I’ve gotta be honest: telling people to go it on their own is tempting and sometimes deserved, but from a strategic standpoint, I increasingly worry about the consequences of doing so.
In my discussions about race issues, I realized that although breaking down your story for the hundredth time gets tiresome…although it can be beneficial to take breaks…we should all be aware that the discussion will continue whether you’re involved or not. And you might be surprised by where it goes afterward. What if I tell someone to go it on their own or “go Google that” and the first source they find who welcomes them, doesn’t shame them for being confused, and gives them a digestible answer is a man or woman with a worldview like that of Milo Yiannopoulos?
I agree that there are some conversations that men need to have amongst themselves about being men, but going it on their own every time doesn’t always produce the best results. Many of the most hardcore anti-feminists scouring the internet right now are going it on their own. When I was first trying to figure out what it meant to be a man in changing times (not that I have everything figured out now), I leaned slightly in that direction myself. I wish I’d had Emma’s tactful insights to read back then.
I don’t think that every single woman (or man) should feel obligated to dive into this discussion, but having the input of more women like Emma will be very helpful. I don’t always have it in me to be sympathetic or welcoming — when I’m not in the mood, I step back so as not to do more harm — but I recognize the value of people like Emma who have the temperament to step out there and do it.