Monday, September 5, 2011

Danny's Law

I just read up a concept that the folks at No, Seriously, What About Teh Menz? called Ozy's Law. It goes a bit like this:
Any theory or ideology that is based on a big and usually bullshit generalization about women invariably carries with it an unspoken corollary: a big and usually bullshit generalization about men. And vice versa.
Pretty sound right?

Noah and Ozy give a few specific examples of presumptions/tropes/etc... that affect either men or women and give the complimenting presumptions/tropes/etc... that affect the other. What I think they are trying to do is call everyone together to get folks to recognize that EVERYONE is getting shit on in terms of gender in some way or another and the ways in which one gender is harmed almost never exist without a matching harm on the other gender (you can try to argue intensity or "who has it worse", but you'd be hard pressed to find a presumption that something only affects one gender or the other). But for as great and encompassing as this law is I think there is side effect that, if not properly addressed, could very well destroy the good will that Ozy's Law promotes.

You see one reason that people have never been able to come together in a mass united front in the gender discourse is because there are people on all sides that so adamantly insist that their side is the hardest hit and therefore they should get help first. Or those who adamantly declare that their side is only one being harmed. Or screaming down people on the other sides demanding that those other sides should ignore their harms (and they might even try to redefine the language in a weak sauce ass attempt to prove they don't exist) and come to help them. Or people, after having their harms ignored for so long (even by those who claim to be concerned for all people) they've pretty much written off others and any hope of civil discourse with them.

So Danny's Law is pretty much:
Before true progress can be made people with past grievances must be given at least a fair chance to have said grievances addressed.

Attempts at forcefully suppressing said grievances will almost certainly end in failure (failure being the loss of a potential ally). I'll admit that I was about this close to unleashing such anger over there but decided to bring it here instead. And while I respect the fact that they don't want that kind of stuff at their place I think its something that will eventually have to come up. Yeah it would be nice if everyone just suddenly put their grudges aside and we all started singing hymns together but that shit ain't gonna happen. Or at least it won't be easy. Plain and simple while Ozy's Law is a good start I just think the resentment, rage, anger, grudges, and ill will needs to be addressed (and notice I say addressed, not just dismissed with condescension) or else true progress will remain a pipe dream. What do you think?(Like I said I bet the folks over at NSWATM don't want people to air out their grievances over there but feel free to do so here. Just bear in mind while I'm willing to let people bring up their grudges that doesn't mean that this is an open range to insult people. We're talking legitimate complaints here.)

6 comments:

Eagle33 said...

I don't know.

This would be fine and dandy if their attempts to validate Schrondinger's Rapist and the Feminism 101 link never happened. In addition, judging cis white males as having the most difficulty with empathy for other experiences.

As they did, forgive me for having a hard time swallowing this.

EasilyEnthused said...

Given the tone of some of the posts there lately, I was actually pleased with Ozy's Law.

This isn't meant to be an insult to Noah or Ozy, but I have found their writings lately to be flawed repeatedly. Noah is consistently being inflammatory and snarky towards men who have any beef with "Feminism" and then, when he defends himself in the comments he is rudely dismissive and holier-than-thou.

Ozy's ideas and concepts are often tainted with a lack of development. What I mean is that she notices some aspect of men's issues, interprets it through a classical feminist lense (nothing wrong with that, in itself) then neglects to examine the different layers and unique issues that arise based on what angle you approach the issue from. Thankfully, (and this truly is her saving grace) she often recognizes the lack of development when it is pointed out to her in the comments. Polar opposite of Noah.

All that said, I agree with the essence of the rest of your post. I've used this analogy before - and I think it still works.

Let's say you have a dog and a cat. The cat hisses and mews and is very vocal around the house. The dog never, ever barks. Not at strangers, not on command - nothing. If you're sitting in your house on a calm Saturday afternoon and suddenly hear your dog barking - you should take note.

The traditional gender narrative says men don't complain and suffer in silence. Women have had the reputation of complaining "too much" for a while now.

Which makes it all the more confusing that feminists are so dismissive of men who vocalize their gender-related pain - do they seriously think that talking about this stuff is ENCOURAGED or EASY for us?

Danny said...

I don't blame you for having a hard time Eagle because heaven knows I am too (in fact if you feel like heading over to Ethecofem I have a new post up questioning my hostility towards feminism).

Danny said...

The traditional gender narrative says men don't complain and suffer in silence. Women have had the reputation of complaining "too much" for a while now.

Which makes it all the more confusing that feminists are so dismissive of men who vocalize their gender-related pain - do they seriously think that talking about this stuff is ENCOURAGED or EASY for us?

I think the issue may be a matter of your first two sentences there. I think in the minds of a lot of feminists "the prevailing reality" is that its men's complaints that are readily addressed and women's concerns that are tossed to the back burner. So to them men are getting plenty of attention so now its time to look after women.

But as you say Ozy is a glimmer of hope that some of them are recognizing how it really is (and along with Noah I'd add the commenter BlackHumor as well, eternally defending feminism against even the most valid of criticisms).

Eagle33 said...

Yeah, I saw your post, Danny.

Left a comment myself. Even though Daisy and I are...let's just say there's bad blood between us. (She still thinks I'm privledged...yadda yadda yadda.)

Danny said...

Yeah I have my moments with Daisy but all in all I'd rather deal with her than most other feminists.

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