Yesterday, I posted a twitter rant about a dude, and his ongoing chauvinistic and unfair treatment of me, which I then promptly deleted. Well, I deleted it after I started getting emails about how people would like to talk to me about it and address the issue directly with the person. Deleted it, because I didn’t want the person to get in trouble. Well, kind of. I actually do want them to be called out for their behaviour, but not in ‘formal’ trouble, just regular peer group trouble. Or if I think about it, more accurately, because I don’t want to be known as the person behind it. As a troublemaker. As a sensitive snowflake.
And this was just your garden variety stuff like being talked over, dismissed, not being allowed to finish a sentence, my ideas appropriated as their own, ordered to do things by this person like Im his servant or inferior, a lower travel allowance than EVERYONE ELSE. Its not even as bad as the people who have recently come forward with harassment stories. But, it made me angry. And what made me angrier was when someone else (well meaning) came up to me after the last straw, and attempted to reassure me by letting me know it’s not just me, everyone else sees it too. Thing is…that’s not reassuring. Why don’t they say anything? Why, if they see it, does no one else say anything to back me up when I object to being cut off, or when I say ‘No’ when being ordered to do something by this person they are more than capable of, but too lazy to do, or a multitude of other examples where I stood up to chauvinistic behaviour but the behaviour kept happening? Why am I left to stand up for myself all the time, every time? It’s fucking exhausting. Well, we all know the answer, they don’t say anything for the same goddamn reason I deleted my twitter rant. Because they also don’t want to cause trouble. I get it. It’s just exhausting, the daily fight for equal treatment. And fucking demoralising.
Even more demoralising was being told, it’s actually my job to help this person grow. I think this person said it with the best intentions, because they thought it was perhaps a constructive way to deal with the situation, as opposed to a confrontational or destructive strategy. The thing is…..that’s not my fucking job. It’s not my fucking job, to tell a chauvinist how to behave like a human, towards women. Not only is it not my job, it wouldn’t even fucking matter if I made it my job. WHAT I SAY DOES NOT MATTER TO PEOPLE WHO ARE BIASED AGAINST ME. What any minority says does not matter to the majority who is biased against that minority.
You know what does work? Shame. Societal, peer shame. Its society’s job to show them what behaviour is not acceptable. That means, by definition, the majority. That means, in my case, it’s up to you, fellow male, to stand up for the me when I’m are being treated unfairly due to my gender. Or you white person, when a person of colour is being unfairly treated. Or you able person, when a disabled person is being unfairly treated. Or you straight person, when an LGBTI person is being unfairly treated. Without you, our voices DO NOT MATTER. And, your private concern and empathy might help you feel better, but it does not help us.