Arguing

February 23, 2009 at 10:33 pm (arsehats, feminism, Giant Babies, idiots, male privilege, personal)

I am a person who likes debate.  I always have and I hope I always will because I strive on it.  In my life I’ve only ever met one other person who could argue for as long as me without giving up or taking it personally*.  Although, lately I’ve stopped doing it as often or as passionately as I used to.  Maybe it’s part of having a job where I can effectively debate people all day.**

And when I see arse tiaras arguing about things they know nothing about, especially but not limited to feminism, and using the same damn arguments that I’ve read too many times before (that didn’t make any damn sense the first time around) I just don’t care enough to argue the point.  I don’t care what they think, I don’t care how wrong they are and it’s not going to be my problem to wake them up gently.  If they refuse to see me like a human being, I will not waste my freaking time seeing them as one.

These are people who Don’t Get It (and Most Likely Never Will).  Why waste my time?  A few of them have come out of the woodwork lately on my friend’s facebook pages and I’ve watched other radical feminists alternate between reasoning with them and hammering the point home.  I can’t help but look and think ‘why bother?’

I’m happy to argue here on my blog, or on my forums and help raise consciousness of people who actively want their consciousness raised.  But fuck wasting my time and breath and energy on people who Don’t Get It (and Most Likely Never Will).  I refuse to get worked up over these dickheads.  Especially when they think it’s fun, or a joke, or any other inane shit they can say.  (see here)  It’s not fun to me and it never will be.

But, there are people I write off quite quickly as people who Don’t Get It (and Most Likely Never Will) and it turns out, they’re not.  Some are quite a bit more enlightened than most people in my life, and I should have given them a chance before writing them off.  Others are not exactly enlightened yet, but are open to listening and learning (and shutting the fuck up).  So I guess I’m doing them a disservice by automatically writing them off.  I also guess I’m not helping the cause by turning away potential allies.

What are some definite good signs and what are some definite bad signs?  Anyone hitting a bingo on either card is out of the running immediately, for good reason.  Or is a better strategy to work on being tactful and tolerant for a long enough period til I find out?

Just for the record, the idea that I need to be tactful and tolerant in case the male I’m talking to isn’t a total arse tiara is so seriously annoying to me I think I may bang my head against the wall just to make myself feel better.

*I wonder if you will figure out it’s you.  And I wonder if others will think it’s them when it’s not.  Amazing the fun I can have from this side of the thought process.

**Of course this has lessened a lot in my new job – more on that later.

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6 Comments

  1. emmainthecity said,

    Hi!
    I found your blog by accident and read this post and loved it! Hope it’s ok that I link to your blog from mine?

    /Emma
    Feminist in Sweden

  2. Jo Tamar said,

    Thanks for the link, which I just found 🙂

    I also love to debate – I’m incredibly lucky, as it’s something I can do both with my family and with my colleagues.

    The thing about the Don’t Get It (And Most Likely Never Will) folk: I’m with your first thought, they’re not worth the oxygen. At least, not for the moment.

    Maybe they are listening and absorbing and thinking and learning and will eventually get there – but it’s not *your* role to get past the Don’t Get It (And Most Likely Never Will) veneer, not if you don’t want to. If they’re really possibly going to get it some day, there’s enough out there that will hit them in the face, even if they’re not actively searching for it.

    If they are interested in learning, it’s their responsibility to either act a little less like they Don’t Get It (And Most Likely Never Will) AND/OR to actively go out and try to get a clue.

    In other words: no matter how much we enjoy arguing generally, and even if someone Really Wants To Learn – we’re entitled to take a break from teaching them, even if that’s a permanent break 😉

    • whyimbitter said,

      thanks for the return link 🙂
      My family hate debating with me, and my friends hate it more. If I didn’t get to argue with customers on a daily basis I’d be screwed I think. That and uni.

      I think my real issue here is learning how to sort the people who Don’t Get It (And Most Likely Never Will) from the people (and by this I mean men) who Totally Get It. I think I write some off them off too quickly.

      j – didn’t see that on chat, I’ve been skimming through things mostly at the moment. and everytime I think it’s not worth trying to tell the difference, someone I’ve previously written off will show amazing insight. And hey, if someone reading this thinks it’s about them, it possibly is just a little bit. But you’re probably not reading.

  3. Whingeing as a feminist act « Wallaby said,

    […] them would change a little if they were forced to think about it a little bit (although there are always those who Don’t Get It (And Most Likely Never Will)), and that, occasionally, their superiors will care enough about the public image of the […]

  4. j said,

    Ok so I was actually sort of thinking about your “don’t get it and probably never will” conundrum yesterday(?). I dunno if you saw where I was whingeing about someone named Kevin on chat the other day but I was thinking about how some people have these seemingly insufferable Nigels that get to the point where they start reading about feminism and asking questions about privilege and trying to understand. And I couldn’t help but wonder how you tell if a person has it in him to “get it” eventually.

    You’re probably right though, that there’s no point in even trying to bother.

  5. Joy-Mari Cloete said,

    I also love arguing. I need more of it but I do not need people to call me names. I’d love to give them a link to a site that explains logical fallacies. 😉

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