Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Speak Up September!

Well, well, well. It seems after my short trip to Chicago, I have come back to a whole new month. My favorite month! September!

As I was catching up on my feminist reading, I stumbled upon this story at Jezebel. The gist, long story short, is that when women confronted men about sexism, they didn't get all pissed off and hate the woman. They actually replied with basic nice-ness. Sweet!

This shouldn't come as a surprise...but I'm someone who calls people on their shit. I use a few different tactics from jokes to "Really? ...Really?" amongst other things. All in all, I have found the result to be generally favorable. I try not to come across as an asshole when I say these things, so people tend to not reply as assholes--usually. I get it though...it can be extremely hard to speak up when someone says something problematic. Some people really will come back at you with anger, and there's no way to change their minds. However, I really think that, in most cases, the whole situation can go smoothly and everyone can stay friends.

Of course, as I've noted before, the ultimate irony is that when you're an outspoken feminist, your not-really-feminist friends will continuously try to offend you so you’ll hear more jokey pseudo-sexist stuff than if you weren’t an outspoken feminist. It’s ironic-but their attempts are also futile because the real assholes are the ones who aren’t intentionally trying to piss you off. Just so you know. As they say in the Lion King, be prepared. (And consider saving your speaking out efforts for the people who weren't trying to make you mad, because they're the ones who didn't even know they were being sexist and need your perspective the most.)

Anyway, my point is that with this news, and this new month...I'm thinking we try to take the "Speak Up" stuff to the next level. Let's make it "Speak Up September." For this month, when someone says something that just really offends you, but you're maybe feeling a bit too embarrassed or worried to say something, try saying it anyway, with whatever method works for you. Check out what happens, and if it works, continue to speak out. You might like what happens.

You try that, and, now that I'm back home in Austin, I'll be trying not to go up in flames.

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