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View Diary: Women-only Space: who belongs? (182 comments)

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  •  "Gender equality" was in one of Spit's comments (3+ / 0-)
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    Spit, rserven, jessical

    I would, similarly, be pretty distressed if I thought that people here had a negative view of me.  Luckily, I don't think that, and have not even suspected it for a long time.  Way back when I was new to dailyKos and to these diaries, Robyn and I had one incident in which we were seriously talking past one another, and (I think) starting to form negative views of each other, but we figured it out (nice how that can happen).  

    I find these diaries very valuable because they are, at least for the known participants, safe.  A straight white male like me will wander clueless.  And I think a lot of us offend others without intending to.  

    It is surely justifiable that many in the GLBT community are defensive.  People who get attacked a lot get defensive.  But I've noticed that SOME in the GLBT community tend to operate on the assumption that all the 'straights' are anti-Gay; just as there are SOME Jews who say "scratch a goy, find an antiSemite".  There are also SOME in the LD community who operate on the notion that all NT people are anti-LD.....  I even ran into this on dailyKos in a Feminisms diary, long ago.  The person who ran the diary that week is no longer a Kossack.

    So, here's to Robyn for creating these spaces, and making them welcoming ones not just to everyone who isn't straight, but to everyone who is.  

    Now up: The cult of mastery Friday: WAYR? History, politics

    by plf515 on Thu Jul 26, 2007 at 03:36:09 AM PDT

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    •  I'm also really glad (3+ / 0-)
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      rserven, plf515, jessical

      for this space, and I would be hugely distressed if I said things sloppily enough to be taken as negative toward you or anybody else here. There's always some difficulty talking about this stuff, IMO, partially because when we're talking about the social meanings of our identities, and the ways we relate on that level, that can be a thing that pushes its way into the personal level very easily -- but I never mean it to go there. We all have to figure out how we relate as individuals to those identities and social structures, and that adds a whole 'nuther layer of complexity on to the whole thing.

      I'm glad to be able to speak my mind pretty honestly here, and I hope nobody takes it as anything more than me analyzing the social dynamics from my own admittedly unusual point of view. But I do get sloppier than I'd like sometimes, and I apologize for that.

      The "gender equality", btw, was just me thinking that until vastly more men really commit themselves to fighting for the rights of women to be viewed as equal, all of us -- men, women, genderfuckers like me -- are all going to be constantly boxed in to this very limiting sense of self and treatment by others. A lot of "proving you're a man" can be analyzed as showing that you're not a lowly girl, for example -- think of all the "boys don't..." statements out there, and what they say about the relative worth of girls. That stuff damages all of us, women and men, and I'd love to see more men start pushing back against it (quite a few do, don't get me wrong, and it is building).

      I hugely respect the effort you put into these conversations, and I think we all bring good points to the table, when we discuss honestly.

      •  I think it is getting better; more guys (3+ / 0-)
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        rserven, plf515, jessical

        seem to be aware of the limits of the genderizing.  It suddenly occurs to me that this might be because the once-usual lines to power in the society for men are either scarcer or more contested.  (That's just off the top of my head.) Don't know.

        I do think that we're in some ways so different that it is easy to stumble against a very sensitive area and just have no idea one is doing it.  

        "False words are not only evil in themselves, but they infect the soul with evil." Plato

        by JPete on Thu Jul 26, 2007 at 09:03:38 AM PDT

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      •  There are loads of interesting questions here.... (1+ / 0-)
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        what is 'manly'?  How much of 'manly' is social, how much is cultural, how much is genetic, how much is biological?  

        Similar for 'womanly'.

        How are these different from 'masculine' and 'feminine'?

        Certainly part of 'proving you're a man' is proving you are not something else, and part of the desire to make that proof is that the something else is viewed by some as something worse.  I mean, to many, hetero male is like the greatest coolest.  I dunno about that - actually, I do know about that, it's about as stupid a statement as one could make - but it's also true that we've got the best deal, by and large.  I mean, if someone somehow asked me, in utero, to pick a sex and gender, hetero male seems like the choice, if only because we start with advantages.

        But the need to prove is due to more than that.  I've never felt a strong need to prove I am a hetero male, but I used to feel a strong need to prove I was smart.  Well, smart is better that stupid, and that's not due to cultural conditioning.  But I no longer feel a need to prove it (it's only really disappeared in the last decade, partly due to my wife pointing out to me, repeatedly, that everyone knows I am smart :-).  During adolescence, my need to prove my intelligence was profound, in part due to it being questioned.  

        But my 'maleness' was under question, too: Not only was I very late to hit puberty, but I am terrible at a lot of the traditional 'male' pursuits (e.g. sports, fixing things, cars),  I also never felt a need to prove my 'whiteness' (although I am occasionally mistaken for Black or Latino, or some mix)

        Some of the need to prove is, I think, due to our own insecurities, while some of it is due to cultural factors.

        Now up: Republican motto Friday: WAYR? History, politics

        by plf515 on Thu Jul 26, 2007 at 01:49:27 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

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