How not to prove that you’re not a sexist

The last three men that have discovered I am a Feminist™ have immediately reacted to the discovery by pointing out that there are some feminist arguments they find fault with. Or they read an article by a feminist once they disagreed with. Or they think that feminist on the internet is mean.

For the record, I did not just corner these men and announce that I Am Feminist. They asked.

I did not ask these men what they thought of feminism or ask if they’d read any controversial feminist literature lately.

Men, this is not how conversations work. You say something about you, I say something nice about that, maybe ask you more about it. Maybe I talk about me. Maybe we both talk about a mutual interest or current event. I thought we all understood these conventions.

If you say “I’m a cook” I don’t respond with “I think Gordon Ramsay is really mean.”

To be honest, men, you are reacting as if I have just said “I am the embodiment of all threats to your self-identity, masculinity, and privilege, including that one threat you heard once that was based on an argument you thought faulty.”

And also you are reacting like a child.

For your reference, acceptable responses to “yes I am a feminist” include, but are not limited to:

  • “cool”
  • “how about that local sports team”
  • “I like motorcycles.”
  • “what time is it?”

In a perfect world, I tell a dude I’m a feminist and then they look unsurprised and say “of course” and we go about our business because we both accept we all participate in the perpetuation of patriarchal power structures unless we actively push back against them (and usually even then).

In the real world, just don’t ask if you can’t stop yourself from getting defensive about something that isn’t even fucking about you.

For the record, the last woman I told that I was a feminist responded with “right” because she is a feminist too and we had a lovely evening of discussion in a whiskey bar in Victoria so YOUR LOSS, MEN.

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