TELL ME THAT SCHOOL ISN’T HARD
I KNOW YOU’RE GROWN UP
I KNOW YOU ARE MY PARENT
I KNOW YOU’VE ALREADY BEEN THROUGH THIS PART OF LIFE
BUT SCHOOL HAS GOTTEN HARDER
AND TEACHERS ARE UNFAIR TO ME AND ASSIGN TOO MUCH
AND THEY DON’T UNDERSTAND THAT WHEN I AM TIRED
I CANNOT DO WORK
I CANNOT SUCCEED ON A TEST
I CANNOT FUNCTION
It doesn’t matter that “college is going to be way worse so get over it” because this is how I’m feeling NOW.
So if we have to show women what the baby looks like in their womb and tell them how the process works before allowing them to get an abortion, does that mean we should teach our soldiers about the culture of the lands we’re invading, and explain to them that the people we want them to kill have families and feel pain, just like Americans?
Anonymous asked: My eyes have only recently been opened to feminism and equal rights (and I feel quite ignorant at times), but my family (and often my friends) will laugh in my face, scoff or tell me to shut up if I bring up any double standards or sexism. Am I handling the situation incorrectly? If I hear my family and friends say something offensive or disrespectful, should I just stay quiet until I can discuss my thoughts with someone who has similar opinions?
Thank you for your question. This is a very complicated issue and I don’t know everything about your specific situation, but I’m going to do my best to discuss some different aspects of this topic and hopefully give you some advice that will be helpful to you and others.
First, I want to state that your emotional and physical safety is the most important thing here. If you are putting yourself in danger of getting hurt in some way, please make sure you protect yourself. This might mean not speaking up about an issue if doing so would result in emotional upset or fights or dangerous situations.
Secondly, it is unfortunately very common to be met with disbelief or mockery or scorn when you bring up feminist issues or other oppressions (such as ableism or racism). This does not mean you are doing something wrong. This has happened to me a lot as well – I am often not taken seriously when I bring up these kinds of issues to friends/family, especially when I call them out on sexist/racist/otherwise oppressive behaviour. So you are definitely not alone in that!
Thirdly, there is the matter of whether you should or shouldn’t remain silent to avoid being scorned. I think this partly depends on the subject matter. I’m going to take myself as an example here. I’m a woman, and as such I face sexism. When someone makes a sexist remark, I usually consider whether or not I’m emotionally in a good enough space to confront them. I consider who I am talking to, whether they will be receptive to what I say, whether I’m tired or already upset. Sometimes this results in calling the other person out, and sometimes I decide to let it go because I just don’t have the energy. This is both all right.
However, I am also white and straight. This gives me privilege. So when people make racist or homophobic comments, in that case I do have a responsibility to use that privilege and call them out. (See also this post.) For me, this is not as emotionally challenging as calling out sexist remarks because the identity that is being attacked isn’t my own. But it can still be pretty tough. I’m still learning as an ally and I mess up all the time, but yes, I do think there’s a responsibility here (although, again, it should not be at the cost of your mental or physical safety).
To sum up, I assess the situation in terms of (1) my own desire to call people out (mostly for sexism), (2) my responsibility as an ally (for other oppressions), and (3) the safety of the situation. That leads to my decision whether to call people out.
I also definitely recommend finding people who can be your back-up. I have a few feminist friends who I can rant to if I’ve had a stressful discussion, which can be very helpful. You are also always welcome to come talk to us here on the blog or to the mods at their personal blogs if you need emotional support.
It’s awesome that you’re learning about feminism and want to call people out and/or bring up issues of oppression! I hope this answer helps, and if you have any more questions, feel free to send them!