‘Feminism is not a stick to beat men with’ — because it isn’t a stick

A MAN SAID
I saw someone post a thing, “Feminism is not a stick for women to beat other women with.”

I super like and agree.

I also wanted to comment but decided to post my own thing, so I’m not just appropriating someone’s message to women. Feminism is also not a stick to beat men with. Laughing at and demeaning (individual) men in the name of feminism is not feminism. Don’t get me wrong, I do it all the time, but it’s not feminism, it’s just mean.

To your first point: sure. To the second: Maybe? But patriarchy is a gigantic club that beats people up even when left to fall with its own weight, and in most contexts, feminism is more like a ruler.

If I get my knuckles rapped, usually it’s because I deserve for it for saying something stupid or doing a poor job of communicating, but even if I don’t, at worst I get sore fingers for a minute or two, and that ain’t actually that harmful.

Fair, good point, but if we’re training slobbering man-puppies (me sometimes) to act like decent human beings, positive reinforcement is better than “degrading and laughing at people” which was worded intentionally as such, because that serves mostly to confirm their fears that feminism is a platform of “misandry” (me never).

If you have one side jeering at you for making a mistake and another saying, “don’t listen to them, they just hate men,” then if you’re actually on the fence, you’re going to go with the dumb men. But that’s not really “what is feminism” at this point, just politics.

Sure, some people suck, feminists are people, therefore some feminists suck.

And the discussion of ‘What’s the most effective way to communicate ____’ as a matter of policy is separate from what I think you’re talking about here.

So ultimately it seems like it comes down to the same stuff you deal with when working against homophobia, racism, etc. — there’s always a desire to find a reason to go back to floating with the current instead of actively working against it, because that’s exhausting and uncomfortable if you can avoid it.

I am capable of absorbing against abuse aimed at me in other areas, including completely inconsequential nerd shit. Why not the occasional angry person in a discussion on feminism?

I’ll happily say “slobbering man-puppies” but don’t tell me it’s politically correct to do so.

That undermines the invalidation of “not all men” because you’re saying it’s politicallly correct to attack men just because you’re angry.

Don’t get me wrong: I think punching Nazis is cool, but it’s not because I’m angry.

My argument may be very narrow here, but if, for example, someone says, ‘White people shouldn’t have the right to vote’, I can simultaneously question the effectiveness of that as rhetoric while also not thinking it’s useful of me to be the one to try to point that out.

Because ultimately, I’m not threatened by a possible future where my class of people can’t vote. If I lived in Zimbabwe, that might be different, but in terms of feminism, I can’t think of any place where I’d be prevented from getting a job or subjugated because enough people literally, sincerely thought I was a slobbering many-puppy.

I don’t know if that makes sense, but I’m basing this approach in part on the circumstances that people are communicating within.

That makes sense, but only because it was communicated in a very clear way*. Saying “that’s not correct, because you will never be discriminated against for this that and the other thing” is very different to me than “ur dumb stop mansplaining lol”

*While I didn’t say so in the discussion, the fact that I can explain an idea in a way that feels authoritative and non-threatening is another example of the way things are set up to benefit dudes like us without me needing to do any extra work.

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