Slut-shaming, gender essentialism, misandry, normative, gaslighting, etc.

I've figured out what slut-shaming means. But I'm still rather cloudy on a lot of the other terms used at "men are bad" posts I see online. Terms like gender essentialism, misandry, normative, gaslighting, etc.

Part of the goal here is to reach men and change their behavior, right? Because relying so heavily on terms that can only be understood if you took a Women's Studies class at a liberal arts college can't be the most effective way to do that. When a regular dude sees language like this, it's easy for him to think, "I've never even seen that word. This ain't for me. I'm outta here."

Femijargon builds a wall. It creates a we-agree-with-each-other cocoon for women. But it significantly reduces the chance of a teachable moment for men.

The real challenge is to explain gender issues while using simple, clear language that everyone can understand. Do that and guys might actually pay attention and examine their own behavior. And that'd be a healthy thing.

(AND THAT IS HOW I DEFINE MANSPLAINING!)

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3 Comment(s)

Blogger myq said...

It really seems like you have the resources to look up what some of those words mean.

You don't want to learn new words? That's what you're saying?

Or you're arguing on behalf of people who don't want to learn new words?

Learning can be fun! For example, "gaslighting" comes from a Hitchcock movie (not a womb).

Sincerely, you're a smart person with a computer. And apparently you're reading feminist blogs. And you're a nice guy. You're almost there! You just have to learn some new words.


PS It isn't just some men's attitudes that could be shifted away from sex-negativity, like with slut-shaming. Plenty of women slut-shame one another as well. It's not even necessarily an issue about gender. It's about sex-negativity. (That's when people are negative about sex.)

I kid because I love... to kid!

Also, I love Matt.

12/4/13, 2:45 PM  
Blogger Matt Ruby said...

I may stop to look up these words. But will other readers? Does that matter?

Speaking of Google, I just found these links to articles about why using jargon is a bad idea. Some excerpts below:

--
http://whatsthepont.com/2013/04/28/jargon-a-tool-of-exclusion-efficient-technical-language-or-just-the-cheeping-of-birds/

Once you take that language outside of the community you have to explain clearly what you mean, or risk excluding people.

http://blogs.hbr.org/2008/08/why-jargon-feeds-on-lazy-minds/

Never use a fancy word when a simple one will do. If your idea is good, no hype is necessary. Explain it clearly and people will get it, if there truly is something notable to get. If your idea is bad: keep working before you share it with others. And if you don’t have time for that, you might as well be honest. Because when you throw jargon around, most of us know you’re probably lying about something anyway.

http://www.designsensory.com/pws/lesson4/

Do you feel impressed by the author's grasp of language? Grateful that the author is so clear and accurate? Intimidated by the tone of legality? Or maybe just plain exasperated at the author's pretentious, stuffy language?
--

I love you too Myq!

12/4/13, 2:57 PM  
Blogger myq said...

I agree that explaining points simply is a great thing to do, and that jargon for jargon's sake isn't necessary.

I also agree with the point of the quotes you listed, so we're mostly on the same page.

Maybe it's the specific examples you started with. "Slut-shaming" doesn't seem like jargon, and seems pretty self-explanatory. "Gaslighting" has a specific meaning that makes a lot of sense and isn't at all vague or buzzwordy like I feel like you're implying. Some of the others, sure.

Of course there are lazy writers, and people who don't really have anything to say, and are just parroting phrases they've heard other people say. Men and women. On all kinds of issues. And then there are some people saying some really important, interesting things, in simple ways.

Like this person:
http://www.newstatesman.com/media/2013/11/girl-trouble-we-care-about-young-women-symbols-not-people

12/4/13, 4:32 PM  


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