This post has been temporally been moved to PRIVATE, due to issues it caused IRL. The future of this blog is pending.
I think standing up this way is v difficult, which is precisely why it’s so extraordinary when someone does a Christy and says Bring It. I can only wonder if I could do the same. Seeing what’s involved, I tend to doubt it.
I’m afraid of men too. Very afraid. I have to fight it whenever I talk to them at conferences or at work. There is a thick layer of fear over every interaction with a new man, and even if there are men I want to meet at conferences because I like their work, I rarely work up the nerve.
For instance: David, you strike me as a totally awesome guy, but I never managed to introduce myself at #scio11 because I find doing that with men excruciating. It has nothing to do with you or any other man in a similar situation, but the years and years of verbal abuse and sexism I have both endured and observed, as well as personal stuff that is my business only. When you have 31 years of evidence that some men do not see you as a fully human being, you have to fight to work up the nerve or desire to engage with them. So I find myself surrounded by young women because that is who I am most comfortable with, then I kick myself, then I try again, then I’m surrounded by women again.
Seeing men who are allies (like when you tell jerks to STFU) helps contradict the years of silence from observing men. That helps. Deciding, like Christie, to bring it, also helps.
So Sam, you are not alone when you say you are afraid of men. I suspect most women are, at least a little. And we all work around it to the extent we feel comfortable. I would encourage you only to imagine whatever the biggest life is that you want and go for that. That doesn’t necessarily mean risk engaging with trolls on the internet.
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I just wanted to say that I think this is an incredibly brave post. It’s made me think about how I can be a better ally to women who are facing different barriers than I myself have experienced. Thank you!
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