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A lifetime of microaggressions from Lindy West

April 1, 2013

I dabble in various article from time to time; and often in the things I may or may not agree with. It helps maintain perspective and breeds creative outside the box thinking when you expose yourself to alternative ideas. Recently a particular writer has caught my attention, Lindy West from Jezebel. I went ahead and read some things she’s written and I could spend all day long taking about how much I disagree with her on many, many things. The life of a critic is bitter-sweet is it not?

But the one thing she does most that just makes me raise a single eyebrow in confused curiosity is commit the very sins she so rants against. Granted, we all tend to be somewhat hypocritical about things from time to time, we are only human. But she takes it to a professional level.

Case in point…

You are not qualified to be dismissive of a lifetime of microaggressions until you have personally experienced a lifetime of microaggressions.

…having experienced a lifetime of microaggressions, I’m qualified to be dismissive of them. Point of argument; *everyone* is qualified. People suffer from microaggressions more than you might realize. People have to deal with other people; how can they not?

Within the past month I have experienced a few microaggressions. Just yesterday as I was relaxing outside, a trio of young women walked past my yard expounding upon the inferiority of men and the superiority of women.

Not long before that I overheard a conversation at work regarding the “broken leg” chromosome responsible for a man’s inability to be empathetic toward his own daughter.

A woman suggested I date my own dogs merely because I wasn’t interested in her. Perhaps she felt I was microaggressing her?

And as a man, I’ve also experienced macroaggressions; which makes me qualified to dismiss those to. I’ve been clocked, smacked, slapped, spanked, assaulted, threatened all for various reasons. (Yah, I earned a few of them)

You see, I know how to tell the difference between a serious issue, a casual accident and a misunderstanding. This whole “Dongelgate” issue is really a matter of the later two at best. I’m not nearly as tech-geek as those involved, but I could understand the joke after taking 2 bloody minutes to learn about it. It was funny, and it was private.

But I’m not here today to talk about that, I’m here to talk about you; Lindy West. I’m here to show you your sins. For within your emotionally charged self-righteous vindictive effort to expose the misogyny of reactions and call people out on their bullshit, you hypocritically ignored how you committed the very offense you hate. You committed microassult, microinsult and microinvalidation. Would you like to know how?

Woman in Tech Tweets About Sexist Dudes in Tech. Dude Gets Fired. Internet Meltdown Ensues.

It’s not Woman VS Man, it’s Woman VS “dudes”. The joke wasn’t a technical reference, it was “sexist”. We’re not even dealing with men who made a joke, we’re dealing with “sexist dudes”.

by a couple of tech bros sitting behind her making some shitty sexual puns about “dongles” and “forking.”

Once again, “bros” instead of men. Followed by a misunderstanding of the joke.

Quite a few “dudes” scattered around there. Do you know what a “dude” is? One definition is a man who is obsessive about manners. Do you really think that qualifies under your interpretation of events?

Sidenote to tech dudes: GET A FUCKING GRIP.

So she can create an open dialogue, but tech “dudes” are supposed to get a grip? On what exactly?

And the issue that a lot of (white) men seem to have trouble grasping is that not everyone gets to move through the world wrapped in the comfy presumption that every space is their space.

I’m not sure how being “white” makes a difference in the grand scheme of things. Because we live in a predominately white nation? Because one person involved happens to be black?

Many men, especially after this, don’t actually get to walk around “comfortably” in the world, when at a moments notice, a private remark you make can garner this much media attention. How do you not get that?

I can only speculate, but based on my experiences in male-dominated fields (film criticism, comedy)…

Yes, “your” experiences are not “everyone’s” experiences. Nor do they resonate with men who work in female dominated fields possible feeling similar. Or men in other fields who have to constantly watch what they say.

I imagine that constant dick jokes…

You don’t have a dick. You’re not qualified to dismiss jokes about their size as a direct reflection of a mans worth to a woman. Nor do you get to infer a woman’s body as a sexual utility object when we are replaced by a battery operated toy for being better at the job.

We need men to help.

So after all those insults you still expect us to help? Would you mind helping me move my couch after I call you a raging bitch?

Forward-thinking men who work in fields traditionally hostile to women have a responsibility to be actively pro-woman in those spaces.

We can’t just do our jobs in peace? You expect us to do more? Like what? Get you a cup of coffee in the morning?

Now pick some of this shit up—it’s heavy.

It’s so nice to know that you still judge men on their ability to handle heavy loads.

Now I know you’ll probably never read this. And even if you did, you wouldn’t agree with me and probably express how I’m merely representative of “The Patriarchy” or other unfalseifiable rhetoric. All fairly par for the course really. But that would simply be another microaggression you committed against me and in turn, all men.

Or perhaps you’ll say this is just a single, among others, article and it doesn’t count against as a ‘life time of microaggressions’. But how long have we heard this? Many men are still young and have been hearing this all their lives.

Do our experiences simply not matter?

I’ll leave you with two things. First, in your own words…

…she wasn’t hostile or irrational, she wasn’t outraged over one shitty dongle joke—she was expressing an accumulated frustration at the persistent difficulty…

…words to consider anytime you ever disrespect and dismiss anything an MRA has to say.

And second, do you simply fail to realize the irony in the statement; “Men will never understand what it’s like to be judged solely on their gender!”?

Edit – Link to the article; http://jezebel.com/5991792/woman-in-tech-tweets-about-sexist-dudes-in-tech-dude-get-fired-internet-meltdown-ensues (My bad for not including this right off the bat; I have shamed myself!)

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3 Comments
  1. Dude, I just googled Lindy West and couldn’t make my way through half the one article I came across. She’s simply not worth a response like this. In fact, as men frame issues of fairness, the only thing she’s good for is to clip a quote or two, and link to the source, to prove that, yes, feminists can be degrading to men and that they rely on shallow generalizations to frame their issues. The very same traits the rail against the patriarchy for doing.

    Umm, work on your “About” page, will you? I’d like to see you refine purpose for this blog. Rather than rail against yahoo’s like this, begin to create a vernacular for men that frames our issues in a common and immediately substantiated manner, but one that is not simply a reaction to feminism.

    • Our willingness to read, consider and respond to those we disagree we sets us apart from those who merely wish to silence us.

      Sometimes information isn’t completely understood until it’s articulated in a way which allows us to connect the dots. Like your comment on my “about” page; hadn’t considered that.

  2. Doug Spoonwood permalink

    Keep on opressin’ them girls, you power-mad patriarch! (haha)

    All joking aside, nice post.

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