If I had to put my finger on the single most unproductive thing I do when I go to work, it has got to be sitting through mind-numbing meetings, frequently nodding (off) and pretending to care. Today was no different.
Until I heard Dudebro say: So, what do you guys think?
My mind went from “keep your head down” to “fuck this shit” so friggin fast.
So you don’t care what the women think?
I’m sorry, what?
I asked if you only wanted the opinions of the men in the room.
Of course not. I asked all of you guys.
Well, I’m not a guy. Neither are those two.
He looked mortified, and though I said I was only kidding, I really wasn’t and he knew it. Dudebro knows better. I have a reputation, and he’s fucking scared of me.
I was congratulated later by many people, for having “balls” and taking what is going to be “a giant leap for mankind”. These, btw, are the same people who go around rolling their eyes every time I speak up against their casual misogyny. Well, I understand. I’m that whiny “feminist” who just doesn’t have a sense of humor. I’m constantly complaining about how oppressed women are, when it’s just words.
But are they really just words?
It’s almost like if all this vocabulary just appears out of thin air; as though these things are said by unremarkable people, without any of these words having any meaning and place in any sort of systemic oppression.
But it does, doesn’t it?
Every time you address a mixed group as “guys” you’re erasing the women in it.
Every time you call someone “feminazi”, you’re equating women’s struggle for freedom from patriarchy with fascism.
Every time you jokingly call someone a “pussy”, you’re labeling women as the weaker sex.
You don’t need a degree in either linguistics or gender studies to know this, dudebro. Word have meanings. Use them carefully.
Do you speak up against casual misogyny? Why do you think we treat men as the default human? What changes can we make to our vocabulary to make language less offensive to us “feminazis”?