Sunday, August 16, 2009

Mistrust and its causes

No doubt something else you read has already link to this post by Melissa at Shakesville. It's beautifully written piece on her experience of misogyny and her reaction to it, and if you read the comments, you'll see it echoes that of 43 bazillion other people too. Like Chally's post, it doesn't resonate with me. Unlike Chally's post, I have absolutely no insight as to why. Maybe my label phobia extends to "woman". I certainly tend to call myself a female, not a woman, but maybe that doesn't mean much. I really, really don't know.

So I'm not arguing with this post, not in the slightest. The only reservation I have with getting the men in my life to read it, is that I don't feel the emotion in it. On the other hand, there are some *ist remarks that people around me use that I'd prefer they didn't, and it might help them understand why they shouldn't.

My take-home message to men if they read that: you don't have to be misogynist to say misogynist stuff. If someone tells you what you just said is sexist, it is the thing that you said that is sexist, and not you. Of course, if once this is pointed out you refuse to acknowledge it or even consider changing your habits, then it might be you too.

I want to add more about how sad reading that post made me feel. Sad that women feel all that pain, sad that the socialisation I am trying so hard to combat will make my sons the target of that mistrust, sad that I don't feel I can do a damn thing about it. But it's all too incoherent and I don't want it to come out wrong, so it had best stay where it is for now.

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