This comment is from Lori Day to Archy, from the post The God of Gender Wars is Laughing
Archy, thanks, and btw, that article I wrote on why boys are failing got me more hate email than anything I’ve ever written. But only when I posted it here on GMP. When I first ran it on Huffington, it got a very different reception. After running it on GMP (because I noticed a lot of commenters saying this topic of boys’ education needed to be addressed, and I had recently addressed it on HuffPo) it drew fire–much of it in my personal email inbox–for being anti-girl. It was not anti-girl. It was PRO-BOY. The reverse happens just as much.
People want you to be in a box. Either you are supposed to write advocacy pieces about girls and women on feminist sites…or, to write advocacy pieces about boys and men on men’s sites. If you’re on a gender-neutral site like Huffington, you do get angry gender-based comments, but mostly you get comments that address the *content* of what you are saying more than the content of your character for being whatever gender you are and writing in support of one gender or the other. There seems to be little understanding of why someone like me might write powerfully in defense of boys one day, and in defense of girls the next. The reason is actually simple: because I am a CHILD advocate, and NEITHER gender has it better than the other overall. I am super worried about kids today–all of them. Not a difficult concept.
If you are a solutions-oriented writer, that means you are going to take both sides…in turn or simultaneously, or take no sides at all sometimes, remaining centrist. I actually feel there is something deeply dishonest about always and only writing in support of one gender at the expense of the other. I frankly believe there is male privilege AND female privilege. I feel it is a lie and extremely unproductive to deny either of those things, and I won’t. As a woman who does care about the welfare of my OWN gender, women and girls, their rights, and the ways in which they suffer now and historically…is there a place here on GMP where someone like me can empathetically address the experience of men while NOT simultaneously throwing women under the bus? How about WHILE also acknowledging the problems faced by women, when relevant to the topic? Or is there no place on GMP for “whataboutthewomenz??”
I get the problem with there being too much of that! But do people really feel that women do not suffer, or that their suffering has ZERO place on GMP? I see many MRA commenters here who have no tolerance–absolutely none–for the notion of compassion towards BOTH sexes. How is that any more acceptable than when feminists will not acknowledge the ways men suffer? Look, it goes both ways, and if that is not patently clear to both men and women, then whoever is unclear about it needs to open their eyes, and more importantly, their hearts.
Thanks for your kind comment and your obvious desire to find some middle ground, Archy. That’s where it’s at.
This was Archy’s original comment to Lori
…I quite enjoyed your article on the “why boys are failing” article. I hope you do write more, my best advice is to ignore the haters because someone is always going to disagree in life but what you have to say is equally important.
The more diversity in articles showing feminism, masculism, etc I think the anger will die down. From what I’ve read I’d say you’re far from the Hugo and Amanda version of feminism that is like dancing with flares on a tightrope over a massive open silo of fuel (dramatic scene, kapow!) and I’m always interested in seeing the diversity in ideas the feminists have, from Neely to even Hugo, where I can read an article and be everything from annoyed as hell at the generalizations, to others where I want to high 5 them for actually seeing male suffering, or female AND male suffering without trying to ignore either.
So I do hope you will write again, maybe set it up as more moderated and tell people to discuss without anger? I personally try my best to ignore the anger and understand WHY they’re angry, it’s a “hidden” message but usually it’s an important one and from the looks of it both sides feel very very ignored, belittled, antagonized by the OTHER side. The more masculists and feminists that can write articles of both genders, can actually work together I think the less anger will overpower the comments when both sides feel they are thought about.
photo: kavehfa / flickr