Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Blogging Priorities, Again

Well, this thread might be fun for people to read.

Or not, because there's lots of 'splainin going on about what does and doesn't count as sexism against women.

I would like to revisit my final point in the thread, however. After going round and round trying to encourage (mostly unsuccessfully) a couple of men to listen to women's experiences of sexism and harassment, I noted:
"Just to conclude this conversation, I think what I’m about to say might come as a surprise to some of the men here.

Speaking for myself, getting men to agree with me about what is and isn’t sexist is not my numero uno priority with respect to these conversations and, more generally, my blogging activities. Sure, it’s nice when it happens and I appreciate male allies.

But, over the years, like many feminist bloggers, I’ve found a much greater satisfaction in having my observations, arguments, and writings resonate with my female readership. Hundreds of women have emailed me over the years to thank me for expressing something problematic about sexism, gender, or culture that they’ve been unable to articulate.

Some have told me they’ve printed out particular posts I’ve written, saying that they were looking forward to discussing them with their daughters. Others write to say that they read my blog every day, but they’re too shy to comment, or they lack the confidence, or they don’t want to say something and have a man show up at my blog and attack them for it.

So, you know, having these types of Feminist 101 conversations with men, where I’ve engaged these exact same arguments countless times, is not why I continue to do this. (And seriously, I could have predicted the entire progression of this conversation starting with Hector’s “PC run amok” and ending with Kevin’s gotcha-double-standards that fail to account for all context and history of subordination).
Over the years of my blogging, I've really come to appreciate how my posts resonate with many women. In many ways, our society tells women that we're innately crazy, vapid, hysterical, overly-emotional, and hyper-sensitive and that our anger is unjustified, pathological, and silly.  Women These Days, especially in "the West," Really Have No Reason To Complain.

Patriarchy is, like, such a gaslighter, right? 

If my posts resonate with other women's experiences, somehow letting them know that nope, you're not actually "crazy," certain aspects of society really are shit, that's enough for me. If I can convince some men of that too, maybe have some laughs along the way, that's swell.

I also think there's a certain power in telling a man, "You know what? I don't care if you agree with me." It at least seems to stop some of them in their tracks a little.

Perhaps because it subverts the dominant scripts that (a) pleasing a man is a woman's most important prerogative, and (b) that getting a man to agree with us is something that's Really Special since a man's word is more trustworthy, authentic, and objective than a woman's.

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