Monday, June 22, 2009

Calling yourself progressive isn't a free pass to be NOT progressive

(potential trigger warning)

To the young man working with me on a progressive political campaign:

I know you self identify as a feminist, but let me tell you, saying you're going to "cunt-punch the bitch" isn't REMOTELY progressive at all.

It's not irony, just your weak excuse for saying something like that in a car full of feminists. Irony, when done right, creates a discordance between truth and an intentionally false statement. It's saying you hate ice cream while holding an ice cream cone and eating it.

It's not irony because you meant it. When sincerely talking about how much you didn't like the women in question, it's not irony to threaten sexual violence and verbally disparage her. It's not irony because you weren't being ironic, just offensive. Even so, violence against women is never funny and never to be tossed around lightly by a young man.

Calling yourself a feminist isn't a free pass to let whatever women-hating bile spew from your mouth. So until you start respecting women, both in word and action, stop self identifying as feminist. You're not helping.



Amelia said...

Good call, Lindsay. I really hope this young man reads this post.

It really bothers me when people use progressive labels to excuse their refusal to stop their non-progressive practices (like harmful language) and call it irony. IMO, it's worse when it comes from someone who takes on progressive labels because you expect them to know better.

Not that all progressives are perfect, but seriously? What he said was clearly intentional and not-thought out at best and malicious at the worst.

Amelia said...

P.S. I love the word "Huggles." hehe

lindsay said...

I told him I found it offensive and he couldn't say things like that while I was in the car, and then he tried the irony line. I think he's just young and not aware of how triggering something like that could be. Not that all older people are bastions of political correctness, either.

Anonymous said...

I think he's just young and not aware of how triggering something like that could be.

Normal people should not be censored and forced into silence by domineering feminists on the chance they might say something "triggering".

That's such an asinine term, and asinine line of thought.

You can't really expect everyone to walk on eggshells 24/7 just in case they might say something, that someone, somewhere might not like.

Why is it feminists often complain of being silenced, as they clearly try to silence and control the very thoughts and language of others?

AlanSmithee said...

Yeah! It's like people who make a bit noise about being against the Iraq/Afghanistan/Pakistan "War on Terra" and then vote for some corporate-owned warmongering scumba...oh, wait, nevermind.

Anonymous said...


I am so sick of disrespect being passed off as "ironic" or "I was only joking". People act like you can say whatever hateful thing you want as long as you label it correctly.

No dice.

Quercki said...

IF they can't pass off woman-hating as "a joke" it must be because women/feminists/progressives/other target don't have a sense of humor, right?

Perhaps we can remind them that the proper response is, "I'm sorry I said that. Thank you for educating me."

Zippa said...

Why can't we decide we don't like someone, and just not like them? You don't have to threaten violence to express your dislike.

Then you don't have to defend your dumbass statements by saying "but I'm --x--, so it's ok!"

Also, irony is not equal to simply saying something you don't really mean. That's...sarcasm, at best.