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Possibly off-topic – posting this here because I’ve read posts here… 
13th-Aug-2005 07:23 pm
Possibly off-topic – posting this here because I’ve read posts here about how these types of comments really hurt people…

I went to a young men's conference last spring. It was a pretty kewl experience, and the speakers there made sure to talk about what being a "man" means without demeaning people of other genders. However, my counselor wasn't that kewl. He was one of the chaperons and made some nasty comments while getting everyone together - stuff along the lines of we're men, not women, here and can thus behave, be quiet, etc. Equating man with good because it does not equal woman. I realize that this is pretty common for guys to say, esp. when girls aren't around. That doesn't make it less sickening, esp. since he's supposed to be a role model. After brooding over this for a few months (I did NOT feel comfortable speaking out, esp. since I'm FTM and a lot of the people there didn't even know that), I've decided that I should write him a letter explaining why his comments were inappropriate. The thing is, I still don't really know how to go about it. I know that it’s insulting to men to have their whole identity be not women”, that it feeds into violence against women/rape/homophobia, and that any closeted MTFs would be really hurt. But how do I make that clear? Esp. the stuff about how this sets up a culture of violence – how do I frame that argument, are there any numbers I could cite, anything?
14th-Aug-2005 12:54 pm (UTC)
Since it happened months ago he may not even remember what he said.

If you need to write him a letter, do so without expectations. Do not expect an apology from the man, or even a reply. Write the letter for you. You are doing this to make yourself feel better. With that in mind, I think you could write a very effective letter. Don't worry about his reply - or whether or not you have a convincing argument. His reply/opinion is not important. What is important is you standing up for yourself and the groups he has insulted.

I hope this helps!

15th-Aug-2005 12:12 pm (UTC)
It might be helpful too look at some of the publications Men Against Rape have put out, they have some pretty helpful language about how men can challenge other men's misogyny. Good for you and good luck!
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