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Wed Jul 23, 2014, 10:27 AM

"Quit Fucking Asking Me Questions: A Refresher Course"

It seems like this important message is in need of further clarification.

So here's another take.

When it comes to being a woman on the internet, there are enough frustrating roadblocks every day to make your brain liquefy and dribble out your ear all gross (more frustrating roadblocks than there are fireplaces at Rosings Park, AMIRITE). But possibly the most frustrating of all are the gnashing hordes constantly demanding that you educate them, educate them, educate them. Oh, you write about sexism on the internet? Well, before we get into all that boring nuance and subtle gender dynamics that feminist scholars have been demarcating for years, can you just back up 17,000 steps and prove to me that inequality exists?

...
Frank Bruni's op-ed on Monday, titled "Sexism's Puzzling Stamina," was painful in its simplicity. It's comforting to hear gender inequality stated so plainly—accepted so calmly and wholly—by someone outside of the feminist blogosphere. The fact is, our culture is still dealing with the same basic shit that was outraging kitchen-table progressives 20 years ago. We confuse comfort for freedom and then lambast women for complaining. We blame victims and apologize for predators. We dictate, to exacting standards, how women's bodies should look and move. We see nothing wrong with asking a female professional how her kids handle her frequent business trips, and whether or not she's considered staying home. We do not ask the same of men.

While racism and homophobia are treated, in mainstream discourse, like abominations (however meekly we might combat them and however aggressively they go to ground), sexism is still something of a grey area. Here's Bruni:

I keep flashing back more than two decades, to 1991. That was the year of the Tailhook incident, in which some 100 Navy and Marine aviators were accused of sexually assaulting scores of women. It was the year of Susan Faludi’s runaway best seller, “Backlash,” on the “war against American women,” as the subtitle said. It was when the issue of sexual harassment took center stage in Clarence Thomas’s confirmation hearings.

All in all it was a festival of teachable moments, raising our consciousness into the stratosphere. So where are we, fully 22 years later?

We’re listening to Saxby Chambliss, a senator from Georgia, attribute sexual abuse in the military to the ineluctable “hormone level” of virile young men in proximity to nubile young women.


And:

Our racial bigotry has often been tied to the ignorance abetted by unfamiliarity, our homophobia to a failure to realize how many gay people we know and respect.

Well, women are in the next cubicle, across the dinner table, on the other side of the bed.


...

Maybe I shouldn't be so hostile. If you've been on the receiving end of a "hush, the grown-ups are talking" or a crying cat gif, and that was painful for you, my bad. After all you're just asking, and wasn't I just saying that I'm committed to discourse and critical thinking? Yes. I am. But here's the thing: you're not. This isn't a new derailing tactic—it's ancient. One million people have written about it before me. But if my Twitter feed is any indication, plenty of people haven't read up on their own bad behavior (weird) and need a goddamn refresher. So here's the late, great Derailing for Dummies on the subject. (Sometimes I just read Derailing for Dummies over and over again instead of therapy.)

By insisting you can only learn if they right then and there sacrifice further hours of time going over the same ground they have so often in the past, you may also make them give up and go away altogether, enabling you to win by default.

But further, you give the impression that you really want to learn, but they’re holding you back! That’s right, using this tactic you can suggest that full understanding is what you crave – you want to be a better, more connected and compassionate person – but it’s not your fault! Nobody ever gave you the education! And now that someone is here who is so obviously qualified, they’re denying you your Privilege® given right to have everything you want handed to you on a platter!


...

http://jezebel.com/quit-fucking-asking-me-questions-a-refresher-course-512810149



I'm sure feminists are well aware of the difference between someone who is genuinely interested in engaging with feminists about feminism and feminist issues, and someone who is not.

There are differing opinions about the benefit of feeding such trolls. Sure some who are just reading the discussions might learn stuff and if so that's great.

The point is that a refusal to do so should not be misconstrued as a feminist 'not doing her job' or 'not being a good activist'... this is a derailing tactic and anyone who ignores these requests is most certainly not acting in bad faith by doing so.

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Reply "Quit Fucking Asking Me Questions: A Refresher Course" (Original post)
redqueen Jul 2014 OP
JTFrog Jul 2014 #1
seabeyond Jul 2014 #2
redqueen Jul 2014 #4
seabeyond Jul 2014 #7
Tuesday Afternoon Jul 2014 #11
seabeyond Jul 2014 #12
Tuesday Afternoon Jul 2014 #14
malthaussen Jul 2014 #8
redqueen Jul 2014 #9
malthaussen Jul 2014 #13
redqueen Jul 2014 #19
malthaussen Jul 2014 #22
redqueen Jul 2014 #25
seabeyond Jul 2014 #10
malthaussen Jul 2014 #16
ismnotwasm Jul 2014 #18
malthaussen Jul 2014 #20
redqueen Jul 2014 #24
malthaussen Jul 2014 #27
F4lconF16 Jul 2014 #31
seabeyond Jul 2014 #32
malthaussen Jul 2014 #39
malthaussen Jul 2014 #3
redqueen Jul 2014 #5
seabeyond Jul 2014 #6
Tuesday Afternoon Jul 2014 #15
ismnotwasm Jul 2014 #17
redqueen Jul 2014 #44
Squinch Jul 2014 #21
malthaussen Jul 2014 #26
Squinch Jul 2014 #28
malthaussen Jul 2014 #30
seabeyond Jul 2014 #33
malthaussen Jul 2014 #40
Tuesday Afternoon Jul 2014 #34
Squinch Jul 2014 #35
Tuesday Afternoon Jul 2014 #36
seabeyond Jul 2014 #37
redqueen Jul 2014 #45
ancianita Jul 2014 #23
redqueen Jul 2014 #43
JustAnotherGen Jul 2014 #29
redqueen Jul 2014 #42
awake Jul 2014 #38
redqueen Jul 2014 #41

Response to redqueen (Original post)

Wed Jul 23, 2014, 10:32 AM

1. "But here's the thing: you're not."

 

Bing-fucking-O.





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Response to redqueen (Original post)

Wed Jul 23, 2014, 10:51 AM

2. it is easily recognized whent he person is actually given the info, chooses to ignore the info, to

 

continue with his point to derail. like the first OP on this subject.

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Response to seabeyond (Reply #2)

Wed Jul 23, 2014, 10:58 AM

4. This comment from the replies there spells it out well.

there is a huge difference between the truly ignorant and the douchebag who uses it as a tactic to undermine feminist points of view. I felt like Lindy was addressing the latter here. I have had some pretty interesting exchanges with dudes who literally did not know what I was talking about until I took 17,000 steps back to explain it to them. There are a lot of mixed messages floating around about the extent to which the feminist project is completed and whether we live in a post-sexist world, so I can't blame people who would only be very mildly affected by feminism or sexism for their ignorance. They literally don't know what they don't know and you do have to point them in the right direction.

Others know exactly what they are doing and see feigning ignorance as a tactic to undermine feminist efforts. And they can fuck right off.


People in the other thread were talking about trusting women to know the difference.

Here's the thing though, even if they're wrong and they ignore some well meaning soul's expectation to be spoon fed some basic information, so what? Will the world end?

Why so much outrage over the fact that women might not be picture-perfect ambassadors for feminism?

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Response to redqueen (Reply #4)

Wed Jul 23, 2014, 11:03 AM

7. what is relly the hoot is the demand of all women to educate adn the voicing crying feminists are

 

talking for all women, and no educate.... no, educate.

it really is a no win and fuck you, and staying true to self cause all the outside forces will make you crazy.

i know when a person is open, and when they are not. it is not hard to hear the difference. i told my boys years ago, do not try to manipulate cause we are all clever and can hear and see.

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Response to seabeyond (Reply #7)

Wed Jul 23, 2014, 11:37 AM

11. this^ so much^ this .... and especially this =


it really is a no win and fuck you, and staying true to self cause all the outside forces will make you crazy.


and it is Not JUST Men.

because NotAllWomen are Feminists.

Some of the worst enemies to feminism are women.

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Response to Tuesday Afternoon (Reply #11)

Wed Jul 23, 2014, 11:41 AM

12. point. as they yell... i am a woman and i say, i feel sorry for men. lol. oh vey. lol. hear me

 

wimper.

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Response to seabeyond (Reply #12)

Wed Jul 23, 2014, 11:47 AM

14. So tired of it all. And watching it happen in HoF is really just wearing me down. It can happen ALL

over DU3 but, to watch it happen here makes me sad ... and ... tired. Very Tired.




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Response to redqueen (Reply #4)

Wed Jul 23, 2014, 11:07 AM

8. "Post-sexist world?"

You know, suddenly I realized something: my vintage makes it obvious to me that we are far from a "post-sexist" reality, because I was actually sapient at the time of Roe v Wade. But what about those who haven't the advantage of my longer viewpoint? The propaganda to which they have been exposed, the whole "matrix of expectations" (as I like to call it) is different from mine. If history is anything that happened before you were born, it's actually conceivable that a person of good will who has not had the experience of Past Times could conclude that the battle is obsolete. Labor rights suffer under the same burden.

-- Mal

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Response to malthaussen (Reply #8)

Wed Jul 23, 2014, 11:21 AM

9. An excellent observation nt

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Response to redqueen (Reply #9)

Wed Jul 23, 2014, 11:42 AM

13. Which stresses the need for education...

... which ties in, oddly, to the point of the OP, why the "failure to educate" is seen as a failing on the part of the feminist.

It's depressing, though. Drawing on the Labor history point, when I was growing up, unions were understood to be valuable and important organizations (but there was considerable grumbling that they were starting to go too far). Yet we chose to piss away 100+ years of labor advancements because we let the vested interests control the discourse. (What we might have done about it is another question, of course) I can see the same thing happening to other civil rights. Since Reagan, and especially in this century, we have been tossing our principles into the trash for the sake of what... some kind of perceived minor security? Somehow, as an idealistic young fool in the early 70's, I didn't think in 2014 an American citizen could be stopped and frisked on her way to Planned Parenthood where mobs would spit in her face and throw things at her. The really sad thing is, I thought most of my contemporaries would agree with that -- and yet, they are the ones in the vanguard of the reaction. Dammit, there is no excuse for that.

-- Mal

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Response to malthaussen (Reply #13)

Wed Jul 23, 2014, 12:40 PM

19. Well there's an assumption there that the ignorant want to learn.

Many don't. They have their egos fully stroked by appeals to greed (with respect to labor) or PRI ileged self-interest (with respect to feminism) and they are intently disinterested in open discussion.

It's like expecting to 'educate' people who don't believe that global warming is happening.

Yes, there are some people who are actually interested in social justice, but this piece isn't about those people.

This is about the people who want to debate whether women should have bodily integrity. Who want to debate the meaning of sexual objectification is really a bad thing, if not whether it even exists.

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Response to redqueen (Reply #19)

Wed Jul 23, 2014, 12:48 PM

22. Mmm, I was thinking from the top-down rather than bottom-up.

Education is indoctrination. How much current mores are due to decisions made by those with the control of the agenda, and how much they are due to individual factors, is a question I haven't resolved to my own satisfaction. The great sea-change, as I see it, has been from a belief that rights are due to all, to a twisted idea that you exercising your rights somehow violates mine. Viewed objectively, it was a neat trick how "they" pulled that off.

But as a clarification, I wasn't intending to suggest that criticizing feminists for "failure to educate" was the correct position, just that I could see why someone might think so without being mendacious.

-- Mal

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Response to malthaussen (Reply #22)

Wed Jul 23, 2014, 12:54 PM

25. And my view is that if they think so, they have not been listening to feminists.

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Response to malthaussen (Reply #8)

Wed Jul 23, 2014, 11:27 AM

10. i have to tell my boys, i was raised in a time i could not get a credit card in my name. it was

 

inherently known that women were inferior, the man smarter, more capable. i was not allowed to consider being the doctor, but relegated to teacher or nurse.

i mean. i remember the age when it actually dawned on me, that i really thought i was inferior. it was a *gasp* moment.

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Response to seabeyond (Reply #10)

Wed Jul 23, 2014, 11:54 AM

16. Being a child of white-boy privilege...

... the most difficult thing I have had to learn is the need for affirmation that is inherent to feminism. This applies not just to feminism, of course, but to the need for affirmation of all oppressed groups. Since I already stipulate the applicability of rights to all, to me the question was always a done deal, so why were we wasting time on it? It took awhile to assimilate the reality that for the "other" the deal wasn't "done" at all, but one that even the most enlightened fighter often still had to struggle with. I think that this may be one of the reasons there are so many problems with MRAs and their ilk -- the basic inability to comprehend that talking about injustice is not whining or special pleading, but a means of affirming to the oppressed individual that yes, you are not imagining things, you are really being fucked with. It is not a failing of intellect or will, but rather a failing of experience. For as many times as my old man told me to shut the fuck up, I never questioned (as that child of white-boy privilege) that I had a right to be heard. It is really hard to grasp that others might have a whole different reality.

-- Mal

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Response to malthaussen (Reply #16)

Wed Jul 23, 2014, 12:34 PM

18. Great post

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Response to ismnotwasm (Reply #18)

Wed Jul 23, 2014, 12:40 PM

20. Yeah, kind of ties in with yours downthread.:)

Is it wilfull ignorance, though, or just innocent ignorance? That's the crux of the question. One should be able to assume that a reasonably-alert individual of college age should have had enough opportunity to educate himself to some of the basic facts of life as to make any request for "enlightenment" suspect. But, given the counter-reality of privilege (not to mention indoctrination), it is still conceivable that the poor lad (or lass, as may be, women are not necessarily more enlightened than men) might be innocent of mendacity.

But if so, so what? That's his problem, isn't it? And if he can't figure that one out, then what he needs is an ass-kicking, not an ass-kissing.

-- Mal

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Response to malthaussen (Reply #20)

Wed Jul 23, 2014, 12:52 PM

24. Aside from ass kissing or kicking though, there is listening...

and reading.

There is so much out there already. Anyone pretending that if one individual doesn't answer someone's query that they'll forever be left in the dark and the goals of feminism will have failed is just playing games.

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Response to redqueen (Reply #24)

Wed Jul 23, 2014, 01:06 PM

27. I'd say that goes without saying...

... but in view of the other thread, which this one caused me to review, that would be a truly asinine statement.

Hell, the very fact that "some people" have such a low opinion of you as to believe you'll swallow their crap, tells you all you need to know about them.

-- Mal

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Response to malthaussen (Reply #8)

Wed Jul 23, 2014, 03:13 PM

31. See, I am a member of the new younger generation.

I've never had the advantage of your longer viewpoint. Yet I am stull aware (for the most part, I have a lot to learn) of sexism and discrimination. In place of your longer viewpoint, I was lucky enough to grow up around many strong women. Almost all of the most important adults I knew in childhood were women who understood these issues as well.

That said, I have quite a few friendsmy age who didn't have that upbringing, who dealt with situations almost opposite of mine (and to clarify, I am referring to mostly straight white males here), and yet they have an awareness of these issues too. Anybody who truly cares, who wants to learn, can. It's up to the individual. To us, it's astounding that more people don't have that awareness, because as you look around at the tea party rhetoric, the supreme court's recent decisions, media coverage, treatment of female politicians, etc., the sexism in our everday life is painfully obvious. As far as I'm concerned, anybody who doesn't see it at this point is one of two things: incredibly sheltered and improbably clueless, or purposefully ignorant.

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Response to F4lconF16 (Reply #31)

Wed Jul 23, 2014, 04:38 PM

32. i have to believe that also. it is such in your face. everywhere.

 

and you hit the institutionalized ones.... sc, politicians. look at the porn, tv shows, ads, hooter restaurants for fuckin families. lets all go look at tits. and on and on.

rapes not prosecuted, videod, distributed for entertainment and enjoyment.

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Response to F4lconF16 (Reply #31)

Thu Jul 24, 2014, 10:22 AM

39. A third alternative would wilfully ingenuous.

As in, perfectly aware of it, and perfectly happy about it.

-- Mal

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Response to redqueen (Original post)

Wed Jul 23, 2014, 10:56 AM

3. Being disingenuous is often the opening to a Socratic line...

... I suppose one could just post a link to a good summary book for the poor, uninformed and eager questioner, but that would be a waste of time, too.

I find that people who are interested in discussing something with a relatively open mind are usually willing to stipulate, per arguendo, the assumptions underlying the point of departure. What interests them is where you're going with it, not having you prove it. Arguably, one who demands proof is already setting up an adversarial position, and not a learning situation. And who has time for that shit?

-- Mal

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Response to malthaussen (Reply #3)

Wed Jul 23, 2014, 10:59 AM

5. Bingo!

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Response to malthaussen (Reply #3)

Wed Jul 23, 2014, 10:59 AM

6. thats it. that is the different approach. those that are immediately trying to

 

prove the error in, rather than what are you saying??? is a difference.

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Response to malthaussen (Reply #3)


Response to redqueen (Original post)

Wed Jul 23, 2014, 12:28 PM

17. Damn that was good

It's not black people's responsibility to be your personal racism tutor, and it's not women's responsibility to take your moist little hand and give you a guided tour through the oppressive, old-timey limitations that circumscribe our lives. It is not my responsibility to vet every single one of your stupid rape jokes, and it is not Anita Sarkeesian's responsibility to prove to you that gaming culture has a misogyny problem while she's busy processing a bajillion "make me a sandwich, cunt"s from little baby gamer boys. We've been running backup for you long enough. Fucking do your own shit.


Maybe they'll 'get' it now. (Ha ha) I don't mind discussion, but other than friends, or this weekend my grandson, (he's already picking up some bullshit, because he doesn't didn't understand we do NOT live in a post-sexist world. We went round a bit until I figured out his problem--it's ok, people do look at each other and admire appearance, people get crushes n one another, girls look at boys too ect but I made the point it's not cool to examine any woman appearance without respect, and awareness that women have to constantly be aware of sexual predators-- you don't know her-- We still have a little work to do on that)
It is very difficult to discuss sexism outside of protected groups, without someone with what I now know realize is a 15 year old's awareness jumping in with their bullshit. They haven't learned because they haven't bothered to learn.

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Response to ismnotwasm (Reply #17)

Thu Jul 24, 2014, 11:33 AM

44. "They haven't learned because they haven't bothered to learn."

This is the crux of it.

"it's not cool to examine any woman appearance without respect"

Seems simple enough. But we're fighting years of conditioning by peers, family members, the media... by society... that sexual objectification is not only not a problem but actually natural and something we should just accept - if it's understood or even acknowledged as a thing!

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Response to redqueen (Original post)

Wed Jul 23, 2014, 12:41 PM

21. The thing that struck me in a subthread conversation on that last thread was this: imagine saying

to a man, "Explain to me exactly why it is that I need to treat you like an equal." When we imagine a man saying it to another man, it is easy to imagine that the next action would be that the man who is required to justify his equality would slug the one demanding the explanation.

The epic rudeness of the act of requiring someone to justify their equality somehow never made it through my socialization brain fog before. Neither did the abasement that we put ourselves through just by the act of answering the demands for that justification.

Men (probably I should qualify that by saying "white men" are never asked to justify their relative worth. The requirement of that justification from women is a statement in itself. And it is a statement in which the following is tacitly understood: "You need to explain and justify this to me, because there is nothing I have ever run across before that convinces me of it."

I never once required a man to explain to me why I should not be treating them as a second class. And yet somehow I learned not to treat them that way. I never once demanded that a single one of them justify to me why I should not treat them with a fundamental disrespect based on their gender. And yet somehow I know how not to do that. Because I am a decent person.

If you need to have this explained to you over and over and over, you are either really very dim or you are not a decent person.

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Response to Squinch (Reply #21)

Wed Jul 23, 2014, 12:55 PM

26. I've often thought the same thing, Squinch.

But simple courtesy is pretty dead these days. That is possbily part of the problem, but it raises the question of whether you would rather live in a kind fake or a brutal reality. That's a question predicated, of course, in a belief that the problem is irreducible.

The other thing I find intriguing is the amazing ability to compartmentalize. That an otherwise-reasonable person can consider a "right" something that is not fundamentally universal, but something somehow granted or withheld at the whim of some ruling agency -- well, that tells me that that individual has no real understanding of what constitutes a right.

-- Mal

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Response to malthaussen (Reply #26)

Wed Jul 23, 2014, 01:19 PM

28. What is shocking to me is that I have never quite put two and two together and thought that before.

Which might be an explanation of how someone on the requiring end of that conversation might not have though it through either.

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Response to Squinch (Reply #28)

Wed Jul 23, 2014, 01:25 PM

30. That's what makes epiphanies so much fun.

The good ones don't just explain yourself to yourself, they also explain other people to you. Which can often be a huge relief, so long as you don't get down on yourself for being so stupid!

-- Mal

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Response to malthaussen (Reply #26)

Wed Jul 23, 2014, 04:51 PM

33. i would rather live ina kind of fake than the brutal reality. why? cause the more people show

 

their true colors allowing the racism and homophobia and sexism to rare its head, it becomes a norm. it teaches others it is a norm. just our life. suck it up and deal. at least if it si hidden thru social pressure, the young and malleable are not being conditioned it is a norm. and they will not find the like mind that will teach them it is acceptable.

du is the micro of the macro. we saw du did not allow. it was also more people on our side. once it became allowable, we have more and more adopting this thinking.

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Response to seabeyond (Reply #33)

Thu Jul 24, 2014, 10:28 AM

40. A lot of the rules of common courtesy were designed to keep us from ripping each other's lungs out..

... there were more of them concerning women (when was the last time a man took off his hat because you were in the elevator?), and I wonder sometimes if dumping these has increased the tendency to objectify and abuse women. But then I've seen the argument that such forms of courtesy reinforce the patriarchal world-view and are thus to be derided as yet another form of sexism. This always leads me to ruminating about throwing babies out with bathwater.

-- Mal

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Response to Squinch (Reply #21)

Wed Jul 23, 2014, 06:06 PM

34. And that is why it is insulting the way things

Are handled here on DU.

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Response to Tuesday Afternoon (Reply #34)

Wed Jul 23, 2014, 07:28 PM

35. Well that I've always known. The fact that feminists here have to constantly justify their

existence and are often verbally abused, and we are told that we should accept that so others can learn, shows that there is a medieval ignorance at work within the powers that be.

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Response to Squinch (Reply #35)

Wed Jul 23, 2014, 08:10 PM

36. Amen

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Response to Squinch (Reply #35)

Wed Jul 23, 2014, 08:52 PM

37. you are so right on. and you point there in the initial post. nt

 

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Response to Squinch (Reply #21)

Thu Jul 24, 2014, 11:36 AM

45. ... or you have something invested in not understanding it. nt

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Response to redqueen (Original post)

Wed Jul 23, 2014, 12:51 PM

23. Thank you for the "Derailing for Dummies."

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Response to ancianita (Reply #23)

Thu Jul 24, 2014, 11:29 AM

43. My pleasure

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Response to redqueen (Original post)

Wed Jul 23, 2014, 01:19 PM

29. This explains it well

And speaks to me in my heart. Thanks for this find.

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Response to JustAnotherGen (Reply #29)

Thu Jul 24, 2014, 11:26 AM

42. I'm glad I went ahead and posted it.

I considered not doing so cause this piece is more hostile. But it seems to have helped so yay!

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Response to redqueen (Original post)

Wed Jul 23, 2014, 09:04 PM

38. thank you for restating your concerns in this post

I find the discussion on this OP very helpful. I hope others who like myself who had issues with the earlier post on this issue read not just the OP but the kind and thoughtful discussion of it.

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Response to awake (Reply #38)

Thu Jul 24, 2014, 11:24 AM

41. I'm so glad to know it was helpful.

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