off topic open thread

Open Thread for Personal Stuff: March 2014 Flying Cat Edition

Is it a bird? Ooh, a bird. Where?
Is it a bird? Ooh, a bird. Where?

Another open thread for personal stuff, continuing from here.

As usual for these threads: no trolls, no arguments, supportive comments only!

516 replies on “Open Thread for Personal Stuff: March 2014 Flying Cat Edition”

emilygoddess, ow, that’s scary (and painful)! Hope you get better and don’t have a scar.

Gah, I feel flat. Had a flu shot yesterday and now I’m achey and tired, not surprisingly. At least I’m not having to put up with this at work.

Hi all,

Don’t have much to say except that I am a somewhat obsessive lurker and feel like I know you all even though I only post once or twice a blue moon. Right now I am avoiding going to bed because I am starting to get a little stressed about whether this self-employment thing is going to work.

But I did want to say to Ally – (would you prefer trans_commie?), that your step-dad berating you for something he didn’t tell you about is most definitely abusive. And also, that I live in San Jose. If you do end up coming back to the bay area, let me know so I can give you my number/real email. While Santa Cruz is quite a ways away, the more friendly emergency numbers you have, the better. I’m sure there are a bunch of us lurking boobzers who would gladly donate a couch to sleep on or a ride here and there if you need it. While my family and I don’t always (usually?) get along, I can’t imagine how difficult it must be to know that when the shit hits the fan, they don’t have your back. Anything I can do to pay it forward.


Feel free to call me Ally – that’s what most folks here do. Thanks for your offer – I am most likely coming back to the Bay Area, so when I leave this state I’ll certainly let you know.

Hi all!

I’m a longtime lurker who only de-lurked yesterday. I do not mean to be presumptuous by barging in on a personal stuff thread with my whining so soon after my first comment, but I have a problem that I really wanted opinions and thoughts on, and, well, I’ve observed that you guys are awesome at these things.

Okay, here goes:

I’m a cishet man who has been in a relationship with a cishet woman for nearly nine years now. A few years ago, I ”discovered” feminism (well, more like ”found a name for a system of thought that had been part of me since childhood without me knowing it”). Since then, I’ve been gleefully absorbing all I could about the subject and started paying attention to the messed up attitudes that lurk beneath the veil of society – that which has been seen cannot be unseen, so to speak. Feminism opened my eyes to a lot of the power structures and oppressive attitudes in our society. I do like to think feminism has made me – and is still in the process of making me – a better person.

Here’s the thing, though: recently, my girlfriend has started showing MRA-type thinking. Just yesterday before she left for work, we had this huge argument over false rape accusations that women allegedly make all the time. She was really adamant about this, too, but refused to point me in the direction of proof, or even to share any anecdotes she might have heard. It was as if she expected it to be common knowledge that false rape accusations are an epidemic (I hadn’t even heard of anything like that before I discovered MRAs through Manboobz). Even earlier, she has made non-ironic comments about ”the friendzone that cruel women deliberately put nice guys in” and ”those American women” (which is extra troubling, since we’re not American).

She does hang out a lot in 4Chan-type spaces, where she might have subconsciously picked up some of the mindset, but I don’t know. The main characteristic that drew me to her in the first place was her ”I don’t give a flying fuck about gender roles and what’s proper behavior for a woman” attitude. I think she’s more of a feminist than she realizes, especially as she does pay attention to and criticize the way women are portrayed in the media.

How do I approach the issue without getting all mansplainy on her? I know myself well enough to know that once I get talking about a subject matter I’m passionate about, such as feminism, I might sound like I want to lecture people, and I don’t want that. On top of that, we have something of an academic man – working class woman thing going on, an education-based power imbalance, and I know it makes her feel insecure sometimes. She hasn’t changed from the woman she used to be, but I am growing increasingly concerned about her sideways punching. I know there’s a better person than that underneath the crap, but what can I do about this issue? I don’t have any feminist friends IRL, and I’m pretty lost. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Anarchonist, welcome! Your first two comments in the other threads were great. Have an Official Welcome Package, complete with Scented Fucking Candles, kitties and Whore Penguins in Spanx.

I wish I had something useful to say about the situation with your SO. All I can think of is “get her reading Manboobz” but that would probably not be a good idea, if she commented and made feMRA-ish statements.

::scratches head in puzzlement::

Thanks, kittehserf (BTW, been reading and loving your blog for a while)! The package is awesome. Especially the bits about formatting will no doubt come in handy. *glances at my first comment*

Hmm… I’ve thought about introducing Manboobz to her, especially since something beloved and I both share is a fondness for all things cute and fluffy and adorable, and I know there’s no shortage of them here. But she sometimes grows annoyed with me going on about feminism and equality and peace and love and anarchy, so the timing would have to be just right.

Ya welcome!

Reading my blog – gad, you’d have to blow off all the cyber cobwebs. It’s dying of neglect.

You could always distract her with the cute’n’furry pics or get her into one of the threads that goes totally OT about Furrinati/cooking/clothes/books/games etc etc. Off topic is on topic here, as you’ve probably long since noticed!

So my boyfriend did something awesome today.

He listens to ABC radio during the day, and today they were talking about some Brisbane designers of women’s clothes making efforts to be inclusive of all body types in their lookbook. Then at the end the announcer read out a tweet from some jackarse with an update from his boner. The ABC is non-commercial and generally progressive and the people there should know better.

My boyfriend tweeted back (I didn’t even know he used twitter!) that they shouldn’t be reading out tweets like that, it was inappropriate and no one needed to hear it. They said on air he should stop being so sensitive, but maybe at least the announcer guy will have a think about it and not do it again.

My bf doesn’t read any feminist blogs, he just gets choice quotes from manboobz through me, but he has the reputation of “the guy you don’t say sexist shit around” at his job. Even if he doesn’t know our jargon (like “unsolicited boner updates”) he recognises this stuff when he sees it.

Have you tried asking her if she’s okay, and how she’s feeling lately?

Not as in “You are saying things I find odd, and this must indicate that your emotions are interfering with your opinions” but just as in “Hey, how are you? What’s up?”. People’s opinions fluctate and change around. Maybe a ton of her friends are doing things she percieves as friendzoning and or rape accusing (errh), and so she mentions it more right now. Maybe she genuinely believes these things. Maybe they happen to her. Just talking about stuff and listening for a while might get you a couple of answers to the “Recently she has begun to”.

If you try to introduce her to all these sources of things that prove her wrong! and show her how silly her beliefs are! and point out how she’s totally mistaken because the government puts flouride in the water and we never landed on the moon and wake up sheeple! the response is almost certainly going to be a feeling of passive-aggression intellectual inferiority and resentment about being percieved as having “Mistaken ideas that are wrong”, combined with the idea that you are “once again” lecturing her on some random topic, especially if you “Going on about feminism and equality and peace and love!” is alright a thing where you are appending “Must time this right”.

At least that has always, in the end, been my experience with my family, a notorious bunch of talented but fucking stubborn people who never admit that we never landed on the fucking moon the fucking bastards I sent them a six hour youtube documentary and they only watched the first ten minutes and damn them all to hell next Christmas I’m bringing a slideshow and I’LL SHOW THEM ALL—erh. I got off track there for a second. Substitute “Moon landing” for “Any given topic”.

I hang out on 4chan though (/tg), so I don’t think just that mere exposure is going to cause someone to think of friendzoning as a thing, any more than just reading anything will.

I mean unless you go to the advice board. If you go to the advice board you’ll soon be told to become a neonazi to fix all your problems.

Give the topic a bit of a breather, don’t bring it up, and once a bit of time has passed to let everyone cool use your words and say something along the lines of:

“I love who you are, I just disagree with you on this topic that’s very important to me. That doesn’t mean you’re wrong or incorrect or bad. Can we talk about it, or would you rather we didn’t? I want to know how you know these things, do you want to tell me?”

If you use “believe to be true” or “feel this way” or “think about this stuff”, you indicate once again that her opinion is invalid/wrong/bad/not-right/emotionally biased. “Know how you know these things” is a nice phrase for affirming other people’s belief that their knowledge is true without, if you’re the person with more integrity than me, admitting they are.

Then just listen. You’ll get all your answers that way, and if the answer is no, don’t talk about this thing for a bit and see what happens.

My final note is this: If you often “Go on about” feminism and anarchy and love and peace and joy and harmony, maybe someone slipping further and further into thinking all women everywhere accuse men of rape and friendzone nice guys and are terribly evil is, well, to get a belief structure that allows them to stand on their own in a conversation with someone who tends to lecture, and “argue back”, instead of just nodding and listening? I have a couple of otherwise nice friends who’ll vehemently argue against your opinion on a lark because they just don’t like admitting other people are right.


Another fellow anarchist has come to Man Boobz. Yay! I get all giddy about stuff like this since I’m basically the only anarchist here who comments here regularly.

I don’t have any advice to offer, unfortunately, but I just want to say that I’m glad you’re aware of your male privilege and class privilege to the extent that you don’t even want to ‘splain a female partner who has some anti-feminist-ish views. I guess it’s not really a reason for praise as awareness of privilege isn’t something any privileged person should be praised for (it’s a basic thing all privileged people are responsible for in order to be decent human beings, after all). But it’s impressive in that I have seen way too many men who claim to support feminism yet use that ideology to talk over women. (Note to guys who care: supporting feminism doesn’t make your male privilege go away.)

Beyond that, I’d say Fibi’s advice here is sound.

Kittehs, I love the new avatar. He’s looking very scholarly! I hope you get over your flu-shot flu soon!

LBT, good luck and have fun!

Anarchonist, I’m not ignoring you, I just don’t have any advice. But I do appreciate your awareness of the power dynamics involved in your situation, and I trust the other commenters here to steer you in the right direction.

@kittehserf: I don’t want to sound like a squealing fanboy, but updated or no, I always feel somehow at peace after visiting your blog. It’s something about the formatting, the colors, or maybe it’s what the blog is about. Maybe it’s all of it. The relationship stuff rings so true for me and beloved, but with an added twist of ethereal belonging. We sometimes have candlelight Tarot readings together that give me similar feels. It’s serene and it’s beautiful. I do hope you guys share more, if you ever get the time and feel like it.

@trans_commie: Hooray for anarchism! I actually first got into feminism through anarchism. I’ve found that I can’t separate the two any longer, as both are fundamentally about questioning and dismantling prevailing power structures. In my mind, they go together like bacon and the Internet (seriously, what’s up with that anyway?).

Yeah, true about the privilege, and one of the reasons I don’t feel comfortable calling myself a feminist is the problematic history between (cishet) men and feminism. I would like to think of myself as ”ally”, but then I’d be one capitalization away from stepping on your turf! What to do, what to do…

Anyway, I hope I’ve made myself more aware of my own privilege during these last couple of years that I’ve learned more about intersectionality and the many faces of oppression, but it’s an ongoing process. And no, I don’t expect cookies for realizing what most people in my privilege range should realize. Although chocolate chip cookies would be nice. Yep, I could really go for some chocolate chip cookies right about now. Mmm, chocolate chip cookies. Sorry, what were we talking about?

@Fibinachi: Thanks for the advice! Hilariously written, as always (wait, there are still people who think the moon landings happened? But the flag! Can’t they see the flag? Next they’ll be saying that faking the moon landings wouldn’t make any sense! Sheeple…).

No, I really wouldn’t tell her she’s being too emotional – we’re both extremely emotionally open people, me even moreso (seriously, I can’t go a day without either literally jumping of joy or crying rivers). I suppose what’s really irking me about this is that we do talk about stuff. Like, a lot. We do sit and listen to each other and each other’s ideas every chance we get. We’ve had very heated discussions on many subjects (up to and including the Nazis), where we’ve both exchanged ideas wrapped in one or two curses to be sure.

I still occasionally have to watch myself during conversations so that I don’t accidentally slip into anything resembling condesplainin’ territory, especially if the subject matter is important to me and I’m rambling about it like I’ve just discovered this new thing and it’s really cool and interesting and rings so true and I didn’t know that and I hadn’t even thought of that and oh my God that’s messed up and this is changing the way I see things and I could just read about this all day and wait till I tell you what Sansa said to Joffrey’s face! To his face!

Where was I? Oh yeah, we’ve always talked about stuff, let the other one explain their position and explained ours, even if we fundamentally disagree on some things. That she would shut down and just say ”I don’t need to explain this, it’s true” is so… jarring to me. She sometimes enjoys playing devil’s advocate with me, arguing for the sake for arguing, but this was different.

I suppose I should let the matter drop, for now at least. This morning, beloved got furious (rightfully so) at the misogyny and victim-blaming surrounding a recent rape incident (I got too nauseated to read to the end), so it’s not like the FeMRA sympathizing is anything too serious.

@Kim: That’s awesome!

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