The following is a conversation between two men. The first calls out feminists for being being “ridiculously aggressive” and hurting his feelings. The second responds the way any man who supports feminism, and women in general, should respond:
“I’ll be brief.
We want to understand. We want equality. So you need to stop being such a raging fucking asshole whenever we try and talk about the subject. We’re going to get it wrong at first and you need to understand this because your ridiculously aggressive knee-jerk reactions to every little mistake we make is making us too scared to even bring it up.
Calm the fuck down. We’re trying.
– a man”
This post was originally signed off, ‘Thomas Ridgewell (a man, trying to understand)’. So:
Dear Thomas Ridgewell who is trying to understand,
Thank you for being brief.
Maybe it takes a man to tell you this, because of the very reason I’m about to go over with you.
(And if you are really trying to understand, then you’ll listen to me, because it really is a basic concept.)
The onus is on you, Thomas Ridgewell, who is trying to understand.
You and me are agents of the patriarchy, which is a department – if you like – of the kyriarchy, whose business it is to keep ‘the other’ down.
It is not the job of someone who is oppressed to support us on our quest to understand, or to educate us, or listen to us, or even to be polite to us.
They owe us no favors, they are not beholden to us in any way.
If they’re angry it’s because they’re oppressed. And us men, however unwittingly, are agents of their oppression.
To be a good ally, we have to know our place. Because the people we represent have been deciding others’ places for a long time.
Your post has tone policing written all over it.
From a cisman’s point of view, there is no such thing as a feminist who is too angry. There’s no feminist who ruins it for the rest, as far as you’re concerned, it’s not your place to judge. And it’s definitely not your place to say it.
If you want to understand, try to understand.
You’re too scared to bring up feminism?
There are women who are scared to go into a club, or walk home at night, or leave the house because they get catcalled or grabbed or worse. There are women who are made to feel like everything was their mistake, because they shouldn’t have been out that late, or should have dressed less provocatively. And your feelings are hurt because sometimes you’re scared to bring it up.
There’s nothing tackier than two privileged men talking about feminism, so I’ll stop, and I’ll take this down if any feminist objects to it. I guess your post just rubbed me the wrong way.
Fuck men who think they can wade into feminism with their rights intact.
Another man who is trying to understand.”