Building on the works of the past [split from Men in feminism]

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Post by Mel on Fri Nov 07, 2014 6:57 pm

nearly_takuan wrote:I guess what I meant was, those things sounded like exactly the sorts of things my mom would say, and even mean, whether they were true or not. And of course it all falls apart anyway once we realize other people don't see the world the way Your Mom does. So particularly on that last point, your opinion isn't going to matter much (or maybe at all) unless the kid's got an Oedipus complex or something.

Wow. Okay, well, I could get into various points--like the tremendous amount of research that shows how big an impact parent-child relationships have on people well after they're grown up, or how crappy it is to tell a parent essentially that their efforts to accept and support their kids don't mean anything (I mean, I'm sorry that apparently your mother mattered so little to you, but maybe don't generalize to everyone else in the world?)--but those would be tangents from this thread.

So the only point I'll elaborate on is, you do realize that what you're doing right here is perpetuating the exact system you've complained about--and complained that other people aren't doing enough to help you fix? You've basically said that there's no point in parents trying to combat toxic masculinity, they may as well shame their sons for not fitting the various stereotypes of manhood. You at least sound as if you're trying to discourage me from paying attention to that aspect of my son's life at all.

I'm someone who is trying to change society to be more like the one you supposedly want, and you are suggesting that I shouldn't bother.

It's pretty special to express frustration with other people for not doing enough to stop something from happening while at the same time you're actively helping that thing happen. Why the hell should anyone else care about your issues if you care that little about them?

I'll stop there because I'm angry and anything more I'd say I doubt would add to the discussion. But I think you should know that you made me angry, and why, and maybe think about that before you say something like this in future.
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Post by reboot on Fri Nov 07, 2014 7:18 pm

I think something that gets overlooked with social change is that it takes tons of individual acts to happen and sometimes those individual acts feel very lonely, especially in the early days. However, everything starts with the parents that choose to raise their kids differently, the kids that were raised in the old paradigm rejecting it and choosing a new path, etc.. Society only changes when a critical mass of individuals change.

I will use LGBTQ rights as an example. It took people coming out and saying, "We're here, we're queer, get used to it!" despite the consequences, families choosing to accept their relatives when they came out despite social disapproval, parents raising their kids to understand that sexuality cones with a lot of variations. Then, and only then, did schools, laws, policies, etc.. start to change.
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Post by nearly_takuan on Fri Nov 07, 2014 8:42 pm

Mel wrote:So the only point I'll elaborate on is, you do realize that what you're doing right here is perpetuating the exact system you've complained about--and complained that other people aren't doing enough to help you fix? You've basically said that there's no point in parents trying to combat toxic masculinity, they may as well shame their sons for not fitting the various stereotypes of manhood. You at least sound as if you're trying to discourage me from paying attention to that aspect of my son's life at all.

I'm someone who is trying to change society to be more like the one you supposedly want, and you are suggesting that I shouldn't bother.

I'll stop there because I'm angry and anything more I'd say I doubt would add to the discussion. But I think you should know that you made me angry, and why, and maybe think about that before you say something like this in future.

You're right. Discouraging you was not my intent, but I'm sorry. I had not thought about it that way.
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Post by JP McBride on Sat Nov 08, 2014 6:05 am

reboot wrote:I think something that gets overlooked with social change is that it takes tons of individual acts to happen and sometimes those individual acts feel very lonely, especially in the early days.

Boy, do they ever.

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Post by kleenestar on Sun Nov 09, 2014 9:44 pm

Here's another thing: you don't always know what's the thing that will matter. I was vividly reminded of this a few months ago.

When I was in seminary, I was (evidently! because I have no memory of this, though she does) approached by another girl who wanted help with a college application. I helped her with the practical stuff, but evidently the most important thing I did was believe in her and show her her own excellence.

The reason I even know about this is because of an encounter she had in college, she is now a major feminist voice in the religious community I grew up in, with significant personal and institutional power that she has used to make real change. A few months ago she ran into my mother and said to her, "You know I wouldn't be doing what I do without kleenestar, please thank her for changing my life." And it's something I did almost two decades ago and can't even remember.

It's a little scary recognizing that I can't control which of my actions are going to be influential, but it reminds me to try to live by my values every day.
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Post by Guest on Sun Nov 09, 2014 10:40 pm

kleenestar wrote:Here's another thing: you don't always know what's the thing that will matter. I was vividly reminded of this a few months ago.

When I was in seminary, I was (evidently! because I have no memory of this, though she does) approached by another girl who wanted help with a college application. I helped her with the practical stuff, but evidently the most important thing I did was believe in her and show her her own excellence.

The reason I even know about this is because of an encounter she had in college, she is now a major feminist voice in the religious community I grew up in, with significant personal and institutional power that she has used to make real change. A few months ago she ran into my mother and said to her, "You know I wouldn't be doing what I do without kleenestar, please thank her for changing my life." And it's something I did almost two decades ago and can't even remember.

It's a little scary recognizing that I can't control which of my actions are going to be influential, but it reminds me to try to live by my values every day.

Thank you SO MUCH for sharing this story. It hit me on a day when... well, I just really needed to hear it today. The big things to you aren't always the ones that stay with people...

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