I want to write a bunch about this, but I have so much to do and so little time.
Trigger Warning: violence against women
Originally I was just going to note a few things, but now I have a list of quotations sadly removed from their context.
- "Ideas have meaning beyond the individual people who use them"
- "gentlemen" and "chivalry" as dangerous concepts that can fail to respect reality (I used to fall into the trap of those concepts more)
- I like the voice of the text
- the unilateral nature of some “chivalry”
- "what I’m offering or else", particularly the "take that out on yu in a million small and big ways"
- "navigating the desire, anger, and power-over of many men before we are old enough to know how to handle it"
- "many will have learned early that men are nicer to them and listen to them more when they are sexually desireable"
- "often men who simply have not learned meaningful consent skills or how to get out of their own heads long enough to see and hear what someone else is feeling"
- "the tip of the iceberg of overt visible misogyny masks deep subterranean institutional and cultural practises that are hidden in plain sight"
- "the code of gentlemanly behaviour does nothing to remedy this problem. Because it is not in dialogue with women…"
- "we don’t really know our own minds or our own experiences, that our perceptions are simply not as valid as a man’s"
- "In a million cumulative microaggressions so pervasive you and we don’t even always notice they are happening, have been told that our perceptions are not to be trusted"
- "That is how systemic violence works: we all buy in. We all buy in.”
- "You are responsible for not retraumatizing the women you care for."
- "A genuinely safe male presence in women’s lives, who can hear the honest truth - about your actions and those of men before you - and not balk or attack."
- "listen, truly listen, and encourage her to trust her voice, her perceptions that have been downplayed all her life - including, mostly likely, by you, even thought you didn’t mean to""
- "If you are not actively working against your gender role, you are reinforcing it"
- "Try saying, ‘this is what I heard, is that what you mean?’
- "Don’t make promises you can’t keep; build trust slowly and deliberately"
- "Stick around"
- "You can’t only ‘treat women well’ when you are attracted to them"
- "Encourage her voice, encourage her to trust her truth and her experience. Even if that raises fears in you of your own darkest sides"
- "More empowering than having doors held or having someone ‘treat you like a lady’ is having your perceptions of reality genuinely heard"
- "Who are you in dialogue with [when you think of yourself as a gentleman]?"
The recurring theme that bothers me most perhaps is failing to acknowledge, respect, and encourage someone’s perceptions. Mostly because I managed to fail at that to a horrific degree with someone I have deeply loved.
It feels foreign and strange to me years on, that I could have been so awful. I didn’t really understand it was happening until the end. Everything seemed like an isolated and justified case, we might have a difference, and ultimately I’d steamroll her and she’d concede. I wasn’t more logical, I was unilateral.
Shivers me timbers. Keep improving towards a better future.