How do you criticize a marginalized person?

A Message from Your Humorless Feminist Overlords!: Hello my friends from r/MensRights! First, let me retitle your nonsense post “Q: How do you criticize a marginalized person? A: You can’t. Ever.” to what it is here “Q: How do you criticize a marginalized person? A: Very carefully!” lol! Despite what you’d like to think, this conversation isn’t actually about men or women, but another group of marginalized people. I’m not even a little sorry that we use a term like “mansplain” or that we accept the fact that criticizing a marginalized person is difficult. Because it IS! We’re talking about how WE (yes, Dee and Kita) would address someone of a marginalized group, btw. We accept that we, even as crazy feminazis riding the bad-boy cock carousel, might have privilege!

Welcome to “irc time with Dee and Kita.” Today we try to discuss how to approach a friend that’s a member of a marginalized group. As always, your comments are welcome!

<Dee> SO, how do you criticize someone from a stance of privilege?
<Kita> most people would say you can’t
<Kita> not really
<Kita> like, how can men offer constructive criticism of feminism?
<Kita> usually that ends with me laughing and wanting to stab them in the eye with a fondue fork
<Dee> But what about individuals?
<Kita> Now you’re asking “can we separate a privileged individual from the institution?”
<Kita> essentially
<Dee> I mean, yes, I think dudes do try to comment on feminism, except most of them go about it the wrong way which is “You shouldn’t feel that way” or “I’VE never experienced/done that.”
<Kita> Also mansplaining.
<Kita> That’s what it always looks like when a privileged individual tries to critique the marginalized person/s
<Kita> My answer sucks.
<Kita> Sorry.
<Dee> Mansplaining is like sitting in a small car with your sibling who won’t stop poking you. In short, yes your sibling can explain WHY they keep doing that but really, you just want them to stop.
<Kita> Ha ha ha
<Kita> It’s also a great way to put yourself in the *real* position of power by making your listener doubt their own reality.
<Kita> how can they be confident of ANYTHING they say after that?
<Dee> Indeed.
<Dee> Or to adjust the metaphor slightly, it’s your sibling sitting there going “I’m not touching you” while poking you.
<Kita> YES
<Kita> I’m trying to think of when I’ve had to check my own privilege.
<Kita> And if I could do anything but listen from that point on.
<Kita> I don’t know
<Dee> I know I have a few times with trans issues, especially when I first encountered them.  Also, generally black women’s issues.  I can do my best to advocate for them, but at the end of the day, I need to STFU and listen.
<Dee> Also, bell hooks.
<Dee> I love her.
<Kita> Oh yeah. DOES THAT EVEN NEED TO BE SAID?
<Kita> Okay, but we’re talking about a *specific person*.
<Kita> Asking them to look beyond their status as a marginalized person.
<Kita> Normally I’d say that isn’t fair except when it’s someone you know personally.
<Dee> And instead look at themselves as an adult human.
<Dee> No, I’d agree, but when you know someone well enough to do that, it’s still hard to do.
<Kita> Bleh, you have to be too sensitive to the issue.
<Kita> If you sit someone down and say “plz look past your marginalized status” THEN ALARM BELLS GO OFF
<Kita> and then defensiveness and the convo is over.
<Dee> Indeed.
<Kita> So maybe bring up the issue and let them come to the table with OMG MARGINALIZED STATUS?
<Dee> Maybe, but by that point they’re already defensive.
<Dee> I have no solutions.  This is probably because I tend to fly headlong into this shit.
<Dee> Sensitive issues are BULLDOZED OVER by my epic lack of tact.
<Kita> I tend to go the other direction, soften the blow until it’s all sunshine and feather pillows.
<Kita> BY YOUR POWERS COMBINED WE ARE ONE DECENT HUMAN BEING
<Dee> HURRAH.
<Dee> Capable of appropriate communication!
<Kita> \o/

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3 Responses to How do you criticize a marginalized person?

  1. Haight says:

    Very convenient that this attitude lets you disregard anything men criticize you for as coming from a tainted well.

  2. niete says:

    Hello Humorless Feminist Overlords!!

    I know you love to pay lip service to your own privilege, to keep up the act you know, but I just like to remember the slut walk schisms which I thought were pretty illuminating, where the black feminists raised issues and all the white party girl feminists were all like

    “HEY BLACK FEMINISTS, WE ALREADY CHECKED OUR PRIVILEGED (HONEST!) AND WE UNDERSTAND HOW MARGINALIZED YOU ARE AND WE REALLY REALLY CARE ABOUT YOUR PERSPECTIVE AS AN UNPRIVILEGED GROUP, BUT WE LOVE THE SLUTWALKS. SORRY!”

    The fact is that, fundamentally, “privilege” is not a useful construct to analyse society with. Instead its popularity with feminists comes strait from the fact that it can be used to easily dismiss a member of a demonized group. Which this post adequately demonstrates and is why I posted it to MR.

  3. Nicetryguy says:

    Easy. You talk to them in a calm and easy demeanor, like ‘bad dog’. Like dealing with women.

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