Men trying to be feminists: A safer space

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Men trying to be feminists: A safer space

Post by individualmember » Sun Mar 28, 2021 9:34 am

Mod note: I've moved some posts here from the "Male violence and harassment of women" thread, so they could be discussed more fully without derailing the original discussion. The original first post is here.

Glancing through my email inbox I am YET AGAIN reminded that there is absolutely nothing I can do and nothing I can say on this subject because of what I was born with between my legs.
672D5B34-E7E7-4F21-BCA9-7F5BF7B88067.jpeg
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With a headline like that I’m not even going to click on the article :( :( :( :( :(

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Re: Men trying to be feminists: A safer space

Post by bjn » Sun Mar 28, 2021 10:10 am

Don't get wound up by clickbait.

There is a substantive argument about examining their behaviour that men really should listen to. Assuming the article is actually making it, that headline is guaranteed to put men off who could benefit by reading it. "#allmen? But I'm not a rapist! Damned if I'm reading your article!"

I have a similar objection to the use of "privilege" and the even worse "defund the police". The fundamental ideas are sound, but using those phrases will immediately alienate many of the people you need to engage with.

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Re: Men trying to be feminists: A safer space

Post by individualmember » Sun Mar 28, 2021 10:16 am

bjn wrote:
Sun Mar 28, 2021 10:10 am
Don't get wound up by clickbait.

There is a substantive argument about examining their behaviour that men really should listen to. Assuming the article is actually making it, that headline is guaranteed to put men off who could benefit by reading it. "#allmen? But I'm not a rapist! Damned if I'm reading your article!"

I have a similar objection to the use of "privilege" and the even worse "defund the police". The fundamental ideas are sound, but using those phrases will immediately alienate many of the people you need to engage with.
This thread has been here for a fortnight. I was brought up by a single mother and my first child is a daughter, I’ve been concerned about this issue for about twenty five years. But it is being made clear that my concern is unwelcome. I am getting so depressed about this that I give up. Probably only for a while, but for now I’m walking away.

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Re: Men trying to be feminists: A safer space

Post by Bird on a Fire » Sun Mar 28, 2021 10:21 am

individualmember wrote:
Sun Mar 28, 2021 9:34 am
Glancing through my email inbox I am YET AGAIN reminded that there is absolutely nothing I can do and nothing I can say on this subject because of what I was born with between my legs.
I'm not sure how that article headline gets you to "absolutely nothing I can do".

As for "nothing I can say", you do appear to be here saying things. Seeing as this isn't a thread for discussing crap headlines, I don't quite understand the point of posting just to say "I can't post anything" without even trying to engage with anything in the thread.

Especially after the last few pages.

Pretty depressing.
He has the grace of a swan, the wisdom of an owl, and the eye of an eagle—ladies and gentlemen, this man is for the birds!

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Re: Men trying to be feminists: A safer space

Post by individualmember » Sun Mar 28, 2021 10:24 am

Bird on a Fire wrote:
Sun Mar 28, 2021 10:21 am
individualmember wrote:
Sun Mar 28, 2021 9:34 am
Glancing through my email inbox I am YET AGAIN reminded that there is absolutely nothing I can do and nothing I can say on this subject because of what I was born with between my legs.
I'm not sure how that article headline gets you to "absolutely nothing I can do".

As for "nothing I can say", you do appear to be here saying things. Seeing as this isn't a thread for discussing crap headlines, I don't quite understand the point of posting just to say "I can't post anything" without even trying to engage with anything in the thread.

Especially after the last few pages.

Pretty depressing.
I’m sorry, I’m so upset about this that I need some way of venting. I’ll quit the forum if it’s a problem.

ETA I didn’t mean I couldn’t say or do anything in terms of posting here, I meant generally in my life. This is a place which is different from there... um, sort of...

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Re: Men trying to be feminists: A safer space

Post by Bird on a Fire » Sun Mar 28, 2021 10:33 am

individualmember wrote:
Sun Mar 28, 2021 10:16 am
But it is being made clear that my concern is unwelcome.
I'm really not sure where this idea has come from either.

Of course concern is welcome. Preferably followed by action.

I do accept that it's a very difficult topic to discuss if you're worried about upsetting people. In which case, it may be better to start by discussing things with people you know in real life, rather than over the even trickier medium of forum posts. (Although obviously the pandemic has kind of limited options for this)

But I can't see the point of posting to announce that you're "walking away" from a thread you've barely participated in. Especially after several pages of women patiently explaining why they get frustrated by male defensiveness.
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Re: Men trying to be feminists: A safer space

Post by Bird on a Fire » Sun Mar 28, 2021 10:38 am

individualmember wrote:
Sun Mar 28, 2021 10:24 am
Bird on a Fire wrote:
Sun Mar 28, 2021 10:21 am
individualmember wrote:
Sun Mar 28, 2021 9:34 am
Glancing through my email inbox I am YET AGAIN reminded that there is absolutely nothing I can do and nothing I can say on this subject because of what I was born with between my legs.
I'm not sure how that article headline gets you to "absolutely nothing I can do".

As for "nothing I can say", you do appear to be here saying things. Seeing as this isn't a thread for discussing crap headlines, I don't quite understand the point of posting just to say "I can't post anything" without even trying to engage with anything in the thread.

Especially after the last few pages.

Pretty depressing.
I’m sorry, I’m so upset about this that I need some way of venting. I’ll quit the forum if it’s a problem.

ETA I didn’t mean I couldn’t say or do anything in terms of posting here, I meant generally in my life. This is a place which is different from there... um, sort of...
Sorry that we keep crossposting. And sorry that you're upset.

I barely slept Friday night thinking about this thread.

Don't quit the forum. But posts like this aren't helpful I'm afraid. If you want to talk about your own things, maybe another thread is the place? We need a "male feminism" thread.
He has the grace of a swan, the wisdom of an owl, and the eye of an eagle—ladies and gentlemen, this man is for the birds!

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Re: Men trying to be feminists: A safer space

Post by Stephanie » Sun Mar 28, 2021 10:41 am

I recognise the picture of the woman. I think I recall reading a thread she made about a group of men making comments about her appearance when she was on the tube. And her not knowing if it was going to escalate.

I think the point of the thread (though I'm only going on memory) is that the men probably wouldn't even remember that interaction, and not consider it something that could make a woman feel anxious.

The difficulty I think is discussions about the serious incidents make men go "well this doesn't apply to me, it's just a minority". Where there are broader behaviours that lots more men may be more likely to participate in without having realised.

(Assuming the Medium piece is about the thread I saw).
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Re: Men trying to be feminists: A safer space

Post by Stephanie » Sun Mar 28, 2021 10:47 am

I've just checked. It is about the thread she wrote (which was written in response to NotAllMen trending on twitter).

The Yes All Men is "men I have to be cautious around, because even if they look normal, they may do something".
"I got a flu virus named after me 'cause I kissed a bat on a dare."

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Men trying to be feminists: A safer space

Post by Bird on a Fire » Sun Mar 28, 2021 10:48 am

I think it's clear that a lot of men here would like to be "good men", and behave as well as possible towards women. We all know there's steps to be taken but aren't always sure what they are.

I think it's also pretty clear that women would like to be able to have a higher-level discussion, without having to explain the basics to blokes.

So I thought I'd start a thread where men can talk to each other, teach each other, etc. (And probably also a place where the modding team can split off some discussions, though I'm mainly starting this for my own interest/benefit as a poster)

Women are welcome in this thread here too, of course. But be prepared for a pretty remedial class where we're still not trusted to use scissors and keep gluing our hands to the table.

(I hope it's clear that this isn't a thread for dissing women or complaining unconstructively about other threads or anything sh.tty. Best behaviour please lads.)
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Re: Men trying to be feminists: A safer space

Post by nezumi » Sun Mar 28, 2021 10:56 am

individualmember wrote:
Sun Mar 28, 2021 9:34 am
Glancing through my email inbox I am YET AGAIN reminded that there is absolutely nothing I can do and nothing I can say on this subject because of what I was born with between my legs.

<pic>

With a headline like that I’m not even going to click on the article :( :( :( :( :(
Not sure what you mean? I'm definitely female and I feel I have been waxing lyrical about the subject. Please feel welcome to say what it is you want to say and if you don't feel comfortable here please feel free to PM me.

Also that headline, wtf??? Who is that woman and why does she feel like it's her right to tar every bloke on the planet with the same brush? Also, I'm starting to get the feeling that the entire problem with public discourse these days is a complete lack of sodding nuance!

I've finally worked it out! It's so simple! it's black and white thinking versus shades of grey. Not 50 of them. That's it's own disgusting conversation. EL James has a lot to answer for.

Nuanced topics do not fit into 3 word slogans!

Hope I haven't missed the point as usual.
Non fui. Fui. Non sum. Non curo.

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Re: Men trying to be feminists: A safer space

Post by Stephanie » Sun Mar 28, 2021 10:58 am

I mean, haven't people here taken the nuance out, by judging the woman on a screenshot with a headline of an article that they haven't actually read?
"I got a flu virus named after me 'cause I kissed a bat on a dare."

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Re: Men trying to be feminists: A safer space

Post by nezumi » Sun Mar 28, 2021 11:03 am

Thank you BoaF. It's such a sensitive topic that this does deserve its own thread.

I'd feel better if the following notes were observed in this one, it's too sensitive a subject not to have fairly close rules and modding. I know we're pretty liberal around here but we want to attract, not get rid of valuable posters.

1: Women are honest when explaining their experiences. We're not making it up.
2: Nothing is black and white, everything has nuance.
3: That the posters may be distressed while writing so be sensitive and careful of your words, if you feel something might need further explanation or clarification, do.
4: Try to make a constructive point in your post and be mindful not to closely deconstruct a potentially sensitive post.

Yes I did say sensitive several times in one post. No I am not going to change it.
Non fui. Fui. Non sum. Non curo.

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Re: Men trying to be feminists: A safer space

Post by Stephanie » Sun Mar 28, 2021 11:04 am

Here is the article in question https://juliecohenauthor.medium.com/yes ... 2172b959d2
I’ve seen the hashtag #NotAllMen trending.
Is the context.

She explains what she means with the headline:
And no, it’s #NotAllMen. But it is cis men. Even normal ones. Even the ones with wives and kids who think they are the good ones. The problem is not women. It is men. Until they prove otherwise, we have to be afraid of them all.
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Re: Men trying to be feminists: A safer space

Post by Stephanie » Sun Mar 28, 2021 11:11 am

Tbf the rules are that these topics would be moderated more closely. I've held off doing any myself as I was replying to some, and EPD has been quite busy, so I think he was needing some time to read over the other thread. But yes, Rule 12 and all.
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Re: Men trying to be feminists: A safer space

Post by nezumi » Sun Mar 28, 2021 11:25 am

Stephanie wrote:
Sun Mar 28, 2021 11:11 am
Tbf the rules are that these topics would be moderated more closely. I've held off doing any myself as I was replying to some, and EPD has been quite busy, so I think he was needing some time to read over the other thread. But yes, Rule 12 and all.
You know what, I've never actually read the rules. I probably should, shouldn't I?
Non fui. Fui. Non sum. Non curo.

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Re: Men trying to be feminists: A safer space

Post by Bird on a Fire » Sun Mar 28, 2021 11:27 am

nezumi wrote:
Sun Mar 28, 2021 11:25 am
Stephanie wrote:
Sun Mar 28, 2021 11:11 am
Tbf the rules are that these topics would be moderated more closely. I've held off doing any myself as I was replying to some, and EPD has been quite busy, so I think he was needing some time to read over the other thread. But yes, Rule 12 and all.
You know what, I've never actually read the rules. I probably should, shouldn't I?
Um yes, probably ;) Quite a lot of work went into them.

I like your suggestions for this thread too, thanks.
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Re: Men trying to be feminists: A safer space

Post by nezumi » Sun Mar 28, 2021 11:29 am

Bird on a Fire wrote:
Sun Mar 28, 2021 11:27 am
nezumi wrote:
Sun Mar 28, 2021 11:25 am
Stephanie wrote:
Sun Mar 28, 2021 11:11 am
Tbf the rules are that these topics would be moderated more closely. I've held off doing any myself as I was replying to some, and EPD has been quite busy, so I think he was needing some time to read over the other thread. But yes, Rule 12 and all.
You know what, I've never actually read the rules. I probably should, shouldn't I?
Um yes, probably ;) Quite a lot of work went into them.

I like your suggestions for this thread too, thanks.
Been and read them. Pleasantly not even surprised I've never broken any of them to my knowledge. Yay me. Also rule 12 is great. I do love a bit of nuance and spelling it out :D
Non fui. Fui. Non sum. Non curo.

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Re: Men trying to be feminists: A safer space

Post by individualmember » Sun Mar 28, 2021 12:11 pm

I’d like to share that I dislike the phrase ‘Not all men’ about as much as ‘it is all men’. At this point I go off in two directions, I hate generalisations and I was well into my 40s before I could finally release the anger that I held since being a teenager over the assumptions made about me. And I’m very aware that as a white man the assumptions don’t harm me anything like assumptions about women or people of colour do.

The other direction is this is a problem in society and we don’t seem to be able to get off the starting blocks, even after all these years of trying to discuss it.

Sorry, I don’t think I’m adding anything useful. Unless it’s to open the door to admitting to feeling disempowered and frustrated.

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Re: Men trying to be feminists: A safer space

Post by bjn » Sun Mar 28, 2021 12:13 pm

Stephanie wrote:
Sun Mar 28, 2021 10:58 am
I mean, haven't people here taken the nuance out, by judging the woman on a screenshot with a headline of an article that they haven't actually read?
In general people are busy, they don't read all the articles behind every link they see and a poor head line will put people off reading the article. I'm bad with words, so I'm not sure what the right headline would be, but something that can easily be perceived as "Yes, it is all men (who are rapey pieces of sh.t)", will get backs up, even among nominal allies. "Why women are wary of all men", or similar would be much more engaging. Know your audience, as flawed as we are.

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Re: Men trying to be feminists: A safer space

Post by Stephanie » Sun Mar 28, 2021 12:15 pm

In general yes, but this is a forum of smart people who read a lot, no?

I think people could try being a bit more generous about women writing about their experiences.
"I got a flu virus named after me 'cause I kissed a bat on a dare."

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Re: Men trying to be feminists: A safer space

Post by individualmember » Sun Mar 28, 2021 12:21 pm

Stephanie wrote:
Sun Mar 28, 2021 12:15 pm
In general yes, but this is a forum of smart people who read a lot, no?
Ah, this is why I find myself out of my depth ;)

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Re: Men trying to be feminists: A safer space

Post by Stephanie » Sun Mar 28, 2021 12:24 pm

I realise I'm in danger of getting cross again (I took an anger walk round the park to try and get rid of some of it).

But... men keep asking what they can do. One thing on my list? Please just engage with articles as a whole, even if they make you feel uncomfortable or put off. Try to resist the temptation to pick and criticise and "well, if you want to put off men...". Because quite honestly, if I listened to all the advice men have given me over the years on how to and not to write and talk about this stuff, I'd be saying nothing at all.

ETA: this is in general, just thinking of the discussions over the last few days
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Re: Men trying to be feminists: A safer space

Post by individualmember » Sun Mar 28, 2021 12:58 pm

Stephanie wrote:
Sun Mar 28, 2021 12:24 pm
I realise I'm in danger of getting cross again (I took an anger walk round the park to try and get rid of some of it).

But... men keep asking what they can do. One thing on my list? Please just engage with articles as a whole, even if they make you feel uncomfortable or put off. Try to resist the temptation to pick and criticise and "well, if you want to put off men...". Because quite honestly, if I listened to all the advice men have given me over the years on how to and not to write and talk about this stuff, I'd be saying nothing at all.

ETA: this is in general, just thinking of the discussions over the last few days
I kind of get the urge to say “you’re asking what to do, the answer is the same as it was last year and every previous year since I was told in about 1985 (even if it took me a decade to really get it), and it wasn’t new then!”

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Re: Men trying to be feminists: A safer space

Post by Bird on a Fire » Sun Mar 28, 2021 1:19 pm

I think blokes do get this urge to be doing "practical" stuff all the time, which doesn't always work well with problems where what people really want most is just to feel heard, understood and acknowledged. It would be lovely if we could solve the problems women have by hitting things with hammers or rewiring a circuit board ;)

It is difficult to see "being more aware of other people's experiences" as an end unto itself. Like, I'm already super depressed about loads of stuff, including what I do know of women's safety, along with climate change, biodiversity declines, the pandemic and the way it's exposing all the worst human impulses and global power imbalances and the way it's dragging on forever, populism, racism, political corruption, police abuses, exploitation of workers, academia is totally f.cked, and so on.

It isn't immediately appealing to add to my enormous reading list of depressing articles showing how bad situations I care about are. Especially in cases where I can't get much done.

But there does seem to be a broad consensus from women here that reading things and simply acknowledging them, uncritically, would help them. Which seems to me enough reason to do it, even if it just leaves me feeling even more depressed and impotent than I already do.

And equally, I get the impression that criticising how pieces where women share there experiences are written or edited, including the headlines, makes people feel like those experiences are being dismissed, even though I know that's not what you're doing. Baity articles are annoying, and I also think a lot of these articles are written as part of a conversation that's taking place mostly between women, and therefore generally aren't presented how a male audience would expect. Part of the solution to that, I expect, could be for more men to engage with those articles and talk about the experiences within them a bit - not talking about or criticising the article, but basically imagining that the writer is telling them something they want them to understand, and engaging in the text-based form of 'active listening'.
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