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Sluts, cunts, and feminazis, lend me your ears.

The chronic despair that I've been living with reached critical mass for me last week, reference my diary "The Nuclear Option" if you don't know what I'm talking about.

That diary had a poll at the bottom with a wide variety of possible answers;  the question was "is there any sexism within the progressive movement."

79% voted yes
8% voted no
4% voted "shut up feminazi"
4% voted "you're an ugly lesbian"
8% voted "pick your battles"

Even if we don't fold the 8% comprising "feminazi and ugly lesbian" into the "yes" category, it looks like a mandate for "why shit so crazy?"

Also noteworthy is the way I got this feedback; I got 8 tips and 8 recs.  That means a total of 8 people were willing to show up on radar supporting this idea; more than twice that many, however, agreed with my position when offered a way to do so without having to take direct fire themselves.  

So even here on DK, that's how safe and respected we are.  Just FYI.

That's by no means a criticism of the women; in fact I recommend those of us who are ready to get punched in the face over and over again step up our games, even it I turn out to be the only one.  I'm here to lead us out of the desert.

I know what this means for me.  Anyone who speaks truth to power gets labeled a troll unless they back down on command.  Feminazi Troll Queen of No-Ball City IN THE HOUSE.  I'll take the bullets so you don't have to.  Shit's about to get Lulzy.

Meet me below the cloud, bitches.

A few things have become abundantly clear to me:  (And of course, I'm not talking about EVERYONE, speaking in broad terms here)

1.  Progressive men give themselves a clean bill of health.  On gender parity within our community, they mostly seem to think things are OK.   They sometimes admit that there's probably some sexist men among us, but none of them have ever seen it if there are.   Each one of them generally believes that his personal positions pass muster, yet most become very defensive and childish when pressed about it.

2.  Progressive men are entitled to set the frame.  When I asked "progressive" men to state positions on gender, almost without exception they declined.  The most common response was to instead demand that I take a position.  Even among the ones who weren't trying to be jerks, it was like a reflex for them.  It's unsettling to them, to have a woman set a frame and insist that they work with it.

When I insisted that I asked first, and asked that they answer my question and then I'd answer theirs, all but two became irate.  Most of them took this as an act of aggression, many of them specifically using the word "attack."

This is why the fight is framed as us versus the batshit Republicans; men decide what we're going to talk about, up to and including feminism.  They can afford this luxury due to Point 1 above - their own satisfaction with their performance.

As long as we're super busy fighting the Republicans, anything goes at our house.  Is that working for you?  It's making me want to jump on a grenade, personally.

Example from an identifying progressive guy not on DK, no names mentioned to avoid embarrassment:

Him:  Doing my part to ensure that neither I as a white male nor my sons share the cynical view of women and minorities that is held by the old white guys at the GOP!

Me:  What about men in the progressive movement? Are you willing to stand up about sexist bullies on our side? Because I'm at a breaking point, personally.

Him:  Sexism from anyone on any side is pathetic. Currently, however, there is clearly one side that stands out above all others as carrying out a war on women and minorities. While rooting out individuals who stand against equality will always be paramount, we must stand united against an entire group of individuals who would endeavor to stand against equality. We must stand against their attempts to institutionalize sexism, homophobia, and general bigotry. Cleaning our own house is vital but in doing so we must not lose focus on our bigger enemies. Equality as a whole is at stake and that is just the way our enemies like it.

It's good to be king.  You get to decide how much bullying other people can take.

This position, that we have to stay so busy fighting the lunatics that we can't ask our own men to grow the fuck up, is convenient.  It also keeps us at endless war, because half of our team doesn't show up for the fight.  It works so, so well for them.

3.  Progressive men are Libertarian on gender.   By and large, they believe that they are responsible for their own words and actions, and that's where their responsibilities end.  Every woman for herself.   They are not obligated to clean up trash in their communities if they don't throw it.  As Homer Simpson once said, "Can't somebody else do it?"

I confronted one prominent progressive male (who is consistently respectful and features wonderful, strong, bright women on his show) about a segment he did.   I take the "run it up the flagpole and see who salutes" approach; when you put this idea out, who responds?  Then look around and see if you're comfortable in that crowd.

Well, he did a segment in which he wasn't out of line himself, but his guest was disingenuous in a way that tickled deeply sexist men.  A bunch of men then began a discussion on which forms of feminism are more palatable to them, which is, IMHO, an automatic fail that needs addressed.  

Prominent progressive man with media platform said?  You're being ridiculous.  I don't control every sexist man.  Long story short, my assertion that progressive men need to police each other better was reduced to a prominent pundit being asked to go tit for tat with every troll on YouTube, rather than considering that maybe, oh, I don't know, he could simply address the offending ideas on his fucking media platform.  That seemed like a no-brainer to me. He's also apparently never seen the Young Turks, go figure.  In fairness he did offer me to call the show and talk about it, and I probably will when I can.

This non-response problem is an extension of that thing where they don't see overflowing trash and feel like maybe they should take it out; they wait until you ask them 1 or 23 times.  They then expect a round of applause and possibly a sloppy blowjob for having fulfilled basic duties as citizens of the household.  #LAME

4.  Progressive men are self-congratulatory.  They often claim that their records speak for themselves, yet no record of standing up to sexist bullies can be found.   This is a by-product of the clean bill of health they give themselves.

5.  Progressive men feel that our boundaries as women should be a mutual decision.   In other words, if women feel something is a feminist issue that needs to be addressed, and they disagree, we drop it.  In other words, we can petition their majesties, and they adjudicate.  See:  you're overreacting.

6.  Our culture has seriously backslid on gender in my lifetime.  I go to school with a young progressive man who is a fine lad; treats people with respect  and is brighter than average, in his 20s.  Has been told that sexual objectification exploits men and women equally (had never thought about it personally); "Girls Gone Wild" is a sort of phenomenon that sometimes happens, but is not a feminist issue per se; men are not obligated to confront men who are bullies, the person being bullied has to do it; men are entitled to sexual stimulation if they want it (i.e., culture of raunch OK).

There's more, but I want to run this up the flagpole and see who salutes.

The guys in our camp have made it clear that as a group, they aren't going to state their positions so we can calibrate our moral compass.  In other words, they know it sucks and they're cool with it, so they don't want to talk about it.  Put it this way:  if I'm 100% sure I can defend my position, I'm OK with stating it.

I say we begin #OpPushback, of confronting low-level sexist bullying in small, constant ways.  This will involve us defining our boundaries and coming up with small ways that we can enforce them in our discourse without coming under fire.  This will also mean that when we see someone flagging a boundary violation, we review the situation and if we agree that it violates minimum standards, we also push back.

This can involve

Twitter bombing, i.e., prominent progressive men who claim not to notice Cenk's misbehavior being twitter bombed clips of him being an asshole with #Unacceptable and #FixIt

Making up nicks and dummy accounts especially for confronting prominent sexist men with media platforms when they act out, i.e., the no-talent hack piece of shit Dave Anthony who called me a cunt (I'll diary that when I can).  

Responding to bullshit anywhere we see it with simple rejections that don't allow any avenue for attack; no need to explain or discuss, just label what you see.


#Minimizing (in response to "choose your battles")
#Dismissive (in response to "you're overreacting")
#Belittling (in response to "feminazi")
#Sexist (in response to objectification)
#Framing (in response to "we have to address the right first")
#Entitlement also in response to the above

You get the idea.

I realize that doing this may not be entirely comfortable for women (or men for that matter) even here on DK.  So if you see something going on that you'd like to flag anonymously, flag it Anonymously by emailing me a link to what you're concerned about and the tag you'd like to label it with. (xavieronassis at earthlink dot net.)  I will label it with #Proxy and whatever tag you requested. So we can make it very clear how often someone would speak up if they weren't afraid of getting smacked.

Don't worry about me hiding behind that, either; if I have something to say I'll say it.

What is a soldier?  Two can play that shit.  ON YOUR FEET! WHO'S WITH ME?

Ugly lesbian feminazi troll out.

Originally posted to Xavier Onassis EMT-P on Sat Mar 17, 2012 at 06:41 PM PDT.

Also republished by Anonymiss Dkos, Sluts, and Anonymous Dkos.


Would you support #OpPushback if you could do so safely?

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50%4 votes
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| 8 votes | Vote | Results

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Comment Preferences

  •  Progressive men unwilling to answer your questions (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Terranova0, FG

    fear losing 'their chance' with you over what they may judge as most likely a small but 'dogmatic' difference.  They really don't like the idea that 'their chance' with you is actually 100% up to you.  They'll want it to be a 'mutual decision' where they had a reasonable chance of influencing the outcome.

    They don't want to be rejected out of hand as potential close friend or a possible suitor because they were at one moment a bit clumsy in their handling of and addressing feminist concerns. They don't want to be judged from within a 'relationship' with a woman because they tend to feel they already deal with enough judgment and 'prejudice' in their lives over other matters.  They also tend to feel that if things don't work out between them and you, due to some needless feminist political blow up which you inconsiderately triggered, they still have the option of finding another woman who might be a little more conservative and definitely less confrontational.

    Ask this progressive man if he would be as reluctant to answer questions on matters of race or creed or equal employment opportunities?

    When life gives you wingnuts, make wingnut butter!

    by antirove on Sat Mar 17, 2012 at 07:13:28 PM PDT

    •  Thanks for responding (0+ / 0-)

      I can see how a lot of that seems like a perfectly reasonable position.  

      if things don't work out between them and you, due to some needless feminist political blow up which you inconsiderately triggered,
      One really common theme, when I can get men to discuss this politely (which is rare -- and I admit I'm not real interested in making sure I'm polite enough right now) is that "yeah, it sucks, but I can live with it."  So "need" is in the eye of the beholder.  And I'm inconsiderate for bringing it up, not that maybe I'm tired of being dismissed.
      they still have the option of finding another woman who might be a little more conservative and definitely less confrontational.
      Are you aware that a lot of us feel very  much bullied in these conversations, and that being "conservative" (see:  "willing to cave when smacked down") is soul-crushing?

      We have no pushback mechanism.  It's a problem.

      •  I do feel that bullying. I can see it in how men (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        northsylvania, Lisa Lockwood, FG

        phrase and bridge conversations around the messy female stuff, hoping to be felt (by you) to be 'on your side' and seen as willing to  advocate for you, without being seen (by other men) as being 'whipped' or willing to risk creating an 'uncool' scene, one that fails to engage others where the man believes they are, one that may make a point, but its not a point which feels a key item worth a battle.

        The key to getting male support and fired up for advocacy is operationalizing: establish some clear short term goals and steps to achieve them.  Make a clear plan with concrete elements as to what can be done, built, moved, and in creating targeted well-crafted communications. Finding a fun, interesting, perhaps humorous way, of making these advocacy stands be something that has an appeal for men as well as women is essential.  Men generally would like to do things which are enabling and empowering for women, as long as the women don't take off and leave them for greener pastures.  Men will want to be involved in projects that make it better for the women in their lives.

        And if you need that greener pasture, well, best of luck to you.  Let's get you packed up and ready to go.  Men may fail you in terms of communication, but I suspect you'd find there are men who will pitch in when given specific things, perhaps requiring a bit of skill, to take care of for you.  The actions speak louder than words when this happens.  A lot of men are far more comfortable engaging in a single-minded focus to achieve a goal as opposed to articulating a set of values, beliefs, positions.  Some men respond to hearing, others to touch (careful), many men are visual, and some respond to gifting. They all tend to respond to invitations to make a little corner of the world better for someone they care about.  Men will sort themselves out into small or large groups for some things, or choose to work alone on specific items.

        So yes, you should keep on posing your questions.  But I'd suggest also making it clear you're open to seeing replies made in other than a few sentences of words.  That it'd be important to see men showing something visibly exhibiting attitude, commitment, sensitivity to issue impact (vice versa), with focused actions and creativity.  Holding out for an articulate paragraph of pro-feminist pronouncements and statements of commitment may not be possible for a given man on a given night.  But helping him understand the demonstration of support you'd like to see might be.

        It may be really helpful to approach your questions using this sort of approach:  How can you team up with me (and other women and men) to help push back on the anti-women talk and legislation pending in the legislature?  What might you be able to add to correct these lingering repressive and regressive problems in our society?  Would you join me in writing letters to the editor, making signs for protests, standing with protests?

        When life gives you wingnuts, make wingnut butter!

        by antirove on Sun Mar 18, 2012 at 01:11:21 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Do you mind if (0+ / 0-)

          I take this conversation to a separate diary?  I'm not going to jump your shit, I respect that you're the only one who cared to say what probably most of them are thinking.  But I really do want to have this convo in front of everybody, because I seriously can't take this any more.

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