I have been involved in an interesting ‘conversation’ with my old pal feminism lately. The reason it started up again, is that I was trying to keep out of her way, but still finding places where I could discuss gender issues. But this got very difficult and I was told to go away from those places. I started to realise that me and my views on gender were unacceptable wherever I went. And not even just my views on ‘gender’ as in feminist theory. When I discussed topical subjects we have all been bothered about, such as the Giffords shootings or the Assange case, with what I thought were like-minded people, or at least not unlike minded people online, I was told I was a ‘contrarian’ or a ‘troll’.
And so I thought I’d test it out again and discover if really, I am actually not allowed to be who I am and to hold the opinions I do, or to argue with anyone, especially not feminism. At all. This is a response I got from a feminist who should be more tolerant of me, seeing as we are both ‘sex positive’ ‘kink friendly’ and interested in ‘masculinities’. What do you think I should do or say to this person and her feminism?
I’m going to try this one more time.
I am trying to explain to you why I take you as rude, why many feminists take you as rude, and why even non-feminist commenters on my blog have taken you as rude. I am trying to explain this because I believe your perspective is valuable and I think you are alienating people from your perspective by being rude, aggressive, and insisting on dominating or derailing conversations where you have no social capital. I am trying to explain this because I want you here, participating, in a way that doesn’t make the conversation more difficult and more polarized. If I didn’t want you here, then I would just ignore you, the way I ignore the occasional trolls who come around.
This is the most effort I have ever put into trying to explain to a commenter why I thought they were being an asshole. I’ve called out other commenters on my blog before, as well, and they all seemed to take it in a spirit of trying to further discourse and improve the conversation, without forcing me to comment over and over on the same topic and derail the conversation merely to focus on their behavior.
I am asking you to tone down your comments: to state them less aggressively, to be more complex in your approach, to provide more backup for your points, and to be nice about feminism even if you disagree with it. If you aren’t willing to do that, please leave.
And yes, that goes for other anti-feminist commenters too.