Broadsnark shoots self in foot.

In response to my entry Male entitlement at work…, Broadsnark posted a reply entitled Beware of Strange Men on Airplanes. The entry tries to frame the issue as a battle between the view that most rapists are strangers and the view that most rapists are known to the victims. I agree that most rapists are known to the victims (although the definition of “known” is quite debatable), but it’s not really relevant to the topic. More on that at the end.

Most importantly, Broadsnark accuses us of gender essentialism:

Gender essentialism is our enemy. It is not o.k. to base policies on gender essentialist notions, regardless of who is negatively affected…

We can’t end sexism by being gender essentialist.

My reaction to this was, what the fuck? Neither me nor Meghan Murphy expressed any gender essentialism in our entries. The motives for the Virgin Australia policy, if it is statistical as Murphy and Broadsnark suggest, are also not gender essentialist.

It seems to me that Broadsnark is serious about ending gender roles, but accusing other people of being gender essentialists when they’re not is just a bizarre way of going at it. Attacking people who are gender essentialists, on the other hand, would be a good strategy.

I could be wrong on this, but the implicit argument seems to be that by pointing out male privilege (in one particular dude’s case), we’re attacking all men everywhere personally for what they do. So again we come back to the whole “I take your apersonal, systemic analysis personally!” bullshit. It seems we need to repeat over and over that attacking the Patriarchy is not the same as attacking all men. If Broadsnark wants to understand feminist theory, ey needs to understand at least that much.

I mean, I am well aware that I have male privilege, but I am not attacking myself when I point out that some dude freaked out when he was confronted with that fact, nor do I believe his freaking out was specifically caused by male biology. I think it was caused by his sense of entitlement, which is not biological. If I was asked to change seats on an airplane for the sake of children present, I would do so gladly. To whine and bitch about it is just plain perverse, and I don’t think reasonable men would do that (of course I think of myself as reasonable).

Yes, obviously I agree that parents should be the first suspects, that parents are often violent and abusive, and that they get away with it because of the hierarchical structure of parenting. But unless Broadsnark is ready to take an anti-parenting stance (which I very much doubt), this is a disingenuous response. Why even bring it up, except to divert attention?

13 thoughts on “Broadsnark shoots self in foot.

  1. Bedelia Bloodyknuckle August 30, 2012 at 23:02

    Ugh, just ugh. I always have this problem whenever I talk about male violence against women with my family. They always claim that I am
    A) Bitter
    B) Man-bashing
    C) Simply using my autism to blame men
    D) Using my experience with sexual violence as a means to hate men.
    E) All of the above
    It’s a distraction method and one that I am easily suckered into! DX

    • Francois Tremblay August 30, 2012 at 23:07

      Well now. I have no reason to believe that Broadsnark is not committed to ending gender roles. Let’s give em the benefit of the doubt.

      • Bedelia Bloodyknuckle August 30, 2012 at 23:11

        Oops, I meant that whenever someone uses the same arguments that Broadsnark uses to defend males and uses the “What aboot the mehnz!?”

        • Francois Tremblay August 30, 2012 at 23:25

          Yea, that’s basically all it is, in my opinion… it’s the whole “you’re attacking people personally” thing. I have an entry on that in my queue, but it should be a phenomenon intimately familiar to all radfem who have blogs…

          • Bedelia Bloodyknuckle August 30, 2012 at 23:28

            Oh, it sure is. My dad gets offended whenever I talk about men committing violence against women and I am being accused of turning the family against me………. :/

        • Francois Tremblay August 30, 2012 at 23:38

          Yes, how dare you remind a man that some men use violence against women? Oooooh you deserve the worse!

          • Bedelia Bloodyknuckle August 30, 2012 at 23:39

            Well, obviously! It’s totally my fault that my family calls me a “bully” and being “verbally abusive” to men. *eye rolls*

        • Francois Tremblay August 31, 2012 at 00:13

          Yes, you are verbally abusive. Every time you talk about male violence, it makes us all feel bad. And making people feel bad is like… a crime. I have the right not to feel bad. I have the right to feel good and only think positive thoughts. Positive thoughts about the Patriarchy. The Patriarchy is in women’s best interests. Social order requires gender order. Yes, yes, this is so obvious! How can you not see that? ;P

          • Bedelia Bloodyknuckle August 31, 2012 at 00:16

            Oh dear me! Why did I not see my evil irrational actions before!!!!!!!! I must be mentally ill! *dramatic faint*

        • Francois Tremblay August 31, 2012 at 00:23

          Oh no, I’m a gender essentialist now… the Feminist Police is gonna come to take away my feminism-writing-about license… weee wooo weee wooo

          • Bedelia Bloodyknuckle August 31, 2012 at 00:28

            Oh shit! it’s the poe-poe! Run!

  2. Divad Nordneg August 31, 2012 at 14:55

    The motive is about protecting children. The end.

    • Francois Tremblay August 31, 2012 at 14:58

      Yes, I agree. That’s why I say that anyone who thinks it’s not ok is just being perverse.

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