This Should Be Our Manifesto.
"Let us name the problem for what it is, without insisting that we acknowledge you."
It is one of the most insulting and patronising things, for me, as a feminist, when I try and tell men about the kind of atrocities committed by men on a daily basis, and they respond "But we're not all like that".
I know. Otherwise I wouldn't be talking to you - I'd be out there with a gun destroying every Y chromosome on the face of the planet. If I didn't genuinely believe that there were good men out there, that men are not irredeemable scum one and all, then honest to God I would be trying to rid the world of them, not convince them to stand up with me and help me do something about the ones who give all the others a bad name.
Don't blame me for bringing the problem elements of your gender to your attention - blame those members of your gender who have made the problem in the first place.
I can get it that you might be feeling a bit insecure - you have, after all, just had a large, intelligent feminist vehemently and accurately degrading a large portion of your gender in front of you for five minutes - but please don't try and dismiss the problem because you aren't part of it. By doing so, you make yourself part of it.
Please realise that I'm not stupid. I'm not lumping you in with the problem elements. If I was, like I said, my reaction would be different. I'm asking you to help me, to get angry with me. I'm not yelling at you. I'm inviting you to yell with me.
Remember: ALL IT TAKES FOR EVIL TO TRIUMPH IS FOR GOOD MEN TO DO NOTHING.
And here's another collection of things that are bugging me at the minute:
Man shoots women at gym because he couldn't get a girlfriend
Article showing how our misogynist culture implicitly condones him
Two Articles about "pick-up artists" and the kind of culture that believes
a) women are stupid and can be tricked into having sex with you, if you know the right moves, and
b) it's ok to "blame all of womankind for viewing our bodies and lives as for ourselves, instead of for the pleasure of men."
One wonderful comment on the first article says:
"Having sex with ANYONE is not my, nor any other person’s, “price” for staying alive, for being female, for being attractive, for going to the gym, for wearing “slutty” clothing and/or high heels, for ANYTHING. Furthermore, I am not a sex worker, but if I were, I would have the right of any businessperson to refuse service (in compliance with applicable nondiscrimination laws, etc.)
Seriously, do we have to print up T-shirts with the above statement? I hear NoSweat’s got a sale going on."
Moving from that to discussions of "the game" and PUAs in general; specifically the idea of "the neg" (criticizing a woman you're interested in, in order to get her to sleep with you; sounds counter intuitive, I know)
One person on there (also called Alex, sadly) mentions that:
"isn't the idea that the "neg" is some sort of device that exploits natural female vulnerability kind of sexist in itself? That most women are so insecure and dependent on the opinions of strangers that a passing mild insult from a stranger in a bar is enough to drive them into said strangers bed?"
Well, yes it is. But the problem isn't that it's a woman's "natural female vulnerability" which is being exploited - it isn't natural at all. It's the product of a culture which is based on "negging"
women, making them feel incomplete without a man, and suggests that their self-worth should be based on their ability to attract the opposite sex.
And talking of Alexes (kind of)
A beautiful comment on the first neg-article by another "Alessandra"
"Degrading a woman and breaking down her confidence is an easy way to gain power and influence over her. This has been done for centuries, albeit with a bit more rape and violence. Old habits never die.
If the object of the “Dating Game” is to screw as many women as possible, then yes, his technique works well. If it’s a matter of “conquering” women, like you do enemies or rogue countries, then anything you can do to break them is a win.People who think with anything other than their genitals find other things to hope for"
A beautiful, if short, article, spoiled by the last two lines. And something that I promise to talk about later. The interaction of religion and feminism is something that's been building up for me as a while, and I think it's going to all come out soon.
And Finally, a little gallows-humour light relief.