Date: 2014-05-29 09:41 pm (UTC)

aposiopetic: (Default)
From: [personal profile] aposiopetic
I do think, for what it's worth, that by and large you can shut down overt misogyny without losing a ton of face or friends. I mean, I think losing friends who are willing to drop you if you don't endorse their overt misogyny is a good thing, but I get that sometimes this stuff comes up with people you don't know well or in the workplace or whatever, and it's a different dynamic.

One reasonably reliable method in those settings is the ask-a-stupid-question shutdown: if someone cracks a joke, ask them why it's funny. Then keep asking questions, even if they try to play it off. It's a little deceptive, since you already know that they find it funny because of culturally-ingrained misogyny, but asking questions makes everyone present comes face to face with that in an uncomfortable way. But you're not a jerk, right? You were just asking for clarification!

If that's too aggressive or awkward for you, just saying "No." is also pretty good. I mean, elaboration is great for getting people thinking, but a simple "No." shuts things down, and it's a big step that requires very little risk on your part, since you're not getting into dialogue. And the thing is, most men don't want to think of themselves as misogynists and bad guys, so outing yourself as an ally and a good guy will probably do you more good than harm.

Ultimately, I encourage you to take risks, to surround yourself with good people, and to have tough dialogue and be part of the conversation, because that's what being an ally *is*, and we need them. We need you. But you have a choice, always, because of your privilege.


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Mark Smith

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