QotD: “Women of today are still being called upon to stretch across the gap of male ignorance and to educate men as to our existence and our needs”

Women of today are still being called upon to stretch across the gap of male ignorance and to educate men as to our existence and our needs. This is an old and primary tool of all oppressors to keep the oppressed occupied with the master’s concerns.

Audre Lorde, Sister Outsider

(Found at the Bewilderness)

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10 responses

  1. Hi, I’m wondering where you, Antiplondon, would personally draw the line on this issue? I’m exploring lots of new feminist concepts lately, and while I recognise that many men are essentially sociopaths/psychopaths who will never listen and will use this tool against feminists, there are also people who are simply ignorant and intellectually lazy and require some prodding and information-leaving in order to gradually realise that they are in the wrong and need to change their behaviour (I’ve seen this dynamic with my own family when it came to rejecting an abusive religion and choosing to harm fewer animals by eating less meat – I had to lead the way for many years, but they gradually became educated by exposure to me and followed).

    How much, if any, education/encouragement would you find acceptable, provided it was for the benefit of someone who you felt sure had real potential for moral growth? I suppose the dynamics would be different for individuals vs. groups (one-to-one education vs. groups trying to teach other groups).

  2. It’s not down to me to approve your own individual activism, you are free to make your own choices about how you use your own resources (and you more or less answer your own question in the last paragraph).

  3. If I had been able to answer my own question, I wouldn’t have been asking a question in the first place. If you don’t have time or interest in discussing your own how-tos, that is all you have to say, though I will say that I am very disappointed that this website is not a place I can come to talk to someone with more experience than myself. I was not asking for approval.

  4. Wow, what a nasty response, especially when I was merely telling you that, from what you had written, you clearly had a good idea of what you were doing already!

    This particular blog post isn’t a “how-to”, it’s a quote from Audre Lorde; and you asked where I personally drew a line, and I gave you an honest answer, in that I don’t draw a line.

    if you want specific, practical, advice, then please ask a more specific question, you asked what I found ‘acceptable’, that is an abstract question.

  5. Since when is this blog a place to discuss things? It’s a quote blog. Its purpose is to quote wisdom from other people or relevant news items. Not to Q&A…

    All privilege is invisible to those who possess it. As such, pointing it out to them is just a pointless endeavor… I think you have to come to that realization yourself, if you ever do. I could be wrong, but I haven’t read any conversion story yet that showed that you could “make” someone a feminist.

  6. I have no problem with people asking me questions or asking for advice.

    I assumed ‘A Reader’ was merely feeling uncertain, and needed a little moral support. I don’t know what they were actually expecting me to say, if you spend more than 35 minutes talking to a man, that is unacceptable to me, and this is the line I have drawn!

    I mean really! If people want specific practical advice, they have to ask a specific, practical question.

    And Francois, I’m disappointed that you are overlooking the 172 posts (as of writing) in the ‘Comments/essays/analysis’ category; sure, not every one of those is an essay, but I like to think I impart some wisdom of my own too!

    As to your last point, I’ve seen lots of women on tumblr (NYG and AIA spring immediately to mind) who started out as libfems but developed into radical feminists, but they did that work for themselves, they didn’t have anyone ‘educate’ them into it.

  7. There was nothing “nasty” in my response, except in your mind. I will go elsewhere to speak to better educated feminists than myself, as this is evidently not a place to do so.

  8. I have very clearly said that I am happy to answer questions or give advice. You asked a vague question, then got sniffy when you didn’t get the exact answer you wanted.

    Now, instead of actually asking a proper question, you leave such a petty comment that I wonder how genuine you were in the first place.

  9. Once again, my question was 100% genuine, but I have now lost interest in trying to engage with you due to your insistence on viewing me as “sniffy”. You come across as very defensive and it’s not really conducive to conversation. Good bye.

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