Hear me loud, and hear me clear. When a woman, a group of women, several million women say “My experience as a woman is this” you don’t get to say with any merit “No, it’s not.”
It really is that simple. You are not a woman. You have never lived your life as a woman. You have never lived a life filtered through the lens of being female. Therefore it cancels out your opinion. It invalidates it. Have it, spout it, shout it from the rooftops if you like. It’s still worthless and invalid.
Yes, that’s right. I called your opinion worthless and invalid.
Do you think women factor in your mansplained opinions? Because frankly the very idea of that is laughable to me. We don’t factor them in. They have no space in our discussions, in our experience, in our drive to do better. You can have a thousand opinions. They carry no weight. They carry no legitimacy.
Let me say that again. There is no room for your male bullshit in our discussion as women.
Oh we want men there, we need men there, we want men to plan with us and demand with us. But those men are allies. They LISTEN. They know that they cannot possibly speak about the experience of being a woman, BECAUSE THEY ARE NOT A WOMAN.
Your Christian God has not given you the divine power to see into the minds of others, to live the lives of others.
Such a simple concept and yet one which seems so difficult for many to grasp.
Do you believe that a global march under the banner of women’s rights was a way for several million women to kill time between hair appointments? Do you think we are plotting to psychologically castrate the men in our lives (many of whom are our husbands and sons)? Do you think the end goal is to take over and treat men as abominably as men have treated women over the last few thousand years? Is that what you are afraid of?
What rights do men have, you ask? Let’s start with this: Men have the unspoken, unwritten right to be the standard by which everything in the world is measured. In this great dick-swinging game of life, men always get to roll first. Men have the right to do what they wish with their bodies. Imagine if we introduced mandatory vasectomies at puberty to help control the abortion and unplanned pregnancy rate–because that would actually work like a charm. In fact, I can’t come up with a single policy which would work better. Yet just imagine the uproar at the audacity of the government interfering with a man’s body without his consent. Hell, I’ve seen white men go apeshit on sarcastic memes about needing a wife’s consent for Viagra. God forbid someone police your misplaced erections.
(And for the record, I have no problem with health insurance covering prescriptions for Viagra. Do you know why? Because I cannot possibly know the psychological effects being unable to obtain, maintain, or enhance an erection has on the lives of men. Because I’m not a man. What I object to is the utter hypocrisy of using specious arguments about God’s will when it comes to reproduction. If it is God’s will for women to carry pregnancies to term, then surely it should follow that it is God’s will that so many men can’t get it up.)
You refer to a woman’s right to ‘kill her children’. Well, I think it’s about time that pro-choice women and men started using the phrase I hear so very much as a liberal whenever I point things out: It’s the law. If you don’t like it, you can go live somewhere else.
Why don’t you trust women? Why don’t you and others like you trust women to make decisions about their bodies? If a woman is willing to risk death by coat hanger, or ordering dodgy drugs off the internet, put her life in the hands of a back-alley butcher, shouldn’t we take it seriously that she does not want to be a mother? I’ve delved time after time into what can be done to make it easier for women to have children, but for now I’ll just say this: Not all women should be mothers. The myth that all women will love a child once she brings it into the world is just that: a myth. And it’s a dangerous one. But, at the end of the day, you can call it whatever you like. For now, medicine, science and the law agree with women. Frankly, I think that’s what rankles people like you. The law sided with women on this one and you can’t quite get your male head around it.
You talk about the illegality of rape, but you fail to mention the dismal failure of the law to actually do it’s job when it comes to rape. Rape claims which go un or partially investigated, victims who are vilified and shamed, disbelieved, young white men who are convicted of sexual offenses who receive slaps on the wrist because their lives have been disrupted enough. Their lives mean more than the lives of the women they’ve violated. That’s not the law working for women, that is the law working against women. And the answer women receive at every turn? Well, women should do X, Y, and Z to avoid getting raped. How about using your moral high ground platform to teach men NOT TO RAPE?
Do you think women don’t report rape and sexual assault because it’s no big deal? Or can your wrap your head around the idea that women don’t report it because they fear the repercussions and have no faith in the system? If it’s the latter, do you think the problem is with women….or the system? Hell, it’s illegal in some states to carry an ice-cream cone in your pocket, but no one does a damn thing if you’re walking down Main Street with Ben & Jerry’s dripping down your ass. For many women, their experience of the legal and judicial system when it comes to rape? It’s the same thing. They don’t do a damn thing.
But more than anything else, I think you’re a sanctimonious ass. You don’t get to preach on nigh from your Yertle the Turtle kingdom of white, heterosexual Christendom, the highest perch in all the land, and then tell the turtles at the bottom that the bones breaking in their backs aren’t really breaking–they only think they are (and, while they’re at it, shut up already, some turtles don’t even have jobs being the backbone of society–now go make me a sandwich. That’s the subtext of statements like that, and you know that).
You don’t have the knowledge, the history, or the validity to explain our experiences as women to us. Because you’re not a woman. And you will never, ever know what it is like to be a woman. And here’s the thing: despite all of the above, despite being hated, despite draconian laws meant to literally kill us, despite being burned and raped and hindered and oppressed for all of time save the last hundred years, ALL of that, women possess a strength and a spirit you will never, ever have.
I’d venture to say that probably bothers people like you most of all.