Helpful Dude Is Helpful

[Content Note: Tone policing; mansplaining.]

One: A dude who called Australian feminist Clementine Ford a "slut" on his Facebook page was fired from his job after Ford published some of his posts (including a bunch of racist swill).

Two: A self-identified male feminist named Jack Kilbride published a lengthy piece of exhausting tone policing under the headline "Why Courageous Clementine Ford Is Not the Answer." She's too strident, you see, and she'll never change hearts and minds because her "vitriolic writing style means that people will always get offended. Unfortunately, those getting offended are usually the ones who need to read it the most." Don't feminists know that we have to be nicer to misogynists so that they'll listen to us?!

Gee, where have I heard this shit a million times before?

Three: Leena penned an excellent response, "Why Courageous Jack Kilbride Is Not the Answer," noting that telling women to pipe down is just more of the same patriarchal trash that Kilbride tasks women with solving through measured tones.

As I have written countless times before, and will certainly be obliged to write countless times in the future, by Feminist Allies Who Have Just Arrived to the Party, it doesn't matter how delicately I phrase something, how gently I make my arguments, how deferential and patient and indulgent I am with insistent misogynist men. No amount of careful moderation can penetrate a wall of resistance to the content of my words.

What matters is a man's willingness to listen to what I'm saying, irrespective of the tone in which it's delivered.

Here's me on Twitter, two years ago:

screen cap of a tweet authored by me reading: 'If there is one thing I've learned in ~9 yrs of blogging: How nice I am doesn't matter. Men with the will to listen, do, regardless of tone.'
screen cap of a tweet authored by me reading: 'Policing my tone is just a way of trying to blame me for their resistance to giving up the comfort of unexamined privilege.'

True then. True now. True forever.

[Related Reading: Crank It Up to 11; Feminism 101: Not Listening to Women Is a Misogynist Act.]

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