Men’s Rights Get It Wrong, Again

I already learned what happens when you post something accurate about GamerGate and MRAs on Twitter but what happens when you post it on Reddit?

Someone asked why feminists are angry. I said that if you consistently have your point dismissed, ignored, or redirected so no man actually has to think about his power and, gods forbid, change his behavior, it’s frustrating. Then you have groups like GG and MRAs whose sole purpose is the antagonize feminists rather than do good in the world, you start to get a little angry.

I have read multiple articles about GamerGate and MRAs from pretty reliable sources (Washington Post, NYT) and I fail to see any good they’re doing. Those sources also do some impressive things like actually citing their research rather than spouting off facts and expecting everyone to take them at face value.

I also made sure to note that I have had personal experience with both of these communities and none of them have been pleasant. I posted something positive to Ann Wheaton on Twitter while she was under fire for saying something not positive about GamerGate. Despite do nothing to provoke any of these individuals, I got several antagonizing tweets. In the world of GamerGate logic, supporting their enemy means taking up a sword for their side in battle.

“So what you’re saying is your opinion on gamergate and MRAs is formed by listening to people that already hate them talk about them?

MRAs have opened shelters for men and continue to push for recognition of male rape and domestic violence victims despite opposition which extends all the way to outright criminal violence and shootings.

Gamergate has achieved significant reforms in ethics policies at many major journalistic outlets as well as raised literally hundreds of thousands of dollars for everything from funding female game developers to anti-bullying and anti-suicide charities.

The people telling you that both are the devil incarnate are literally racists, pedophiles, and rapist defenders like Sarah Nyberg, Arthur Chu, and Leigh Alexander.”

“MRAs literally can’t even try to talk about lowering the catastrophic suicide rate among men without large groups of feminists flooding the venue with death and bomb threats, blocking the doors, attacking people trying to get in, and pulling fire alarms to shut the whole thing down.

Which side is really the one that tries to make life harder for anyone who dares disagree with them here? The side that tries to open shelters, or the side that shoots peoples’ dogs for sheltering male DV victims?”

I asked both users to show me proof of their evidence. If there’s anything both of those groups seem to love, it’s throwing out facts without citations and expecting everyone to take them at face value. If you want to change my mind, the burden of proof is on you.

I have yet to see anyone in either group defend their side without resorting to vitriol and ranting. They’re consistently bad listeners and incapable of find fault with anyone on their side. Both groups have horrible reputations and it seems very well earned.

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To Forgive or Not to Forgive

I think forgiveness can be a very healing thing. It allows you to let go of hurt feelings and other bad juju weighing you down and move forward. It does not mean forgetting that the bad things happened. Just because you forgave a wrong doesn’t make you a chump.

If someone does you wrong, you can forgive them to let go of the bad feelings and then forget them to make sure they don’t happen again. I had an ex who was manipulative and treated me horribly. Our relationship ended on very bad terms. He reached out to me twice after we broke up, two years after the break up and two years after that. The last time he told me to forgive him. I told him I forgave him, I forgot him, and there was no place for him in my life.

Forgiveness should be something we do to heal ourselves, not to make others feel better about wrongs they’ve done us. You’re guilt is not my problem.

I feel like there’s also a way to let go of the pain someone caused you without forgiving them. If they keep causing you the same anguish, it means they don’t care. I’ve been let down by a lot of people and rather than try to fix the situation, I’d get a half-assed apology and a grace period before it happened again. They don’t regret the action/mistake, they regret the consequences.

At that point, you have to acknowledge that you can’t change the situation. It’s time to change how you react to it. Alter your expectations to fit their actions.

In order for me to completely forgive and forget. two things have to happen:

1) They have to be genuinely contrite
2) I have to know this won’t happen again.

Based on these two things, I’m not a forgiving person and I’m OK with that. I’ve got some very high quality people in my life and I have others who are simply taking up space. I think it’s time to start focusing on the relationships I want to maintain and letting the others fade away.

I’m not a feminist but…

If there is one thing that makes me deduct IQ points faster than a popped collar or Donald Trump endorsement, it’s a woman saying “I’m not a feminist.”
Assuming all feminists are the same extreme man-haters is like assuming all Christians are like the Duggars. There is so much media out there to correct your erroneous assumptions that all I hear someone who is willfully ignorant or a coward.
If you like the rights you have but think women aren’t equal yet and should be, you’re a feminist. Personally, I lose most of my respect for any woman who ‘isn’t really a feminist.’ You don’t have to be political to agree with points we make or what we’re fighting for.
There are also plenty of ways to not be a feminist. If you agree with any of the following, you’re probably not one of us.
-I’m fine with the wage gap.
-I’m OK that men are never asked “How do you balance career and family?”
-I have no problem that having kids will greatly impact my chance at a promotion or raise or could even cost me my career.
-I don’t believe in rape culture.
-Street harassment is not a big deal.
-Voting isn’t that big of a deal to me.
-I think the media and advertising do a good job portraying women. There are no representation problems.
-Defunding Planned Parenthood isn’t that big of a deal. Those women can just go somewhere else.
-I am not afraid that women’s right to choose is at risk
-Personhood amendments are a good idea.
-I believe there is no war on women.
-Breastfeeding is gross and shouldn’t be done in public.
-Abstinence only sex education works.
-I think women are partly responsible for their rapes and sexual assaults.
-Menists and MRAs have a point.
-It’s about ethics in video game journalism.
-I’m more of a humanist.
-Donald Trump would be a good president.
If you disagree with anything on this list, you’re almost definitely a feminist. Take the name and own it. Otherwise, you’re part of the problem.

Let It Go

This was from my other blog. I didn’t want to leave it up there but I didn’t want to throw it away either. Now it will live here. Things have since improved between Anna and I for which I am glad.

I found a great ThoughtCatalog article that asked why we don’t treat friend breakups like relationship breakups. The thing you miss the most about a partner is your best friend but we don’t respect the endings the same way.

I recently found myself in a situation that, had it been a romantic relationship, I would have cut, run. Friendships allow more gray areas and evolution.

In the early days of my romantic relationship, I poured my heart out to Anna. Insecurities, doubts, joys, all of it. Whenever Boyfriend and I had a problem, she was the person I turned to for counsel.

Anna has been very different with her own relationship. She doesn’t tell me any of the good, let alone if anything is bad. I have no idea when she and Kristoff started leaving things at each other’s places, if they have pet names, any of it. Had I known she had no interest in reciprocating any of that, I would have held back more.

This has created a complete imbalance in the vulnerability, honesty, and power in our relationship that makes me very uncomfortable. I need her to confide in. I honestly have no idea what she needs me for.

Anna has a pretty perfect life from what I can see. She has a career at a fun company. Her boyfriend is loving, romantic, and very similar to me in a lot of ways. She has several other friends including one who I’m sure would be happy to take my place.

I feel like Kristoff gets all of her, the best of her. I get whatever she can spare. She knows nearly everything about my relationship. I know as much, if not more, about her relationship from what Kristoff tells me as she does.

I finally told her I wasn’t OK with this dynamic and it was pushing us apart. She told me that her relationship with Kristoff was very special to her and she wasn’t ready to share it with anyone. When she was, I’d be the first person she came to.

Yesterday, for the first time, I asked myself what advice is give myself if I was outside the situation. I asked myself the questions I’d ask a friend in the same situation.

Are you giving more than you’re getting? Absolutely.

Have you talked about the situation with the other person? Yes.

Do you see circumstances improving? Not really.

Anna is hiding away the most important part of her life right now. If she’s not ready to share, I can’t make her. I think she genuinely does believe she’ll eventually stop holding everything scared and be comfortable telling more than scraps. It’s getting close to their first anniversary. I’m not sure that will ever happen.

She has to do what works best for her and I, as her friend, have to respect that. I also have to do what’s best for me. I’m not comfortable opening up to someone who doesn’t want to let me in.

I couldn’t be happier she has love in her life but that love isn’t leaving a lot of room for me so I have to step back. I have no desire to lose my friendship with Anna which is exactly why I need to let it go.  I don’t want to tell her this directly lest it seem like I’m pressuring her. I need to readjust our relationship on my own terms, on my own time. If it’s meant to be, it will all come together.

New Blog!

A brand new blog!

I like reading, feminism, dogs, Doctor Who, nerd conventions, and a few other things. I just started cohabitating with my boyfriend so I’m hoping to blog about all of this.

I’m not a stranger to blogging but I have several friends who follow my personal blog and sometimes I want the freedom to process my feelings without worrying about the repercussions of hurting people’s feelings. I process things by writing and/or speaking so I need to get the words out.

I don’t plan on making all my posts about my drama but if you like peeking into someone else’s life, I can help with that.