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» Churl-Watch from F-Words
The Happy Feminist has been lucky enough to be harangued by one of the common feminist blog trolls: the "I'm just here to help," troll. He's very much a proponent of female rights, of course, but he has a few quibbles with the feminist movement. Luck... [Read More]

Comments

will

"I get angry too when I perceive that I or members of my sex are being treated like second class citizens. Let's engage the issues -- do feminists have cause to be angry? -- rather than berating feminists for being unladylike."

This makes perfect sense to me. But, in my admittedly short exposure to blogs, I have been surprised at how quickly the name-calling starts. By all means, engage the issues. I enjoy the self-labeled feminist blogs because they raise some many important, interesting issues.

But is it appropriate or productive to resort to saying "woman-hater!" or "misogynist!" the moment someone disagrees with you? It sounds remarkedly similar to those people who attempt to dismiss feminists' concerns by labeling them "men-haters."

Twisty and BitchPHd both are excellent examples of attacking issues. They do plenty of name-calling, but somehow they seem to walk the line between humorous, appropriate name calling and the name-calling designed to eliminate discussion.

kaylie

Hi HF,

Great post.

Richard,
Don't tell me how to behave. I cannot understand see why these things should bug you so. Are you able to explain why those signs, that quote & that pic are so offensive to you?

BTW, love the blog - (this one that is).

The Happy Feminist

Twisty kills me. From her post today about the Korean government's subsidy of Korean farmers' participation in a Chinese mail-order bride program:

"Well, it’s not like women in China, especially in rural China, are considered human beings or anything. There, like here, the entire social structure hinges on women’s inferiority, but in the Chinese hinterland there are even fewer humorless hairy dyke sex-negative feminists challenging patriarchal authority than we’ve got here."

Agree with her or don't, but do admit she's hilarious!

AndiF

will says: But is it appropriate or productive to resort to saying "woman-hater!" or "misogynist!" the moment someone disagrees with you? It sounds remarkedly similar to those people who attempt to dismiss feminists' concerns by labeling them "men-haters."

If you are going onto feminist blogs and doing the same sort of excessive over-generalizing as this, it wouldn't surprise me at all that you get a strong reaction. What you are saying in no way matches my experience and to see such broad, unsupported accusations made certainly makes me wonder about the attitude of the person making them.

Lawyer2

1. Nothing makes more churlish than being told that I shouldn't be, have no right to be or it's inappropriate for me to be churlish.

2. The beauty of feminism, or humanism as I see it, is accepting that some of us are churlish individuals, some are quiet, some angry, some seething, some funny, etc. Why is Richard labeling feminists, as a group, churlish? I'm sure some of us are and some of us aren't. Paint with a big ol' brush much?

3. Now that it's been brought up, I am disturbed by the churlishness of many groups of men in society. For example: drunk men in bars, pro athletes who get in fights with fans, fathers who scream at their children during little league, men who drive vehicles with fake looking women outlined on their mud flaps. How dare they? Don't they know that they are not supposed to act like that? Their churlishness is offensive to me and from now on I will ignore anything any man says, no matter how logical or reasonable.

Pardon me, I have to go be churlish now.

Chalicechick

Actually, I agree with him on the protestors. I was heavily into protesting as a teenager, but one of the things that really turned me off to it was watching the reactions of my (fairly liberal) co-workers and relatives to the in-your-face tactics of the protestors.

Shocking signs like the "Fuck Bush," sign that seems to show up at every anti-war march and the woman's sign threatening the viewers throat go over big time with people who agree with the protest.

To most old people, young moms, etc, violent imagery and vulgar language seems to be a complete turnoff. And frankly, as far as public opinion goes, every young mommy with photogenic children or old guy in the protest who gets on the news is worth about ten college kids dressed like hippies.

I know some people who go to war protests with their six-year-old, who carries a sign that says "Bush needs a time out!" THIS is an effective technique. People who see this kid in the newspaper (where she inevitably ends up) get the impression that people against the war are "just like me." The concept of "just like me" is the lifeblood of politics.

Does it make logical sense that if I feel my body is threatened I will come after yours? In a loose, Hammurabi-like sense, I suppose so, but it's a concept that likely scares off more people than it fires up.

But the little girl giving the finger on Bitch PhD's site is just cute, IMHO, and the aghast-yet-amused girl behind her does much to lessen the shock value.

CC

Sara

People will do anything to dismiss their critics. Either protesters don't exhibit enough passion, or they're rude and shrill. Those who have a problem with feminism aren't going to like it no matter its packaging. When someone is criticizing the aesthetic of your message instead of the message itself, you can safely ignore them. They have either accepted your position or are trying to distract from your position. Either way, I don't care if they call me ugly as long as I can have my rights.

The Happy Feminist

Right. I think that a lot of protest tactics are ineffective for the reasons you say, Chalice Chick. Someone bandying pictures of mangled fetuses or saying "F you if you aren't pro-choice" is off-putting regardless of the merits of the position he or she is trying to express. But in-your-face aggressive tactics aren't unique or inherent to feminism.

Chalicechick

Oh, goodness. Of course in-your-faceness is not limited to feminism. I meant to specifically say that and I guess I didn't.

And Sara, I can guarantee you that my dad's much-older sister, who marched with Martin Luther King, got a masters' degree from Rice when most women weren't going to college and was taking me to peace marches when I was six, did NOT see that "Fuck Bush" sign and get upset because she doesn't like peace activism. I have no clue how old you are, but as she was a depression baby I can confidently say she was doing peace activism when you were in diapers.

I guess if the people who are going to use alienating tactics are going to convince themselves that anoyone who is alienated doesn't REALLY love their cause, I can never prove them wrong. But it's a pretty self-sabatoging strategy, IMHO.

My generation does not at all get how desensitized we are to violence and vulgar language and how deeply that freaks out old people. Or they don't care.

Well, guess what?

Old people are the ones that vote.

CC

The Happy Feminist

Tee hee. Good points, CC.

And I didn't misunderstand you, I was just trying to support and elaborate on your point (or repeat my original point.)

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