August 25th, 2013

b/g - in the library

Fighting Sexism on the interwebs rotted my brain (Post 4 of 30)

I don't mention it often here. Which is weird. But I consider myself almost a radical feminist. (almost, but not quite, because while I do actually believe there is socially institutionalized sexism that can be found pretty much in every part of in my own culture and quite a few others, i actually do like men and believe they can be feminists and to believe that trans* people are real people too and undergo oppression and deserve to have a voice in multiple movements, including the feminist movement, and because i do still actually like hetero sex and because i do believe women have agency and choice...)

But for some reason it doesn't come up for me in a fandom context as much as it does in my other online spaces, particularly on facebook. Racism discussions too. It's not that I don't have them about things I am fannish about...or think thoughts about those texts that critique their gender politics (and they've all got gender politics, boy howdy). But I'm in a radical feminist community on facebook that has really fascinating discussions (and occasionally just blow your pants off drama). And now, apparently I'm also picking fights with sexist freethinkers.

And picking fights with sexist freethinkers wasn't actually on my menu for the weekend. It is draining to try to explain to someone systematic and institutionalized predjudice if they don't believe it. It is, I think, almost impossible to convince a white male who doesn't want to listen that women are sexually harassed or denegrated when he's a skeptic. Or it was for me. The guy wanted me to prove that sexism was a widespread problem in the atheist community, but then when I pulled up personal blogs from women atheists describing their experiences he denegrated them because they were never 'properly investigated'. When I linked him reports from atheist conferences where there were widespread reports of abuse, he called them hearsay. When I asked him to refer back to the original article I'd posted about Male Atheists and White Knight Sexism he tried to tell me that the tweets in question were just one bad apple and that it did not indicate a widespread trend of anything.

I finally gave up, after calling him sexist. Because he was - at one point he compared unreported sexual harrassment to reports of aliens -- both were equally doubtful in his mind.

I think part of the reason I don't usually engage on topics like this out there on the interwebs (though I read a whole lot of other people engaging on it, women and men alike) is because hitting a wall of doubt like that, when I know so many women who have been made to feel inferior, or disregarded, or put down, or ignore, not just in atheist spaces (but including them) is emotionally exhausting.

So today I was exhausted. Watched bad TV. Watched the rest of the season of Orange is the New Black (which OMG crap holy crap!!). Read Adorable Teen Wolf Derek/Stiles Thanksgiving fic, and completely CREEPY BUT TOTALLY AWESOME Hannibal fic, and only got about a chapters worth of Korean History down.

School starts tomorrow and I will return to my policy of not engaging with people whose minds are impossible to change. (or perhaps I will encounter them in class, but then I'll be their TA, and Korea is WAAAY more fun to talk about than sexism. Sorry, but true.)

Monday can't actually come fast enough.

also posted to katekat on dreamwidth | you can reply here or there