A few weeks ago I made the mistake of getting caught up in an argument on Facebook. This was an especially big mistake since the topic of said argument was misogyny. More specifically, I asserted the content in a link someone posted was misogynist and that the people who liked the post were encouraging misogyny.
As these things go on the internet, you can imagine my statement wasn’t very popular.
Several of the responses included demands that I explain to them what was misogynist about the article. Although I had cited a few egregious examples in earlier comments, this apparently wasn’t enough. I replied that it wasn’t my job to educate them on feminism 101.
I bet you can guess how well that went over.
I don’t have the time and I damn sure don’t have the mental energy to explain to every idiot I encounter (especially online) why something which is blatantly misogynistic is misogynistic. If you’re already on the internet, you have the resources available to you to educate yourself. There are plenty of great feminist websites out there (I even link to some!) and you can use this great thing called “Google” to find more. You can also use this “Google” thing to find books, classes (even MOOCS), lectures and other resources to help you educate yourself.
I’m not the only one that feels this way. The commenting policy on Shakesville states that they don’t do “education on demand.”
I certainly don’t mind engaging in intellectual debate about concepts of feminism. I don’t even mind explaining very basics notions to people sometimes. But if you’re in a discussion where someone cites examples of something being misogynist (or racist or homophobic or anything else) and your first response isn’t to examine those examples, reread the article, reexamine the conversation and general take the allegations seriously, you’re not just a misogynist, you’re also an asshole.