dempsey_k wrote:When I came across the first line you cited, I knew immediately it'd resonate poorly because of how it was written, not because of her meaning. Putting women's interests first - clearly not equal if stripped of context. But when you look at how sexism and other forms of oppression are structural in how laws and government intentionally leave women in more difficult positions and even form a pervasive unconscious grip over social interaction that feels 'normal', the interests of men have been fulfilled. So when she says put women's interests first, it's not a hierarchy, it's a correction. If you steered your car right and you're about to drive off a bridge, correcting left shouldn't elicit responses of Balance please!!!
Yeah, this is the problem. Not all laws benefit men, not all societal norms do either. So what are you going to say to a guy who is drawn to the MRA movement because they're just trying to correct issues from the other side like custody laws? Why can't they work to correct some men's issues while feminism works on the women's issues? Can't we all just be humanists/egalitarians/whatever else they're calling themselves? The idea the societal biases and benefits are one-sided across the board is simply wrong to begin with, this position just strengthens that. It makes it a hierarchy, or at the very least a correction where a lot of people feel they're in a car going off the road to the left, and are about to be hit by another car over-correcting.
It is also fueled by the methods used to make the correction. When a bunch of poor, lower class men who have been getting the wrong end of the stick their whole lives hear "why can't we make things for women easier" they're going to be a little peeved. When their concerns are then met with what effectively comes out as "don't you understand how easy you have had it, how dare you try to undermine women's issues?" when they're still near (or at least feel near) the bottom rung of society (whether economically or socially) then they're just going to become resentful and you get the more extreme MRAs being 'developed'. Similar to how you can effectively breed racism and resentment with other affirmative action policies.
In other words, dismissing or marginalizing the issues of people because of their gender...isn't good.
Her second statement about giving up on the extremoids is just practical. Don't waste time trying to convince the hopeless and the Hannibal Lecters.
While dismissing the extremists is practical, the methods are throwing the baby out with the bathwater. Her and the extremists are fighting over the same people, and the extremists are getting them because she's saying 'your problems aren't as big as ours, but we'll get around to them eventually.'