Lessons That Men in SDS Have Taught Me
Posted April 5, 2009on:
This list is based on my own experiences with men in SDS. If you’re a man that I know, and you’re reading this and wondering if any of it is about you… then it could be.
Please don’t send me a(nother) long e-mail about how you’re angry about the way I “called you out” (notice that there are no names) or how you think this list is “counter-productive” or “self-righteous.” Instead, I encourage you to take that anger or defensiveness or whatever emotion you have after reading this, and think about why these behaviors might be upsetting and how you could change these behaviors to make SDS a more welcoming place to women/queer/transfolk.
Fellow women/queer/transfolk: feel free to add your own lessons in the comments! (I’m sure I’ve left out a lot – after all, men have so much to teach us!)
Lessons That Men in SDS Have Taught Me:
- It is wrong to call women “bitches.” It is, however, perfectly acceptable to call them “aggressive,” “intimidating,” and “hostile.”
- It is “self-righteous” and counter-productive to call people out, to ask people to respect you, or to tell people why/that their words and actions are hurtful and oppressive.
- The appropriate way to deal with a conflict is to send out long e-mails about it, preferably to every listserv you’re on.
- When problems arise, long e-mails may also be combined or substituted with passive-aggressive statuses on Facebook and/or gchat.
- The most effective and liberatory way to share your knowledge with people is in monologue form.
- Questions on feminist politics should be taken to the token woman.
- The best way(s) to deal with your emotions are (a.) refuse to acknowledge that they exist, and/or (b.) dump them on your (least?) favorite female/queer/trans friend.
- Women are only worth your time if they’ll “hook up” with you. (Or if there’s a chance that they will sometime in the future.)
- “Feminism” and “sexual liberation” mean “fucking lots of women.”
- Men in SDS never commit sexual assault. Only “normal” men (such as liberal environmentalists) do that!
- It is wrong for women and queer/transfolks to use violence to defend themselves against rape and queer bashings.
- If you’ve read The Will to Change, it means that you’re no longer a patriarch. It also means that you can be self-righteous about how you’re in touch with your emotions, and how you’re no longer a part of patriarchy.
- Having a penis and being male are the only qualifications you need to do a job. Take charge — no one will mind!
- The fact that someone “has come a long way” means you should be totally understanding of, and patient with, their current fucked up behaviors.
- Abuse, patriarchy, and sexism are totally compatible with radical/anarchist and feminist politics.
<3 sarah b. (dc-sds)