I started by morning, before coffee, reading Irin Carmon’s “Women shouldn’t trust the men who call themselves allies” at The Washington Post. Go ahead and read it. After coffee. Carmon writes powerfully about Harvey Weinstein and a whole bunch of men who proclaim to be allies while harming, maligning, and harassing women. The actions of this men tell us a story about how claiming to be an ally doesn’t actually mean you are an ally. This is a story, the story, about power, misogyny, masculinity, and the emptiness of words without action. Camron writes:
To the preexisting condition that is misogyny in the world, such men add a certain sense of hopelessness. They fuel those old snickering jokes about the ulterior motives of men who visit feminist spaces. They exploit the fact that women are eager to affirm men making baby steps toward our humanity and make a mockery out of our socially ingrained impulse to give them the benefit of the doubt. At least the Bannons of the world stab you in the front.
As I read her article, I laughed grimly, though I wanted to cry, when I reached this line: At least the Bannons of the world stab you in the front. At least, we know where the Bannons stand and how much they hate us. It’s the knife in the back from the men who are supposed to be friends, partners, colleagues, co-workers, bosses, and professors that we aren’t expecting. They say that they are allies. They say they are feminists. And we want to believe them. Like Camron, I’m not sure we should. (more…)