Thursday, December 24, 2009

What are Feminists so Afraid of?

Apparently me.

Contrary to my persona at times, I love a good, thoughtful debate with people who see the world differently. Stick me in a room where I can hash it out with a smart person who contradicts me on every front and I'm a happy guy. Occasionally, I stumble my way onto a feminist blog and feel I have joined Alice in her rabbit hole and find myself in a world full of amazement, beauty and seemingly backwards logic. They spin a world of fantasy (I don't mean that pejoratively) most captivating, as I suppose only a woman can.

What confounds me is that with their bravado of willingness to confront demanding social topics is coupled with a seeming reticence to actually face someone who feels otherwise. This has happened several times to me, including another quick dismissal on Pink Scare's blog, but most recently at a blog by the blogger whose handle is Armed with Vitriol. In a recent discussion I wished to discuss male and female bedroom relations. I will not offer a defense here, and let the reader decide for themselves if I was out of line; if I was, I am willing to concede the point and assume whatever shame is my due. That said, after giving what I thought was a thoughtful and playful response, I was returned with the rather bombastic response that what I had said was, "all kinds of wrong" and that the blogger would not, "bother with a reply because your comment is so ignorant it doesn't deserve one."

Again, what gets me is that someone with such a bold worldview would be so quick to dismiss anyone who would dare view the world differently. She also claimed I didn't read her response. I maintain that while I didn't give it a thorough reading, to say what I said was ignorant goes a bit too far. In a later reply she said I was "annoying (from a feminist perspective)." I'm not quite sure what she means by "a feminist perspective," but remember that she wouldn't "bother to reply" so I don't really know what is the problem.

So, I am left perplexed. The internet can unfortunately cause communication to become opaque, and what might have been a relatively banal conversation where two people might have found a lot of common ground became something else. Too bad. But what I wrestle with is why are feminist so unwilling to engage others? They want to mold public opinion -- a perfectly fine thing -- but seem unwilling to handle criticism. Why?

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