Feminism, Twitter, and You

I’d say that I hate Buzzfeed, but that would be inaccurate. What, am I supposed to be productive on the internet instead of spending two hours taking arbitrary quizzes about how well I know miscellaneous song lyrics and what kind of chocolate filling I would be (It’s coconut, by the way, guys. I’m coconut.)? No. I am not. And Buzzfeed is there for me in that regard.

It also provides a constant stream of unabashed feminist viewpoints for me to rant at if I so choose. I’m perfectly okay with a website being overtly feminist, I’m just saying that I would take what Buzzfeed had to say about how women are objectified at every turn a bit more seriously if they didn’t also provide a constant stream of unashamedly male objectifying articles (butts vs. bulges, really?), seemingly without any notice of the irony. That beings said, look what Buzzfeed gave me! It’s like my internet birthday.

So, feminists started a Twitter hashtag called #QuestionsForMen, which was meant to illuminate instances of every day sexism. It’s totally un-ironic. That name is imprinted deep in the depths of its little hasthtag soul. I’m just going to ignore the fact that if said gender generalization had been flipped the other way around and this was #QuestionsForWomen people would have a conniption fit, but whatever. Twitter always has intelligent things to say and is awesome at facilitating intelligent, two-way conversations to build understanding. Let’s go.

It started with this Tweet by Daily Life writer Clementine Ford (I sincerely hope that that is a pen name):

Question to the male writers/speakers etc out there. Is it common for you to be called an ‘attention seeker’? Or do just women get that?

Buzzfeed goes on to say that this is a common statement that she gets about her writing, which I would initially say wasn’t fair. But then I remembered that I’m o a computer, so I popped on over to Daily Life to see what Ms. Ford is up to, and yeah. I can see why people call you that. When you write an article called “Misandry Island: This is What a Feminist Utopia Would Look Like,” nah duh people are going to accuse you of just wanting more attention. Also, the majority of her articles are feminism-centric, one of the most attention-whorish topics you could conceivably write about. I know that–I write about feminism to get attention too. It’s not like doing something for attention is inherently bad. And artists/writers/politicians get accused of this all the time. JK Rowling going to the press to talk about how she’s releasing an 1200 word long Word Document of supplementary material on a minor Harry Potter character is just doing it for attention, because being relevant is fun.

Also, I don’t know why she’s gendering this issue, as if male writers never have to deal with people calling them hacks. Have you been on Cracked lately? That website has taken a weirdly social justice oriented turn as well, most of the articles about it being written by men, and the commentators do not hesitate to point out that they’re just doing it for more clicks because “7 Reason Why [Insert Thing I Know You Love Here] Is Inarguable and Horrible Because Its Sexist” is a click bait title with oftentimes poorly thought out, click bait content. So in short: You write for the internet, get over it.


: When you have a hostile disagreement with someone, is it common for them to say you’re angry because no one will fuck you?

Um, I don’t have a dick or anything, but I’m fairly sure the “You need to get laid.” card is fairly common fair for anyone looking to be condescending toward someone else, with gender being secondary. I’ve heard guys tell this to girls and girls tell this to guys and girls tell this to other girls and guys tell this to other guys. It’s a common mean thing to say. Calm down.


In a job interview have you ever been asked how you will juggle work and home?

Okay, I’ll give you this one. I doubt men are asked this just as often as women are. I personally have not been asked this before in an interview, but I can see why other women would have been. Even so, can you just not come up with a good answer for this? It’s a question in an interview. Does being asked this compel you to jump up on your could-be-employer’s desk and start ranting about micro-aggressions? It doesn’t seem like this is a question that should hold you back too terribly much. I know I’m one of those self-hating woman misognists who gets why employers don’t want to hire women who plan to have children from a strictly logical standpoint, but I don’t see how this is anything more than something that maybe annoys you when it happens. If you answer this question by saying “I want to start a family within the next five years,” that essentially translates to, “I plan to be gone for long stretches of time and most likely unable to do the same quantity of work as other colleagues who don’t have so many other responsibilities.” Once again, you don’t have the right to live in a world where no one even mildly annoys you ever, for gendered reasons or not. And if this is the hot button topic of feminism nowadays–what slightly more gendered than usual questions do interviewers ask you sometimes–I’d say your life is pretty good.


Would u be comfortable w only women weighing in on the debate about your productive organs? Or proposing policy/law re: it?

I am completely and utterly, 100% comfortable with only men weighing in on the debate about my productive organs . . . as long as the majority of those men agree with me. To flip it around, I definitely would not be comfortable in any way with a panel about my reproductive organs being lead by Sarah Palin and Michelle Bachman and that one crazy bitch whose campaign ads are all about how she castrated hogs on a farm. I believe I’ve said this before, but I’ll say it again: Demographics does not representation make. It doesn’t matter what demographics they are as long as they have the same ideas as you. Once again, this totally bypasses the fact that most of the the birth control/abortion laws liberals like were also voted in by majority/all male legislatures. But when the guys are agreeing with you, them having a dick isn’t a hindrance to their decision making skills and empathy, I guess.


Have you ever expressed a strong opinion and been called a meninazi? @clementine_ford

Yeah, you’re not going to be called a feminazi (which is an outdated term that only idiot MRAs call anyone anymore) if you express a strong opinion about very certain topics–that topic being feminism. Just like how someone with really strong opinions about how their religion is the one true religion is called a “fundie,” and people who have strong opinions on prescriptive language are called “grammar Nazis.” As it turns out, having strong opinions that you give aggressive, abrasive voice to will get you called names a lot of the time. Are you called a feminazi for having strong opinions on how The LEGO Movie got snubbed at the Oscars? No. Because that doesn’t make sense. If you’re obnoxiously opinionated about anything, people are going to call you something negative–that something generally having something to do with the topic of your passion–and this is coming from someone who is obnoxiously opinionated about things.

“Meninazi” isn’t a term because “meninism” isn’t a thing. Obnoxiously opinionated MRAs are called “neckbeards” and “mansplainers.” I’m pretty sure obnoxiously opinionated feminists are called “feminazis” just because the ‘n’ in feminist flowed into that really well. Once again, calm down.


Have you ever read a thinkpiece by a respected female writer explaining why and how men aren’t funny?

Is this the Chris Hitchens “Women Aren’t Funny” thing? The thing that came out years ago and is officially a think piece written by a currently dead man who isn’t alive to oppress you with his mean ideas anymore? This is totally ignoring that said think piece sparked conversation on the topic for weeks (which is a thousand years in internet time), with most of the responses, from writers known and unknown, being overtly against what he had to say. You can’t just ignore the seeming majority of people who had an issue with what was said. Personally, I didn’t care. That was his opinion. People can have opinions, and at least he tried to explain his with evidence, unlike lots of the comments which essentially boiled down to “BUT TINA FEY.” And also, just thinking back on it, there aren’t that many women comedians who I personally find funny, so there’s that.


How does your wife feel about your career?

Huh? I don’t even get this one. Do people’s wives not ever voice their opinion about their job? Are wives not allowed to have opinions on this? People ask what your spouse thinks about your career and/or future prospect a lot, I’m pretty sure. So . . . moving on, I guess. Someone explain this to me.


have you ever had trouble breaking into your chosen field because it’s a ‘girl’s club?’

Any man who has ever wanted to be a teacher of any kind, or psychologist, or nurse, or English major, or fiction writer, or feminist activist for that matter can firmly answer “Yes.” to that question.


Are you glad you waited until you were established in your career before becoming a father?

Okay, I just think these job-centric ones confuse me. Are men not asked this? I’ve heard men be asked this. I just don’t know.


How often have you needed to lie and pretend you had a partner to try to stop someone hitting on you?

This is just an annoying sentiment. People (and people, not just women) say “Oh, I have an ____friend,” to someone who is pursing them because it’s the nice, tactful thing to do. Straight up saying, “I am not interested in you, leave me alone.” is generally considered to be a little harsh for the situation. It’s not because “Oh, this woman is owned by another man, therefore I must respect my fellow dick-haver’s property.” It’s because human tact is a thing. It’s the same things as saying “Sorry, I’m busy” instead of just turning someone down when they ask you on a date.


have you even been judged on the length of your pants?

Men and women look different. I know, it’s a surprise. Take a few seconds to just let that sink in, I know it’s a surprise. Because the genders look different, different aspects of their bodies are considered attractive and/or sexual. A woman’s legs are considered an attractive element of her body whereas a man’s legs generally are not. Therefore, when a woman shows her legs, it is considered to be more attractive than when a man does because the legs are generally not considered to be a sexy party of a man. Men get things like abs and shoulders and jawlines and cheekbones. Women get breasts and legs and mouths. All that being said, a man wearing shorts that are too short or bike shorts that fit very snugly is definitely going to be judged because a man’s dick is definitely one of the things people pay attention to.


when you achieve something great, do you expect the female reporter to say, ‘give us a twirl, who are you wearing?’

The ones on TMZ definitely will! Seriously, you don’t have to have a dick to be a dick. If a female reporter asked that, which is perfectly likely depending on who she writes for, would it be any less irrelevant?


Have you ever had to fight for a 10% share of the conversation with women who think that you’re actually taking 80% share?

I don’t even know what this means.


Has your body been compared to an unlocked car, wallet or other object that can be carelessly left unattended?

And you have proven that you woefully missed the point of those arguments. The argument is not that you are a carelessly unattended object that should be treated like an object, the argument is that naivete is bad. You are not being compared to an unlocked car, you are being compared to the human who doesn’t lock their car, which is a fair assumption.


Do you struggle to identify with playable male characters because they are hyper-sexualised objects of fantasy?

I don’t get this one. Most male playable characters in games are super, unrealistically hot objects of fantasy because video games are a fantasy medium. They women are hot, the men are hot. Why is playing an attractive male hero apparently also pandering to the male audience by giving them a fantasy body and not pandering toward the female audience at all, but when the female playable character is hot that’s somehow also only for the benefit of male players. This rhetoric about how everything in a video game is only for guys and none of it is for women utterly erases female gamers from the discussion. Also, if you struggle to identify with a character for the sole reason that they are too hot, that says more about your self esteem than the game you’re playing.


Are you able to watch shows with more than two men on the panel without it being dismissed as a men’s show?

Shows marketed at women aren’t “dismissed” as women’s shows, they’re just acknowledged as women’s shows. “The View” is for women. So is “Dr. Oz,” a show that mainly features men. Once again, acknowledging the demographics of a product does not mean that you are dismissing the people who are not in that demographic. “Teen Wolf” and “Vampire Diaries” have majority male casts and are dismissed as girls’ shows all the time. Also, there are plenty of “men’s shows” that are dismissed for being too testosterone laden the same way that there are plenty of women’s shows that get dismissed for being too estrogen filled.


Do you send your mates a message to let them know you’ve gotten home safely?

My guy friends do this sometimes when we know they’re going somewhere less-than-safe. So yeah, they do, when it’s appropriate.


How many times have you been told you’re “such an independent young man” like that shouldn’t just be a given.

You realize that there are different words for different things, right? Women get called “independent,” men get called “strong,” women get called a bitch, men get called an asshole. Just because independent is a word more applied to women than men, that doesn’t automatically mean sexism is at play. Also, being independent isn’t a given, so there’s that.


Have you ever considered the advantages to be gained from signing your work using only your initials?

This doesn’t make sense purely because most authors are women and most publishing companies seem to like women more, especially for certain specific genres. This all just depends.


ever been called a ‘boy gamer’ while girls are just… Gamers?

There are plenty of women who like being called gamer girls, firstly. Secondly, I hear “gamer girl” more among people who aren’t gamers but who talk about gamers than among the gaming community itself.

Signing out.


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