Made of Win

That’s what this post from Melissa McEwan is.

Because every man in my life who I love and who has professed to love me has at least once and mostly on multiple occasions said something, or stood by while somebody else said something, that left me with this choice:

“Swallow shit, or ruin the entire afternoon?”

She points out that sometimes that shit is as simple as “well, you’re not like those other women who…” and expecting me to feel complimented. Because I’m supposed to feel it’s not personal that the default view is that All Other Women are that Trivial/Weak/Vain/Manipulative/Irrational/[Insert Slur Here], dontcha know.

Another basic is making it clear with every fibre of their body language that they expect me to not embarrass them by failing to be a “good sport” about sexist BS being said by one of their mates or colleagues. Then the classic – apologising to other men when I do “make a scene” after they just stood by instead of confronting those men about their behaviour. Because their social status with other men is more important than the dignity of the women they profess to love.

Being expected to swallow shit about womanhood in a social situation is just the norm, and any woman who lets swallowing shit obviously affect her, let alone vocalise objections to swallowing shit, is ruining everyone else’s fun. Funny how expecting women to swallow shit is never seen as ruining women‘s fun. No, it’s “just a little thing” that we “need to get over” so that life can be comfortable again (for them). We need to stop being so angry.

Yet most women who are angry about swallowing shit still love some men. Because many other things about some men are intensely lovable. Because some men, the good ones, actively avoid serving up shit most of the time. But I don’t know a single man I’ve been close to that’s never served up some sexist shit that I was expected to swallow. So loving some men doesn’t mean that I feel I can fully trust them.

If you’re a man who’s ever wondered why a woman in your life seems hesitant to share some thoughts and experiences with you? This is why. (For all of us: yes, it’s the same for the POC and disabled and LGBTQI people in our lives as well). Why act so offended that there is mistrust? Why shouldn’t the person expected to swallow shit regularly have mistrust for the person carrying around a plentiful supply of shit?

Read the whole thing, and pass it on.

H/T to @hellonhairylegs on Twitter

Elsewhere: BitchPhD

Categories: gender & feminism


8 replies

  1. Lots of great comments in the discussion there, but this one from LSG sums up a lot of my own reaction:

    I’m delurking to add my thanks — not just for expressing how I, as a woman, feel about men, but for articulating how I, as a white, het, cis, temporarily able, thin, raised Christian, well-educated, extremely privileged woman, affect many of the people around me. I know I have to work to be trusted, I know it to my toes, but it’s extremely easy to slip into complacency and think that being somewhat self-reflective inoculates me against prejudice, oppression and cruelty. It’s easy to let the ‘whine’ slip into my thoughts — “but I’m trying…” Every sentence you wrote was a painful little jolt of recognition, from the perspective of oppression and the perspective of privilege. Thank you.

  2. There is the perplexity at my fury that my life experience is not considered more relevant than the opinionated pronouncements of men who make a pastime of informal observation, like womanhood is an exotic locale which provides magnificent fodder for the amateur ethnographer. And there is the haughty dismissal of my assertion that being on the outside looking in doesn’t make one more objective; it merely provides a different perspective.
    Coupled with the common meme that experience sharpens the perceptions of men, but only clouds those of women.

  3. I feel that way about disability all the fucking time and it’s part of why I don’t interact much anymore with the Greater Feminist Blogosphere.
    Which I don’t say to take away from the point, but to add to it, I hope.

  4. Oh shoot, Tigtog, it looks like the last code push took out the bit where you can subscribe to a thread without commenting.

  5. Anna: I was thinking exactly the same thing about disability, both with the post, and with the quoted LSG comment.
    I agree that it can be handy to be able to have an email subscription to individual threads without commenting. In the meantime, if it is of any use to you, you can get a feed for all comments or for individual comment threads. The individual comment feed for this thread is here:
    You can find it for each thread by clicking the blue RSS symbol or box at the right of the URL bar, if you’re using Firefox or Safari (I can’t speak for other browsers) – the feed options will pop up there.

  6. Hi Anna,

    looks like the last code push took out the bit where you can subscribe to a thread without commenting

    That plugin hasn’t managed to make that feature upgrade properly with the latest version of WordPress, it appears. It’s on my to-do list, but I’m waiting for a reply from a support forum.
    But yes, in the meantime the comments feed for any post shows up in the URL bar of some browsers as Lauredhel notes, and for anyone else you should be able to subscribe manually with your feedreader just by using the post’s URL with a trailing slash and then add “feed/”.

  7. I feel that way about disability all the fucking time and it’s part of why I don’t interact much anymore with the Greater Feminist Blogosphere.
    I do too when it comes to mental health issues.


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