I have been thinking about some of the things said about the topic of gender equality issues, specifically about I have heard in exchange to my posts.
1) “I am not trying to be an activist.” etc. – First, the expectation of privacy on the Internet is not realistic. The Internet is incredibly public. Anything you put out there for public consumption, intended or not, becomes an influence on one level or another.
2) “It’s not my job to educate all males” etc. – Who job is it? If it has been up to the males and things haven’t changed enough to desirable levels, might it be time to consider other influences? The most influential way is through children. Raise them to be respectful and the problem takes care of itself. The change won’t be overnight, but then again sexism didn’t happen overnight either. Education and raising awareness is what will make a difference towards that change. What’s the point if it is not?
3) “You’re not listening to what I am saying.” Communication is more than just exchanging words. It is sharing ideas that have meaning. Meaning can be conveyed with verbal tone and inflection, along with how and what is said around the idea. Some words can be emotionally loaded, yet with sometimes different meanings. Like sharing the same language to help understanding, defining words different can interfere. Finally, while not using specific word like ‘hate’; one can still get the implication. You might believe you are being clear, but obviously there can be other obstacles.
4) Us. vs. them – I would think that identifying these groups, plus using the word radical (like in radfem) would be a big indication that things aren’t being presented without a specific agenda here. Presenting yourself as an extremist is probably one of the first ways to have people automatically write you off. You can be an agent of change without having to identify yourself with the terrorist line of thought. The whole point of working towards change should imply that some negotiation is possible to work together towards a solution. How likely is that with a radical?
5) Googlebombing is not the answer – In response to those men who want to look up porn, some self-identified feminists are using adult words on their site that link to pro-women sites. So, when these men do a search for porn; the stuff that makes it to the top of the search engine lists are mislabeled feminist links. If these feminists are seeking to change men, how likely are these men to take their sites seriously then. Tricking someone to see your sites isn’t going to help sway thoughts. It just reinforces the separation. How counterproductive is that? Why complain in the first place if you are part of the problem?
6) Separating the issue from the people – It is possible to be a feminist but not identify with radical thought. Questioning some actions or refusing to share in the extremism doesn’t make you a betrayer to the cause. You don’t automatically become a member of the other side by evaluating your own arguments. You just have to be careful with how you sort it.