One thing that confuses me to no end is how I can have a discussion with someone I agree with, and in the end they walk away offended and convinced they disagree with me. I’ll grant that the theory and perspectives this circle writes from is unconventional, but it surprises me that even the slightest deviation from the Cathedral party line leads to a total shut-down of dialogue. In the case below, a friend essentially asked, “Why can’t feminists respect stay-at-home-moms?” and I answered that I believed such a reconciliation was impossible. Because Progress depends on moderates getting suckered into compromise time-and-time again, pointing out the extremism of the Left Wing, (let alone its very existence) predictably triggered the immediate end of the discussion.
But, being the inquisitive person I am, I’m willing to explore the idea that my style of discussion and persuasion is utterly awful and terrible. I’m open to any feedback:
Original Post: After reading this nasty thing: http://thoughtcatalog.com/amy-glass/2014/01/i-look-down-on-young-women-with-husbands-and-kids-and-im-not-sorry/
I think we need a lot more of the support in the link below. Seriously, shouldn’t feminism be about the fact that we are individual people and can support others’ decisions, even if they aren’t the ones we would make for ourselves? I’m just as happy for women who choose to work/travel as those who chose to have families (or a combo), if that’s what they want to do.
*They’re heterosexual (not so concerned with LGBT),
*they’re not in the workplace (not concerned about “the glass ceiling”),
*they want both their daughters *and* sons to succeed (sympathetic to the “War on Boys”/”Save the Males” crowd)
*they want *their* children to succeed (not so much in favor of unchecked immigration)
*are clearly comfortable with the ideas of traditional gender roles, even hierarchy (not the social anarchy/atomist individualism of progressive ideal)
In short, every single saying that equates maturity, responsibility, and “having skin in the game” with conservatism is in effect with respect to SAHMs. SAHMs and Progressives are natural political opponents.
Her: Thanks for commenting, but I totally disagree with you. I think that is the kind of rhetoric that causes political divisiveness and causes the exact problem I am posting about. Creating opposition between “SAHMs” and “political feminists” encourages women to feel like they must identify as a group (that oppose and judge each other) rather than what I truly believe feminism to be, which is believing you are an equal person who is free to make your own decisions about your future. I also think that notion that a feminist dislikes men, is a lesbian, is opposed to motherhood, etc. is outdated and wrong. It’s a stereotype created by ultra-conservatives like Rush Limbaugh to oppose the kind of free-thinking and mutual acceptance that I think should be promoted.
Me: Don’t mistake my comment for rhetoric or advocating either side. *I’m* not saying those things, I’m pointing out what is *already* being said by women such as the author of the article. She, and those like her, are the ones who are choosing to draw such lines. I’m just clarifying why they do it.
Her: I think you’re missing the point and trying to get me to disparage other’s viewpoints and declare what is “right” or “wrong” to do/believe politically and personally. I am saying the opposite…I believe in empowerment, support and free-choice across the board. I don’t criticize the author for not wanting a husband or family, I disagree with her in openly looking down on others for their personal decisions (which is also what I hear the Rush Limbaugh types doing, that is why I single him out). How about we just stop telling women what is “right” and let them decide for themselves? Especially when most men have no idea what kind of pressure young women face to make those decisions?
Me: No, I am doing neither. You asked a question: “Seriously, shouldn’t feminism be about the fact that we are individual people and can ***support others’ decisions, even if they aren’t the ones we would make for ourselves?***”
Do you disagree with my logic, or do you simply dislike my conclusion? I mean, I don’t like my conclusion either, but I don’t see much evidence to the contrary.
And I assume you brought up “men have no idea” because I’m a man commenting on this issue, but I’d like to redirect back to the fact that the article was written by a woman.
Her: Ok, I’m done with this. Please stop.
Me: I was enjoying our discussion, but I respect your decision to end it.