Empowering Sexist Women

Dave has had a long line of posts about the women who criticized his BlogHer pieces. Today, while reading about Dave’s chat with Sylvia Paull I finally figured out why his posts irritate me.

Liz, it’s time to bend over backwards to create safety for men to speak on this
subject. Many of your colleagues are already doing this. There are still a few standouts,
and you are one of them. No more gender-bashing, lecturing and name-calling, and no
more tolerance for that.

When women were trying to find their voice nationally, when they were pursuing suffrage and fighting for equal rights, men did not “bend over backwards to create safety”, they did everything they could to shut them down. There are two differences between that situation and this one.

First, of course, women should aspire to do better than men did at the beginning of the Women’s Lib movement. More importantly, though, this is the internet. Other people have only as much power as you give them.

If you write how you feel and people “flame” you for it (Dave’s term for people he doesn’t respect who disagree with him), the solution is not to whine about how they didn’t create a safe environment for you, the solution is to keep talking. The solution isn’t to blame your lack of interaction on previous bad experiences, the solution is to speak even louder and even more frequently if you don’t feel like it’s a “safe” environment.

They’re not saying “be a man”, Dave, they’re saying “grow a spine.” So some women disagree with you. Big deal. Welcome to life. Here on the internet those people only have as much power as you give them.

Nobody can make you feel inferior without your permission.

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