Sometimes I find myself in a conversation with someone who doesn’t like feminism, but because they don’t necessarily understand feminism. If you’re in a conversation with someone who doesn’t like feminism because they don’t like the idea of gender equality… Well, that’s a blog post for another day.
I like to think of feminism as less of a movement, and more of a lifestyle. I still strongly believe we all need to be very active with this momentum we have regarding breaking down a patriarchal system, but a movement, in my mind, notions that these ideas will be over one day. I want gender equality now and forever, and approaching male privilege or gender inequality in a conversation doesn’t have to scare someone who is afraid of the “feminist movement.” So let’s find a way around it so we’re still able to talk.
I listened to a great TED talk the other night about the pedagogy of privilege, and it lit up that light bulb in my head, and everything clicked. Generally, people are somewhat open to talking about privilege and oppression, until they feel that guilty-blame-shame feeling. In order to avoid that guilty-blame-shame feeling, we can approach conversations (about any inequality) by using the social identifier, instead of the dominant group of that identifier. For example, let’s say “racial privilege” to replace “white privilege,” and “gender privilege” to replace “male privilege.”
That immense frustration we often feel when talking to someone who just doesn’t get it, what if it’s on us? What if we’ve just been talking about it wrong? Approaching them incorrectly?
I’m all for breaking down the system, and I say “puck the patriarchy” at least once a day, but for less woke people, let’s break it down and take some smaller steps with people who need it. After all, you might be the only person in their life talking about feminism. Don’t block them out, don’t scare them away; invite them into the conversation and remember that how they want to talk about things will be different than how you want to.
Rock on & talk on, feminists.