Feminism 101: More Helpful Hints for Dudes

[Content Note: Misogyny; harassment.]

So, here's the thing about dudes who request, politely or not so politely, education from a feminist on demand: I can tell you, from more than a decade of experience as a feminist with an internet presence, that the vast majority of dudes who seek "education" don't really want education at all.

(And, as always, this same dynamic is applicable for any privileged person demanding education of any marginalized person.)

The vast majority of dudes who ask for education on some feminist issue or other want one of two things:

1. They want to prove me wrong. Specifically, they want to play Devil's Advocate, demand scientific proof quantifying my lived experiences, debate me, audit me, argue with me, and, when all else fails, insult me. They use a request for education as cover to get me to engage with them, just in order to try to discredit me.

2. They want to prove a point about how mean feminists are. These are the dudes who understand that feminist women are tired as all fuck of being asked to educate men on demand and are well aware that they're likely to elicit contemptuous responses if they do, so they request education in bad faith, recognizable as bad faith to seasoned feminists familiar with this tactic but possibly reading as good faith to casual observers, only to provoke hostile declinations and then crow about how mean feminists are—which was, of course, the whole point of the exercise.

That second one is a no-win situation for feminists, because if we know what game they're playing, but go along with it for the benefit of people watching, these dudes will simply revert to #1. It's a lose-lose proposition for any feminist who's approached by these guys.

This happens all the time. It is vanishingly rare that a dude approaches me asking for education who actually wants an education. And please note that I, as do all feminists, learned these patterns only by engaging in good faith over and over and over, only to discover that virtually none of the men were engaging in good faith with me.

So, if you're one of the #NotAllMen! who approach feminists for an education, here is some free education for you: Understand the above described dynamic, and understand that marginalized people do not owe privileged people an education, and then go spend some time with Google and leave us the fuck alone.

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