Saturday, November 24, 2007

WTF? rant.

Between the holidays and several gigantic papers, I've been completely ignoring the blog. I still don't really have time to post but have had an issue on my mind recently that I'd like to hear some thoughts on, if you have some time of course.

How do you deal with the negative effects of voicing your opinion? I know that it's right to speak up and say what's on my mind and so I do it regularly. I gave up keeping quiet a long time ago and have dealt with the consequences for years. Lately however it's been weighing on me. Men think I'm a bitch for not laughing at a misogynistic comment or even worse for calling them out on it. It's strange too because I am rarely anything but polite and never go straight on the attack; I might just ask a question about it or begin a discussion in a rational tone. Yet I am stereotyped quickly and misunderstood by whole groups of men just for being opinionated and assertive. I mean shit, without even saying a word I have been harassed for what I am assumed to be thinking (of course this only happens with men who don't know me at all).

Any thoughts about this? Does this happen to anyone else? If so, how do you deal with it?

I have to speak my mind and be myself but I also want to be understood and even liked. Maybe that's the problem.


Anonymous said...

yes i've experienced it.
i think it's more important to voice your opinion and be ostracized, than to keep silent and maintain the status quo... but i think you know that already.

how do you deal with it? don't expect to be liked by the people who you call out. be yourself, and look to the people who appreciate that about you to like you... most of all, you have to like yourself.

i would also add another wonderful phrase that might help - pick your battles. if you're calling people out who aren't receptive to it, and don't use it or see it as an opportunity to grow, it's not really worth it... it will only make you feel frustrated.

- nidhi

Korin said...

I agree that you should pick your battles. But I also think that the fact that they do react or harass you based on assumptions should put you at ease. It means in some twisted way they at least acknowledge the fact that there is something wrong, which must be better than getting a shrug off or a glassy eyed look. That's all I get from heated conversations - or maybe that is just the best reaction to a small, screaming red-faced girl.

mega said...

i don't have any answers, but i've definitely experienced this too...when to speak up, when to shut the fuck up? these arguments always seem inherently unequal--you are taking issue with their opinion, they are taking issue with your identity. i rarely come away feeling vindicated; instead i feel like my actual self was just attacked. so sometimes i keep quiet just because i don't want to deal with the whole you-are-a-man-hating-bitch thing. maybe that's along the lines of wanting to be liked. of course we do! not to chalk it all up to society and gender, but men generally don't like women with opinions--especially opinions that don't agree with their own. it really becomes a battle with yourself--do i want to regret not speaking up, or suffer the hostility that comes after i express myself? and maybe what bothers me too is that i might be a man-hating bitch. i mean, as a group they aren't exactly giving us a lot to like.

i don't know. i really don't know.

shelley said...

most definitely i have experienced this sort of problem... a problem because sexism is just as ignorant as racism, and sometimes in my more hopeful moments i think that i might be able to open the eyes of someone less exposed to the crucial importance of equality, or someone who lives blindedly because they don't know another way to live. picking my battles proves to be a life long challenge. because mostly i NEED to get my point across and i REFUSE to be the object of ignorance. however, i also do not want to be involved with men or women that choose to make offensive, sexist or racist comments. so sometimes i call people out, in a bar or in a class. but when it comes to the people in my everyday life, i make a choice to surround myself with men that have respect for women. and we both know that there are educated men out there that have respect for themselves and all others. do what you must. as a woman, i support you in sound, non-violent communication to express yourself. you are an empowered woman. you deserve to have other empowered people in your life. bitch or otherwise, i take the word back. i am a bitch sometimes and its a good thing, a necessary survival.