Where Do I Go Wrong?

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.

Me:  By definition, SAHMs aren’t “useful” to political feminism or progressivism in general.

*They’re heterosexual (not so concerned with LGBT),

*they’re not in the workplace (not concerned about “the glass ceiling”),

*they’re supported by husbands (happy to see men/”their man” succeed in the workplace, opposed to affirmative-action which would hinder this),

*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)

*etc.

So, while “should” is always open to interpretation, it’s not very wise to expect a political movement to support non-constituents.

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.

And if you’re prepared to accept that Rush and the right wing are beyond compromise and mutual understanding, why not accept this author and the left wing are also beyond compromise and mutual understanding? That’s pretty much what being “x-wing” is.

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?***”

I offered an answer: “No. People make different decisions because they have different values.” Then I listed examples of decisions related to values.

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.

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11 thoughts on “Where Do I Go Wrong?

  1. …smoke out her ears as her mental engine overheats under excess load…

    To answer your question: you expected comprehension from being incapable.

    You let her off easy. You responded to her request to end the conversation. Next time that happens, apply basic PUA heuristics applicable in all social situations: do not respond.

    BTW, what was the original article she referenced?

  2. You took her comment about SAHMs at face value, and replied to it in a logical manner. Rookie mistake for all men!

    The problem is, her issue wasn’t about SAHMs at all – it was that the author of that article was being judgemental.

    Your correspondent was coming at it from the *respect* angle. The SAHM part was incidental, the core thing that was bothering her was having another Feminist dare use judgement. Your correspondent would seem to have a rather high attachment to non-judgmentalism and moral relativism.

    In fact, she seemed to go off the rails even more when she thought you were trying to pin her down and get her to say what she thinks is “right” or “wrong.”

    My guess is that your correspondent thinks that if she refrains from judging at all, then by some weird working of feminist karma, she will be immune to any of her actions or behaviors being judged by others.

    Behold, the mighty powers of the hamster!

    • Yes, in retrospect, that is exactly what happened. She chose not to deal with the fact that a feminist was criticizing women, counter to her ideal of what feminism should be.

  3. Reblogged this on A Life Un-Lived and commented:
    The referenced article deserves ridicule. I hereafter oblige.
    Original: http://thoughtcatalog.com/amy-glass/2014/01/i-look-down-on-young-women-with-husbands-and-kids-and-im-not-sorry/
    The referenced article deserves ridicule. Here it is.
    Every time I hear someone say that patriarchy is about validating every choice a man makes I have to fight back vomit.

    Do people really think that a stay at home dad is really on equal footing with a man who works and takes care of himself? There’s no way those two things are the same. It’s hard for me to believe it’s not just verbally placating these people so they don’t get in trouble with the daddy bloggers.

    Having kids and getting married are considered life milestones. We hand out cigars and throw bachelor parties as if it’s a huge accomplishment and cause for celebration to be able to knock-up some chick or find someone to walk down the aisle with. These aren’t accomplishments, they are actually super easy tasks, literally anyone can do them. They are the most common thing, ever, in the history of the world. They are, by definition, average. And here’s the thing, why on earth are we settling for average?

    If men can do anything, why are we still content with applauding them for doing nothing?

    I want to have a party for a man when he backpacks on his own through Asia, gets a promotion, or lands a dream job not when he stays inside the box and does the house and kids thing which is the path of least resistance. The dominant cultural voice will tell you these are things you can do with a wife and kids, but as I’ve written before, that’s a lie. It’s just not reality.

    You will never have the time, energy, freedom or mobility to be exceptional if you have a wife and kids.

    I hear men talk about how “hard” it is to raise kids and manage a household all the time. I never hear women talk about this. It’s because men secretly like to talk about how hard managing a household is so they don’t have to explain their lack of real accomplishments. Women don’t care to “manage a household.” They aren’t conditioned to think stupid things like that are “important.”

    Men will be equal with women when we stop demanding that it be considered equally important to do housework and real work. They are not equal. Doing laundry will never be as important as being a doctor or an engineer or building a business. This word play is holding us back.

  4. I didn’t originally notice it at first, but she managed to read an article by a feminist disparaging motherhood, and still managed in the same discussion to state she believes the idea that feminists disparage motherhood is an outdated stereotype.

  5. This kind of discussion on a polarizing topic is usually complicated to my mind because so many elements of thought are added with each response.I followed a link from ttclod to this article and then read the article this LLC wrote and I believe as you do that it was written by a woman. Your conversation was interesting but I thought she wasn’t clear.
    Please tell what your perspective is on something I think is being overlooked in all of these perspectives.
    As far as SAHM’s and the reference to the importance or ease of their work as compared to “working” Mom’s (or Dad’s for ttclod’s sake), Isn’t the cultural value of raising children at the foundation of this debate? As far as feminism and SAHM’s – I see what you were pointing out but the category of “feminism” seems to have become a Head of Medusa, in my opinion. Still, whenever these groups are combined in a debate and no reference is even touched upon regarding the value of raising children up to be intelligent adults who can navigate this world and be people you or I would care to deal with is not addressed, I see it as an adolescent argument. ( I apologize for the complicated sentence and grammattical errors there. ) I don’t care who wants kids, who has kids, who is a CEO of a worldwide company or who is male or female. I just don’t see anything but a waste of time in this kind of argument over anyone’s work being more valuable. Her article was offensive in it’s homogenized perspective, in my opinion. What I saw in her side of the debate, and also in another’s perspective was a lack of knowledge and perspective. I was hoping to get some sort of reasoning conclusion of hers and I’m wondering how someone with such a strong point of view as she had, can just back out when you were approaching the subject by topic. I wanted to see where she was mentally because I am always hoping these two sides, or is it three or four sides can somehow find common ground. I’m confused in responding to what I found confusing. I couldn’t resist commenting. Perhaps I should have just logged ou. Thanks, Jayne

      • I love that information and your response to my confusion!! (Now, please tell me who Stirner is and I have to admit that I feel like you’re going to look at me just I remember someone looking at me when I asked who Samuel Clemens was eons ago.) Thank you, Jayne

  6. Pingback: The College Cult and SWPL Snobbery | iParallax

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