Very well put, Happy.

I wanted to add a thought on "doing your own thing." Sometimes, bucking convention attracts the disdain of certain people, but it can also earn you respect that you never would have gotten had you been a member of the pack. And it has the additional benefit of providing a living, breathing example that alternative ways of doing things actually work to other people. That knowledge has been helpful to me when I've been critisized in the past for doing my own thing.

The dialogue is helpful, but sometimes just doing can take your cause even farther. You just have to learn to pick your battles.


Beyond being not helpful to say "It's not worth talking about this" (I would generally go to say that it is often bad/wrong to say this), it's beyond hypocritical. "This is so minor and unimportant that I will talk about how talking about it is stupid."

Well said, everything else: sometimes it's hard to explain why talking about things like this are important.


If you blog about something that's seemingly frivolous, they tell you that you're wasting your time (and their time, which is really rather silly, considering the fact that no one is holding a gun to their head and making them read).

If you blog about a more troubling, perhaps even devastating issue, the gadflies tell you to lighten up.

Screw them. And great post. Per usual.


What Natalia said.

FWIW, I kept my name, hubby kept his. Our kids have hisname-myname as their last name. What our kids do with their hyphens when they grow up is their business. People sometimes get the names wrong & I just correct them without making a stink (unless it appears to be a deliberate attempt to ignore what they KNOW is my name).


Saying something is not worth talking about is inherently dismissive of the subject matter and disrespectful. If a woman feels like it's worth talking about it her, then it's worth talking about. And if it's important to one woman, it's probably important to many others.


"I will never be convinced that it's whiny, or silly, or weak to name a problem and discuss it. "

Well, no. Of course, you can name/discuss it in a whiny, silly, or weak way. But you don't, which is why you have an entertaining blog.

The Grouch

I'm not going to bother with your advocacy of pseudosocialism.

Pseudosocialism, n. The barbaric injustice of pointing out that David Thompson is not the only person in the universe.


I think a significant part of the reason why some men react negatively to these kinds of discussions is that men are heavily socialized to not talk about these kinds of things themselves. "Suck it up!" "Take it like a man!" "Don't be such a whiner/pansy/sissy boy/faggot" etc. etc. are pretty routine phrases heard by most boys at various stages of their growth when they express sadness/fear/pain. When you've been trained to ignore your own vulnerabilities and sensitivities, you lose a significant amount of empathy (which, after all, is relating to the situation of others as if you were experiencing it yourself) and when other people complain about discomfort that you've had to deaden yourself to, annoyance or anger is an understandable reaction.

I would love to report that feminists — immersed as many are in being acutely aware of how gender affects women — would be aware of/sensitive to this most banal of observations of how gender adversely affects men. Unfortunately, this seems to rarely be the case due to dynamics too tangential to delve into here.

Personally, I could endorse Happy's whole post if gender were removed. Frankly, I think men face a far greater challenge than women in trying to find spaces where they can discuss their sensitivities to these kinds of issues, and still be respected.


Shorter David Thompson: I am a rock, I am an island.

Shorter ballgame: but what about the meeeeeeeeen!!!!

::sigh:: there are always a couple...


Great post, excellent points. It's so good to dig a bit deeper under the surface of some seemingly 'trivial' issues and actually find there are social narratives one might not expect - and we should take the time to discuss and question them :)

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