Not sheepish, but individ-ewe-al (livredor) wrote,
Not sheepish, but individ-ewe-al


I know you shouldn't eavesdrop, but the group at the table next to me this lunchtime weren't speaking quietly or confidentially. They were having a loud, cheerful discussion of how difficult it is for a man to mention any of the fundamental biological differences between men and women. In fact, the way that is is hard for men to have a voice in feminist circles is just like the way that certain topics to do with race are taboo for white people. It's a big problem for feminism, this unwillingness to listen to men and to put the movement on a sound, objective scientific basis rather than just clinging to victim identity and unempirical but ideologically sound political theories.

These are Swedish men, a sociologist and a couple of ecologists I think, the sort of people who would be deeply offended if you implied they were anything other than staunch feminists. They knew all the right buzzwords, they talked about the difference between sex and gender, and decried essentialism. They rather deplore the fact that women are under-represented at the senior levels they belong to, though they expect it's probably mostly a matter of time lag and the fact that so many women choose family over career in spite of all the opportunities available to them.

I suppose I shouldn't complain, perhaps a generation ago a similar group of middle-ranking academics would have bonded by means of loud conversations about the fuckability of their secretarial staff. And they really do mean well, they really do seem to feel hurt about not having an equal voice in feminist discourse. It's extraordinarily unlikely that they were having this discussion with the deliberate intention of making female colleagues feel unwelcome. It's just sad that people who have lived most of their lives in a remarkably egalitarian society, people who strongly believe in principle that women and men are absolutely equal, people who by the sound of it are better versed in feminist literature and theory than I am, just so fundamentally don't get it.
Tags: gender

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