Some white knighting may be in order

I just discovered the amazing #YesAllWomen thread on Twitter.  See also this.  I’ve been following this whole online misogyny thing since Anita Sarkeesian‘s Tropes Kickstarter drew my attention to it.  It’s train-wreck fascinating to me because I always assumed people who behaved like that were just an occasional psycho, or little kids trying to stir up any kind of attention.  I’ve been trying to understand how so many extreme throwbacks can exist.

Here’s the chain of thought the Twitter thread led me to, which is the reason for this post:

I know that I sometimes say things or make jokes or tease too much in ways that may be offensive to women.  I usually realize when I’ve done one of these things anywhere from seconds to weeks later, and I feel bad about it when I realize what I’ve done.  Feeling bad about it leads me to try to correct that behavior in future.  Problem solved – not immediately, but as rapidly as my self-awareness permits.

But maybe I have some unconscious misogynistic behaviors that I’m not aware of.  I can’t fix those if I don’t feel bad about them, and I can’t feel bad about them if I don’t even know they exist.

Therefore, sometimes someone has to tell you that you’re being an ass, and just as importantly why it’s a bad thing.

On top of that, it seems from reading this Twitter thread that not only are many women afraid to tell men when they’re being asses, but they might actually be justified in being afraid.

And maybe these troglodytes that are responsible for both that fear and this climate of misogyny aren’t actually aware they’re in the wrong or maybe they don’t feel bad about it because they don’t know why it’s wrong.  This is a disturbing thought for me – maybe they’re not just shit-disturbers, but somehow actually believe the crap they spout.

It seems like getting more men on board with correcting other mens’ behavior is required.  I’m on board, though I’m not sure I know how to do this effectively.