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“Men who want to be feminists do not need to be given a space in feminism. They need to take the space they have in society & make it feminist.” — Kelley Temple
I don’t have a lot of faith in open letters.  I doubt that they get read by the people they are addressed to…at all…ever.  meh.  here goes one, anyway.

I will just throw this together like a punch list.  no sense in trying to stun anyone with my essay composition skills.

(Posted at sexgenderbody's tumblr)

- it’s a journey that you take, by yourself, without telling us about it every step of the way.

- learn to be OK with that

- you don’t get to be the center of attention on this

- you can contribute through action

- if you do only one thing, then learn to listen and then not respond

- if you want to talk about being a feminist, talk to other men.  especially men in power, like your boss or a CEO or a buddy at the local bar.  

- nobody ‘needs’ to hear what you have to say on this.  some people may ask, but your opinion is not needed.  your actions are.

- you must understand that sexism and misogyny have negative impacts on men, but those negative impacts are a result of men being sexist and misogynistic

- you also need to get that while bad things can happen to men because of sexism and misogyny, the worst things happen to women of all kinds.

- racism, sexism and class dynamics overlap and enable each other.  this means that if you want to be feminist, you will need to deal with your sexism, racism and classism.

- and you’ll have to do all of that without making everybody stop to hear how much manpain it causes you to admit that this is true.

- it never ends.  you will always be uncovering your misogyny, sexism, racism and classism.  if you expect to be done and never have to come back here to this level of self scrutiny - you’re wrong.

- the sooner you get over that bit, the better

- you’re going to get shit wrong.  with people watching.  you will have to apologize and when you do, you apologize for what you said and did and not for them taking it the wrong way because you didn’t mean for them to be offended.  

- if you can’t figure out what to say when apologizing, just say: “I apologize and I won’t say that again”

- if you can’t figure out how to apologize…learn.

- nobody owes you an explanation or even the time of day on this shit.  yeah, even if you really, really, really want to learn / know / do the right thing.  

- learn to be real OK with that.

- if you’re only listening to white feminists, you are not addressing your racism

- if you don’t include trans* persons in your feminism, you are not addressing your misogyny

- no, there is no such thing as reverse-racism.  just fucking read this:

- read this too -

- and this -

- and finally this -

- remember, you learn by listening and doing…not by sharing your newfound views on feminism with the rest of us

- it’s common to start down this road when you have a daughter, so don’t expect anyone to pat you on the back for getting ahead of the curve on this one

- including your wife, who will be curious as to why her presence didn’t pop this bit of soul searching into high gear.  pro tip: remember that bit about how to responsibly apologize.

- people are going to tell you that you can’t be feminist, and to them you can’t.  you gotta be OK with that and you gotta get that they don’t need to see that you think you can.  they don’t owe you shit.

- no one does.

- if you figure this out, it’s because you keep trying.  

- you will receive no medals, cookies or commerative t-shirts for being a feminist.  nor will it get you laid.  if that’s your motivation, you won’t be very happy and nobody will believe you anyway.

- if you think this is sad because it’s so hard, try imagining how it would feel to be a woman surrounded by a planet of men too sad about how hard it is to stop treating women like shit.

Originally posted to sexgenderbody on Fri Aug 16, 2013 at 02:59 PM PDT.

Also republished by Sexism and Patriarchy.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Um (10+ / 0-)

    I think this sounds more hostile than was intended. And will be a source of innumerable pies.

    Just saying this as a Jedi level Feminist.

    •  I dunno... (13+ / 0-)

      I think a lot of people think of truth as being inherently hostile. Seems to me they ought to sit with that a while and think why it might feel that way to them.

      Truth just is. Truth that isn't sugar coated and massaged and made inoffensive, truth that's just smacked down on the table without apology--yeah, that can seem a little scary, especially if you don't see that too often. Truth is scary, a lot of the time. But it's truth. Lies are soft and comforting and will fuck you up bigtime. Truth is harsh, but it's the harshness of the scalpel that cuts away the cancer that's killing the body. I know what I choose. Oddly enough, I'm considered to be hostile and aggressive by a lot of people. Me, I just think I'm pretty truthful.

      And some of those statements are spot on. If I had a nickel for every time a dude wanted some sort of backpattin' attaboy for anything vaguely feminist-ish he did or said--well, I just hope nobody drops those nickels on my head all at once because I like being alive. Just sayin'.

      "Nothing's wrong, son, look at the news!" -- Firesign Theater

      by SmartAleq on Fri Aug 16, 2013 at 03:17:05 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  No kidding (7+ / 0-)

      I got through like 7 of them and said to myself, "Well, my best bet is to just shut up and move on to something else!"

      Political compass: -8.75 / -4.72

      by Mark Mywurtz on Fri Aug 16, 2013 at 03:18:58 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Splashes of cold water... (7+ / 0-)

      ...often come across as hostile.

      But they're necessary.

      ‎"Masculinity is not something given to you, but something you gain. And you gain it by winning small battles with honor." - Norman Mailer
      My Blog
      My wife's woodblock prints

      by maxomai on Fri Aug 16, 2013 at 03:35:59 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Pretty much (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      GAS, johnny wurster, kyril

      I found the tone hostile, though I understand where it's coming from. What's objectionable about it is the insistence that men must basically act as penitents for their gender. I don't find that offensive; it's just self-discrediting hypocrisy.

      I don't consider myself a feminist. I've never liked the term, though I do understand what it actually means, as opposed to the dittohead strawman. I'm an egalitarian. I strive through word and action to erase bigotry, including my own unconscious prejudices, of which I have eliminated many and undoubtedly have a lot more to eliminate. I don't need a pat on the back.

      But that's also the point about not shutting up. No one deserves a pat on the back for being egalitarian precisely because it's the least you can do and be a decent person. People need to hear that, and sexist men, in particular, need to hear it from other men.

      If individual feminists are nonplussed by that, that's fine. The struggle for a fair and equitable society isn't about them. It's about everyone, and everyone has a positive responsibility to do their best to achieve that goal. Telling people to shut up isn't going to get us there. We need to talk to each other. That will unavoidably involve annoying and not infrequently misunderstanding and offending each other, just like any other extended family, but talk we must.

      As for people who want a pat on the back, consider that they are at least joining the conversation. They may be joining it in a narcissistic and self-involved way, but consider that when someone is after your attention, they are at least potentially likely to listen to your response. If we are wise, we will craft that response with a view to the effect we would like to achieve.

      And the bright side of the downward thermodynamic spiral is, um...

      by eodell on Fri Aug 16, 2013 at 03:56:01 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  "I found the tone hostile... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        ... I don't consider myself a feminist...."

        These two statement may be connected.

        And where does it say that men must act like penitents?  Being told to use your power responsibly, and not to expect pats on the back for doing what any decent human being should do is hardly demanding penitence.

        Then again, losing privilege always feels like losing rights.  Even when it's not.

        "If you fake the funk, your nose will grow." -- Bootsy Collins

        by hepshiba on Sat Aug 17, 2013 at 04:01:32 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  It does sound harsh, but I think any woman (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      SmartAleq, sexgenderbody

      should be allowed to be as harsh as she desires given that the war on women is alive and well.

      I do agree that a more diplomatic tone would be great, but I wouldn't demand it from the diarist any more than I would demand it from a Black person that is harsh because of racism or an LGBT person that has been mistreated just because of their sexuality.  I think that until we erase a whole lot more of the discrimination that still exists (against women, Blacks, LGBT, immigrants, etc.) - it is better than it used to be, but nowhere near where it needs to be - any of those affected by discrimination have a right to be as harsh as they want to be.

  •  I needed to be told how to behave! (7+ / 0-)

    I hope that the quality of debate will improve,
    but I fear we will remain Democrats.

    Who is twigg?

    by twigg on Fri Aug 16, 2013 at 03:19:00 PM PDT

  •  If most feminists talked to and about (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Mark Mywurtz, FG, skohayes, kyril, David54

    pro-feminist men the way this diary reads, the movement would have very little support, from either sex. This is more about one person's anger than about feminism, based on my experience with many feminists over many decades. In my experience the vast majority of them are nice people who treat others (including men) well.

    •  If most guys who smugly assume they're (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      SmartAleq, sexgenderbody

      "pro-feminist" really checked themselves on their behavior, they might find out they weren't acting like allies at all.

      And making this about "one person's anger"?  That's a sexist male stereotype right there.  Can't tell you the number of times I've made a political argument about feminism or racism and had some guy dismiss it as a "personal problem."  It would be annoying if it wasn't so god-damned boring.

      Maybe you should consider that demanding we be "nice" when we're talking about being oppressed is oppression.

      "If you fake the funk, your nose will grow." -- Bootsy Collins

      by hepshiba on Sat Aug 17, 2013 at 04:11:07 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Good diary (10+ / 0-)

    And a good reminder that male privilege is one of those things we guys usually don't get because, to borrow a meme from Heidegger, the hammer just keeps working.

    There's only one thing I ask. When I'm being an ally, please, please, no condescending bullshit about how "men suck...except for you maxomai." And expect me to call you on it when it happens. There are a lot more male allies out there than most people think.

    ‎"Masculinity is not something given to you, but something you gain. And you gain it by winning small battles with honor." - Norman Mailer
    My Blog
    My wife's woodblock prints

    by maxomai on Fri Aug 16, 2013 at 03:43:03 PM PDT

    •  That's the male equivalent... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Of the Honorary Penis--you know, when a man says "Oh, but YOU'RE not like those OTHER women." Divide and conquer, baby!

      Men SHOULD be feminists, why would I demean their efforts in that direction by acting like they're children who need to be led by the hand to do the right thing? It's a matter of respect.

      "Nothing's wrong, son, look at the news!" -- Firesign Theater

      by SmartAleq on Fri Aug 16, 2013 at 04:02:22 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  That can be tricky -- (13+ / 0-)

      to be able to get across the difference between 'men' as a class & 'the men I'm dealing with right now.'

      "Schroedinger's Rapist" is an excellent explanation of that (re: physical safety, of course).  Relevant paragraph:

      When you approach me in public, you are Schrödinger’s Rapist. You may or may not be a man who would commit rape. I won’t know for sure unless you start sexually assaulting me. I can’t see inside your head, and I don’t know your intentions. If you expect me to trust you—to accept you at face value as a nice sort of guy—you are not only failing to respect my reasonable caution, you are being cavalier about my personal safety.

      Fortunately, you’re a good guy. We’ve already established that. Now that you’re aware that there’s a problem, you are going to go out of your way to fix it, and to make the women with whom you interact feel as safe as possible.

      One of the more unpleasant jobs of Allies of any sort is to accept that, as a member of the oppressing class, you don't get the automatic acceptance/approval that you may feel you deserve. And one of the harder parts of dealing with allies is in not treating them to the approval which, as women, we're taught to present...
      •  I'm a big white dude, often with a big dog (11+ / 0-)

        I noticed a while back that I scared people, especially at night, a time I often use for waling.  

        That's improved a lot when I deliberately avoid eye contact and steer myself and my dog onto paths/sidewalks that don't require anybody else to get very close to me.

        But I'm usually deep in my own thoughts when walking, so I probably still scare more people than I notice.

        My wife, by contrast, has idiots approach her and say "you should be smiling more" when she's lost in thought.  Or follow her, or stare at her.  All of these problems greatly reduced when she's walking the big dog.

        We live in a strange world.  Nobody sees it the same way, and fear tends to be justified by past experiences.  (I drive very cautiously in rain, when tailgated, when tired.  I've had a number of close calls.  It bugs other drivers and my passengers sometimes, and I don't explain it.  My feelings about this are mild compared to those of my wife, who has actually been assaulted by strangers, mauled by "friends" and knows many people who have been raped by men who everyone in the social group "knew" were "off", but were never excluded because they were socially useful in some way).  

        The best anyone can do is try to notice when others are uncomfortable and try to identify which behaviors are causing discomfort and mitigate them.  You won't always get it right, but not scaring people is reward enough in itself.

        •  Not big, but walk 155 pounds of dog who are (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Wee Mama

          aggressive to cats.  I was avoiding a 'cat house' and inadvertently menaced a guy whom I did not notice.  Luckily I saw him a week or two later an yelled an apology across the street.  He was cool.

          ...Son, those Elephants always look out for themselves. If you happen to get a crumb or two from their policies, it's a complete coincidence. -Malharden's Dad

          by slowbutsure on Fri Aug 16, 2013 at 05:44:43 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  I find a big smile and "hello" (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          maxomai, David54

          work better than avoiding eye contact and scuttling across the street (though certainly understandable with a big dog some people might mistake as dangerous or be fearful of).
          But, I've been living in rural small towns for the last 30 years, if you're in a suburb or big city, people certainly are not very friendly.

          Your beliefs don't make you a better person. Your behavior does.

          by skohayes on Fri Aug 16, 2013 at 05:55:26 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  People are strange. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            You can't make this stuff up.

            by David54 on Fri Aug 16, 2013 at 09:15:58 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Trust me. A strange big white guy (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            sexgenderbody, Wee Mama, SmartAleq

            giving a woman at night a direct gaze, a big smile and a hello is NOT what she wants to see.

            From me, where I live,  it's just a threat unless they know me.  Not seeming especially interested in them and focused on other things...that seems to get the best response.

            If somebody wants to be friendly, they'll initiate it.  I have no desire to force somebody to be polite to me just to make me go away.  Which I've watched my wife do to strangers, even when I'm nearby and obviously with her.  It is even more frequent when I'm not around.  We've talked about this, and it is really creepy how lots of men seem to think all women want to talk to them, smile at them, engage with them.

      •  I think the trick here... (4+ / 0-) for male allies to keep in mind the difference between universal and particular language.

        And yes, 150% agreement on the physical safety concerns & my role in ameliorating them.

        ‎"Masculinity is not something given to you, but something you gain. And you gain it by winning small battles with honor." - Norman Mailer
        My Blog
        My wife's woodblock prints

        by maxomai on Fri Aug 16, 2013 at 07:21:17 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Really excellent. I see that some people (12+ / 0-)

    think it's hostile. I don't.

    In fact I went through the diary exchanging the concept of 'feminists' for 'African Americans' and 'men' for 'white people'.  

    In both readings, I found it to be truthful and not hostile. It is excellent.

    The worship of guns requires human sacrifices evidently. ~richardak

    by denig on Fri Aug 16, 2013 at 03:47:41 PM PDT

  •  Wow. (6+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    doc2, Mark Mywurtz, GAS, skohayes, kyril, twigg

    Just wow.

    I'm going to keep recruiting men to feminism my own way, by being open to their thoughts, supporting their progress, being willing to listen to their stories, by encouraging, supporting and pushing them to do more.

    I prefer to be positive when folks are trying than kick them in the teeth because whatever they do isn't quite good enough.

    © grover

    So if you get hit by a bus tonight, would you be satisfied with how you spent today, your last day on earth? Live like tomorrow is never guaranteed, because it's not. -- Me.

    by grover on Fri Aug 16, 2013 at 03:49:55 PM PDT

  •  As a transwoman... (8+ / 0-)

    ...I'm afraid I'm not allowed...according to some.

  •  I always feel much better about myself when (8+ / 0-)

    I hear how much other guys blow!

    Seriously, if I heard some guy trolling for attaboys by going on to some woman about how feminist he is, I'd have to laugh in his face!

    I agree with the diarist; it's occurred to me too that every feminist thing I have to say is to other guys.

    "The war on drugs followed by the war on terror has eliminated protections we have had since the Magna Carta." -Horace Boothroyd III

    by mookins on Fri Aug 16, 2013 at 04:26:02 PM PDT

  •  Works pretty much for any -ism, (7+ / 0-)

    with the appropriate substitutions.

    I can see where it can come across as hostile, but I think it's the sort of 'hostility' that comes with 'ya know, I'm not sugarcoating anymore. Not my job."

    Because the sugarcoating (or whatever better phrase is not making it to my fingers right now :) is part of supremacy/kyriarchy -- those on top get to phrase things however bluntly they want, and everyone else needs to cater to their needs/desires/whims. Goes along with the everpresent 'if you xxx's don't act like I want you to, you won't get my vote!"

    Not that there isn't a time & place for gentle reproaches and baby steps, but that time/place isn't always/everywhere.

    And of course there's a bit extra re: feminism, because most guys have women in their lives somewhere, and part of the problem with sexism for men is that culture has them outsourcing  so many of their needs to women. The skills they need to do all this have been denied them, because 'girly.'

  •  My wife saw this diary before I did (8+ / 0-)

    She called my attention to it by saying "My man's a good feminist". I answered "I'm not a feminist. I'm a humanist". Seriously, if you just have it in your head that everybody else is a human being too, it makes it a lot easier to treat them that way. No matter how they're packaged.

    One good thing about music, when it hits you feel no pain -Bob Marley

    by Darwinian Detritus on Fri Aug 16, 2013 at 04:30:13 PM PDT

  •  sounds like mansplaining. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
  •  Arrow. Zing. Bullseye: "if you want to... (8+ / 0-) about being a feminist, talk to other men.  especially men in power, like your boss or a CEO or a buddy at the local bar."

    I know many men who talk to women about what staunch feminists they are. I know far, far fewer who talk to men about it.

    Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

    by Meteor Blades on Fri Aug 16, 2013 at 07:12:42 PM PDT

    •  I have always talked to both men and women (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      about my views on feminism. I agree with diarist that we men must definitely stand up for women when talking to men - every chance we get. My only issue is that if men don't talk to women about the problems of sexism (and I do agree with the diarist that we must listen more than anything), where are we supposed to get our ideas of how to change it?  Some of us are smart enough to know what to do (what is so hard about equality, guys?) , but if we are leaving it up to men to figure out what women want in terms of ending sexism - and now I am talking about specific actions that would make things better for women - then we are defeating the purpose as we are having men decide what is "right" for women (which is the problem in the first place).

      I do think that, like all other discrimination that we are still battling, having open conversations about the problem is a key part of getting more changes going, but I completely empathize with the diarist as it seems that openly talking about racism or homophobia is acceptable as many people recognize the problem (not enough to be sure), whereas there seems to be an unwillingness to discuss sexism given that far too many people (including some women) are militant about their denial that anything should be different for women.

      I do things have improved a little in my 52 years, but certainly not enough.  IMHO there is as much need for the ERA today as there has ever been.

  •  Awesome. (4+ / 0-)

    Is it true? Is it kind? Is it necessary? . . . and respect the dignity of every human being.

    by Wee Mama on Fri Aug 16, 2013 at 08:56:35 PM PDT

  •  I'm a man. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I've always believed that women are capable of doing whatever men can do.

    I think women should be regarded as equals to men, in terms of pay, acceptance in the professional sphere, sexuality, autonomy over their own bodies, and everything else.

    As a youn(ger) white male, every now and then I find myself saying something, being accosted for it, and examining my own privilege. For example: In the last year, I realized that I, as a dude, can go outside in public and never really have to worry about someone making a comment on my appearance. Women run into that all the time, though, and I went twenty-three years without realizing it, because I myself have never experienced it. Thus, it's a safe bet that in most contexts (outside of strictly social outings) women don't care to hear uninvited comments about their appearance, even if you think they look good. I learned that, and I try to always keep it in mind.

    I love women. I do my best to treat the women in my life with respect and affection. I want to see women in the world on equal footing with men. Paid the same for doing the same job, able to pursue their professional goals, free to be sexual beings in charge of their own bodies. It doesn't make it so I'm perfect and never say anything stupid, but damnit, I think I deserve a little more credit than your average Republican senator. I don't believe a patriarch society is the best society.

    - it never ends.  you will always be uncovering your misogyny, sexism, racism and classism.  if you expect to be done and never have to come back here to this level of self scrutiny - you’re wrong.
    Yeah, well, that's everybody, not just men.
    it’s common to start down this road when you have a daughter, so don’t expect anyone to pat you on the back for getting ahead of the curve on this one
    That's quite the assumption. Whether you believe it or not, we're not all knuckle-draggers.

    I want the women I know (and all the others) to have all the same opportunities in life and society that I have. I don't feel that way so that I can get laid or be known as a Good Person, I feel that way because it's what I believe. Sure I fuck up, and white males have a tendency to fuck up more than other groups because of that particular privilege, but everyone (even you) fucks up sometimes. The difference is whether or not you recognize and learn from it.

    You seem to view male "feminists" with inherent suspicion. I'm sure your life experiences have played a big part of this, and that's fine. But really, there are alot of men out there who really do believe in all this "feminism" stuff, who think that women should be treated with respect and be on level footing with men. It's usually because we've all had smart, beautiful, funny, competent women in our lives. Doesn't mean we're perfect, but we're a fuck of a lot better than most wingnuts are on women's issues, and yes, we do deserve a just bit of credit for that.

    Banking on the American people to be able to sort all this out and declare the adult in the room the winner is a very big bet. -Digby

    by Boogalord on Sat Aug 17, 2013 at 12:14:54 AM PDT

    •  Thank you for illustrating several of the points (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      SmartAleq, sexgenderbody

      the diarist made.  And for psychologizing the author. Do you recognize the stereotype you're invoking: that an outspoken feminist is somehow psychologically damaged goods?

      "You see to view male 'feminists' with inherent suspicion."

      As if you can read the diarist's intent.  But hey, there's a stereotype in your pocket, so why not use it? Clearly you took this personally (see, I can psychologize too).  And from your comment, I think that taking it personally might actually be a good idea.

      "If you fake the funk, your nose will grow." -- Bootsy Collins

      by hepshiba on Sat Aug 17, 2013 at 04:20:21 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Nope. (0+ / 0-)

        I did not "psychoanalyze" the diarist. That's a loaded word you're using.

        Do you recognize the stereotype you're invoking: that an outspoken feminist is somehow psychologically damaged goods?
        That's a good deal farther than what I actually said, no?
        You see to view male 'feminists' with inherent suspicion.
        Is that not quite apparent from this diary? Yes or no?
        As if you can read the diarist's intent.
        Well, uh, isn' that what everyone reading a diary on this site does? They read a post, and respond based on things like the tone, which generally point to intent? The gist of this diary, "an open letter to male feminists", seemed to be "if you consider yourself a male feminist, you probably have self-serving motives and you are viewed with suspicion". I did find the tone to be somewhat hostile, especially considering the "open letter" format, hence my comment.

        Just because I'm a man doesn't mean you can toss my opinion in the dumpster as automatic misogyny. There are many men who do their best to support womens issues in this country. Some of them even do it before they have a daughter. Reading this diary, I felt like I was being chastised for supporting womens rights, as if me being a man means I will be merely tolerated and looked upon with a wary eye, best to be seen and not heard.

        Banking on the American people to be able to sort all this out and declare the adult in the room the winner is a very big bet. -Digby

        by Boogalord on Sun Aug 18, 2013 at 09:28:32 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Oy. You give lip service to intersectionality, (2+ / 0-)

    which is good. But then you say things like this: "you also need to get that while bad things can happen to men because of sexism and misogyny, the worst things happen to women of all kinds."

    Being a woman doesn't necessarily mean that the worst things always happen to you vs. a man.  In many ways, white women suffer from wage inequality, mass incarceration, and unemployment than black men.  By saying that "the worst things happen to women," you're ignoring racism and classism.  

    I used this example in another thread and it's apt here.  While women on the whole earn less than men, white women earn more than black men.  So to expect black men to speak up about the gender wage gap is absurd.  There's absolutely nothing wrong with them prioritizing the racial wage gap and being less concerned about the gender gap.


    •  Correction: Suffer less from wage inequality (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
    •  You think you're catching a flaw (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      in the diarist's logic.  But the flaw is in yours.

      The claim "the worst things happen to women of all kinds" does not mean "the worst things always happen to you [if you're a woman] vs a man."  

      So the argument based on your misreading doesn't hold. The diarist doesn't ignore racism or classism.  Instead, the diarist makes the point that, across all class, race, etc. divisions, gender is a constant, and women as a class within a class always occupy the bottom slots.  It's a tetrapolar structure, so it assumes people possess multiple qualities -- none need to be ignored.

      And of course it's not absurd to expect black men to speak up for wage equity, since, within the black community, wage inequity also exists.  It's also absurd to assume that suffering from one inequity prevents you from criticizing another.  

      If you're really a legalbeagle, you should be able to figure out the difference between logic and rhetoric, and use less of the latter and more of the former.

      "If you fake the funk, your nose will grow." -- Bootsy Collins

      by hepshiba on Sat Aug 17, 2013 at 04:26:25 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I dunno (0+ / 0-)

        The diary pretty clearly comes across as addressing white men almost exclusively. Just because it acknowledges that racism exists does not mean that this diary would be very applicable to black men.

        Time is of no account with great thoughts, which are as fresh to-day as when they first passed through their authors' minds ages ago. - Samuel Smiles

        by moviemeister76 on Sun Aug 18, 2013 at 03:11:27 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  When I read it, the diary came across (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          as addressing certain men who call themselves feminists.  Not white men exclusively, though I think that the bulk of men who call themselves feminists and have these traits probably are white.  In my experience, black men who call themselves feminists are both rarer, and less dickish than white men who call themselves feminists. YMMV.

          "If you fake the funk, your nose will grow." -- Bootsy Collins

          by hepshiba on Sun Aug 18, 2013 at 04:39:18 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  I can't believe how unselfconscious (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SmartAleq, sexgenderbody

    so many folks are about telling women that they ought to be "nice" while they're fighting for their rights.

    If you don't pull the kind of crap the diarist describes, then this diary isn't about you.  If you do pull it, and you care about women's rights, then listen up.

    And if you don't get that telling a woman that she'll catch more  flies with honey is part of the problem, then you don't get it at all.  Being a feminist ally is about supporting women in their effort to attain equality.  It's not about lecturing women on their textual deportment.

    "If you fake the funk, your nose will grow." -- Bootsy Collins

    by hepshiba on Sat Aug 17, 2013 at 04:06:43 PM PDT

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