Thursday, July 2, 2009

A Dude

Dear A Dude,

I find your anonymity interesting because you felt the need to comment on my blog, knowing that what you posted could be controversial and could possibly hit a nerve. And instead of owning your comment you chose to use the name “A Dude” and didn’t link back to anything. Maybe you simply don’t have a blog to link back to, in which case why would you chose to not even leave a name. If there is no link, how am I supposed to know this John from that one.

While E and Perkster are not my real names, they are both nicknames that I go by. I also don’t think that it is any secret that my real name is Erica. But while E and Perkster are not my real name, I also own my blog and what is in it. I owned the words I chose to write and I am willing to defend what I wrote because it is something that I feel strongly about. I don’t leave anonymous comments on others blogs. I own my comments, the good and the bad.

I wrote my blog because I wanted to vent my feelings on being labeled as something I am not. And as I stated numerous times, I do not believe this woman meant any insult, but I was still insulted. And I am allowed to feel the way I do, especially as a member of a group that is marginalized in society. I also do bring it to people’s attention when I feel the time and place are appropriate. Did I feel it was appropriate to call this woman out on referring to me as a girl in passing in the work place? No. So I picked my blog as my outlet.

Gender equality is something I am very passionate about. And gender inequality should not be passed on from one member of the group to another. While the incident with my co-worker was not intended to be insulting or demeaning, I used it in my blog because it was an example of how pervasive this type of language is and how blindly we throw out labels without thinking what that label really implies. Was there a deeper meaning in what this woman called me? No. But eventually I am called a girl one too many times or I am referred to as guy all day long and I just can’t remain silent for another moment. Language seeps into our subconscious and we attach meaning and definitions to words we hear and when we hear terms like girl when referring to a grown adult female, subconsciously we are labeling her as less than in regards to her male counterpart who is referred to as a man.

Do you truly not see the difference in the implications of being called a Tomboy vs being called a Sissy? Do you not see how the term used for a boy showing ‘feminine’ qualities is offensive, while the term for a girl showing ‘masculine’ qualities is not inherently offensive? What is wrong with boys and men showing softness, gentleness, compassion and vulnerability? And how does this make them less of a man? I believe that men and women are made up of both masculine and feminine parts and society is what has determined which is more acceptable for those with penises and those with vaginas. Doesn’t tapping into these different aspects make us more well rounded people? Why then is the feminine aspect spurned and degraded when expressed by those who are male?

In response to your question:
“If the majority of people don’t consider the language oppressive, but you do, does that say more about you or more about them?”
I will tell you what it says about me. It says that I am aware of the androcentric world we live in and I am aware of how language perpetuates gender inequality. I don’t go around with my head in the sand. Someone has to question things. If no one ever questioned the “way things are” then there would still be slavery, women would not be able to vote, women and children would still be considered property, the US would still be an English territory, Monarchs would still rule France, etc.

Part of me hopes that maybe you just like playing devil’s advocate and stirring the pot. If not, I hope you take a moment and think next time you go to refer to a woman as a girl or a group of people as guys or are looking for an insult for your male friends.

I never claimed my blog was unbiased or the influences in my life would be left out of all my ramblings. My experiences are what make me who I am today and of course they are going to come out in my posts. Am I always PC? No. This where I talk about my day and express how I feel about different incidents. You are welcome to read it, that is why my blog is not private and you are welcome to comment. If you truly disagree with what I say, then I would love to hear it. But if you chose to comment simply to rile me up, please feel free to go elsewhere.

Sincerely,
E, The Perkster, Erica

6 comments:

Ali said...

Wow, well done. You truly are THE woman!

Also, I'm Ali. Found your blog and love it. :)

-Ali (alibdubrow.blogspot.com)

Miss Rosa said...

I think everyone needs to own their comments. If they can't face up to their comments, they shouldn't have the right to say them.

Sure, there's a time and place for anonymity. Like if you're speaking out against something terrible in a country where women aren't valued, and your life would be in danger if people found out who you were ... but on a flipping blog? Own it or go away, I say.

Elizabeth Marie said...

What was in the water yesterday with douchebags runnin a muck on the blogs? You did a GREAT JOB of handling this.

How annoying that he is anonymous. I think if you have a strong opinion, have the guts to show your face and stand behind it...just like you do, doll, everyday, and that is why I love you!

Cheers to not letting the negativity get us down...because, well...WE'RE PRETTY AWESOME!! :)

Alicia said...

I can't stand anonymous comments!! it's so petty!

Trixie Buxom said...

Good for you! I think you very eloquently put A Dude's foot in his mouth.

Anonymous means lurker to me. Own it or go away, creepy lurkers!

Organic Meatbag said...

You know that a "dude" is another word for an infected ass hair...it's true...maybe he really was a dude...

 
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