For any other men who’re really concerned about a woman having the audacity not to prioritise every random stranger on the internet who sends her transparent, facetious and incredibly presumptious messages in an insincere attempt to try to ~debate feminism~ or whatever:
“It goes without saying that there is nothing wrong with having basic questions about feminism. Unpacking something as complex and insidious as patriarchy, particularly when it requires an examination of your own privilege, isn’t easy. Where it becomes problematic is when you are so confident that your questions are SUPER! IMPORTANT! that you try and co-opt feminist discussions to have them heard.
To borrow the analogy of another woman:
It’s as if you have walked into a postgraduate mathematics seminar, yelling: “Hey, how can you even use imaginary numbers anyway if they’re not real?” When someone rather distractedly points you to a first-year text-book in the corner, you leaf through the first couple of pages half-heartedly for a few seconds and say: “I don’t agree with some of the definitions in here – and anyway you haven’t answered my question. Doesn’t anyone want to have a discussion with me?!!”
This incredulity is usually delivered with a sound telling-off for being sarcastic, unreasonable, illogical, ungrateful and bitter. Now, as a woman raised under patriarchy I am socialized to respond to men’s praise and approval. Having suffered the consequences of men’s disapproval, conflict is counter-intuitive to me. It’s tempting to give in to the desire to be recognized as a “good” feminist who takes the time to explain things in a polite, fun, sassy way. But here’s the kicker: polite feminism not only doesn’t work, it is actually self-defeating.
Spending time and energy nurturing men through their journey of self-discovery is not only incredibly dull, it actually serves to reinforce existing power dynamics and keeps us from collectivizing as women and enacting real change.
— Cecilia Winterfox, “Feminists are not responsible for educating men”
that’s maybe why so few women care about tired, under-researched retorts and rhetoric that have actually been addressed countless times over the decades — because they’re past that stage, and we need to catch up or drop out. x x x