Friday, June 23, 2017
I am SO conflicted about this Ted Talk. On the one hand, I think Alexis Jones makes a lot of very important points regarding masculinity. Even though men are on the privileged side of the dominant ideologies about gender, they are still enlisted in the dominant ideology since birth, and need education and support to unlearn a lot of that. They also are under a lot of pressures of toxic masculinity, which is a problem. However, I don't find making feminism palatable to men to be particularly important. I think men should act like guests "at the table," and it is not women's jobs to make them comfortable there. I also have a problem with the idea of needing to make rape about specific women in order for it to matter. Men should know that rape is terrible without being asked "What if it was your sister?" Women's lives and ownership of their bodies should matter when they're strangers, too. Not because they're somebody's daughter, somebody's sister, or somebody's mother but because they're somebody. I don't think Alexis was arguing against this at all, but there was something about her framing that made me uncomfortable. Maybe it's just frustrating to me that it's impossible to educate men without super catering to them, or that it seems like, at least with the men she spoke to, they won't even think about it without someone hitting them with a picture of their teenage sister and reminding her that she's one of us too. This is definitely going to be in the back of my mind as a reminder in terms of my own points of privilege.