Meta MFIF

by

I posted a link to MFIF on my Facebook, and a male acquaintance posts the following comment:
“I have said and done like all of those things to women, it’s no big deal. Learn to take a joke.”

1. I wasn’t asking you, nor was I judging you.
2. Who’s the one who’s blowing it out of proportion? Hint: It’s not me.
3. I now have a story to submit! I guess it’s #MFIF

KF, USA

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27 Responses to “Meta MFIF”

  1. Matt G. Says:

    He’s done “all of those things”?! I know that must’ve been an exaggeration, but this guy’s still in the running for Jerk of the Century.

    • Anonymous Says:

      Hey everyone, this is the guy who originally posted the aforementioned comment to my acquaintance’s Facebook link. I’m afraid this is isn’t as meta as everyone thinks.

      I have been reading this site almost every day, shaking my head at the blatant examples of open, antiquated misogyny that still exist today. I have recommended this site to many friends, including my (women’s studies major) girlfriend (who makes more money than I do and would prefer to keep her last name if/when we get married).

      Those who know me know how shocking and outdated I find these examples of mistreatment and rudeness. My mistake in making this joke to my Facebook friend was assuming she knew me better than she does.

      The point of the joke was to make an exaggerated, ridiculous statement to characterize myself as an unrepentant misogynist to a person who knows I am not, and then blame the woman for my actions, similar to the theme of innumerable stories on MFIF. I assumed that my Facebook friend would know unequivocally that I have not “said and done like all of these things to women,” since this includes countless examples of sexual abuse, harassment, molestation, and even kidnapping. And the phrase “It’s no big deal, learn to take a joke” was paraphrased directly from this website, since many of the men use this ignorant explanation to deflect blame from their wildly inappropriate and even illegal behavior, to make it seem as though the victim is the unreasonable one. I assumed that, being familiar with the MFIF site, and me, my Facebook friend would immediately see all of this, and shake her head and smile as I portrayed myself to be just another asshole misogynist.

      Again, my mistake was misjudging how well she knew me.

      I am sure there will be many of you who read this explanation carefully and still feel that my comment was discriminatory. You might think that there is still “some truth to every joke,” or that “only a misogynist would even think to make light of the discriminatory suffering of women that continues to this day.”

      I get that. You all don’t know me from Larry Flynt. It is easy to see how someone who is not familiar with me would be unsatisfied by this explanation.

      But remember, this joke was not intended for the masses. It was directed to a friend who I thought would easily see the irony of me portraying myself as a misogynist.

      I do appreciate those people who have made their way to the bottom of this comments page. In full disclosure, I have deleted this comment from my friend’s Facebook wall, as things on the internet tend to live forever, and I have no interest in defending myself for the rest of my life for a comment that I now see to be easily misinterpreted. Thanks to those of you who took the time to read this through carefully.

      • Susanna Says:

        While I appreciate you were trying to make an ironic joke, and it is true I don’t know you, it still seems as if you are putting this off on your female friend for not getting your “joke” and overreacting rather then taking responsibility for making a bad joke in poor taste. It’s not her fault she took your words at face value.

        But frankly, I see nothing amusing about a person pretending they are bigoted so they can blame the victim for reacting. Even if she had gotten what you meant, it still wouldn’t have been funny. Would you say something blatantly racist to a friend of color and then laugh and say “you should know me better then that!!” when they react? Would that be a good or funny joke, to treat people who have historically been marginalized and mistreated badly for their reaction because you don’t treat people like that and they should know it.

        And frankly, I think you did expect her to react, you just expected her to react on a smaller scale. You didn’t expect to end up on here. Your use of the phrase “blame the woman for your actions” as a part of the joke gives that away I think.

        I don’t think you are a terrible and bigoted person, but I do think that your joke shows why this site exists, because as well as the blatent molesters and outright horrid people, we have fellows who are basically decent who are expressing the attitudes that work to marginalize women and not realizing that is what they are doing. Heck, there plenty of stories of WOMEN whose actions marginalize women who I hope do not realize it.

        I do think you owe your friend an apology for trying to make a joke out of sexism and treating women badly. I don’t think you are a bad person, but you made a serious error of judgment and offended someone and you ought to take full responsibility for that instead of saying she overreacted.

      • Luna_the_cat Says:

        As a rule of thumb, be careful with “humour” which is aimed at an unprivileged group from a privileged group. For why, I refer you to my comment here: https://myfaultimfemale.wordpress.com/2010/07/25/being-made-to-feel-its-mfif-on-mfif/#comment-886 (rather than retype all that).

      • Marie Says:

        It must be a scathing thing to end up on a site like this, but none the less, let it be a lesson for the future. Women are treated like this all the time, even by self proclaimed feminists and by friends and family. If you don’t clearly flag your “joke” as such, it will be taken seriously, because as you’ve said all misogynist comments are defended as jokes. And to dismiss anyone who do take offence as “not knowing you well enough” is only adding fuel to the fire, because it puts all the responsibility on her, and it is basically saying that everyone who doesn’t accept your excuse is irrational or unenlightened.

        As said before, I don’t think that you’re a bad person. But this is *your* f— up, not hers our ours. It is also your chance to prove that you really are not sexist. Take her seriously, take us seriously, admit your part in this and learn from it.

      • Brittany-Ann Says:

        IF you are the guy in the OP, and IF you seriously thought you were making a satiric joke, you seriously screwed up.

        I wrote a post on satire back in April. I think you should read it. Because satire is exaggerating and twisting something into another thing that is so ridiculous it’s obvious you’re mocking. That post? Not satire. You regurgitated sexist tropes women hear every day.

        So I’m not entirely convinced you were joking. It reeks of male entitlement, and your comment here reeks of victim blaming.

        Plus, anonymous comments make me wary.

      • Matt G. Says:

        Oopsie.

        Sarcasm is a difficult skill, and exponentially harder to do successfully on the internet.

  2. LS Says:

    All of them? Seriously?

    That’s…really creepy. Some of these stories are arrest-worthy.

  3. kly Says:

    There’s an acquaintance you don’t need.

  4. SkyHawk Says:

    There’s the “all of them” exaggeration, but the kicker is “Learn to take a joke”. Jokes cannot be taken if they are not well received by the intended audience.

  5. Medical Student Says:

    You should delete/block this person.

    I realise that he’s probably exaggerating, but claiming to have ‘done all these things to women’ when this site includes examples of sexual assault suffered by women, is just plain disturbing. Especially when he claims that ‘it’s no big deal. Learn to take a joke’

    Jeez…

  6. Dude Says:

    When I read the beginning of your post, I thought you were about to say something to the effect of ‘and then he admitted his wrong and apologized to me, vowing to turn a new leaf’.
    Disappointed
    I guess it’s my fault I’m naive šŸ˜¦

  7. Brittany-Ann Says:

    @Dude,

    Sadly, women get that kind of response all the time when sharing these types of experiences. It’s a silencing tactic-people like the guy in the OP use them to try to make it seem like we’re overreacting, that we’re the abnormal ones, to feel ashamed for taking offense to such behaviors and remarks. So they can continue to do them without retribution and without shame. Websites like these, and people who will call them out for their bull threaten their security. That’s why it’s so important to have support networks/communities like these, and people who will call them out on the spot.

  8. Luna_the_cat Says:

    Sod this “I’m not judging you” bit — I’M judging him. As a complete arse and someone who needs a hefty smack upside the head with a clue-by-four, preferably one with nails at the end. “I’ts just a joke” is so fun and easy when you’re the attacker and not the one being hurt.

    @Dude — yes, we do actually get this ALL the time. “Learn to take a joke, it’s no big deal” has got to be one of the most common phrases that gets proffered in response to women being harassed or attacked.

    • Dude Says:

      I’ve been surrounded by people that treat women (mostly) as equals my entire life. To be honest, I can’t remember encountering this sort of behavior outside the internet, and it frightens me (many of the posts on here frighten me).

      • Brittany-Ann Says:

        People are bolder on the internet. It’s anonymous, and even if they put their name on it, they don’t think anything will come back to haunt them. The physical world is much subtler in its sexism, hidden in code words, myths, rationalizations, and the “good” person spouting the sexism. Subtle enough that if you look at the world in an “it is what it is” attitude, you won’t see it. The internet strips all those complications away. But the physical world is sexist–its subtlety enables it to continue without consequences, but internet sexists are certain that the whole physical world is behind them, agrees with them, and will back them up if someone calls them out.

      • Luna_the_cat Says:

        It’s not *just* on the internet, though. I got that response in so many words, to my face, when I was dealing with sexual harassment at my work a few years ago. A particular co-worker was sending me really explicit, not to mention somewhat vile and entirely unwanted, emails, and similarly leaving really explicit pictures on my desk with suggestions that I “try things” — when I tried telling him to knock it off and complaining to the boss, I was told “he was just having a bit of fun, and I should learn to lighten up.” When I tried going over said boss’s head to the next level of managment I had a disciplinary warning filed against me for being “a poor worker and disruptive to the team.” Notably, I was also the only woman working in that group of engineers.

        I’m out of both that job and that company, now, and grateful for it every day.

  9. Uly Says:

    There are times when you should name names so we can make sure this guy isn’t part of OUR online lives.

    • H Says:

      Ha, yeah, and maybe his future employer might not be so impressed to read that he’s being doing things like this and boasting about it.

  10. sz Says:

    A misunderstanding that could have been avoided by the use of a winky-face… That’s the Internet for you šŸ˜‰

    • Susanna Says:

      While a winky face would have made it clear it was intended as a joke, I still think it’s not a funny joke.

      I have a serious problem with the tactics used to silence people who have suffered mistreatment being used as fodder for humor.

      • sz Says:

        Oh I agree. I wouldn’t have found it in the least bit funny either. Some jokes are just too tired and tiresome.

  11. dylangirl Says:

    Hey, haven’t you heard? Feminists don’t have a sense of humour http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GZWH1bUqm9U

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