Feb 26, 2012

Feminism - where I admit to being indecisive?

I have almost finished listening to the latest episode of Galactic Suburbia, a great podcast that manages to raise a feminist viewpoint unthreateningly.  Indeed I have to wonder if the idea of militant, man hating feminism is a result of severe poisoning of the well by threatened conservatives with vested interests. In much the same way that atheists get called militant(when generally they are being vocal).

fcosIn that podcast the women of Galactic Suburbia applauded the stance that Paul Cornell took and pointed out that it had problems.

However, and I think it was Alisa (paraphrasing here you should really go and you know LISTEN to HER) who still voiced some sadness/annoyance that it was a man who had said what women had been talking about for YEARS. 

Why is it that he gets listened to?

unclesamAnd that got me thinking.  Why is it that a man gets listened to (preferentially so) by men AND women?  Is it culture? Is it in someway biological? A complex interplay of both? 

I seem to remember a skills coach teaching other women how to talk like a man, not just words but inflection. If I recall correctly, men generally make statements, women often have an upward inflection that makes even statements sound like a question - thereby suggesting uncertainty.

I dug around for some studies, but haven’t stumbled across anything yet.

I did, however, come across a post on whether men can call themselves feminists or allies.  On the one hand I feel that If I call myself a feminist its appropriation, that by talking about feminist or gender issues I am perpetuating the problem (I am a man and you will listen to me, while I tell you all about feminism) on the other hand I don’t want to shrink from that label because it might be seen to be a dirty word,  In much the same way that I don’t want to shrink from calling myself an atheist. 

Allies just doesn’t seem to be committed enough.

On the other hand I wonder if there is utility in me speaking on Feminism if my audience is male.  Is it better for me to act as a gateway to feminist understanding, for men or people who have their women filters on? 

I don’t know if this last point holds though, as it was me listening to the women of Galactic Suburbia, that lit the flame so to speak, I didn’t need no man telling me about Feminism

I note also that male writers who write about feminist issues tend to have less threats of sexual violence levelled against them, less hand waving of their “silly disturbed hysterical thoughts” is this because the idiots who sprout misogynist crap actually are forced to listen to/read the arguments?

So here I sit. Ever so slightly undecided.  Do I explain gender bias, and attack misogyny where I see it?

Do I fall in to my familiar role of teacher?  Or should I just act as a signpost gently pushing people in the general direction of good feminist resources?

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