I have been trying for the last couple of days to think of a fun & quirky way to start this post but there isn’t one (or I am just not that funny or quirky): A member of my extended family …let’s call them X (white, male) slid into my DMs & proceeded to take a big patriarchal dump on me. Which, now that I think about it, isn’t fun or quirky.
The below are shots of the conversation I ended up embroiled in (on a Sunday, no less!).
Now, I don’t want to go into a blow by blow commentary of what was said. I’ve put it here & you will discern your own opinions & thoughts from the conversation but let me tell you now…I was fucking fuming!
Yeah…I chose to spell it as ‘womxn’. I had just read an article about why some people are choosing to do it & I thought I’d try it out for size. I like the idea of challenging how things have been done for years & women owning their own pronouns.
I didn’t ask for you to DM me your thoughts.
I didn’t ask for you to come into my space & spill your privileged garbage at me.
I didn’t ask for any kind of discussion or discourse, especially as none of your comments were related to what I was posting about. You might as well have DMed me about my profile picture or the emojis in my bio.
It is not my job to educate you. It is not my role in life to listen to you just because you have an opinion & happen to be a white male. There will be a discussion when I want one, not when you feel entitled to thrust one upon me
X (white, male) feels utterly protected & entitled by their privilege to tell me that my opinion is ‘insane’ & then tell me that, because I didn’t want his opinion & told him so, that I was being aggressive & not open to debate. His privilege tells him that he is totally right in telling me his opinion whether I asked for it or not & then say I can just ignore it, a hard thing to do when you have already shared it. If I can’t take his criticism then I should be small, not say anything, hide my voice. If I can’t take the heat then stay out of the kitchen. But what he (and many like him fail to understand) is that THIS IS MY FUCKING KITCHEN! This is the fight I was born to fight just by being born female.
Like most women I know I have been taught that it is better to be considered a nice person than to speak my truth & share my voice. I am spending a lot of time unpacking how I was raised, the ideals that were instilled in me from my parents, the media & other external agencies. Say silent, men don’t like a loud woman, don’t be brash or bolshy etc. I have kept quiet my entire life for the sake of others & because I just didn’t value what I had to say. However: I would be remiss if I did not say something, speak out & hold myself & this person accountable. Too many people, both men & women are protected by hundreds of years of indoctrinated thought: don’t say anything to upset anyone, if you say anything/talk back at the family meal you will be labelled a trouble maker & NO ONE LIKES A LADY TROUBLE MAKER!!!!!
The thing is that we are all victims of the Patriarchy: men & women alike. Women may suffer more visibly from it but I do not truly believe that the good men in my life actively choose to be part of a system that denigrates women. It comes from years of indoctrinated thought through the media & that person’s own upbringing which will be by people who are also victims of Patriarchy.
I know I live a privileged life. This is not the worst thing that has ever happened, will ever happen & I can count myself fortunate that I have an excellent support network who have helped me process my anger regarding this. By posting this I know I will get backlash from the family, people will be upset that I have put this in the public forum & asked my people to read & comment. I have invited discord & stress into my life by doing this & not only my life but the life of my partner too who will likely have a few choice words said to him regarding my behaviour. But my point is this: if people like me choose to do/say nothing for the sake of keeping the peace then I cannot rightly call myself a feminist. I will not be silent so that someone else can feel powerful at my expense. If we keep quiet for the comfort of those whom we love but don’t agree with then they win. Patriarchy wins. And I just can’t have that.