In the first post of this series, I describe how W. and I met, were friends, fought and broke up. In the second post, I analyze some of the emails he sent me afterward. In this final post, I analyze more emails and come to some conclusions about W.
“No one is born a bigot. Hate is learned.”
This is a old childhood picture of someone who used to be my friend. This cute little boy, smiling so brightly, surely deserved to be happy and loved.
But W. was viciously bullied. He wasn’t athletic and the other kids constantly made fun of him. Home wasn’t much of a comfort either, because his mother would punish him for trivial things by sending him to his room. He spent much of his childhood immersed in comic books.
He grew up believing that people in general were just cruel to one another. This cruelty affected him to his core: inwardly he aligned himself with the bullies and learned to take pleasure in other people’s suffering, and call it humor. But you wouldn’t see it if you know him only casually, because on the surface he can be very kind, generous with gifts and time. You might think he has a dark, twisted sense of humor, but you’d probably overlook it because he seems so good in other ways and is devoted to his friends.
He seems like a nice guy – as long as you don’t get too close.
Men’s rights activists are hot garbage and I think it’s great that men in solidarity with feminists critique and condemn them, but I also can’t help but feel like we’re in danger of falling into the same trap anti-racist white folks have with neo-Nazis and klansmen. MRAs are in the same group of cartoonishly evil reactionaries that can be easily dismissed or mocked without upsetting most of those who share their privilege – while pornographers, sex buyers, anarchists, kinksters, leftist dudes, and other male supremacists are actually significantly more likely to enact widespread oppression and receive, in proportion, significantly less attention. So yeah like fuck MRAs, make fun of them and expose their nonsense, but also remember that confronting real, entrenched, socially acceptable, politically powerful woman-hating is way more important and usually not as much fun.
Women have a problem with seeing ourselves as a coherent group of people, seeing ourselves as a class. It is too easy to “other” the women who are killed and we are encouraged to divide ourselves rather than stand together. We see this every day, even in feminist groups. We need to come together and truly believe that Every Woman is one of us, even if we disagree on things.
New painting finished. It’s 18×24 in, acrylic, for sale at $300.