lawagner asked fuckyeahfeminists:
I asked my boyfriend to read the article about gaslighting. One of his first reactions was that he wishes it came from a less feministic or “unbiased” perspective…. basically that it can happen to males as well. I was slightly annoyed by his wording, but I do partially agree. I feel like males commonly have that reaction about feminism, that it is biased. What do you think is the best way to explain that that is not the case?
To Readers - here is the article we are referring to
Well, first of all, it is practically impossible to read something that is completely objective. So I wonder why he wanted it to be less feminist? Is it because it makes him feel uncomfortable because it hits close to home and he’s done those things?
One of my pet peeves is when there is an article -ONE ARTICLE- that talks about ONE point of view, i.e. something that happens to women - and guys go BUT WHAT ABOUT THE MENZ!!! Sorry, but there is no need or obligation for someone to write about something pertaining disproportionately to women and include a section about men.
What I like what the article you mention is not that he says gaslighting only happens to women, but rather how it has been so normalized due to sexism in our culture, which is something men do not and cannot experience. I have been the victim of gaslighting and let me tell you - there is sure a double standard that allows gaslighting to happen and for men “in solidarity” to support and encourage and believe it while a victim is left totally dis-empowered.
Gaslighting is something that happens often in abusive relationships and whether we like to admit it or not, most abuse is men towards women, just like most rape is men against women. By acknowledging this we are not saying that rape and abuse do not happen to men, but for us to effectively eradicate these horrible acts (just like gaslighting!) we have to acknowledge how it is dispropotionately perpetuated.
So I would try to explain these things to your boyfriend. I think the point is to ask them to not have a kneejerk reaction against something that stands up for women for once. Shouldn’t he be more concerned that there are so many people being hurt by gaslighting than being concerned that it is written in such a feminist way?
The author also explains why, as a man, he chooses to write about women’s issues. Perhaps this bit of background may help.
Also check out Yashar Ali’s followup to the article.
Fantastic and disturbing article, btw.