“Semen is not only nutritious, but it also has a wonderful texture and amazing cooking properties. Like fine wine and cheeses, the taste of semen is complex and dynamic. Semen is inexpensive to produce and is commonly available in many, if not most, homes and restaurants.”
Know that her opinions come from experiences you have not had, and can never fully understand.
Do not use this as a reason to dismiss her opinions; use this as a way to attempt to understand them.
Give more consideration than you normally would when you are in a situation where you are the privileged one. No, this isn’t “special treatment.” It’s attempting to compensate for the fact that, like it or not, you have been socialized to unconsciously devalue the opinions of those who are not like you. So take a step back, and think really hard about it. We’re talking about your girlfriend, anyway; you should be affording her special consideration in the first place, because you respect her enough to want to be her partner — right?
You can still disagree. Privilege doesn’t mean that your opinions and experiences must be erased, or that they cease to be valid.
However: step carefully. If you think over things carefully, and decide that you know what, you just can’t agree with what she’s saying: make sure you are very careful in how you express that. Because, again, in our society, men are taught not to treat women as equals, but to dismiss them as hormonal, emotional, overreacting, irrational, etc. Even if you aren’t thinking those words, you may be communicating them to her when you huff, roll your eyes, fold your arms, smirk, etc. (And she has been taught to be very sensitive to those words or the implication of them, so trust me, she will catch the slightest hint of them, whether you intend to give that hint or not.) Your inflection and body language, and even words outright, may be telling her that, basically, you don’t give a shit. And a lot of the time, men actually don’t give a shit. So she may not be wrong when she gets that vibe from you. And depending on any number of factors, she may call you on it — or she may bury it inside, because she knows that if she reacts to it, you’re going to shoot her down, because most people honestly don’t want to admit that they don’t care about their partner’s feelings and opinions — even when they really don’t.
SO: think hard before you open your mouth. And watch your body language when you are in an argument. You may be angry, but you need to make an effort to show that even though you two are not happy with each other right this minute, you still care about her.
DON’T just say “OK” to anything she says, either because you are trying to compensate for privilege or because you’re trying to get her to shut up (trust me, she knows it — you’d be better off being honest on that matter, so she can call you on your disrespectful bullshit). That’s not respect. Quite the opposite. That’s failing to consider her argument at all — just bypassing it altogether. And that shit is just madmaking, and I wouldn’t blame her if she dumped your ass if you practiced it regularly.
Remember that you are not in a contest. You are in a discussion. You are trying to work WITH your partner, not AGAINST her. When it’s a straight-out fight, you are trying to understand each other’s sides, and come to an agreeable conclusion for the both of you — which won’t happen if you’re just trying to “win.” When it’s a topical conversation, you’re sharpening your thinking and communication skills, working on understanding each other’s viewpoints, learning from one another, etc. — again, it’s not a contest you’re trying to “win.” It’s a conversation. Treat it that way.
ATTN: Male comrades!
word. and i just had a really similar convo with my dude earlier today. hot! feminist dudes are hot!
I want to be as ambitious as my thoughts. I want riot grrl to make a come back. I want to love making art again. I want to be successful. I want to love myself. I want to wake up every morning ready and excited. I want to have sex until I pass out. I want to have more money. I want our country to come to terms with it’s divide and get over it. I want to walk down my street and not have to block out every stupid thing that’s yelled in my direction. I want to let go of some things. I want to make music and sing. I want to stay insatiable. I want to be powerful and beautiful at the same time. I want more tattoos. I want a cat. I want to be Independent I want to buy lots of fabulous clothes. I want to thrive. I want school to be fun again. I want to not worry about the state of the economy. I want the end of the world to never come. I want to be a better vegitarian. I want to be a little thinner. I want that fancy $50 vodka. I want to see the world. I want to break shit. I want to feel like an equal or greater. I want my friends to be really happy and healthy. I want to be happy and healthy.
terri is AWESOME. i’m going to try to make this tomorrow.
PROPOSITIONS #5 Thursday November 12th 4.15 - 5.45 2M, Maclean Terri Kapsalis and Faith Wilding Every Bodies’ Privates: Performing Feminist Health-care In this provocative presentation cyberfeminist artists/health-activists/scholars, Terri Kapsalis and Faith Wilding present on-the-ground activist performance and artistic interventions that focus on issues in women’s and transgender health care.
Terri Kapsalis is a writer, performer, and cultural critic whose work appears in such publications as Short Fiction, Denver Quarterly, Parakeet, The Baffler, New Formations and Public. She is the author of The Hysterical Alphabet (WhiteWalls) and Public Privates: Performing Gynecology from Both Ends of the Speculum_(Duke University Press). Terri is a Founding member of Theater Oobleck. She works as a health educator at Chicago Women’s Health Center and teaches at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.
Faith Wilding, is a multidisciplinary artist, writer, and educator and Professor of Performance, School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Wilding co-founded subRosa, a reproducible cyberfeminist cell of cultural researchers using BioArt and tactical performance to explore and critique the intersections of information and biotechnologies in women’s bodies, lives, and work. Wilding and subRosa are internationally active, check out their websites to learn more. www.Faithwilding.refugia.net/ www.cyberfeminism.net