HOW DARE HE CHALLENGE SEXISM!
I am a black man who is a feminist. This makes people mad.
Now as a right thinking person with an enlightened mind I have a responsibility to question, critique, and challenge all things. I am strongly of the belief that nothing is above question or critique. Now when I see things like homophobia, racism, and sexism, being thrown around casually or used as the source of jokes I take issue with that.
And that’s what I did today. I dared to challenge someone who was reinforcing sexism.
Now this someone just happened to be a woman which depending on how you feel may the crime worse? But thats neither here nor there. So there I was challenging sexism and and I learned that challenging sexism and people’s right to reinforce sexism on a public form is a mistake of the highest regard.
Remember I said earlier that I was a feminist?
Well apparently, women are so used to men not supporting their rights, and the right of them to be seen as full human beings, and not the butt of jokes, that my very maleness coupled with my feminism offended women.
How dare I a male question a woman on Women’s Rights and encourage her not to reinforce sexism and misogyny? I was clearly out of my order. A good man is expected to find jokes about violence towards women at the hands of men funny. A good man is expected to see a man calling a woman a bitch and not think any of it. I failed at this. And thus I crossed the threshold of some acceptable male expectation and I was going to pay for it.
Let me just state:
THERE’S NOTHING FUNNY ABOUT JOKING ABOUT VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN.
THERE’S NOTHING FUNNY ABOUT CALLING A WOMAN A BITCH.
And I take issue with anyone male or female who believes that those things are funny.
Now as the conversation divulged on twitter more and more people who claimed the debate wasn’t “serious” poured in. And I was eager to engage fellow college educated minds on issues of Sexism and Misogyny and all of our complicity in their perpetuation.
I was called dumb, I was called ignorant. Someone even threw out “Who does he think he is Malcom X for gays.” It had all come full circle.
What’s most troubling to me is not that people readily and eagerly brush of the seriousness of issues like Sexism and Racism. While that in and of itself was supremely dismaying, something else was even more troubling to me.
Bubbling below all of the discussion and all of the tweets was what seemed to be a disgust for those who dared to be knowledgeable. There seemed to be a disgust of the acquisition of knowledge and the application of that knowledge on something as simple as twitter.
These were not people out on the streets who are often accused of being ignorant and not having any sense. These were college seniors attacking another college student for daring to challenge sexism and misogyny and doing so because of the education he received in college.
I think that above all the discussion and the debate was the most troubling.
If we can’t expect college educated students to know and do better than who can we expect to do better?