Monday, 5 November 2012
Why giving "equal time" isn't equal at all:
Recently I read this article: http://www.examiner.com/article/with-feminists-like-these-the-equal-rights-movement-needs-no-enemies The author doesn't seem to understand why there is an issue with their whole "men should have a say as well" in the first part of the article, so I'm going to explain why it's extremely problematic.
"men should be able to openly defend a woman's right to an abortion, without being given backlash by those they're defending."
This is assuming that the man is actually defending it and not talking over women or presuming to tell women about their rights in a condescending fashion, which is what many men and privileged people in general do mistake for advocacy. There's nothing like having someone argue with you that they know your oppression better than you do and they're not even part of your group, especially when they're getting shit wrong.
It is also assuming that they're not saying something bloody offensive and ignorant like "I'm all for women having the right to choose, but abortion shouldn't be used as birth control!". That will get you backlash.
The right to have an opinion is not the right to have it taken seriously.
"Furthermore, I stated that reproductive rights in general, not specifically abortion, are human rights according to the World Health Organization, meaning everyone being able to decide when and if they had children."
Problem: If a woman is pregnant, then it would be a violation of her rights to force her to have an abortion/carry to term against her will. That is just one reason why male bodied people are not going to be able to decide when and where to have kids if they accidentally get a female bodied person pregnant despite using protection. Biology is against you on this one if you have a penis, so either develop artificial wombs or build a sex bot.
"I was saying in a movement that seeks equality, the supporters of that movements should give men equal respect when speaking on abortion, because it sets a good precedent for the movement."
Problem: Demanding respect is a privileged fucking move, especially since men do not necessarily support us. Cis-men can have an opinion and have it respected when and only when it is their body that a fetus occupys. Unsurprisingly the author is a cis-man, and he clearly hasn't examined his privilege.
"However, while I took away a different viewpoint from some of the criticism, some criticism I received was aggressive, condescending, or just outright personal attacks, where all I took away was a sick feeling in my stomach."
Translation: Women were mean to me.
To be blunt, much of the time when women are "aggressive" "condescending" or outright "attack" a guy, either the guy is twisting what's said negatively because he's butthurt, or the guy has just shoved his foot so far down his throat that he can scratch his arse with his toes.
This is a tone argument, we should not have to be 'nice' for you to listen. Especially given the amount of provocation would be feminist men often blunder around dispensing, and which is seem clear this author dispensed.
" I was told I didn't understand feminism, that I was sexist, and that my right as a human to have an opinion on abortion should not be respected. I felt as if I was being compared to Rush Limbaugh, Todd Akin, or Ann Coulter of social issue writing, which is as far from the truth as you can get."
Maybe because you don't understand and because you are? Hence why you're trying to lecture women on how to do feminism "right" aka "don't be mean to me!11!!!" That is the action of someone who is ignorant and sexist.
Having your opinion "respected" is not a human right, it's not in any human rights act. You don't have a right to respect within feminist spaces, trying to demand it is seriously privileged. You get the "respect" everywhere else simply for being a man. Learn to let someone else speak for a change.
If you want to be equal in women's safe spaces in order to be an ally? You suck at allyhood. They're women's safe spaces for a reason, women's voices are more important within them. Unless you're a trans/cis woman or a female bodied person, your voice needs to be modulated. Women's safe spaces are about women, they are our place to have our say.
"But I soon began to understand that these feminists were very different from the feminist friends and teachers I knew and loved."
Cos we don't see enough "I know a feminist so I can't be sexist/condescending/offensive" arguments.
"They do not paint a representative picture of today's feminists. In this article, I'm going to reveal a little bit more about these feminist's ideology, discuss some of the things they said and criticize some of their ideas, in the hope that tomorrow's potential allies understand these feminists are different then today's majority,"
See Jay Todd, See Jay Todd Mansplain about how he a man gets to pick and choose who is a feminist and who is doing it right. See Jay Todd speak over women's voices to assert his opinion on women without realising how incredibly sexist it is to do that.
He has a point about the trans-a-phobia in feminist groups that he later criticises, but at the same time, wow, did this guy take a big smelly shit and demand a cookie for it in his first part. That said personally I'm not sure a trans-woman should be accorded any more respect for their opinion on abortion than a cis-man, a trans-woman will never risk pregnancy or their life via pregnancy, it's a non issue for them, just like it is for cis-men. Nobody is going to force a trans-woman to carry a baby to term after all. Unless you are capable of getting pregnant, well you aren't the ones whose voices should be prioritised.
"I can still say this: all these particular feminists have done is form an extremist separatist group where, rather than trying to further a discussion of fighting institutionalized sexism, all they have succeeded in doing is antagonized possible allies, such as Peter Jenkins, me, and others"
Why hello thar tone argument.
Transaphobia in feminist groups sucks, but "you're alienating men" sucks as an argument as well.
" in the feminism I knew, based on the advocacy or women on the basis of equal rights, I would have been allowed to speak on the issue of abortion, or any other issue, and be given creative criticism without being personally attacked; in their form of feminism, I was not allowed that respect, strictly because I was a man."
The problem Jay is you're speaking OVER women, you're demanding your voice be respected, be privileged, you're not checking your privilege and you're ignoring the central fact. You will never be pregnant. You will never face reproductive coercion that risks your life, you will never be forced to give birth. You having an opinion about abortion, something you will never need personally, makes about as much sense as cis-women having an opinion about testicular cancer and how it should be treated, then demanding men respect their opinion no matter how offensive or wrong they are about it.
"And this seemed, for lack of a better term … sexist."
Women can't be sexist, you need power to be *ist, has nobody explained this to you? They can be prejudiced, but telling you that you can't demand your opinion on a matter that doesn't affect you be respected and considered equal to the opinions of the people who the matter directly affects is not prejudice, it's merely pointing out that you need to check your privilege.
You can point out transaphobia in feminist circles without being privileged about it, Jay Todd however apparently was throwing his privilege around from word one. This is why cis-men cannot have "equality" in women's spaces, they pull this fucking shit.