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Intervene on a psycho’s feud with womankind?

See something, say something?

Dear Hipster:

I’m 45 and I just went back to school! Well, graduate school, anyways. That counts, right? Personally, I’m thrilled by a return to academic life at this late juncture; but I must say, a lot has changed since I went to college! One stand-out was the mandatory “Title IX” training that all new students had to complete. When I was in college, Title IX meant the women’s basketball team got as much funding as the men, or something to that effect. Now, it seems like the onus has shifted to preventing sexual violence on campus. I approve of that, but I learned a bitterly ironic “lesson” during the training. As I sat in a large lecture hall, watching a team of female staffers explain the school’s resources for victims of sexual harassment, one of my fellow students, a younger male who sat next to me, muttered a ceaseless string of sexist invectives! This kept up right through the, “see something, say something” portion of the lecture, and I couldn’t help but wonder, Should I say something? My gut says that I’m not involved in this psycho’s feud with womankind, yet I feel like there ought to be some kind of intervention here. What to do?

— J.

I will answer your question as bluntly as I can: I don’t know.

I wish I had the good answer for you, but this lies beyond my hipster ken. This is bigger than the fact that, broadly speaking, “diversity training” seems to backfire as much or more than it works. What I will do, and this seems counterintuitive, is take full responsibility for the situation.

Yes. That’s right. This is all my fault. To be fair, I share the burden collectively with every other hipster. Our hipster generation is a sensitive one, a cadre of tender souls invested in the fair treatment of all. We grew up under the well-intentioned shield of political correctness through the 1990s, and we, to the hipster, spent our college careers expressing outrage at social injustice.

We were the first generation to widely meet the phrase, “That’s so gay,” with, “Hey, man, that’s not cool.” We embrace the different as sacred, giving the same deference to the inalienably hipster right to wear a Mario costume to your barista job as we might to race or religious freedom. And yet our uber-tolerant culture has given rise to its Bizarro other: the Men’s Rights movement (if it truly has or deserves a name), a kind of internet troll made flesh.

It is frat pledges chanting, “NO MEANS YES!” and it is the ultimate consequence of our hipstertude.

Every effort to level the playing field across the spectrum of human existence spawns its equal and opposite Reddit about, say, “feminist man-hating propaganda.” Perhaps if people realized life doesn’t have to be a zero-sum game, they wouldn’t have to meet “Black Lives Matter” with “all lives matter,” as if there isn’t enough worth to go around.

I don’t know how you, or anyone else should face this harsh reality. You probably shouldn’t join that guy’s study group (just sayin’), but what is there to be done about a committed hater? You’re only 45. Sometime in the next 40 years, you’ll get the chance to “say something” to someone who might actually listen. Do it then.

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To J: Your gut is wrong. You have as much to do with the psycho's feud as every woman he's never met who has never done anything to him that he hates anyway. But you can pretend you have no part in it because you aren't the psycho's target. Actual real women and girls are harmed by this guy's way of thinking and even though he's being overt about it, the whole world essentially shares his views. By choosing your comfort over the lives and safety of women that are threatened by his attitudes, you are encouraging his behavior.

If you want to know what to do when someone makes a sexist remark (or racist, or homophobic, etc. there's plenty of oppression to go around), here: http://whatmencando.net/wp-content/uploads/121112-bystander-intervention-jokes-web.pdf

This is a decent place to start, but please, please, PLEASE don't stop there.

To Hipster: Dude, you tried, but hipsters didn't invent hating women - men did. Political correctness didn't invent oppression - oppressors did. They continue to benefit from it. The uber-tolerant culture that you think exists, in fact, does not and never has. Like J, you've been able to believe it because you don't have to experience it. This shit is way more subtle and insidious than you think. If you can't even say something when it's staring you in the face, there's no way you can cast aside the sexist (racist, homophobic, etc.) things you don't even know you're doing. Please read that same link and don't stop there. It's imperative. Thanks.

Aug. 31, 2016

OMG brah! Based on your understanding of the facts, you're 100% right!

Buuuuuuuut, maybe you are making a key assumption here that makes it easy for you to say this.

Anybody care to guess what uzumaki assumes?

Also, you needn't Straw Man my words to prove a point on which we agree. I never claimed misogyny is a new thing, what I do claim is that the "Men's Rights" movement is a modern form of institutionalized violence against women that speaks for the angry little boys who feel the "PC" culture of the 1990s and 2000s has somehow wronged them. That's a very specific thing not rightly equated with the entire history of oppression.

Sept. 2, 2016

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Dear Hipster:

I’m 45 and I just went back to school! Well, graduate school, anyways. That counts, right? Personally, I’m thrilled by a return to academic life at this late juncture; but I must say, a lot has changed since I went to college! One stand-out was the mandatory “Title IX” training that all new students had to complete. When I was in college, Title IX meant the women’s basketball team got as much funding as the men, or something to that effect. Now, it seems like the onus has shifted to preventing sexual violence on campus. I approve of that, but I learned a bitterly ironic “lesson” during the training. As I sat in a large lecture hall, watching a team of female staffers explain the school’s resources for victims of sexual harassment, one of my fellow students, a younger male who sat next to me, muttered a ceaseless string of sexist invectives! This kept up right through the, “see something, say something” portion of the lecture, and I couldn’t help but wonder, Should I say something? My gut says that I’m not involved in this psycho’s feud with womankind, yet I feel like there ought to be some kind of intervention here. What to do?

— J.

I will answer your question as bluntly as I can: I don’t know.

I wish I had the good answer for you, but this lies beyond my hipster ken. This is bigger than the fact that, broadly speaking, “diversity training” seems to backfire as much or more than it works. What I will do, and this seems counterintuitive, is take full responsibility for the situation.

Yes. That’s right. This is all my fault. To be fair, I share the burden collectively with every other hipster. Our hipster generation is a sensitive one, a cadre of tender souls invested in the fair treatment of all. We grew up under the well-intentioned shield of political correctness through the 1990s, and we, to the hipster, spent our college careers expressing outrage at social injustice.

We were the first generation to widely meet the phrase, “That’s so gay,” with, “Hey, man, that’s not cool.” We embrace the different as sacred, giving the same deference to the inalienably hipster right to wear a Mario costume to your barista job as we might to race or religious freedom. And yet our uber-tolerant culture has given rise to its Bizarro other: the Men’s Rights movement (if it truly has or deserves a name), a kind of internet troll made flesh.

It is frat pledges chanting, “NO MEANS YES!” and it is the ultimate consequence of our hipstertude.

Every effort to level the playing field across the spectrum of human existence spawns its equal and opposite Reddit about, say, “feminist man-hating propaganda.” Perhaps if people realized life doesn’t have to be a zero-sum game, they wouldn’t have to meet “Black Lives Matter” with “all lives matter,” as if there isn’t enough worth to go around.

I don’t know how you, or anyone else should face this harsh reality. You probably shouldn’t join that guy’s study group (just sayin’), but what is there to be done about a committed hater? You’re only 45. Sometime in the next 40 years, you’ll get the chance to “say something” to someone who might actually listen. Do it then.

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Comments
2

To J: Your gut is wrong. You have as much to do with the psycho's feud as every woman he's never met who has never done anything to him that he hates anyway. But you can pretend you have no part in it because you aren't the psycho's target. Actual real women and girls are harmed by this guy's way of thinking and even though he's being overt about it, the whole world essentially shares his views. By choosing your comfort over the lives and safety of women that are threatened by his attitudes, you are encouraging his behavior.

If you want to know what to do when someone makes a sexist remark (or racist, or homophobic, etc. there's plenty of oppression to go around), here: http://whatmencando.net/wp-content/uploads/121112-bystander-intervention-jokes-web.pdf

This is a decent place to start, but please, please, PLEASE don't stop there.

To Hipster: Dude, you tried, but hipsters didn't invent hating women - men did. Political correctness didn't invent oppression - oppressors did. They continue to benefit from it. The uber-tolerant culture that you think exists, in fact, does not and never has. Like J, you've been able to believe it because you don't have to experience it. This shit is way more subtle and insidious than you think. If you can't even say something when it's staring you in the face, there's no way you can cast aside the sexist (racist, homophobic, etc.) things you don't even know you're doing. Please read that same link and don't stop there. It's imperative. Thanks.

Aug. 31, 2016

OMG brah! Based on your understanding of the facts, you're 100% right!

Buuuuuuuut, maybe you are making a key assumption here that makes it easy for you to say this.

Anybody care to guess what uzumaki assumes?

Also, you needn't Straw Man my words to prove a point on which we agree. I never claimed misogyny is a new thing, what I do claim is that the "Men's Rights" movement is a modern form of institutionalized violence against women that speaks for the angry little boys who feel the "PC" culture of the 1990s and 2000s has somehow wronged them. That's a very specific thing not rightly equated with the entire history of oppression.

Sept. 2, 2016

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