RE: On Being A Feminist, A Trans/Queer-Rights Advocate And An Atheist/Skeptic At The Same
[archiving from a facebook post]
If you are new to feminism and deep in a discussion where you are in disagreement with the feminist-pros: just shut up and listen.
The above statement is strong, especially when as freethinkers we are encouraged to cultivate a skeptical attitude. But "listen" doesn't mean "accept without skepticism" and it most certainly doesn't mean plainly accept the authority. Point to note is that skepticism doesn't imply "the moment something doesn't seem correct we start raising uninformed objections and making premature conclusions". Its like trying to discard theory of relativity using paradoxes even before properly understanding it. Key to understand a complicated theory like theory of relativity is to be patient and understand how all the pieces fit and then start tackling the paradoxes. It would require more than normal amount of patience because its counterintuitive. Very similarly we might have fur and find it difficult to understand matters pertaining to privelege. Hence we need to give it more time and attention to understand the feminist stance before we raise our objections.
But why is it so important to shut up?
Apart from the obvious reason that we cannot be speaking and listening/understanding at the same time (true even for social network discussions), the other reason is: it is easy to offend others when its about typical feminist topics of discussion (e.g. rape). The topics are normally very sensitive and our unintentional naive comments can actually make others very uncomfortable. The complicated part is that a newbie won't even understand why his/her comments might be troubling to others. So safest way would be "shut up and listen".
is a very good resource for educating yourself on feminism basics.