How To Treat Me Like Your Equal, Lesson One

My favorite Wayward Boy Scout leads me to believe that, when I talk about feminism, some of you have no idea what the fuck I’m talking about.  He says:



OK, B, help me out here. I agree with cobra. I think the worst thing affecting girls’ and women’s’ self esteem are magazines like Cosmo, Glamour, etc. These magazines are typically owned by women, and have women as their chief editors. The market demographic is women.
So,
Is this the Patriarchy oppressing women, and if so, how?

Whew.  There’s a lot here.  Let’s start with “The Patriarchy.”  What is it?

The Patriarchy is a short-hand way of talking about the system of gender relations we have in place that, in general, favors and grants more power to men than women.  It is not so easy as “all men are assholes who oppress women,” which is why “but women are hurting each other” is no refutation of the existence of the patriarchy.  At its heart, the patriarchy is a system of hierarchizing people.  Men are, in general, in the system, more powerful than women and one of the main luxuries they have is of being the default human beings and the arbiters of what is appropriate public discourse and what is not.

Women are not, however, utterly powerless within the patriarchy.  But the main power they have is their sexuality and their ability to use it to gain access to powerful men.  Under the patriarchy, women have no inherent power; they only have the power granted to them by their fathers or their husbands or the state.  Therefore, it behooves women to undermine each other in order to gain an edge in their efforts to gain and keep access to powerful men.

This is not inherently how things are between men and women.  We both have to be trained from a very early age to think of each other and ourselves this way.  This is why, when Knuck says he’s all for equality, that he’s an equalist and not a feminist, I find it very sweet, but sad.  He says, “So, to me, feminism is a sub-set of a philosophy I already subscribe to.” and I think, how can we even begin to talk about equality when we are so fucked up?  How are we even going to recognize what equality means?

I suspect that one big difference between how things are now and how things would be if you really thought of me as an equal is that, when I told you I had a problem, you would not attempt to define that problem as something other than what I told you it was.  But look here.  Here’s Exador, a man I know thinks highly of me and when I say, “God, there’s really something fucked up about how girls view themselves and we need to do something about it,” he jumps in with “I, like this other man I don’t even know and unlike you, a woman that I do know, think the worst thing affecting girls’ and women’s’ self esteem are magazines like Cosmo, Glamour, etc.”

Really?  Some ink on some dead trees is more damaging to my sense of self than my dad telling me that the most important position in the family is the oldest son; than some doofus scientist telling me that my job is just to be pretty; than HR telling me that some job only pays $20,000 a year because it’s a job for women with husbands, who just need a little pin money?  Really?  Because I don’t even read those magazines.  Thank goodness.  All my problems are solved.

I’m not disputing that women’s magazines promote unhealthy ideas about how to be women, but really, if Glamour was our biggest problem, we’d be damn lucky indeed.

I’m still back here working on how to be recognized by others as a human being with a right to be here.  I’m still back here working on how to recognize myself as a human being with a right to be here.  I’ve got the women’s magazine shit handled.  I don’t read them.  It’s the other shit I could use some help with.

I’d like to be able to walk around my neighborhood and think nothing of it.  I’d like to take for granted that I can go to any bar in town unescorted and have a beer and be left alone.  I’d like to go to meetings downtown and have the Director of that Big Important Place actually talk to me and the other women at the table, instead of making a point to acknowledge all the men and none of the women.  I’d like to go to the gynecologist and not hear a lecture on how he doesn’t distribute birth control to unmarried women because he can’t condone my immorality.  I’d like to be surprised when I meet a woman who tells me she was raped.  I’d like to see women in pulpits and in the White House.  I’d like women to have and wield well real straight-forward power and let go of the art of manipulation.

I’d like, when I talk to you about the things that make me feel vulnerable or confused, for you to refrain from trying to change the topic or insist that you have some better understanding of the thing that’s making me feel vulnerable or confused than I do.  I know you mean well, but it feeds into this notion that you are the default human beings and, as such, it’s your right to insist that all discourse happens in ways you are comfortable with.

Listen, if you come here and read regularly, it must be in part because you don’t mind being made uncomfortable.  All I’m asking is that you acknowledge, just to yourselves (you don’t have to say it out loud), that there’s a benefit from being made uncomfortable, that it can be good for you. And then, when you are uncomfortable, don’t try to resolve it.  Because the way you resolve it is by falling back on this idea that you get to set the discourse and that you’re the arbiter of how the world works.

Please don’t pull that bullshit on me.

43 thoughts on “How To Treat Me Like Your Equal, Lesson One

  1. Great, so despite the root of the word, the Patriarchy doesn’t have to even involve men.I understand now. The Patriarchy is the boogeyman that makes life unfair. You don’t ever need to pin it down, it’s just that whenever a woman feels slighted, she points to her favorite boogeyman and screams "It’s the PATRIARCHY!" like Donald Sutherland at the end of BodySnatchers.I’ve come full circle, since that’s pretty much what I thought it was to begin with.

  2. "This is not inherently how things are between men and women."OK, I’m interested in your argument. I’m not sure how things would be without the "training," though … do you see what I mean? What’s the "natural state," for lack of a better term, between men and women? Is it even possible to know?

  3. Good question, Jack. I’m not sure I believe in some "natural" state. I think we tell stories to ourselves about how "that’s just the way it is" and we tell those stories often enough that we believe them to be true. But we could tell other stories. We don’t have to revert back to some natural state. We can just agree to work things differently.The main problem sexists have, I think, is that we’ve seen real and substantial change in women’s roles in America. We know it can be done. We went from having no rights to being able to vote in only 140 years. So, when folks say about other matters "Well, that’s just the way it’s always been. You can’t expect it to change." That just rings a little hollow to me. I can expect change. Maybe I can’t put my faith in change, but I can expect it–if that distinction makes sense.Darling Boy Scout, are you for real going to sit over there and pout? "It’s not what I thought it was, therefore it doesn’t exist, therefore I quit." Don’t be that way.

  4. No, Cupcake, it’s exactly what I thought it was.I just wish we men had a scapegoat we could point to whenever life didn’t cater to us.

  5. Scott Adams addresses this on his blog.One is a statistic about time spent at work http://www.bls.gov/cps/wlf-table21-2005.pdf . it shows on average that men have spend about 6 more hours at work each week than women do. The second deals with education http://www.bls.gov/cps/wlf-table8-2005.pdf it shows that men are 10% more men attain degrees at each level except high school. The third deals with absences http://www.bls.gov/cps/cpsaat46.pdf it shows that on average women miss about twice as much work as men.So, is there a pay discrepancy based on the utility excuse of the Patriarcy or is it that people who put in more time at the office, have a higher education, and don’t miss work tend to be rewarded by that behavior?Adams goes on to mention that taller people make more than shorter one. So heightism may be to blame rather than sexism. Men are also more likely to negotiate for more money than a woman will when hired. This is another study that I have no sources for.

  6. Seems like he’s pretty much proving my side.Thanks, Sarcastro!Of course I’m not mad. I appreciate and love women for all your strengths and weaknesses.Let me give you gals a lighthearted, congratulatory pat on the behind for all you do.SMACK!

  7. I’m sorry. What do you think those charts show? I thought you guys were arguing that there aren’t any inherent problems for women, that we’re just making shit up and blaming the "patriarchy" for individual life problems that everyone, regardless of gender faces.But then, in order to prove your point, you show charts that show vast institutionalized differences between men and women.Well, boys, which is it? Are there just a few loony gals who believe in the patriarchy boogey man or are there real, inherent institutionalized unfair differences that can be charted and graphed and linked to?

  8. I love it when you girls fight over me.The charts show that women don’t show up to work, work as long, or seek higher education, as a group, than men.How are these things institutionalized. Unless, of course, you women make it part of your plan not to work as much or as hard during one of your secret meetings at the grrrl’s indoctrination camp.

  9. Sarcastro, that’s it! You’ve hit on the secret!These camps aren’t to help women hone their groin-kicking skills. They are there to educate them on how to manipulate the system, acquire victim status, and get out of work with preferential treatment.Finally, it makes sense!

  10. Walking a fine line here, because I do believe in the Patriarchy in some sense, but not the all-encompassing style that B. does.Some of what we’re talking about may just be a chicken-and-egg thing. Yes, women do miss more work. Yes, women do put in fewer hours. Yes, women don’t "negotiate a higher salary" in many cases. I give you all of these as facts.But how much of that is because of what I talked about in my Comment So Long It Became A Post? If you start out as a woman in a company where it’s a given that men make more as the Bread Winners (!), your base salary will be lower and no amount of negotiating (trust me, I know) will raise it. And every time you go in to get your raise, you get a PERCENTAGE RAISE. Even when you are promoted to a different job. Because everything is based on a lower base. And your boss tells you that in this company it’s designed that way because the women take more sick time/family time/personal time than the men. No policies are written down, that’s just the way it is.So when you realise that you’ve been promoted through the ranks from an entry-level position to a management position, all the while being paid "Entry Level Plus 5% plus 5%", you look around you and see the men in the same job making twice as much because they started out with higher entry level pay and you think–well, if anyone is coming in early and staying late it’s not gonna be me. Because Johnny over there and I are doing the same job, but Johnny makes $70K, and I make $40K. I’ve come in early and stayed late for years to get promoted into this job, but they will never give me more than a Percentage Raise.

  11. Come on! 1. When you call Exador a girl like it’s a bad thing, it makes it that much harder for me to get him to put on a dress and eat me out. Thanks for nothing, jackass.2. Oh, please, spin meister. "Women don’t seek higher education." We could just as easily and just as validly say that women still don’t have access to higher education at the same rate as men. We could also say, just as validly, that women work fewer hours and take more sick days because we’re still the primary care-givers to any dependants. One might argue that, if the patriarchy weren’t damaging to us both, men might not feel that the most valid contribution they can make to the family is throwing themselves into their work. Y’all too could leave early to go to ball games or dance rehearsal or to pick sick kids up from school.And what Coble said.

  12. You could easily and validly SAY that women don’t have the access to higher education, but could you back it up? Well?I could easily and validly SAY that white males are discriminated against because of "diversity in the workplace" training which values having the Bennetton kids get the promotions based on the color of their skin rather than performance.I could also SAY that not only have I seen Ex in a dress, but also have seen him perform cunnilingus. B, you are so missing out. I could inappropriately SAY that given what I know about you and KC’s medical history (as chronicled here and at Pretty Farce), I wouldn’t pay you as much as your co-worker’s either. You sick day taking loafers. Please enlighten me girls, just what dependents do you have? Who are you the primary care-givers for? Do you two carpool when taking Tim and the Butcher to tee-ball practice?

  13. <i>I’d like to be able to walk around my neighborhood and think nothing of it. I’d like to take for granted that I can go to any bar in town unescorted and have a beer and be left alone.</i>A lot of that depends on the bar, what time it is, and how you present yourself. It’s a two-way street, you know? Sure, some guys will hit on anything anywhere. It’s how some of us are wired. However, if you go to “Red’s House of Hot Azz” wearing a skirt that would be too short for your daughter’s Barbie doll, don’t cry that all men are pigs if you get hit on.Extreme example, but in a society of more than one person, generally, MOST interfacings are dependent on both people. Rarely is it just one driving the encounter . . . although it happens.<i>I’d like to go to the gynecologist and not hear a lecture on how he doesn’t distribute birth control to unmarried women because he can’t condone my immorality.</i>So, you’d rather him suppress his feelings and rights in favor of not upsetting you? Honestly, I’d RATHER someone I do business with let me know how they feel about things so I can better determine if I want to do business with them or not. <i>I’d like to be surprised when I meet a woman who tells me she was raped. I’d like to see women in pulpits and in the White House. I’d like women to have and wield well real straight-forward power and let go of the art of manipulation.</i>I’ve heard good and bad female preachers. I don’t have an issue with that.As far as women in politics go, it’s tough for them for lots of reasons. First off, I think women as a sex are more subtle than men. I think they find manipulation and other esoteric political tactics more to their nature. There’s nothing sinister about it, mind you. It’s just how the different sexes are wired. It’s like saying “you know, I’d like to see a Great White Shark lie in wait, set a trap, and sneak up on its prey with stealth.” Why? It’s a big, fast, monster. It’s not geared for sneaking and trapping. I don’t think that the female sex AS A WHOLE is wired for traditional “2 guys in a fight” political struggles. I think they are much more effective in changing the landscape of politics (as they’re doing now).Can SOME women go head to head? OF COURSE! And some men are incredibly oblique and manipulative. But, as a whole, I think men and women are wired differently. I seriously doubt that any study can show otherwise.</i>I’d like, when I talk to you about the things that make me feel vulnerable or confused, for you to refrain from trying to change the topic or insist that you have some better understanding of the thing that’s making me feel vulnerable or confused than I do.</i>Simple. Because when a man gets told something is wrong, it’s our nature to fix it. If you tell us that you have a flat tire, we want to go put some air in it. We don’t understand that you don’t REALLY want the tire fixed. You want to tell us how you feel about the tire being flat and how it affected your day. We don’t understand that. NOTHING WRONG WITH EITHER SIDE. We just don’t understand.<i>I know you mean well, but it feeds into this notion that you are the default human beings and, as such, it’s your right to insist that all discourse happens in ways you are comfortable with.</i>As opposed to what you’re asking?<i>Listen, if you come here and read regularly, it must be in part because you don’t mind being made uncomfortable.</i>You’re assuming I feel uncomfortable here. Why?<i>All I’m asking is that you acknowledge, just to yourselves (you don’t have to say it out loud), that there’s a benefit from being made uncomfortable, that it can be good for you. And then, when you are uncomfortable, don’t try to resolve it. Because the way you resolve it is by falling back on this idea that you get to set the discourse and that you’re the arbiter of how the world works.Please don’t pull that bullshit on me.</i>I’m not an arbiter on the world. I AM an arbiter for MY world, though. If I feel uncomfortable about something, it’s my job to fix it however best fits me. Maybe somewhere in my statement above is the answer to all our problems.

  14. Bummer . . . can’t use tags in here.Something else I should say, and this is something I FIRMLY believe.Men and women AREN’T equal. No two people are equal. We’re all different. If everyone was equal, we wouldn’t have tests to get into medical school, and we wouldn’t have qualifications for jobs. We’d all just be "equal".I think people should celebrate who they are . . . at least the parts worth celebrating. Women AREN’T on equal footing with men on all things, but neither are men with women. All things being equal, everything would be the same. But it’s not. It won’t ever be. I’m not so sure it SHOULD be.

  15. <i>… I wouldn’t pay you as much as your co-worker’s either. You sick day taking loafers. Please enlighten me girls, just what dependents do you have? Who are you the primary care-givers for? Do you two carpool when taking Tim and the Butcher to tee-ball practice?</i>By that logic, sir, your employer would be well within its rights to SAY that since you don’t have a family to support, it can pay you less money and give you fewer benefits than a family man with your same job title, experience, work record, etc. If you don’t have all those mouths to feed, you don’t need as much money and benefits for doing the same work.See? We *all* need equal pay for equal work.

  16. I think Coble nailed it on the basis of entry pay. I have always worked in male dominated professions. I learned a long time ago, that if I got in the door as the token female they would have to pay and pay big. I am also qualified and skilled at what I do, but the door opener has been my gender more than once. I negotiate tough for my pay and it has worked, but I had to learn to do it.Once in a discussion, the amount of my pay was brought up and discussed(and I was pissed) by some co-workers and one guy truly felt that because he was older and white and male he should make more than me. My response was you get what you work for and he should get off his fat ass because I was leaving him behind. I fired him later after I was promoted and in a final irony another woman later passed me up and demoted me due to a past grudge from an old boyfriend.So what happens when more men are single fathers and caretakers and need that flex time from work like women have been using all this time? Think the Knuck’s boss will be cool with it? Shouldn’t stay at home dads get some respect? or should they have to skip promotions and scale their careers back too? I would love to be promoted to your Regional Vice President and travel 4 days a week but who will manage my personal life? I think I will just stay as Product Manager for now, thank you. Which do you choose? Would the extra money pay for a nanny or housekeeper? Is it worth it?Oops. Somehow I veered off into that money vs quality of life debate again.

  17. <I>I could inappropriately SAY that given what I know about you and KC’s medical history (as chronicled here and at Pretty Farce), I wouldn’t pay you as much as your co-worker’s either.</I>For the record, I wasn’t using myself as the only example. I KNOW I’m a bad example when it comes to sick time, etc. But there are other women in the same earning situation as me who don’t have chronic illnesses.

  18. Missing the point again, grandfille.That’s a nice socialist utopia ideal you have there. Your logic is of that woman who when she gets knocked up, expects TennCare to foot the bill.What is eluding you is not only should people who need all that time off for "out of work obligations" be paid less, in the case of KC and B, they don’t have those obligations and therefore don’t have any reason to pout about"…we’re still the primary care-givers to any dependants."

  19. Uh, and since you brought it up, I personally negotiated a lower salary for myself in my last job to offset my absenteeism. I now work for myself because that way my absenteeism isn’t felt as keenly. And why are absenses to take care kids to T-ball somehow more acceptable than absenses to be hospitalised for illness? Or did I misread you?

  20. You don’t choose to be sick. You choose to take your kid to tee-ball. If you miss work by choice, why should you be compensated. The companies don’t hire you because they want to give you employment, they hire you because they need you to perform a function. If you are not performing that function and are dead weight, as saraclark, pointed out you will be left behind and eventually weeded out.

  21. Aunt B, I admire your tenacity in trying to explain these sorts of things to your guy friends who are wilfully not understanding/listening to what you’re saying. They are not interested in understanding what you are saying, and it’s not because you are doing a poor job of saying it – far from it! They just don’t want to hear it. It’s not you. My husband calls himself an egalitarian, since feminism isn’t really needed. I don’t even try to get him to understand anymore. It’s a lost cause. I’m a feminist, and I think you’ve been doing a masterful job of explaining why we still need feminism. Thanks.

  22. _The companies don’t hire you because they want to give you employment, they hire you because they need you to perform a function._You and I agree on this wholeheartedly. What I’m not sure I’m a big fan of is the idea that a company president thinks he can envision in advance, based solely on gender and marital status, who will take more time off and set their entry-level pay accordingly.I can see looking at an employee’s year-end review and adjusting that person’s individual pay based on their attendance performance for whatever reason. I can’t see looking at a woman for the first time and deciding that you’ll pay her less because she’s "more likely" to take more time off. Especially since I’ve seen some women put in 18 hour days, and some men take four hour lunches. Whenever you make gender the deciding factor in reimbursement you get stuck with a morale problem, an efficiency problem and eventually a staffing crisis.

  23. Agreed KC. I’m not talking about entry level. Although, that should be whatever you can successfully negotiate. After that, your take home is based onmerit and performance.

  24. Mychelline pretty much nailed it, in my opinion. It’s nice that the women here are being patient and trying to explain their viewpoints, but Sarcastro has a track record that suggests he’s here more to poke B and be disagreeable than to participate in a discussion. B could say the sky was blue, and he’ll probably tell her: 1) no it’s not; 2) if it is, that’s your fault; 3) I’ll decide if the sky is blue; 4) If you have a problem with a blue sky, too bad, b/c it’s always been blue. B anticipated this when she said, "Because the way you resolve it is by falling back on this idea that you get to set the discourse and that you’re the arbiter of how the world works."

  25. Congratulations to Rachel for finally figuring out that I am indeed the bogeyman of the Patriarchy, hiding under the beds of the little grrrl campers. For the next few years, the counselors will gather the campers around the fire and tell scary stories about how I will deny them equal pay and deny that the sky is blue (except in summertime, everyone in Nashville knows the sky turns a hazy white-ish gray).Thank you Rachel, for being so patient in explaining your view points. Girls are good at that!

  26. <i>"Because the way you resolve it is by falling back on this idea that you get to set the discourse and that you’re the arbiter of how the world works."</i>I think that’s how my equal-pay-for-equal-work-for-EVER’BODY point got twisted into you-think-all-you-sluts-deserve-TennCare, above. That’s an example of what B often talks about: When a woman makes a point a man disagrees with, the rejoinder isn’t a valid deconstruction and debate of what was said but instead degenerates into "Jane, you ignorant slut." If I said something like "I’m not the one demanding that TennCare cover Viagra, bucko," not only would I demean what’s otherwise an intriguing discussion, I’d be missing the point entirely. Which has been, most recently, equal pay for equal work. (New t-shirt: "Not Just a Social Utopia; It’s the Law!")

  27. Good job to you as well, because you clearly read my pitiful little mind, which was obviously thinking that you are in fact the bogeyman of the patriarchy. I’m thrilled that you saw through what I actually said, which is that you and B have some kind weird pissing contest going on which prevents rational discussion. I hereby give you bonus points for ridiculous exaggeration, psychic ability, and referring to a grown woman as a girl.

  28. Golly, gee whiz, Rachel, thanks a lot for being so patient in explaining these complicated issues to MY little mind. I’ll have to take a break from designing this here computer to get a grasp of it.And talk about dismissing alternative viewpoints!? What better way than to dismiss Sarcastro’s side as "He’s not really here to have a discussion". Yeah, it’s not like he posted links to back up his point or anything. I know the standard is to just say a wild, unprovable accusation.The Matriarchy!!!!!!!!

  29. Shit, I was just gone for a minute and all this interesting stuff broke out. Sorry, but a girl gets a little distracted at the thought of one gruff and contrary libertarian watching another perform oral sex… she imagines one big burly hand gently, lightly touching the back of the other, right at the base of the neck, and then the older one leans up against the younger one, hairy chest pressed against sweaty back, and his lips so close to his ear as he says something gruff and manly, like "When you’re done, do you want to grab a beer?"Whew. Ahem. Yes, well then. Where were we?Apparently, while I was gone, the gruff and manly contrarians were still yakking. Did they raise any valid points?For some reason, Sarcastro tries to insinuate that I’m constantly taking sick days. I’ve taken about fifteen in five years. Is three a year some outragious amount?Then he tries to shift the subject from his numbers to making Coble and I responsible for and representative of all women. Then he seems to chastize us for not being like all other women. Then he says some bullshit about the meritocracy. And then he admits to hiding under the beds of little girls.Sarcastro, you’re so cute when you’re riled up.

  30. Exador,I got the impression Sarcastro was just being difficult for the sake of the thing, and said so. I don’t actually owe either of you anything. Could I have been nicer about it? Probably. Over time, I’ve seen a lot of dismissiveness coming from Sarcastro, and it bothers me. That is all.

  31. Oh, and I know I was likewise being dismissive of Sarcastro. He may or may not agree that what is good for the goose is good for the gander.

  32. I would say there’s two issues here, and the devil is in which issue is the more prevalent.1) A company paying a woman less because they ANTICIPATE that she will be less valuable/work less/ whatever.2) A company paying a woman less because she DOES work less/whatever.As for issue 2) I don’t understand how anybody could expect a company to pay someone the same when they do less work, just because they have a cooter.For issue 1): It’s unfair to assume. But let me also throw this out for discussion: Aren’t the companies making a statistically supported assumption? Is it wrong for a company to charge more for health insurance for smokers or people with families, since they don’t know in advance if that employee is going to cost them more to insure.Ultimately, to me, any employee has the ultimate responsibility to make themselves valuable to their employer. If your employer doesn’t recognize your value, then shop around for one that does.You girls DO like to shop, don’t ya?

  33. "I could also SAY that not only have I seen Ex in a dress, but also have seen him perform cunnilingus. B, you are so missing out. "Just for the record, those were two seperate occasions.

  34. I’d like to see a comparison of salaries of similar jobs, experiences, and ages between the sexes. I’m NOT saying it would go any particular way. I’m just curious.I think what many of you guys are missing is factory jobs. Basically, they pay a set hourly salary. Most yearly raises that I’ve seen have been across the board, so there’s no sex differentiation.There IS, sometimes, differences in physical abilities. Women tend to do repetitive detailed tasks much better than men, but men tend to do complex one-off tasks better. It’s the way we’re GENERALLY wired, and yes you can find exceptions for either case.With regards to corporate type work, I can tell you this from being an engineer. A black female engineer can GENERALLY call her own shots. Maybe not in Atlanta or L.A., but in the medium sized industrial areas where black and/or female professionals are few and far between, they can get what they want. But hey, that’s the market. No hard feelings from me.With some glaring exceptions, I DO find men working longer and later, BUT I also find that men live to work and women work to live. You can’t really play it off to "primary caregivers" anymore, either . . . as much at least. I’m starting to see LOTS of dads with the kids, but they still seem to be at work longer and later.I’m not saying that men are more driven. Not by any means, BUT they seem to be more career/job oriented. I think SOME of that comes from the fact that most men in that situation work themselves into a job they like where most women work their way into a job they feel is comperable to men.

  35. God, every day I am sadder and sadder that I missed you while you were here in Nashville, Boy Scout, and still fairly single.That being said, even though I know the original discussion is beyond salvage at this point, that the two issues up for discussion are not whether women are paid less because companies anticipate that they work less or because they actually work less, but whether y’all will manuver the conversation into areas in which you’re more comfortable arguing, even if it means getting all snippy and bent out of shape with everyone who stands in your way, or if you’ll try to listen and understand a point of view different than yours, even if you don’t agree with it, without resorting to getting snippy and bent out of shape.

  36. "This is why, when Knuck says he’s all for equality, that he’s an equalist and not a feminist, I find it very sweet, but sad."I don’t have time right now to read everything on this discussion, but you’ve put me on the defensive again. I don’t know how in the world it can be sad that I completely subscribe to all people being equal. I didn’t say everyone in society felt that way. I have never once said there weren’t problems still in our society. What I also said was, "I adamantly believe in equality. I always have. And I’ve always lived my life that way."I don’t speak for anyone else, and I don’t try to speak for anyone else, and I don’t pretend that anyone else lives like me. Some people choose cancer. Some people choose gay rights. Some people choose the symphony. You’ve chosen women’s rights. I believe in them by virtue of the fact that I believe in equality. I’m talking about ME. I know there are problems. I never said there weren’t. I don’t think that if I believe it is wrong to force society to have mixed-gender professional sports leagues or entertainment options that it makes my thinking "sad". It’s a disagreement on where the line has to be drawn. Are you going to tell David Mamet that he has to give up his artistic freedom and rewrite "Glengarry Glen Ross" because it has an all male cast? If the answer is no, then you agree that there is a line somewhere.

  37. No, Knuck, that’s my fault. I wasn’t clear in what I wrote. I didn’t mean that I find you sad, I mean that I find even trying to think about equality sweet, but that it makes me feel sad, because I’m not even sure how we’d recognize it. I don’t think you’re thinking is "sad." I think you’re pretty brave and hopeful about this stuff and that you have a noble and good position.I feel inadequate in the face of that. Like Jack askes, what will equality look like? Will we know it when we see it? I don’t know. I worry that we won’t.Sorry about that. I was trying to be introspective, not passing judgment on you.

  38. There’s a time for patience and a time to cut to the chase. Your efforts to educate these men here is noble, but I do hope that when the gynecologist you mentioned started in on his little spiel you got up and walked out of his office and never went back.nm

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