From the comments on this post about feminism — this statement, that is one of those “yes, that’s what I feel too, if only the thought had come out fully formed, but it didn’t” for me.
It’s a little nuance thing, but makes a huge difference. If I post on a t-shirt that I find offensive, and someone says, “I don’t find it offensive,” I don’t take umbrage. It’s when someone says, “Oh, it’s a t-shirt; get over it” that I get pissy, because what they’re really saying is, “I don’t find it offensive and neither should you.”
That’s particularly problematic when it’s said by someone who wasn’t the target of the message. If you’re a man who isn’t offended by a “Pussy: The Other White Meat” t-shirt, well, duh–it wasn’t designed to offend you. Its very existence is predicated on the fact that (some) men will laugh.
The men who don’t laugh are: A) sympathetic to why women are offended; and/or B) offended by the portrayal of men as insensitive cads and the assumption that men will find such sexism amusing. In the latter case, that typifies why I constantly say that sexism is bad for men, too.
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I had to comment because, for possibly the first time ever, I can actually use pussy as a segue. Last night, I dined with a few people and one referred to a cowardly gentleman as being a “pussy fag.” I’d never heard that phrase before. I was so stunned when she (she!) said it that I didn’t have any witty gay comeback, but I ~did~ mention four or five (or 12) times during the remainder of the evening The Gayness I Exude. She didn’t apologize for her comment, but I felt better in at least letting her know there was a homo in her midst. :]
I hope you are feeling better, maxine! I read your post about throwing up in your car. hee. I should NOT laugh. Hee.