your lady is telling you the absolute total utter truth, well, don’t have sex with her . Otherwise, realize that you don’t take the risks of pregnancy, so you don’t have a say.

    As far as your “Fallacy in logic” about racism. Oy.

    Did you miss the part where she specified the field under discussion is America? Or did you think you could just move the goal posts around with your big old logicin’ brain? Not today, not in this castle of take no shit bitchery, probably not ever. Maybe you know a lot about canning tomatoes, so, you know, I’ll give you that.

    Because you also missed the part about how these are Arguments She (and I) ARE NO LONGER WILLING TO HAVE?

    I suggest you consider before responding that both Paprika and I are experts at finding the bullshit, pinning down moving goalposts, and that we have had these exact same god damned arguments approx. 1 octahillion to the power of 10 times. We are not interested in having them again.

    Oh and by the way, don’t even think of swanning in and whinging about my tone. Trust, when I tell you it’ll get you the rudest and most amusing gif you can imagine.

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  4. *slow clap for Pepper*

    Seriously dude, did you even read my post? I was talking about institutionalized racism and oppression, which is why I made a point of differentiating between racism and prejudice.

    And, as Pepper said, if you don’t want to run the risk of having to fork over a paltry few hundred a month for child support, exercise YOUR sexual responsibility. Your brain =/ your dick. There is no sperm magic; you’re complicit.

    Also, to clarify: “to be offended at men for being upset that they are being ‘reverse discriminated’ against would be the same as me being upset that you won’t concede in letting me have a choice what happens to YOUR body.”–yeah, no. Because as Pepper already said, you AREN’T being discriminated against. That’s the point. It’s not that you’re “upset” and that’s annoying–it’s that you’re making an asinine argument with no basis in reality.

    Then again, that seems to come naturally to you. Have fun trolling someone else’s blog, because your bullshit isn’t welcome here.

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  5. IlliterateVagrant

    @ Pepper
    I did in fact read your comment policy. I don’t see how I’m debating that an environment of racism and sexism doesn’t exist. I clearly stated that it DOES exist.

    I’m glad you aren’t “accommodationist anti-racist feminists.” That makes it all the more interesting to hear your viewpoint seeing as I’m not a feminist at all. (That wasn’t a veiled insult. I like hearing different viewpoints regardless of how they react to me)

    By “strawpile” did you mean “strawman?” I don’t understand your reference.

    Your insistent referral to institutionalized I don’t understand either. The word institutionalized was not mentioned at all in the paper except in terms of race not sex.

    Sexism doesn’t exist towards men, and Institutionalized sexism doesn’t exist towards men are two entirely different statements. I was responding to the former with my “cyoot” example.

    Cis-men, I don’t understand the reference. Are you saying that you agree with the concept of personal responsibility and that it’s up to the man to decide if he should have sex with a woman and that’s essentially where his responsibility ends? I’m assuming by the way you phrased it that is. Are you also saying that men “definitely definitely cannot take responsibility for their actions” or was that sarcasm.

    I think it ill of you to assume I care about your tone. I care more about your viewpoint than the way it’s presented to me. I just prefer to phrase MY posts as logically as possibly that way the logic can be addressed rather than the attitude. But seriously, I don’t care about attitude, bring it on.

    @Paprika

    I did in fact read your post thoroughly. You are faulting me for assuming that you were talking about institutionalized sexism but not saying that ANYWHERE. Your small reference to institutionalized racism did not seem to apply to the overarching drive.

    Did YOU actually read my post though? That was the point of my example, that it’s personal responsibility that is important rather than the hotly contested legislation. My example was simply trying to present a visual reference to “sexism” that the men you mention might be complaining about. I was attempting to link a reason other than your example of “sexism towards women is gone because of feminism, so now there’s reverse sexism for that fact.” Since the point here is INSTITUTIONALIZED which is not what I assumed then it is a moot example.

    It’s interesting that you think I’m trolling because the reason I’m on here is to see how a feminist looks at these topics. I’m not attempting to change your mind, I’m presenting what I feel is the opposing side and then seeing your reaction so I can see the fundamentals behind your version of feminism and perhaps intiate a dialogue to help me better understand. I apologize if you think my tone is condescending but it really isn’t. I am genuinely interested.

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  6. Ah, yes. You’re “genuinely interested,” which is why you felt the need to “enlighten” me. (And by enlighten you presumably meant, “let’s go on the crazy fun train to Mansplanation Town!”)

    I’m sorry that your reading comprehension is too poor to understand our references and terminology. Unfortunately for you, it’s not our job to educate you; this should have been evident by the very title of my post, which, in case you’re too wrapped up in your own male entitlement to remember, is “Arguments I’m Done Having.” To clarify, this means that all the shit you want to talk about is all the shit we’re DONE talking about. We’re not here to prove the very foundation of our philosophy to you. If you want to learn more about feminism, first, try not to sound like such a condescending asshat. It tends to put people off. Second, please feel free to visit the Feminism 101 link in the comment policy you claim to have read. This is not the place for your fumbling half-assed pseudo-attempts to engage in the most rudimentary feminist discourse you can fathom.

    This is our castle. You didn’t make it across the moat.

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  7. IlliterateVagrant

    Whatever dude, I don’t understand the point of you blogging if your intitiate to help others learn what they don’t fully understand is non-existent. I had assumed discourse is the reason someone would blog, not a place for like minds to come and agree.

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  8. Uh, brah, strawpile is a nice way of saying shitpile. Also, this was not a paper. Paprika has not been peer reviewed. This is our little internet island of feminism.

    As Paprika said, if you read the comment policy, then you might have noticed the link to Feminism 101, and the part where it says this is not a 101 space. That means that we will not bother to respond to “Sexism against the menz exists too!!” arguments. Sexism and racism are different from prejudice BECAUSE they are institutionalized, which was IN THE ORIGINAL POST. If you want to engage our writing, sincerely , I suggest you go read at Feminism 101. Then read again. As many times as it takes for you to actually start reading and not busy your brain with formulating responses before thoroughly considering what you’ve just read.

    Think of this as about a 500 level class. You wouldn’t (I seriously hope), wander into a 500 level epistemology class at the end of the semester and say “but how do we know that we’re all seeing the same colors? How do we know anything? How do we know that WORDS MEAN ANYTHING?”

    So kindly don’t do that here. If you don’t understand our words, look ’em up. Don’t assume they have no meaning.

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  9. Yes, and in response to your last (and hopefully final) comment, there are many kinds of discourse. We welcome the smart kind. Sadly, you haven’t made the cut, but thanks for playing, and good luck on your next trolling excursion.

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  10. Dude- THIS IS NOT A 101 SPACE. IF YOU ARE CURIOUS ABOUT FEMINISM 101, GO VISIT FEMINISM 101. We welcome debate with people on the fine points of feminism. If someone wants to point out something we missed within a feminist discourse framework , that is awesome. We didn’t miss the part where there is sexism against the menz or racism against the whites. It doesn’t exist. Heterosexuals and the able bodied are also not suffering. So knock it off. As Blog enforcer, this is a warning that any further comments get gifbagged.

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  11. IlliterateVagrant

    @PP
    Understood. Perhaps after I get some serious “101” reading done I can try again unless I already fudged the bucket.

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  12. Helena Handbasket

    *Slow clap for illiterateVagrant

    It’s wonderful to see someone keep their calm under assault. I am a liberated woman, who wants equality across the board.
    NOT ‘THIS IS MY CASTLE BITCH’, or, ‘YOU SOUND SMART, SO WE’RE GONNA ATTACK YOU BECAUSE YOU MAKE SENSE!’
    Intelligent discourse is the foundation of civilized society. But Plato was the one to introduce it, so it must just be more ‘mansplaination’.

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  13. Oh for fuck’s sake. Words are not fists, IV was not assaulted. For more, see this: http://hugoschwyzer.net/2010/07/09/words-are-not-fists-on-male-strategies-to-defuse-feminist-anger/

    He was also not attacked, he was reminded that this is our space, and it is like a castle which is open to tourists but is not a place for them to move in, throw socks and used condoms everywhere and expect to be coddled. By all means, look around, enjoy the solid gold cherubs, admire the genuine 17th century battle axes, stare goggle eyed at the Vermeer in the tower room. But do not mistake us for your local Perkins. We are not here to serve you.

    I’ve already used the classroom analogy, so I’ll try another. You wouldn’t walk into a dojo and demand to spar with the black belts and then cry because you get your ass kicked. That is the equivalent of what IV did here, and what you are sock puppetting for reasons of your own, which I won’t worry about.

    It says in two different places that we are not a 101 space, and gives link TO A 101 SPACE. If you want to be treated like a smart person? Read the god damned comment policy page, before commenting. If you fail to respect that very simple ground rule, you automatically fail the smart test, and the respect test. We only treat people with as much respect as we get from them, we’re fair like that.

    We are not nice, ladylike, kind, sweet or gentle with people trying to argue the core concepts of our philosophy because it is so damn condescending– the assumption is that we have never considered that racism and sexism might not be one sided, that we haven’t really thought about it deeply.

    We have. In both our cases, for years. In fact these ideas have been at the core of both our educations, formal and informal. We’ve read books and blog posts for many years without commenting, because first you sit the fuck down, shut the fuck up, and listen until you know enough to have things to say. This goes double for white people talking about racism. Triple, quadruple, to the moon– sit down, shut up, and listen, because what you will learn will shock and (if you have any empathy at all) profoundly anger and sadden you. But you have to get past your own privilege.

    We have also had these conversations as many times as you’ve had hot dinners. We know every point before it’s made, we are well versed in bullshit white rights and mens rights arguments, and being white ourselves we know that we benefit profoundly in ways we will never know from living in a white supremacist society, and that any doubts we have about how bad racism really is are bullshit white privilege voices nudging us to feel uncomfortable at the thought of losing our unearned golden tickets. For both sexism and racism, there are factual, hard number truths that are not up for debate in this space, which we can use as nice objective benchmarks of how the world works.

    I would suggest that you both examine the links to Feminism 101, and to unpacking the invisible knapasack and the Resist Racism blog. I would also suggest you click the Microaggressions link if you want some evidence (you do realize how fucking racist it is to set yourselves up as authorities to whom POC’s lived reality must “proven” I hope? Probably not) from an individual perspective.

    Also, HH, tone arguments are not welcome here, and any further comments will be held in the moderation queue and probably replaced with rude and amusing gifs if this wasn’t just a drive by.

    It would appear that I need to further clarify what kinds of discourse are welcome and appreciated here, so I thank the two for that if nothing else.

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  14. Yep.

    I shouldn’t be typing. There’s Percoset in my system. However, I would like to add that not only is this our castle, but also, IV was NEVER engaging us in good faith. How do I know this? Because he started off by saying he was going to “enlighten me,” which is, you know, basically the gold standard for condescending asshattery, and then furiously backpedaled when we didn’t make adorable, fumbling attempts to plead our case.

    And yet we were generous enough to refer him to a page that WAS willing to engage in his rudimentary level of discourse — a page he never visited. I know he didn’t, because the site stats on WordPress show us every link clicked by our visitors, and there have been no clicks on the feminism 101 page in the past several days.

    As for making sense — oh come on. I could barely slog through those incoherent, poorly-spelled word salads. It’s like trying to have a threesome in the back of a VW bug. Too many elbows, too little pleasure.

    Seriously, I cannot fucking believe I wrote a post titled “Arguments I’m Done Having,” and got THIS shit.

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  15. @ Paprika

    Yeah, pretty much exactly that.

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  16. IlliterateVagrant

    The ONLY reason I came off condescending in the first post is that this article was the only article that I read before posting (other than policy), thus thought this was just another typical “females and minorites are the only possible victims” post. To me this is a short-sighted argument (unless you so frequently point out it is INSTITUTIONALIZED sexism/racism which I didn’t see.) And I was simply trying to understand the validity behind that point that I clearly didn’t understand.

    I backpedaled because I realized through your response that you were talking about something entirely different thus I owned up to my fault of mis-interpreting your intent.

    In response to your link about male defense to the female challenge, I speak from a place where I’m not subjected to feminism so I’m not in a position to challenge you (who obviously has formal schooling in the subject) on your information. Just learn.

    It’s a blog. People posting on your stuff that’s wide open to the public shouldn’t really annoy you. I could’ve been be a complete asshat who really didn’t give a fuck about listening instead of a confused and questioning asshat who needs a nudge towards the light.

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  17. IlliterateVagrant

    And see, now that I have read parts of the feminism 101, I can see how your definition of sexism which is prejudice+power is completely contrary to my understanding of sexism.

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  18. And your comments could have been deleted, or replaced with rude and amusing gifs. If you don’t believe I do that, check the most commented post in our history. I do that. I’ve let your comments stand, but we are not obliged to be nice, or let shit stand unchallenged. I realize that anything other than nurturing from women toward men can feel like an actual attack, but it’s not. It’s just that unlike most other places you will go, you do not have de facto, or in fact any authority here. And again, while our blog is public, that does not make this an educational center, or a place where you can assume that your feelings will take primacy over our experience and education. This is our space. Just as we have the right to walk around in public without being harassed, we have the write to speak authoritatively about our lived experiences as well the abstract ideas of our social justice philosophy and activism without being patronized at by people who don’t understand what we’re talking about.

    Also, you don’t get to tell me what I am allowed to be annoyed by. In fact you don’t get to tell either Paprika or myself what we are allowed to feel about anything, ever. Because, again, you have absolutely no authority here. In fact, if you want to be a regular commenter, you have more than squandered any good will either of us are likely to have, and I don’t even know why I’m spending so much time responding except that I’m having an insomniac episode.

    In actual fact, we’ve been way, WAY nicer to you than we generally are– normally a comment like your first comment would get gifbagged immediately, and we wouldn’t bother to ask you to educate yourself, because our time and our thoughts and resources and stuff we want to talk about in our space, are more important than engaging with a person who may well be arguing in bad faith.

    I’m glad you chose to educate yourself, super, keep it up, and so forth. I hope that this experience has given you some insight into what to do and not do when visiting feminist, or frankly any other kinds of spaces where you are admittedly unfamiliar with the basic foundational ideas and framework of arguments being made.

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  19. Oh, and pro-tip, if you don’t want to piss off these two feminists, don’t use “females.” Female human and then shortening to females is ONLY appropriate in the context of science. Otherwise, it’s dehumanizing and essentialist. Women. It’s not hard. If you want to get all radical, you can go so far as womyn.

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  20. IlliterateVagrant

    Gotcha. I will say though that being an art major, I’m used to the notion that hanging my work up in public means I will receive critiques both warranted and unwarranted. Unfortunately I seem to have projected my ease of dealing with such intrusions onto you.

    Just to clarify, the use of female (unscientifically) is offensive to feminists because it denotes a woman in terms of a relationship to men rather than her own sexual identity?

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  21. No, it’s offensive because it reduces women to their biological sex which may or may not dovetail neatly with their gender, and because even when it does, it reduces us to our reproductive functions. This is a trans friendly space.

    Basically, I don’t call men “penis and testicles inconveniently attached to a thinking body with pesky feelings,” and that is why I do not want to see women as a class labeled “females.” As a writer, it annoys me stylistically because it should almost always be used as a modifying noun, except in science (e.g. female marmosets etc.)

    Female humans and female beetles do not have a fucking thing in common but our ability to produce oocytes, which should be proof positive about the reproductive thing I mentioned. Females lumps us aaaaalll together.

    And hey, you like criticism from joe on the street, good for you. I like criticism of my creative writing from anyone and everyone too. But unlike art or creative writing, the stuff we blog about when we blog about feminism has real, serious consequences, not the least of which is a metric goddamn shitload of suffering that, trust me, you can’t even begin to fathom. So, it’s not the same.

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  22. IlliterateVagrant

    Okay. Understood. That makes perfect sense.

    As I will attempt to forego any assumptions I have from here on out in my posts (to work towards a more open mind) I would appreciate not projecting your own assumptions on me. In fact I do know suffering quite well. That’s the product of having to provide care for victims of war firsthand.

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  23. I didn’t imply that you know no suffering, I stated that you’ve demonstrated that you don’t know some particular kinds of suffering, based on your comments. I respect that you have diverse experiences, and are probably a nice person as people go, but for one reason or another, you don’t know about womens lived experiences, people of color’s lived experiences, transpeople’s lived experiences and so on. I genuinely apologize if you felt maligned there, but what I was saying is what I said– when we talk and write about feminism and racism, and classism, and transphobia, xenophobia, homphobia etc. it is grounded firmly in the real world, based on real awful profound hurt ( and joy and knowledges, and families too) that quietly exists below the mainstream radar.

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  24. IlliterateVagrant

    You would be correct in those assumptions which is *gasp* why I attempt to go to the less mainstream and more ascerbic sites. I like raw blogs that don’t mince words or attempt to pander. Yours seems to be that way.

    No offense taken and I hope I haven’t actually offended you with any of my unfocused posts.

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  25. Well, at least you finally went to the Feminism 101 blog.

    Seriously dude, whatever. You DO need a nudge to the light. Hell, you need a cannonball to the light. But as long as you realize that we don’t give those here, because we blog under the assumption that our readers aren’t stumbling around in the dark, bumping into strange objects and yelling “the lady anger, it hurts me!” well, fine.

    I don’t even know why I’m adding to the pile on, because Pepper has more than defended our respective honors, but I would like to say–you didn’t appear condescending because you were ignorant, you appeared condescending because you wrote your comment in a condescending way. “Let me enlighten you” is pretty much one of the most patronizing phrases in all of English. And yes, while you did own up to “misinterpreting” my original post, you did so by capitalizing the word “institutionalized” over and over again, which reads as hugely sarcastic. So there’s that, too.

    “In response to your link about male defense to the female challenge”–huh? Are you referring to the Feminism 101 link? Whatever dude, we know you didn’t read it until today, although good on you for finally doing so. (Oh, by the way, I didn’t see any hits on our commenting policy until after we told you to go there, so I’m having trouble believing you when you’re all, I DID go to the commenting policy first! Dude, if you didn’t, whatev. It’s not like we have it in bold. You could have just missed it. It’s okay.)

    Look, in addition to the excellent points already made by the lovely un-Percosetted Pepper, you also need to remember this: Words Mean Things here. This means that you don’t get to act like an asshat and then go, “I WAS JUST BEING IGNORANT, HELP ME PLEASE.” Pepper is in her last semester of undergraduate work, after which she’ll be sailing off to grad school to study composition and rhetoric; I have two semesters to go before I do the same. We will pick apart every single thing you type, analyze it for asshattery, and either respect you as a commenter, or crush each patronizing phrase under our feminist jackboots.

    Fair warning.

    Reply
  26. And finally, IV, I cannot use strong words to tell you that before commenting further, you must also visit

    http://www.derailingfordummies.com/

    This will be a very useful tool in grasping the kinds of discourse we appreciate here, and the kind that raises our hackles.

    Reply
  27. Helena Handbasket

    This comment could in fact be used as an example of derailing. Normally, we wouldn’t approve it, but Paprika has some things she wants to say.

    [Words may not be fists. And I’m not saying that you have no right to be an ‘angry feminist’ in your own space.

    But… You catch more flies with honey than vinegar. To promote something other than highly educated ‘girl fury’ in a rational and thought-provoking manner would do all women some good.

    To be compelling, intelligent and convicted in your arguments without expressing anger or dropping expletives, speaks more about your dedication to a truly free society than ranting about ‘amusing and or rude gifs’.
    I can drop expletives with the best of them. But somehow, when I appeal to anyone’s higher intellect with convincing arguments, I get better results.

    I understand that this is your space. But understand from my point of view, you girls make us look bad. And I mean women. I have shown this blog to sisters, friends, and cousins. All women. And the one thing that came across my bow every time they read was, ‘wow, what an angry bitch!’.]

    Indeed, let’s play derailing bingo:

    But I know another person from your group who disagrees, You’re Being Hostile, Your Experience Is Not Representative Of Everyone’s, and my personal Favorite, You’re Not Being A Team Player.

    Reply
  28. Oh and also, You’ve Lost Your Temper So I Don’t Have To Listen To You Anymore, and You Are Damaging Your Cause By Being Angry. Ding Ding ding!! We have Bingo!

    Reply
  29. Alright, Helena Handbasket. Let’s address this comment piece by derailing piece, not because it deserves any serious consideration (it doesn’t), but because it is an excellent example of the kind of comment we don’t welcome. It’s such a perfect representation, in fact, that I suspect it was created in a lab.

    “I’m not saying that you have no right to be an ‘angry feminist’ in your own space.”

    No, you’re just saying that we SHOULDN’T be angry, which is arguably worse, because it’s a way of telling women that “I guess you have the right to be mad, but you shouldn’t use that right, because like, it makes people uncomfortable and stuff.”

    “To promote something other than highly educated ‘girl fury’ in a rational and thought-provoking manner would do all women some good.”

    And to classify legitimate female anger as something less belittling than “girl fury” would be great too, but we can’t all get what we want.

    “To be compelling, intelligent and convicted in your arguments without expressing anger or dropping expletives, speaks more about your dedication to a truly free society than ranting about ‘amusing and or rude gifs’.”

    Remember when I said that words mean things? http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/convicted

    Thank you though. Now I have something to add to the list of arguments I’m done having: that displaying anger in a debate or piece of writing is a Big Bad Decision. I mean, I already kind of addressed in this the original post when I talked about rants, but apparently you missed that part, so I’ll explain further: unfocused, incoherent ramblings are usually not a good plan (unless you really need to blow off some steam, in which case, go for it). But the world is angry-making, and there is nothing wrong with showing that anger. In fact, it’s crucial that we do so, because if we aren’t willing to acknowledge our anger, we have lost our greatest motivation to advocate for social change.

    As Pepper said last night, we’re not angry because we’re feminists; we’re feminists because we’re angry. This doesn’t mean that everything we write is bristling with barely-contained rage—it’s not, which you would know if you bothered to read more of our blog. But it’s a legitimate feeling, and it deserves attention. It can also be an incredibly effective rhetorical device, when used well.

    “I can drop expletives with the best of them. But somehow, when I appeal to anyone’s higher intellect with convincing arguments, I get better results.”

    Yes, we do that too. Other times, we get visibly angry.

    Here’s the thing: calm, reasonable debate absolutely has its place. We advocate it as much as the next non-sociopath. But in order to have that kind of debate, both parties have to be acting in good faith, and IV wasn’t (no matter how much he protests otherwise).

    And while such discussions can have great consequences, neglecting our anger can soften our points, and ultimately make them easier to dismiss. This is why, again, anger can be so valuable in these arguments.

    “I understand that this is your space.”

    Do you? Because you sure seem comfortable swanning in and trying to rearrange the furniture.

    “But understand from my point of view, you girls make us look bad.”

    Ah, yes, us girls. Use mid-twenties girls. Actually, you make yourself look bad, but no matter.

    “And I mean women.”

    Uh-huh.

    “I have shown this blog to sisters, friends, and cousins. All women. And the one thing that came across my bow every time they read was, ‘wow, what an angry bitch!’”

    http://finallyfeminism101.wordpress.com/2007/10/20/internalized-sexism/

    Reply
  30. In summation to our commenters, try not to do this in the future:

    Seems Safe To Me Gif - Seems Safe To Me
    see more Gifs

    Reply
  31. Go P&P go!

    Reply
  32. IlliterateVagrant

    So I guess this would be the part where I say according to Derailing for Dummies, “I was just playing Devil’s Advocate all along!” Heh.

    I do apologize for being condescending, my tone wasn’t properly adjusted to argue “in good faith.” As a member of the privileged class I guess it stings to realize that I benefit in more ways than I’ll understand and to be confronted with that isn’t fun, especially how unwilling I am to accept racial favors (even though it happens without me realizing.)

    In the end I was really just tired of hearing the same old argument of you can’t be racist against whitey, because I equated racism with hate on a 1:1. Annnybody can hate. My points were based on semantics. Now I realize what you meant by racism and sexism didn’t mesh with my (non-feminist) understanding of it.

    Reply
  33. Lurker says: maybe you CAN catch more flies with honey than vinegar. It’s just hard to stay on the ‘honey’ side when you’ve had this EXACT discussion FIFTY BAZILLION TIMES BEFORE.

    (And lurking along, it was the ‘let me ENLIGHTEN you’ snottery that put me into a lurker rage. Talk about yer textbook mansplain.)

    *re-lurks*

    Reply

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