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#426111 - 02/22/13 10:33 AM Dealing with feminists and female survivers
dark empathy Offline

Registered: 11/26/07
Posts: 2687
Loc: durham, north england
This is something i'd just like to mention since I didn't feel I handled it as I could've done.

last night in the bar after rehearsal, after one bloke had a couple of comedic sexist remarks about men being lead by their you know whats, I couldn't help myself saying "not all men" and mentioning that I'd much rather be female.

one girl got extremely angry about this and started on the hole feminist kick, the 30 percent less pay. she then got into s/xual harrassment talk and mentioned that lovely "%70 of all men would rape a woman if they could" to which i responded with the one in six, though she didn't feel this was important and basically just constantly ranted about women culmninating in admitting angrily that she'd been raped and how men should be sensured. i responded to this by mentioning the "research" I'd done on male sa and how a man could be austrosized from soceity, ridiculed and seen as a monster for admitting his experience, but she really didn't take this and just got angrier. it was on the tip of my tongue to start in on misery poker, but I wasn't prepared to do that,, not in a public setting like that so I just said "I think we should change the subject" said girl didn't take this and started on a wrant when I next continued somewhat more forcefully with "I think we should change the subject before I say something I'd regret!"

My tone was extremely quiet, but very cold, and I'm pretty sure the two other guys picked up that I at least had history of this and the "research" wasn't exactly cold.

One guy, with infinite presance of mind then started straight in with how much he hated the twilight films, and I then employed my social skills and started making jokes about comparing vampires to mosquitos.

My problemis I don't think i handled this correctly. I didn't show sympathy to said girl, because she basically belittled me inspite of her admition, indeed part of me seeing her there looking pretty with her boyfriend and admitting in the bar wanted to say "well even if you were! raped it's not exactly had much affecft on you has it" which I know would've been wrong. part of me also wanted to use my own victim status as a club to beat this angry girl into submission, but I know that would've been wrong as well, yet I'm not convinced my cover up was particularly good either, since if I! had heard someone speaking as I did and sensed the emotions I'm pretty sure I was projecting it would've been as good as an admition, but then again i know that perhaps I am more sensative to such things.

I'm fairly sure people will forget, as usual, but how do I deal with this in future?

Anger is hard enough to deal with, especially justified anger, but how do I cope with anger about! my abuse and such situations? yes, I'd like to stand up and just say "I was gang raped and s/xually humiliated by girls when i was a teenager" but I know what that would do to others I was with at the time, ---- particularly the girl I happen to have fallen in love with who, while not a part of that conversation was at least in the same room.

Any advice in case this happens again? how might I have handled it differently? I do you squre reasonable disclosure, honesty, and anger?

#426113 - 02/22/13 11:59 AM Re: Dealing with feminists and female survivers [Re: dark empathy]
SoccerStar Offline

Registered: 10/15/12
Posts: 929
This was a very difficult situation, and while there were better ways you could have handled it at least you didn't go down "the dark side."

It's very hard to feel empathy with someone who is being aggressive and bitter, as she was. Her remarks seem half-memorized to me, an overlearned speech on victimology that she's had to develop against thoughtless sexism and get-over-it-ism. You were only barely relevant to the conversation at some points; it was a highlight reel of her vs the world, at least as she perceived it. And if she is a survivor, I'm inclined to cut her a little slack. If you'd actually said "-and it didn't have much effect on you!" either the girl or her boyfriend likely would have punched you, and kinda understandably so. Very good that you didn't go there.

It's also very hard to be calm and confident enough as a bullshit-tosser to be able to placate people like that without sacrificing your own opinions - to make some conciliatory comment about "oh, you're right about that, there's no doubt everybody has problems," which makes you look like you're saying she's right even as you're not admitting you're wrong (because you aren't).

You did very much the right thing by bringing up the stats about male abuse, and very much the right thing by then not playing victim poker, and also probably did make your story implicitly understood to the guys there.

I'd extremely strongly recommend against ever suddenly and in anger bringing up the "raped by women" concept in a mixed crowd in public, especially when there is at least one already angry and verbally aggressive woman present. They would not understand under those circumstances and would quite likely minimize it or accuse you of making it up. It is "safer" to point to sexual violence against males - period, end clause - as a reason why a y-chromosome doesn't automatically land you on third base at birth. If your respondent seriously doesn't get it, doesn't back down, is minimizing, crosses the line into mockery - then it MIGHT be appropriate to say that you are a survivor too - period, end sentence. It's more a concept people can understand quickly, and it puts you at far less risk of angry minimization (or a potentially supportive male drunkenly saying he finds the idea hot, NUDGE-NUDGE AMIRITE MATE LOLOLOL HERP DERP).

A potentially HIGHLY disarming maneuver would have been if as soon as she'd said she was raped, you very calmly said "So was I," raised your glass to her, then continued the conversation. This, again, is very very hard to do in realtime and is more one of those things people angrily fixate on as they remember ugly arguments afterwards. But if you're going to be around this crowd again... who knows?

Basically, anytime you suggest in mixed company that such-and-such group has it better off, you ARE setting yourself up for getting yelled at by someone who fits and has had a shitty life full of invalidated pain - at least as far as they believe. So in the future... probably best to contradict / counter-example bad statements about your own group (in this case men) rather than suggesting some other group has it better.


My story

"Don't think it hasn't been a little slice of Heaven just because it hasn't!" --Bugs Bunny

#426117 - 02/22/13 02:06 PM Re: Dealing with feminists and female survivers [Re: dark empathy]
dark empathy Offline

Registered: 11/26/07
Posts: 2687
Loc: durham, north england
Hi mat.

Thanks for this. I must admit I should've really realized that she was neither personally attacking me nor making a serious effort at interlectual arguement should've occurred to me, indeed one reason I'm so bothered about this is that I've studdied philosophy for ten years and in all other areas not! connected to my abuse can separate interlectual disagreement on issues of ethics, even when as in cases such as disability those issues pertain directly to me. Something about gender politics and ultra sexism has always got to me, ---- maybe because it was involved to a smaller extent in my abuse with said girls getting me! into trouble and making me feel shame and guilt over my reactions because of me being male.

I admit this is a failing in myself, especially dealing with the bitterness generated around my resolution about relationships and how easy it seems for women as compared to men, (said girls bf wasn't actually present but she does talk about him a lot).

The disclosures I've made to friends of both genders have been fine, mostly because the people I disclosed to have not held explicitely unreasonable views about men, but equally all the disclosures I've made have been on my own terms. i use the "I've done some research" excuse as a way to use the basic fact that male sa happens in conversations, and usually it works fine, accept that said girl got specifically up my nose with her remarks, which I agree is likely a failing of mine rather than hers.

I am actually glad I didn't! engage in misery poker or similar, since your right that would've earned me a good and well deserved thumping, but I do feel irritated with myself that I didn't respond better.

People have in the past disclosed things to me, including several female survivers. This is because generally speaking people tell me things, and usually I can be sympathetic over this, but the response within myself towards this girl was one I simply did not like, since my empathy for others is one of the few characteristics I have that I am genuinely proud of.

In fairness my anger, even though it's rarely if ever expressed in public and even when it is, is only expressed at myself is something that's begun to worry me extremely of late. Perhaps I should take this as a wake up call?

#426118 - 02/22/13 02:12 PM Re: Dealing with feminists and female survivers [Re: dark empathy]
Suwanee Offline
Chat Moderator

Registered: 10/30/12
Posts: 1280

I'm sorry that you had that encounter. I know that hindsight is 20/20, but being circumspect never hurts--especially since this type of situation may come up again.

I agree with Matt's assessment. Don't look at this or subsequent encounters as an argument, but rather as an opportunity to educate the uninformed. Having a daughter on the cusp of puberty makes me nervous. I do think women have had to put up with a lot of crap through the ages at the hands of men. Trying to counter this with that woman is futile. The fallacy she and many others make is trying to apply categorical experience to the individual. By doing this we always ignore the great variability within a class (male-female, black-white, etc). It's expedient, but inadequate.

My wife is a self-described feminist. She isn't an angry man-hater, but she believes in equal opportunity for both sexes. With that, she understands the woman as victim, and by her own philosophy, must realize men can be victims as well or her goal of equality is lost.

Being married to me and having both a daughter and a son has helped her to see that all that glitters is not male. Hearing me or our son speak of "locker room" code and the "law of the playground" lets her see that boys and men DO suffer at the hands of others and often do so in silence. No matter the gender of the perpetrator or the victim, a violation is just that---leave off any superlatives. It is a violation.

I've got this life
And the will to show
I will always be
Better than before

#426119 - 02/22/13 02:16 PM Re: Dealing with feminists and female survivers [Re: dark empathy]
Candu Offline

Registered: 07/01/12
Posts: 312
Loc: Canada
after one bloke had a couple of comedic sexist remarks about men being lead by their you know whats, I couldn't help myself saying "not all men" and mentioning that I'd much rather be female.

one girl got extremely angry about this and started on the hole feminist kick, the 30 percent less pay. she then got into s/xual harrassment talk and mentioned that lovely "%70 of all men would rape a woman if they could"

And this is where I would have said "I guess I fall in the 30% then".

But while you may have been truthful about the "I'd much rather be female" comment you may not feel that way if you tried it for a while.

I would hope that I would be more sympathetic to her but I wasn't there and secondhand hindsight is silly. Your buttons were pushed and then you pushed someone else's. All unintentionally. The best thing to do as far as I'm concerned is to recognise it as soon as possible and remove yourself from the situation either physically or emotionally. While your "I think we should change the subject before I say something I'd regret!" was good the problem with it is that you do not have control over the outcome. You still need to be in control of your emotions. (not suppress them but be in control)

All easy to say.


Just saw your new comment. Don't have time to read it now as I started work 15 minutes ago (or should have).

Edited by Candu (02/22/13 02:18 PM)

#426120 - 02/22/13 02:22 PM Re: Dealing with feminists and female survivers [Re: dark empathy]
Zug Offline

Registered: 02/18/13
Posts: 56
Loc: Progress
I went to a rape center with a bunch of caring women, it was awesome. It was a combination of things, most of which were not choices made by me. Same with Nat. Guard Bureau IG, state IG, Governor's Office, State Board of Safety or whatever, Attorney General, etc.
A woman told me once that civil rights when it came to gender, broadly was a zero sum game, that literally one side had to 'lose' for the other to gain. The way she defined civil rights, it was impossible for a man to have his civil rights infringed upon in this country because of admittedly real and perceived advantages that were and are unfair. But to go the other way that far is crazy.
I have been arrested illegally 3 times in living through all of this. I have zero recourse, as a state's attorney can do whatever with little oversight. It's an elected position with incredible power and potential for graft, favors, etc. The town in question has a well worn reputation for those things as well. This cost me thousands of dollars-the SA office DELIVERED me to my attackers in one case, ensuring I would have to stay in his home.
I also fought for custody of my son and experienced the same kind of gender bias and heavy handed treatment. Again, the same SA attorney's office, would not listen to a word I said; I gave them the name and contact info of the person who supposedly provided proof to justify a custody order. He says he never provided that proof. She lied in order to get an emergency custody order (we me half the country away in another state), I gave them the ability to just call and verify it and they refused.
Anyway, its difficult for me to deal with those situations as well, I find that I either totally wimp out or over react. I call it my struggle to 'calmly and confidently advocate for myself', and it doesn't always go well. Apologize for long rambling post.
"what matters most is how well you walk through the fire"
-Charles Bukowski

#426125 - 02/22/13 03:53 PM Re: Dealing with feminists and female survivers [Re: dark empathy]
dark empathy Offline

Registered: 11/26/07
Posts: 2687
Loc: durham, north england
@Will, when not! having my buttons pushed I'd describe myself as a gender equalitarian, I will be the first person to say that thirty percent less pay, female sterriotypes, adverts promoting shallowness etc are wrong, indeed the other day I heard a radio program where a woman was presenting her book on "how to make a good mariage" which basically instructed wives to put on an act for their all powerfull and law giving husband and found it distinctly repellent.

The vast majority of my friends are! indeed female, and in fact I totally agree with most of them in terms of gender misstreatment, however my close friends also tend to hold a similar view to myself in terms of the idea that sexism against men also exists and tht the masculine sterriotypes are just as adamaging.

I did say to said girl that I completely agreed gender sterriotypes, labour inequities etc were wrong, but she just wouldn't take that and wanted things to go further, indeed she saw my view as an attack I think, which was why she then started on the "rape kick" which was the point I think where I lost my moral objectivity, as Kandu said an accidental case of button pushing, but one I'm irritated with myself at responding to since I should be more in control and more objective than that.

I have always known I naturally fall closer to the traditional female sterriotype in characteristics, I have no interest in sports (indeed other than with myself I am totally none competative), I only do physical exercize for other activities, I appreciate dressing up and my appearence and that of my immediate environment (I'm quite proud of my flat), I naturally am incredibly verbal and talk a lot, and I greatly desire to take care of and look after others, often in a very meanial physical way, I am also frankly a pacifist, heck I even get on best with extremely young babies under the age of one, not to mention all the worthlessness and lack of, genophobia etc.

While I am not literally! transgendered I can imaginatively conceive fairly strongly of having a female body simply via tactile sensativity. On the other hand I am! a perfectionist and am extremely stubborn, and don't particularly see a value in material possessions or in borrowing status from a group or from friends.

Thus when I say "I'd prefer to be female" partly this is because many of the sterriotypical beliefs about women and the way they're treated by many people in society would suit me better, ---- though undoubtedly many others would not.

That is what you might call my rational view looking at myself from a quasi objective standpoint. There is a less objective view which is indeed tied to the idea of jealousy, since certainly in finding intimate relationships I feel often extremely bitter that it seems so easy for women as compared to men. This is I admit a less than rational judgement, albeit one based on observation, however it's another reason why this is a problematic area.

I suppose because of all of this I should've just distanced myself emotionally even if not physically and shut up, and not argued the case at all, for all that feels rather like an admission of defeat.

@Zug, I'm really sorry to hear this, and again that is why I hold (in my rational moments), to the idea of gender equalitarianism.


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