→ 10 Nov 13 at 7 pm
I’m James in the conversation above. I went to high school with the other guy, Matthew, and the woman who posted the picture, Alex. The picture was accompanied by text regarding the healing power of menstrual blood and its significance in various non-white cultures, as well as its scientific value (IE, stem cells). I just thought I’d post Matthew’s reaction to the picture and the subsequent argument. Alex has yet to comment on it, and I’m eagerly waiting to see how thoroughly she tears Matthew apart.
Some thoughts regarding the conversation: I believe Matthew assumes that the word “misogynist” is only applicable to the act of sex, as per his third comment. He also seems to believe that the picture itself is sexist, when it clearly is not; by extension, he believes that I am sexist because I support the intention and execution of the photo.
I always feel out of place arguing in a what is clearly a female sphere of discussion. Being a feminist ally, I feel that the primary way in which I can contribute is by confronting other men about their sexist ideas.
If I said anything problematic, please let me know.
A) You’re right, since you are men you do not get to set rules on what is or is not a women respecting herself, even women contribute to shaming other women about their “self-respect”, a relative term, subjective to each individual. Though the notion that women ‘these days’ have no self respect for themselves is fueled by the patriarchal notions governing that women are only one of two, the slut versus the virgin, etc. and what little progress has been made for the sexual liberation of women has made us all sluts who sleep around and men don’t like it cause this isn’t respecting ourselves, which should be read as “we don’t respect women who think they can sex as many men as we men want to sex women” or something, this old argument pops up rooted in double standards, how women have lost their shit because they’re more honest about their bodies, their sex lives, etc. but to operate under this idea that it IS for men to decide how women “self-respect” is to act on male privilege.
B) I quite like you’re first comment because others will read it and be like, “WHOAH, YOU’VE GOT A POINT. ALEX IS AN ASS BECAUSE BIOLOGY” Or something, because even though this is not where the argument/discussion/conversation shifted, it is still an excellent point/important connection to have made.
C) His attempt to compare semen to menstrual blood is absolutely ridiculous and he needs to learn a thing pertaining to the historical politics/oppression of women’s bodies, how everything, and every function of the male’s body has been glorified from the first mention of the lordly sperm swimming up to the egg to be saved (penetrated and fertilized) or else the egg would continue to be the damsel in distress waiting for her sperm and/or die because she was not given the opportunity to blossom into a zygote. Its ridiculous, having studied the “tones” in old and present biological books you begin to see how even those are sexist, to which I was shocked but its even more proof gender in relation to “social conditioning” (nice!) takes effect and root in us.
D) You’re discomfort is good, why? Because it is proof that it is uncharted water, and that there is always room for growth. When any of us, feminist or otherwise, walk around thinking we know lots of things about all the things, is when we subsequently get into trouble. However as far as I go, I think you did swell!
Overall, thanks for engaging, or trying to teach this dude bro a thing. I find myself always getting into skirmishes with folk from high school, and the fact that you said anything is again, brilliant. Good work there James. :)