Men, get ready to be uncomfortable for a while
November 8, 2017 9:11 AM   Subscribe

The Unforgiving Minute | We have built entire lives, families, and communities around the absence of this conversation. And yet here we are, having it anyway. So let’s deal with some common queries, the very first of which is: how do we handle what we know now about how women have been treated for so long? (Laurie Penny on Longreads)
posted by I_Love_Bananas (53 comments total) 86 users marked this as a favorite
 
The fact that a great many men I have spoken to genuinely seem to think that the main issue here is how and whether they’re going to be able to get laid in the future is… I’m going to swallow a scream, and say that it’s “interesting.”

Yep.

And yet it's seen as some kind of radical idea that men should resign themselves to a life of lonely masturbation if they really can't figure out how to meet women without harassing them. Because their ability to get laid is not more important than my ability to be treated as an equal person.

But that's where I am now. I have absolutely no sympathy for "But if I can't fuck my female graduate students, who can I fuck?" or any of the other variations on "But how do I meet women?" That sounds like your problem. Stop making it mine.
posted by Kutsuwamushi at 9:28 AM on November 8 [108 favorites]


I liked this essay.
posted by Fraxas at 9:29 AM on November 8 [4 favorites]


You ask how the species is going to survive if we have to constantly check for consent before we get to the means of reproduction, but I promise you that the species has more pressing problems than that.

Yes.
posted by allthinky at 9:29 AM on November 8 [26 favorites]


And yet it's seen as some kind of radical idea that men should resign themselves to a life of lonely masturbation if they really can't figure out how to meet women without harassing them. Because their ability to get laid is not more important than my ability to be treated as an equal person.

This piece is a delicious commentary on that which I love unreservedly.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:45 AM on November 8 [34 favorites]


I liked this essay. With regard to this topic (and in discussions with my 14yo daughter about it) I came to a thought experiment:

Pretend for a moment that everyone that ever broke the written laws our of countries with regard to domestic violence, sexual assault, rape, gender discrimination, etc, had been punished for it. That they had been jailed, fined, fired, ostracized, had to stand before their accusations and the court and accept their guilt. Had been written up in the paper and known for what they had done. Had to truly face it, themselves.

How differently would any and all of us feel? How different would our world be? How righteous would speech about this kind of action, this violence be. How free from so many burdens would the women in our world be and who would these people be so freed of these burdens?
posted by n9 at 9:48 AM on November 8 [28 favorites]


"But how do I meet women?"

Use your big, specially-evolved brain to _invent_ an ethical, creative, great way to meet and provide for someone. Hint: you might have to do market research first. The kind where you _talk to_ members of the target demographic, see what they say, etc. Don't rely on irrelevant resources.
posted by amtho at 9:55 AM on November 8 [6 favorites]


This is some good shit. That's as eloquent as I can be. Good. Shit.
posted by emjaybee at 9:57 AM on November 8 [6 favorites]


It was Rita Mae Brown that taught me, "Call a spade a digging tool." I'm the same age as Elizabeth Wurtzel and I have to suspect privilege got the best of her, but Bitch was her scraping at an iceberg from below the water's surface. And I need to believe this turn of focus is not only an inevitable consequence of protracted underreporting, but a substantial and lasting change...because...had I known at twenty how deaf and dumb my species would be to individual and minority rights for this duration of my life, I would have rebelled with a temerity sufficient to have gotten me killed. Which would have been useless...It's a great essay, and I'm haunted by what's incomplete about it.
posted by lazycomputerkids at 9:58 AM on November 8 [5 favorites]


That's absolutely perfect.
posted by sotonohito at 9:59 AM on November 8 [2 favorites]


We are angry, and we are disappointed.

Because you made everything precious in our lives conditional on not making a fuss.

Because you behaved as if your right never to have to deal with anyone else’s emotions or learn the shape of your own was more important than our very humanity.

Because you made us carry the weight of all the hurt that had ever been done to you, and then you praised us for being so strong.

Because we tried for so long to believe the best of you, because it felt like we had no other option.

I promise you will survive our rage. We have lived in fear of yours for so long.


Oh, that's so lovely and perfect.
posted by ErisLordFreedom at 10:09 AM on November 8 [32 favorites]


I like this essay, but I think that for a title of “the unforgiving minute” it is somewhat gentle on the fact of just how many men have been involved in some form of this, which I honestly think approaches 99.9%. And in a way that’s probably calculated, because even in an essay “the unforgiving minute”, men are just. Plain. Not. Good. at being unforgiven.
posted by corb at 10:15 AM on November 8 [2 favorites]


My wife went to Vegas last weekend for a get away with a few of her girlfriends to see Britney Spears before her show run wraps up. I stayed home with the dogs and beers and books. She texted me the next day with stories of endless harassment well beyond "these men came and hit on us". Multiple men inserting themselves into her group. Not leaving, being aggressive, etc and then when my wife finally got fed up and snapped at one of the groups - she was treated like a bitch.

Even her friends were surprised and a little put out like "but they were going to buy us drinks". It even got to the point where at least one set of dudes eyeballed her and gave her the stinkeye when she went to the bathroom. It was bad enough that she basically planted her feet and said it was time to end the night even though she wanted to hang out and enjoy drinks.

The other amazing part to her- she was wearing her wedding rings the whole time - didn't do anything to deter the behavior. She was shocked and annoyed and frustrated and I don't blame her.

So yeah, there's a giant pool of sleazeballs who need to a rude awakening.

Guess who's going to Vegas to see J.Lo in March?
posted by drewbage1847 at 10:52 AM on November 8 [11 favorites]


Don’t make someone’s job conditional on allowing you to grab and hassle her when you’re drunk.

One problem might well be general lack of emotional intelligence. Drunk boss dude doesn't at all think about the anger and/or awkwardness that will follow, and next-day-no-longer-drunk boss dude can't handle the awkwardness (or whatever feelings/ramifications are in play) and just makes the working environment unpleasant -- and he may not even understand why he's doing it. It's a terrible phenomenon; some people just don't understand and can't plan for their own emotional reactions. They need to get a handle on them before the basic experiences of "want" and "yuck" happen; after is sometimes too late.
posted by amtho at 10:56 AM on November 8 [4 favorites]


Drunk boss dude doesn't at all think about the anger and/or awkwardness that will follow, and next-day-no-longer-drunk boss dude can't handle the awkwardness... some people just don't understand and can't plan for their own emotional reactions. They need to get a handle on them before the basic experiences of "want" and "yuck" happen; after is sometimes too late.

Those people sound like they're unqualified to be boss dudes, then. It is unfortunate for them that they didn't get a handle on that before accepting their current position, at which they should be expected not to harass people (ie, Literally Any Job), but at the point where they are harassing people, well, that's too late.
posted by cjelli at 11:17 AM on November 8 [32 favorites]


Now, Old Dinosaurs are wondering how to negotiate with an oncoming asteroid. Current or former Stupid Young Men are in a state of panic about their imminent introduction to the concept of “consequences,” leading to the question: what, precisely, is the age when men are expected to take responsibility for their behavior?

Right fucking now sounds pretty damn good.
posted by BigHeartedGuy at 11:21 AM on November 8 [16 favorites]


"One problem might well be general lack of emotional intelligence. Drunk boss dude doesn't at all think about the anger and/or awkwardness that will follow, and next-day-no-longer-drunk boss dude can't handle the awkwardness..."

In this day and age lack of emotional intelligence isn't an acceptable excuse. They don't need to figure out for themselves from scratch that drunkenly sexually harassing their subordinates is inappropriate behaviour that has negative consequences, there's a whole wide world of news articles, HR department workshops, and heck even pop culture, to TELL them that it's not okay. Choosing to ignore that cultural knowledge or deciding it doesn't apply to them isn't a symptom of weak emotional intelligence.
posted by Secret Sparrow at 11:22 AM on November 8 [24 favorites]


I'm always amused at the hand-wringing "but how will we get laid" comments that show up in any article about feminism. It is so damned hard to get it through guys' heads: if you acknowledged that women are people, you could connect that to some people like sex, a lot, and that means your chances of getting laid are substantially greater than zero. It's fun watching them dodge around the awareness that their issue is not "how to negotiate getting laid" but "I don't think I have anything to offer that would make me worth having sex with."
posted by ErisLordFreedom at 11:26 AM on November 8 [58 favorites]


I like that this touches on the emotional labor stuff as well, because these things are not separate. Learning to do your own emotional work helps you learn how to have the conversations you need to have to be able to be intimate with someone on all of the levels, not just the one that involves y/n? and a/s/l? I really hope this continues to be part of the larger conversation we've started with all of this raising of consciousness. Maybe some of this could be intersectional, too, and involve seeing people of color and especially women of color as people with real inner lives, hopes, fears, and desires that deserve respect as well? I really hope so.
posted by limeonaire at 11:51 AM on November 8 [10 favorites]


It's a terrible phenomenon; some people just don't understand and can't plan for their own emotional reactions.

Kind of a prerequisite for becoming a manager, isn't it. There are plenty of management courses and books that deal with emotional intelligence a.k.a. managing people.

Let's take one of the best-known examples. Its title alone speaks volumes about what's really important: How to Win Friends and Influence People. Relationships! Well, okay, let's look at what's specifically recommended just in case anyone still has a shadow of a doubt that this tome, which influences management and even non-management career stuff, deals specifically with emotional intelligence.
Fundamental Techniques in Handling People

- Don't criticize, condemn, or complain. Human nature does not like to admit fault. When people are criticized or humiliated, they rarely respond well and will often become defensive and resent their critic. To handle people well, we must never criticize, condemn or complain because it will never result in the behavior we desire.
- Give honest and sincere appreciation. Appreciation is one of the most powerful tools in the world. People will rarely work at their maximum potential under criticism, but honest appreciation brings out their best. Appreciation, though, is not simple flattery, it must be sincere, meaningful and with love.
- Arouse in the other person an eager want. To get what we want from another person, we must forget our own perspective and begin to see things from the point of view of others. When we can combine our desires with their wants, they become eager to work with us and we can mutually achieve our objectives.
Arouse in the other person an eager want! Forget our own perspective and begin to see things from the point of view of others!

Can I be critical and condemning for a second? Stop. Fucking. With. Us. We fucking know y'all know this shit.
posted by fraula at 11:58 AM on November 8 [33 favorites]


Yes. This is good.
posted by vespabelle at 12:07 PM on November 8


Can I add, I don't think these bosses who drunkenly harass/grab/pester their employees at after work drinks or the christmas party are clueless at all. For example, you never hear them doing this to their women superiors at the firm. They know who they can target, and they know who'll feel pressured or intimidated into going along with it or staying quiet.
I haven't yet read this article so I'm going to now, but I too am interested in when men are considered adults and culpable for their actions. A lot of the time on Ask it seems like any man under 30 is considered to be acting under the folly of youth and can't be expected to step up to anything or be reasonably expected to behave like a grownup. Which is weird considering how many of them get promoted into responsible positions before that age.
posted by everydayanewday at 12:26 PM on November 8 [23 favorites]


Stop. Fucking. With. Us. We fucking know y'all know this shit.
But first women must be seen as people. This is apparently a difficult hurdle for many to overcome.
posted by xyzzy at 12:28 PM on November 8 [16 favorites]


Thank you so much for posting.
posted by Grandysaur at 1:05 PM on November 8 [2 favorites]


everydayanewday Agree strongly. I found the depiction of sexual harassers are merely incompetent, or unaware, or just low on emotional intelligence, to be a form of apologia. They're predatory and they know exactly how to find the most vulnerable women they can.

They're also excellent at the double standard.

I can't recall if it was here, or on another board, but I remember a woman's story of being out with her girlfirend and seeing a well dressed man in a suit grope her girlfriend's crotch. She confronted him, and he was outraged that she had even spoken to him, and as he tried to storm off in a high dudgeon she grabbed his arm and he shouted at her "DON'T TOUCH ME!" The arrogance, irony, and strong belief in a double standard seen there have always stayed with me.

They aren't ignorant, they aren't incompetent, they aren't unaware. They're predatory.

I'll give an example from my own past as a self entitled 13 year old who put his own dick ahead of considering women people. I grabbed a woman's ass in the press of a concert, not because I didn't know it was wrong, but because I knew I could get away with it and I wanted to. In fact, I knew damn well it was wrong, I did it there because I knew I could escape being identified. I'd never have grabbed a random woman's ass in a context where I thought I'd be caught.

It was, in fact, a display of emotional intelligence, not its lack. I correctly identified a situation where I could abuse a woman and get away with it. It wasn't pre-planned, but even opportunistic sexual assault requires the social awareness to know when it won't result in any blowback.

It was 100% predatory on my part, not ignorant, not lack of awareness. It was the result of knowing that I could, and that I wanted to, and that I simply did not even consider the impact of what I did on the woman I groped. It was just the unrestrained id of wanting something and knowing I could do it without consequence. I never even thought about how she felt until years later.

Later I stopped being such a self entitled misogynist asshole and I'm ashamed of my 13 year old self's predatory behavior. But I can speak from personal experience here: predatory men aren't acting out of ignorance or lack of awareness.
posted by sotonohito at 1:30 PM on November 8 [70 favorites]


If femme and female citizens were allowed to actually articulate our own desires then we could skip a few lessons and move straight to the advanced level of learning-to-treat-women-as-people, the one where we talk about managing our feelings like grown-ups.

This part still feels like it's a hundred years away. We'll literally have to spend a hundred years of men being mad that women have desire that can't be gamed before they begin to care.
posted by Lyn Never at 1:52 PM on November 8 [8 favorites]


Yes, the Drunken Boss who cornered my friend at the last work drinks even dangled the carrot of sponsoring her to train to a much higher, better paid position (!! Amazing opportunity she could never afford herself!!) as he was backing her into a corner and grabbing her face. They're not so drunk that they forget themselves and make an uncomfortable mistake - they do these things deliberately.
posted by everydayanewday at 1:54 PM on November 8 [12 favorites]


Any guy who says he can't figure out this Strange New World of treating women like human beings is full of shit.

Full fucking stop.

Here's the evidence: Me. I'm an engineer. I don't understand people intuitively. Any insights I have about the emotional states of others is completely mechanical deduction. Basically, I have no natural emotional talent whatsoever.

And yet, somehow, I do my damnedest to treat women as equals. To stand up for them in meetings when Chad gets credit for suggesting what Cindy said twenty minutes ago. To notice when I find myself mansplaining, and apologize. To listen when my wife tells me how it is (even if I'm not perfect at this...hi Hon!)To treat everyone like I want to be treated. Holy shit, is it that fucking difficult to *not* be a raging hemorrhoid in shoes?

If this midwestern, urban hayseed, emotionally stunted galoot can figure it out, any guy can. Any claims to the contrary are evidence that the claimant is freebasing his own mental sludge.
posted by notsnot at 2:40 PM on November 8 [19 favorites]


Metafilter: a raging hemorrhoid in shoes
posted by BlueHorse at 5:21 PM on November 8 [4 favorites]


Surely this!
posted by Sebmojo at 5:44 PM on November 8 [1 favorite]


incompetent, or unaware, or just low on emotional intelligence, .... predatory and they know exactly how to find the most vulnerable women they can.

It's both. They're predatory because they have no idea how to engage in a fun, fulfilling way otherwise, or because they haven't learned [whatever it is one learns before one isn't predatory].


BTW, just because I'm not using angry language, don't think I'm not angry; just because I'm not calling people stupid or evil, don't assume I don't _want_ to sometimes (a lot). I'm super focused on problem solving, and my anger is why.
posted by amtho at 5:49 PM on November 8


I'm not really in the mood to be lectured by someone who was comfortable hanging out with Milo at the GOP convention, thanks.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 5:56 PM on November 8


I'm not really in the mood to be lectured by someone who was comfortable hanging out with Milo at the GOP convention, thanks.

Laurie Penny is a journalist and she was at the GOP convention working as a journalist, and I found the article she wrote about the convention to be valuable.

I don't recall her article about Milo and his alt-right entourage being favorable, so I don't get how she was "hanging out" with them as buddies.
posted by AlSweigart at 7:03 PM on November 8 [7 favorites]


That's okay, I've kinda made my mind up on this one. If you guys are feeling her, do what you want, I guess. I'm just surprised.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 7:05 PM on November 8


. If you guys are feeling her, do what you want, I guess. I'm just surprised.

To paraphrase Amy Poehler: We don't care if you're surprised. Not sure why you're commenting, frankly, if you've already "made up your mind". We're finding something in it, so there you go. There are plenty of other threads you can go to.

...

I've remembered a moment of fighting-back. It may have even been at an NYC Mefi event, when we were all out at karaoke. It was at a karaoke place, at any rate; I was part of a big group of people, with a lot of women. And we were doing the karaoke thing, you know, people getting up and taking turns at the mike.

And after a while this drunk and aggressively annoying guy started insinuating himself into our group, squeezing in to sing with the women in particular - and the younger and cuter they were, the more likely it was that he would try to share the mike with them, sidling close by and trying to edge right in close to them. It was starting to make a lot of people uneasy.

And then one of the songs I'd selected with another person - "Love Shack" - came on. We got up to sing. And about a minute in, so did the dude. My co-singer was getting uneasy.

I, however, just got pissed. Pissed enough that I started dancing as I sang on my own mike - and accidentally-on-purpose stomped right on the dude's foot. Three times. Finishing up with a super loud "TIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIN ROOF - rusted!" right in his ear.

....It worked, but what's better, it felt reeaaaaaaaaaaaaaaal good.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:19 PM on November 8 [27 favorites]


I'm not really in the mood to be lectured...

Not sure that the mood you are in is of any particular importance in this general conversation. Nor is the mood I'm in, for that matter.

It's a difficult read, isn't it, for some of us. Yes.

To be clear: it's a difficult read for some, yes, but it's well worth reading - doubly so if you find it difficult; it's a good thing it was written and I'm glad it was posted here. It's about time. This is not about my mood, nor yours, kittens for breakfast. It's about something else.

See also: the title of this post, the title of the OP.
posted by motty at 7:32 PM on November 8 [7 favorites]


Empress, it's just surprising to me that Penny is someone who apparently still has MetaFilter street cred. I was fairly shocked to find this here. But I don't really want to have a debate on her merits. MeFi's politics occasionally throw me a curve ball, is all. I feel like this is a weird person to champion, but I'll step out and let you continue making men uncomfortable.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 8:02 PM on November 8




I know nothing about her interactions with Milo, but I just read a bunch of her essays and thought they were incredibly good and true. And I don't really see what her relationship to Milo has to do with that.
posted by Coventry at 8:09 PM on November 8 [4 favorites]


I'm much more comfortable with a writer who is young and made a mistake and is wrapping her head around it and focusing on doing better than someone who appears perfect all along, because those people do not survive the long run well at all.
posted by Lyn Never at 8:20 PM on November 8 [5 favorites]


I had no idea who the writer was and I don't care all that much. Vague ad hominem whatever about the writer does nothing to detract from my appreciation for this piece.
posted by limeonaire at 8:45 PM on November 8 [7 favorites]


[The derail about one person's opinion of the author needs to stop now. Thanks.]
posted by restless_nomad at 9:05 PM on November 8 [8 favorites]


I'm continually shocked by how little men think about anything besides themselves before hitting on women. You know what I go through as a woman before hitting on another woman? Let me outline this for you:

First, is she queer? Is she the stripe of queer that actually dates other women as a serious thing? Do I know for a fact that she actually dates other women? Is she single? (If I were polyamorous, I would have a whole score of other questions about her approach to dating here, but since I'm not I don't.)

Does she like me? What kind of interaction are we having? Are we friends? Are we flirting? Does she seem to be interested?

Are we "flirting" in the way where she's happy to accept compliments but doesn't reciprocate? Because if so, there is no way I'm asking her out as that's not an adequate level of interest.

Where are we? Are we somewhere that we can talk with some level of privacy, but not so private that she feels cornered? Does she seem to want to talk to me?

Are we somewhere that it's safe to have this discussion, and maybe kiss her? Would asking her out be outing her in a way that's unsafe? (Note: I am really obvious but often date femmes, so I don't worry about outing myself.) If there are a lot of straight cis men around, the answer is no. If we are at either of our workplaces, the answer is no. If she is in the middle of something, the answer is no.

If I'm reading her wrong and I'm not interested, is this going to result in violence or ostracization? I actually have to be really careful inside my social circle because while women are heavily socialized to wrap up rejections of men and put a bow on them, I can be ostracized if I make the wrong person uncomfortable, regardless of people's statements about how much they're not homophobic. With people I don't know well, gay panic defense is also still a thing.

If she's not flirting back with me or the situation is in any way hard to read, I'll hang out, flirt, and be extremely queer in her general proximity. Maybe she'll ask me out, that's a thing that happens. Maybe the situation will change at some point so I can talk to her. Maybe she's politely avoiding me.

If I do get to the point where enough of the above factors have resolved and I ask her out, cool - at this point she is probably going to say yes. If I don't get to where I can ask her out, the world hasn't ended and I haven't gotten a reputation as a creepy asshole.

This is not that hard.
posted by bile and syntax at 9:19 PM on November 8 [36 favorites]


I like that this touches on the emotional labor stuff as well, because these things are not separate

Yeah. Because it is only women who are expected to do the work so that the men don’t have to handle negative emotion, because it might destroy them because they’re so fragile. Like, you tell me men are afraid of rejection? Well who the fuck isn’t? Yet somehow we manage to put on our big girl panties and move on through the world.
posted by corb at 9:22 PM on November 8 [13 favorites]


Men are afraid women will laugh at them. Women are afraid men will kill them.
posted by bile and syntax at 10:40 PM on November 8 [16 favorites]


My supervisor said, "you can't say anything anymore! You have to keep your eyes on the floor and your mouth shut!" I said, "just talk to any other woman the way you'd talk to your daughter."

Because presumably he manages to talk to his daughter without sexually harassing her? Men are perfectly capable of not being predators. It's a choice they make.
posted by klanawa at 9:42 AM on November 9 [11 favorites]


I said, "just talk to any other woman the way you'd talk to your daughter."

No, "just talk to any woman like you would the CEO of a company that could buy yours." A lot of men yell at their daughters for not being the right kind of pretty.
posted by ErisLordFreedom at 11:53 AM on November 9 [13 favorites]




Admirable intentions, but I strongly suspect that the people for whom its necessary will never read this or will dismiss it out of hand.

And for the large number of whom it's not necessary, holy shit does it come off as condescending. I know that's not the intent, but still. (Then again, I guess an article saying "hey, what about if we all treated everyone like mature, reasonable adults, and exclude the folks who are incapable of that?" would be pretty short.)
posted by -1 at 7:29 AM on November 10


Admirable intentions, but I strongly suspect that the people for whom its necessary will never read this or will dismiss it out of hand.

I don't think this article was written so that the Harvey Weinstein's and Louis C.K.'s of the world would have epiphanies. But, if enough people who saw people being terrible and turned away, uncomfortable that they saw this terrible thing and didn't know how to react so they'll just forget it because it's not their business anyway really, read this, and more essays and books and stories like this, then maybe, one day, they will stop the terrible person about to grope some girl, or rape a maid, or spike a drink. They might call their rape apologist friends out at the water cooler, they may call themselves out at the water cooler. I think trying to hasten that day is pretty admirable.

And for the large number of whom it's not necessary, holy shit does it come off as condescending.

I don't know, I didn't feel that way and I don't really have an issue treating women like women. I'd wonder if there was maybe some defensiveness coloring someone's feelings, if their main takeaway was that it was condescending.
posted by motioncityshakespeare at 11:04 AM on November 10 [5 favorites]


I don't know, I didn't feel that way and I don't really have an issue treating women like women. I'd wonder if there was maybe some defensiveness coloring someone's feelings, if their main takeaway was that it was condescending.
I don't have an issue with it either, which is why I found the tone to come off that way.

Case in point:
You’ve just arrived in this strange new country where women are human beings whose lives and feelings matter and while you find your way around, yes, it’s useful to memorise a few key phrases. May I kiss you? Ok, that’s fine. Do you like this? Do you want me? Here’s what I want; what do you want? You can sound out the shapes of these sentences, but teaching you is a lot of effort, and frankly in the long run it’d be much less work for everyone involved if you’d just learn the language yourselves.
IMHO language like that only works when delivered to the Weinsteins et al. of the world... but they're not really the ones who are going to read it. Instead it's, well... sort of people who read Metafilter, which I'm going to guess are not the sort of people to engage in harassment. No shit women are equal human beings. What functional adult doesn't understand that?

I guess my issue with the article is this: what purpose does it serve? Cathartic venting, perhaps, but the people to whom the message is seemingly directed will likely never read it.

I'd be a lot more receptive to the article if it said what you did: if it called on people to condemn those around them that engage in harassment and worse. But instead, it's filled with an address to a hypothetical man apparently unable to grasp even the simplest aspects of human interaction, with every third passage or so talking down to him.
posted by -1 at 1:20 PM on November 10


Instead it's, well... sort of people who read Metafilter, which I'm going to guess are not the sort of people to engage in harassment.

Hmm, what about the woke misogynist?
posted by FJT at 4:12 PM on November 10 [2 favorites]


No shit women are equal human beings. What functional adult doesn't understand that?

It's not only adults who hear about this stuff or even read these articles, but also a lot of adults are only now being exposed to consent culture for the first time, and many of them are kneejerking at first until it sinks in (in fact, it's a super common alt-right sneer about snowflakes and consent) which requires repetition. I am 100% for pumping as much consent discussion into the atmosphere as humanly possible, if it reduces the oxygen supply for the voices of terrible people.

I know so many friends who've had to put the "we don't make the children kiss anybody, grandma" smack down, gotten in a fight over it, and then heard their mom talking the talk two months later because they've had a chance to really think about why we don't make the children have physical intimacy with people against their will. And folks' moms read magazine articles, so it seems like a perfectly good place to be reinforcing the concept.

But also tons of men (who have jobs and shit, and so are theoretically functional) are out there insisting this concept is wrong and bad, so it's not hypothetical men, and these men have children and coworkers and partners and friends (apparently) who maybe do need to hear an alternate viewpoint.
posted by Lyn Never at 1:46 PM on November 11 [10 favorites]


No shit women are equal human beings. What functional adult doesn't understand that?

It's easy for men to say that they treat women as equal human beings, and easy for men to believe that they treat women as equal human beings - and they say it a lot. But somehow, the world isn't full of men who treat women as equal human beings. Rather the opposite.

Prejudice is deeper than what you "understand" consciously. Here's something that I wrote in another comment:
I think it takes a lot more self-awareness and personal work for men to apply feminism to their own life, than to what they believe in the abstract. Because applying it in their own lives is hard and often means giving something up, whether it's sex, leisure time, status - or most importantly, power.
I'll add to that, it is an uncomfortable process--much harder than just believing that you're a "good" man, that you're a "functional adult", that you have it right. Actually challenging your internal prejudices takes a lot of work because you've been stepped in the stuff that made them since birth; it's the water you swim in. You might never finish this work. But if you aren't constantly checking yourself? Odds are you're part of the problem.

I don't accept men saying that they're not sexist any more than I accept white women saying that they're not racist. It's a huge fucking alarm bell for me, because it says, "I don't believe I have to do that work."
posted by Kutsuwamushi at 6:46 AM on November 12 [13 favorites]


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