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Who you callin’ man-hater, hater?

May 16, 2012

Today, I haz a rant. To begin, I’ll start with what got me started on this rant. ….even if my thought processes has progressed quite a bit since this and it isn’t exactly something that keeps me up at night.

I’d like to draw your attention to a few comments on a previous post (and of all the posts, it was a Tree Hugger). For the full, fun-filled run-through, please check them out here.


Now.  I don’t really want to pick apart this particular example. Really. I don’t.. And, Social Kenny? If you come back (for some reason), and read this? Please, please understand that this post is not, actually, about you. This post is about making a larger point.

On the one hand, it is quite clear to me that there is something in the way in which women discuss their rights that can cause confusion and conflict. Sure, part of the problem is we’re also up against a lot of narrative and privilege and crap that isn’t our fault – and we should not make excuses or allowance for that bullcrap.


But. I believe we do need to be paying attention to how we converse, how we explain, how we express our worries, our frustration, our anger, our tears. For instance, you could easily point out the language I used and assumptions I made here that would derail a conversation with Kenny (even though I didn’t really want to have a conversation with Kenny, so…).

See. I, and anyone else wanting to engage on issues like feminism that can be polarizing, need to be very, very self-aware. I need to be very mindful about the language I use, the words I choose. In addition, I need to think about who I am talking to, I need to consider their POV to the best of my ability. Now, I probably won’t be very good at that right off the bat, so, more importantly, I need to be listening.


Not because I am trying to downplay my own worries, my own frustration, my own anger and tears. Not because I am trying to pretend things are better than they are, that I am upholding my end of gender performance as an accommodating and affirming female. Not because I want to excuse or allow for another’s misogyny.


No. Not for those reasons – but because I want to engage and be heard and move forward and I know yelling from a soapbox gets nowhere. Because I know the power of words, the weight and the history of the things I have to say.  Because I understand things like privilege and narrative.

Because it allows me to see how privilege and narrative translate, so I can better comprehend and change them.

And, frankly, because if I am having a conversation with you, I think you deserve it. Because I would prefer to figure out how to talk with you, than to talk at you.

And now we come to the other hand.

If I am going to spend my own energy and time, if I am going to actively work at being self-aware, if I am going to weigh my words carefully, if I am going to consider your thoughts and your feelings, if I am going to try and learn from you, if I am going to evaluate, listen, consider, re-consider, and try again, if I am willing to allow someone else to be naïve, to say the wrong thing, and to not get offended or overreact, if I am going to do all of that to try and forward conversation? Then I damn well expect the same in fucking return. Or at least some fucking semblance of the same respect and ability to see beyond my own fucking nose.

I expect you to actually listen to what I have to say. I expect you to actually pay attention to my anger and my frustration as valid emotions. I expect you to believe I am worthy of respect and compassion. I expect you to treat me as I treat you.

I expect you to gather some goddamn good fucking evidence, and a lot of it, before you call me a man-hater. Before you call me a bigot and a cunt. Before you stereotype and degrade me, and invalidate anything I have to say with insults. Before you attempt to undercut my worth by calling me names.

Yes, as women, we need to consider the reactions to our anger and our frustration and our tears. We need to look, really look, at why people have these reactions. Not because it excuses them, but because it makes us better communicators, and because it makes the conversation more likely to move forward, and because it can actually help us learn about privilege and misogyny. Because it is how we will find common ground.


But, for fuckitty-fuck’s sake, I’m done pretending anyone has the right to call me a man-hating bitch. I am done with those who don’t believe I have a right to be angry, or frustrated, or upset. That those emotions are not ones I am allowed to claim without being crazy or just generally hating on all men (insert any privileged class here).


I am done with allowing for hateful people (both men and women) who choose to call me or anyone else names over listening or actually engaging in conversation. Who would rather generalize and compartmentalize anyone who doesn’t say exactly what they want to hear, and would rather spit bullshit and insults than pay fucking attention. Who could not possibly fathom the fact that they might be insulting in their naivete, and instead of wanting to listen, to learn, to educate themselves, they’d rather decide everyone else who even remotely looks like THIS or used THESE WORDS, regardless of context or meaning, is not only wrong, they must be bigoted, angry, crazy, and hateful.

Who cannot, for one second, take a step back and look inward. Who cannot, for even a moment, care to fully grip the reality of the world we live in or the weight of the words they throw about. Who cannot treat others as they themselves explicitly ask to be treated.

Clearly, this is not about Mr. Social Kenny. Obvi.

*** Quick update/note (which is, actually, a bit more about Social Kenny): In the comments below, note Kenny would like to point out that he never called me a “man-hater” (even though this, ahem, wasn’t about him calling me a hater) but that instead I have “misandrious tendencies” that are “all good“. Herein is the problem. If I do indeed have “misandrious” (read: anti-men, that is the ugly twin of misogyny) tendencies, FOR THE LOVE don’t just say that, explain to me what they are. I actually WANT TO KNOW because if that is true? It’s actually NOT “all good” and I’d like to make some changes.

But that, of course, would be the difference here, wouldn’t it. Between throwing around words and actually meaning them, and between paying attention and just being insulting because you don’t want to truly engage – you just want to be right.

PS If this rant was entertaining to you, I highly recommend another from Daily Kos here.

32 Comments leave one →
  1. May 16, 2012 10:22 am

    I didn’t recall calling you a man-hater.You do have misandrious tendencies but it’s all good.

    And I’m not gonna keep blowing up your posts when you’re butt doesn’t read mines.Fair is fair.

    • May 16, 2012 10:29 am

      Kenny,

      Again. This wasn’t about you. It’s about other people far beyond you, and far beyond me.

      You’re right, you didn’t call me a man-hater, you said I came off like one – but, again, I wasn’t calling you out specifically. Now that we are discussing this specifically, I’d really like to understand the “misandrious” tendencies to which you refer.

      Finally, I understand you wanted me to reciprocate with reading your blog, etc. I fully appreciate that, but as I mentioned before, I actually have no interest in your blog and the PUA thing, and I’m cool if you peace out.

      Thanks for reading.

    • Feminist Dating permalink
      May 17, 2012 3:28 pm

      What does her butt have to do with anything?

      • May 18, 2012 10:09 am

        … I don’t read his blog. “Butt” being used to describe my person. Which sounds awful but I do it too so I don’t think he means offense – e.g. “Canada, hurry up and get your butt over here.”

  2. May 16, 2012 2:54 pm

    Ok, yes we have to ensure we word thing right etc etc not to inflame the debate and to get the right kind of discussion going. Well yes but at the same time, why the heck do we (and I am just using we as in women for arguments sake now) have to be so bloody careful with wording everything when clearly those with an agenda to crap on all the arguments wouldn’t even dream of doing the same. It pisses me off! I am no man-hater at all, far from it, but I also think that people who want to claim that people are such a thing are the haters in the end of the day and sometimes we all do them a favor when we walk on eggshells around them. Some people will just never be bothered to try to view things from different perspectives. Unfortunately.

    I just do not get and never had… men and women – human beings and no difference should be made depending on gender, sexuality, race etc etc…. if you want to make a difference then look at how that person acts and behaves. There is the only difference between humans that should matter. The rest is irrelevant. Or maybe it is just me who thinks that, that is simple. So simple but seemingly so difficult.

    • May 16, 2012 4:47 pm

      “…sometimes we all do them a favor when we walk on eggshells around them.” <— Yes, this. It's a fine line to walk between doing this, and trying to engage conversation and be mindful. Really, it is.

      And, YES what matters is how a person behaves, how they treat themselves and others. Period. Full stop. It's when we start to generalize behavior across groups based on appearances or very very narrow views that we run into such trouble.

      Sigh.

  3. May 16, 2012 3:27 pm

    “Please, please understand that this post is not, actually, about you.”—I just thought I should say it again because I’m not sure he got it.

    • May 16, 2012 3:34 pm

      I’m not sure you understand the concept of “not sucking up”.

    • May 16, 2012 4:44 pm

      Kenny – please don’t insult other readers. You can talk to me all you want, but let’s not do that, ok? I really don’t want to start blocking comments.

      • May 16, 2012 5:01 pm

        I’m just saying.She came at me with the sarcasm,so I felt compelled to reciprocate.

  4. May 16, 2012 6:13 pm

    Hilarious. And he actually came back.o_O

    Good ol’ Kenny wants you. BAD. He’s hearing wedding bells.

    FW

    • May 16, 2012 6:22 pm

      Lol I didn’t realize my lust and desire for Kiki was that obvious.

      As a pick-up artist,we prefer to fly under the radar.I might have to sharpen my skills a bit more lol.

      • May 21, 2012 9:52 am

        … Who’s Kiki?

    • May 17, 2012 9:58 am

      LOLz!!!

      You know what I’d like to see? Kenny attempt to pick you up. In real life. It would be amazing.

      • May 17, 2012 12:00 pm

        I hope she’d be a challenge.

  5. May 16, 2012 11:47 pm

    I once heard it said that when someone tells/shows you who they are you should believe them. Now, I know we’re not really talking about anyone in particular here but this whole shebang brought that to mind.

    • May 17, 2012 9:59 am

      Aaaaaaaand Sam Sharpe sums up my entire post in one sentence.

  6. lilithrose76 permalink
    May 17, 2012 2:05 am

    Hilarious and brilliant, love your work Nikki B! And Kenny, bless your heart, and that is not sarcasm, loved the granny knickers part but please, insult me and I walk away, probably after some kind of verbal out-pouring, my underwear would remain in place and i’d probably feel sorry for you and such indecent attempts of trying to get laid.
    I agree about thinking about the converstions we have, to keep them coming from a place of love, and also with “But, for fuckitty-fuck’s sake, I’m done pretending anyone has the right to call me a man-hating bitch.” We are coming from a place of love and compassion in a culture that increasing infuriates us with it’s blatant sexism, it hurts, it fires us up, but we end up with action and looking for solutions. as Ani D says, “feminism is no longer about equality, it’s about reprieve”.
    Lily, the man-loving feminist

    • May 18, 2012 10:17 am

      Hi Lilly, fellow man-lover!

      Thank you for your kind words – and you’ve hit on the issue with Kenny attempting to work on you, me, Ivy, Feisty, or anyone of our ilk. Whether he and other PUAs want to admit it, we’re not the ladies he’s looking for. The entire premise is that women are insecure and in need of male validation and attention. While we are *all* under these pressures our entire lives, some of us rise above them. Kenny and other PUAs are trying to find the ones that have not. All of this is why I have such problems with PUAs – not just because it preys upon these horrible gender narratives, stereotypes, and performance (for both men AND women!) but also because it assumes men want that kind of woman.

      Sure, some will pick anyone to get laid, and those would be the men susceptible to the PUA advances, but I doubt any man I want to be with would want to 1) prey on women like that and 2) want a woman like that – who needs his validation more than she cares who he is. Am I making sense?

      Other than that – yes the greater message about how to walk that line, and for us to knock off the diplomacy/walking on eggshells when we should not be. Make clear that we come from a place of compassion, but we are not going to take this shit any more. That we deserve the reprieve and that it doesn’t mean we hate men.

      Thank you for reading! I will check your blog out too.

      • May 18, 2012 10:50 am

        Lol yall are hilarious.

        Just having some fun here that’s all.

        BTW Niki,I tweeted to you about doing a podcast interview with me via phone.

        I was basically tryna get a feminist’s view on feminism and dating.

        You haven’t responded to the proposition.

        • May 21, 2012 9:41 am

          Sorry, Kenny. This wasn’t a post where I’d like to “have some fun.”

          I never received your invitation, but I’m not interested.

      • Wonder boy permalink
        June 13, 2014 10:28 am

        I may be a bit late reading this. Anyway, I was amused by the “we are not the women they are looking for” part. Really? Y’all are probably members of the solo celibacy club, filling your lives with meaningless shit to rationalize your unhealthy sense of entitlement. Lol. Guys make judgements based on looks first. If you look good, we consider you. If I’m misogynistic, well EXCUSE ME.

  7. May 17, 2012 8:05 am

    This was great! I have such a hard time with this sort of thing. I usually just walk away because it’s hard for me to “walk on eggshells” and keep it nice. I can do it. I know we need to do it to further the discussion. It’s tough.
    Every once in a while I have to remind myself to be a kinder and more tolerant person. I get so angry with intolerance and then find myself becoming intolerant of the people spewing it to the point that I refuse to engage. This just builds more walls. Without the conversations, it all turns to hate. And, I hate the word “hate.”

    • May 21, 2012 9:44 am

      Yep. All of that. And there is definitely a line we have to find between making allowances and being understanding, and being walked all over once again. I also find that dealing with intolerance makes me less tolerant, too. For awhile I was reading The Good Men Project pretty heavily, and I realized I’d dealt with so much bullshit from their readers, I was started to assume things about what people were trying to say versus really listening. I needed to take a step back.

      We need the conversations but, as Sam Sharpe points out, sometimes people make clear who they are, and you should take them at their word.

  8. lilithrose76 permalink
    May 17, 2012 8:22 am

    Reblogged this on freedomfrompornculture and commented:
    A brilliant piece on the conversations we have as feminists and finding common ground with those we are trying to reach, also a funny look at the fierce opposition we sometimes, and sometimes more frequently than not, face in our quest for equality.

    • May 21, 2012 9:44 am

      THANK YOU!!

  9. ruthless permalink
    May 18, 2012 6:53 am

    This is off topic I know but for the record, it’s not fair to say that PUA “assumes men need help” when really they can just be themselves. PUA exists in the first place because a large chunk of guys do NOT get laid by “just being themselves”, in fact it prevents them from doing so. As a result, they SEEK PUA because it tends to be effective (some times with the side effect of turning you into a raging misogynist, some times not.).

    • May 18, 2012 10:29 am

      Good job on the clarification and breakdown Ruthless.

      And thanks for rescuing me too from the femi mob lol.

    • May 21, 2012 9:49 am

      I agree I make some generalizations about PUAs – based on my understanding of them.

      I suppose the question really is: Do PUAs exist to simply “get men laid” at any cost? Is there any thought to how they interact with others, and the assumptions they make about women? Or about what men actually want? I think saying “men seek out PUAs because they can’t be themselves” may drastically oversimplify the issues, across the board.

      In this specific case, I’d really like some evidence other than Kenny not explaining to me how I come off as a man-hater, why it’s ok to use a serious forum to “have some fun” (thereby downplaying the serious underlying issue), and calling my readers a “femi mob.”

      Kenny, you shouldn’t need to be rescued, son. You should be paying attention to more than just your own agenda. If you can’t do that, you’re engaging the wrong forum and should move along.

      • ruthless permalink
        June 6, 2012 1:10 pm

        I made no attempt to “rescue” Kenny I was simply offering a rebuttal to your previous statements.

        you claimed to “make some generalizations about PUAs – based on my understanding of them.”, I thought some of those generalizations were wrong, so I offered my opinion, that’s all.

        “Do PUAs exist to simply “get men laid” at any cost?”

        From my perspective, yes, that is the primary goal. In short, slut shaming has encouraged women to deny themselves the sexual agency feminism claims them to have. As such, women spend a lot of time letting fear (either of being slut shamed or some other societal factor) prevent them from “just going out and saying yes to getting laid” very effectively. This means that for us men who would like to also “go out and get laid” with somebody who actually wants to lay us back, we have 2 projects every single time we want to ask a woman for sex. First we have to fight your fear, then we have ask you if you want to have sex with us.

        (and for the record, that whole “but you don’t have to ask, women will ask YOU when they don’t feel slut shamed” is a myth. Yes there are a few women who are starting to over come the idea of women can’t ask and it’s fucking beautiful but it’s not helping even 1% of men. Feminism encourages women to embrace their own sexual agency but it doesn’t tell them “it is your social responsibility to ask for what you want, yes that includes men”. I listen to women about women’s experience, trust me as a dude on this one, when we stop approaching, we stop getting laid, entirely (this coming from somebody who has spent a life time not approaching, and thusly has been approached… once… ever… and im 27 <_<)

        It's not the asking part that's the problem, its the fear part. Yes you could go on and on about how women are fearful for good reasons, but that's not the point in this case, because a gender egalitarian awareness of slut shaming and rape culture might help me understand your fear, but me understanding it isn't going to take it away from you. There is no magic flags I can give off that say "no really, I'm not a creepy rapist or a "Nice Guy" TM, I'm just horny and think your cute and a pleasant conversation partner and would really like to spend the next 2 hours of my time having sex with you rather than convincing you I didn't just spike your drink.

        So to combat this, some dudes invented a way to use social engineering in order to move around your fear. and THAT at heart is what PUA is, a system of defeating the defenses women build around their sexual agency due to fear.

        Yes, it is a form of social engineering, and as such can be used to move around people's social protectors against things that can actually hurt them (like rapey assholes). A scalpel is a bladed instrument that can be used to commit murder, it can also be used to do tons of other constructive shit.

        access to sex is a privilege women have that the vast majority of men do not, IMHO you should check yours, and realize that we ALL want more sex, and the sooner we stop slut shaming people and not just women, the sooner PUA will become obsolete.

        • June 6, 2012 2:06 pm

          Nice breakdown Ruthless.

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  1. Kenny Gets Attacked By Another Man-Hating Feminist + Why You Should Man-Up To Destroy Feminism | Socialkenny PUA: “Get Laid Fast”

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