I should probably state for the record that I don’t actually hold people’s basic human psychology against them. We’re wired to make generalizations as a basic safety measure. We get bitten by a snake, and our brain generalizes that we should probably be cautious around snakes. Our brain didn’t evolve to operate on large scales, or to take statistics into account. We can’t help the involuntary physiological or psychological effects of a fear — whether that fear is “rational” or not. And to expect an individual to just suck it up and live with the intense discomfort of anxiety is pretty ridiculous.
There’s a big difference between holding people’s basic human psychology against them and identifying the results of that psychology as problematic. Having those types of knee-jerk reactions doesn’t make someone a bad person, but it also doesn’t make the resulting bigotry any more acceptable.
This kind of involuntary generalization only becomes a problem when it causes harm to others. But I don’t think most of the men who complain that women (their generalization, not mine) are afraid of them are doing so because it causes them genuine harm, such as affecting their ability to find a job, or puts their family in danger of violent reprisals. It’s to do with how it affects them on an interpersonal level: that is, individual women might not want to be alone with them if they’re only acquaintances, or may not accept a lift from them. Most of the “bigotry” (some) women engage in as a result of mistrusting men as a group has to do with regulating her own behavior, such as what she chooses to wear or whether or not she’ll walk alone.
Perhaps this is bigotry in the strictest sense of the word, but it’s not comparable to bigotry that actually causes people unfair disadvantages, or puts people at risk of violence. So why does it make some men (and women) so angry?
Bigotry itself is objectionable, regardless of the actions taken based on it. Even if we do take those actions into account, though, there is still a very big difference between “less bad” and “not bad.” You also seem to be vastly underestimating the wider ramifications of the “harmless” generalizations you’re justifying, particularly the degree to which they end up driving law and public policy. While the connection may not be obvious at a glance, those generalizations do create unfair disadvantages for men and play a significant role in the additional risk of violence that men as a gender face.
As for people’s reactions, most people don’t like being treated with distrust and suspicion purely based on something they didn’t choose and cannot change. As a society, we’ve collectively agreed that such treatment is particularly inexcusable when it’s related to demographic characteristics like sex, gender, race, age, religion or sexuality. Is it really such a surprise, then, that people tend to take offense?
It’s literally getting angry at people for regulating their anxiety in a way that causes no precipitous harm to anyone. And that is so bizarre to me. I honestly can’t wrap my head around it.
Honest question: if we reformulated your entire post to refer to another group, say, black people, would you still be okay with the views being portrayed? If so, you’re both logically consistent (yay!) and about to be smacked upside the head by the rest of the Tumblr SJW community (less yay).
Few people would be comfortable with someone who displayed the type of mistrust towards any racial minority that you excuse when displayed towards men. Equally few would be comfortable with someone who displayed that type of mistrust towards women, even in cases where that mistrust is the result of severe personal victimization.
You find it difficult to wrap your head around this particular instance, but it seems like you’re doing a pretty good job with all the rest.
I’m close to a grand total of 2 non related men who I trust and who haven’t hurt me.
I’ve been raped by 5 different males. Lit on fire by a male. Spat on, pissed on and beaten up by 6 different males. And thats only the memorable bits.
I think its fair if I don’t trust men don’t you? I mean, I’m not a fan of that happening again.
The other day i got called a “fat dyke c**t” by a male on the bus because I looked at him.
I get that I’m probably unlucky or an arsehole magnet or cruel people like to go after already damaged goods. But I’m shy of men and I’m a lesbian (I’d probably be bi if i could relax enough) as a reaction to this, is it really so strange?
What has happened to you is horrible and inexcusable, and it’s hardly uncommon for trauma to cause distrust like yours. At the same time, though, there are plenty of men who’ve had experiences similar to yours, with equally serious consequences. Are those who gain a knee-jerk distrust of women afterwards justified? Of course not!
The fact that your fear is understandable doesn’t make it healthy, just, acceptable or harmless; even with your history, it’s still an irrational bigotry which is harmful to you and those around you. It’s something that needs to be recognized, treated, and addressed, not something that should be enabled and encouraged. Surely, you recognize that there are people who have been victimized by Black and Asian people to similar degrees, and have developed attitudes similar to your own? If I told you that I was abused by both Asians and women throughout my childhood, would it be “fair” for me to be prejudiced against them, and consequently against you?
Are you insulted that I don’t trust you because males have hurt me? Its not a personal attack, maybe if i get to know you they’ll be three men that I trust. Its not a life sentence of distrust, you just have to work harder to show you’re not like the males who have hurt me.
Yes, I’m insulted — although, as I’m not a man, the insult isn’t personal. Hopefully we’ll be able to get to know each other and learn from each other; hopefully, you can come to trust me as well, although I’m not going to actively work to show that I’m not like the people that hurt you. Your bias against men is your own problem to fix, but that doesn’t mean I’m not willing to help.