If we keeping shit a buck: cisgender (people who identify with the sex assigned to them at birth) heterosexual men only listen to other cisgender heterosexual men, and even though that’s a problem, I find it hard to care.
I have found that approaching cishet men with solid facts about respecting women falls on deaf ears. I’m a quick learner, so it didn’t take long for me to completely stop explaining anything to men, especially when I knew they were hell bent on misunderstanding me in the first place. Contrary to popular belief, I do not like talking just to hear myself talk; I have more important shit to do. If it requires more than a basic level answer/explanation, I usually ignore it. It’s tiring.
Now, I will say that I have made connections with cishet men who were receptive and able to make a real connection. In every single one of those instances, those men had knowledge of their privilege, they didn’t gaslight me, and they didn’t interrupt me. It was absolutely beautiful. But Kristine is not one to seek out unicorns.
Whenever women are vocal about their abuse or oppression men often question the legitimacy of our womanhood or our sexuality, and I’m not with that shit.
Patriarchy has provided men the power to define our womanhood, therefore affording men the privilege to determine which women are worthy of respect, which is always the case when we try to explain our oppression to them. We’re asked about our relationship with our father, if we’ve ever been married or in a serious relationship, or (my favorite) we’re told to date women. Because that’s how this works…NOT! When men do this shit, they are asserting their power; they are trying to determine if we are worthy enough to have a valid reason to feel oppressed. They try to gauge the legitimacy of our womanhood, if it’s corroded we are not worthy of their respect. If we are assimilationists, however, we get a lil leeway.
If we look good, cook good, fuck good, serve men, only had sex with 2.5 men, then we might be worth it, but the rest of us ain’t shit.
Listen, any woman who speaks out about oppression has a valid stance and deserves to be heard. Fuck yo qualifiers. I’m not explaining or breaking down shit. As a womanist, I will not allow my quest for liberation to be muddled with the tiresome task of explaining to my oppressor why I deserve respect, which within itself is oppressive.
When the oppressed spend time educating their oppressors, they are taking time away from their pursuance of liberation, and are distracted with the needs of their oppressor. This is a typical oppressive tactic ignore it!
Women have always been vocal about the shit we go through, we talk about it, we teach it, we sing about it, we write about it, we draw about it, we yell about it, hell we embody it, so if any man STILL requires us to explain or educate them they are either willfully dense, not paying attention, or their intent is to derail our liberation. Regardless, it’s disingenuous, and again, I ain’t with that shit.
I’m more interested in working to dismantle the system of patriarchy altogether, if any man wants to learn about feminism, womanism, or the like, the resources are available. I am not.
I am aware that there are women who think it is important to welcome men into the fold, and I wholeheartedly do not agree with that shit. Men do not need to be welcomed into our quest for liberation. Our liberation is not about them, should not be centered on them, and damn sure should not be defined by them, and that is exactly what will happen if we welcome them in. Men are inherently oppressive; therefore, welcoming them into our liberation will place limitations on our freedom.
That is what happens when men bring their asses in women spaces asking for clarity and understanding. That is what happens when men start questioning our womanhood and sexuality. There’s always a comparison to women who are abused, there’s always a question of victim shaming, or (the most common) they distance themselves from overt sexists with the feigned attempt to sound supportive of feminism/womanism.
It’s bullshit, IGNORE.
Many women feel compelled to explain because we want so desperately to be respected and not be constantly demeaned by men. I get it. I also felt compelled to explain shit to men, but I quickly found that 10 times out of 9, men are disingenuous anyway, and they don’t want to check their privilege. They want to gaslight you. They want to distract you. They want to co-opt your knowledge and use it against you. It’s exhausting. But this is a realization that women have to come to on their own, (the same way I did) so I won’t criticize the women who choose to offer explanations to men or the women who take time to educate men, but as usual, I will always be honest.
Sis, you are wasting your time.
I, however, will not tolerate men (family included) asserting their power to force me to define my womanhood on their terms. I’m worthy of respect because I am a person, that’s my birthright. Neither my womanhood nor my sexuality is any of their damn business.
You got questions?