Can You Be Pro-Something Without Being Anti-Something Else?

There are a couple of email lists I belong to that are related to women working in technology. As I’ve seen far too frequently in women/girl-related email groups, a discussion thread was started about men joining the group or subscribing to the email following a question about developing a mission statement for the website which quickly turned into male bashing. Will spare you all the drama in between but wanted to share my thoughts I sent the list about creating a more embracing culture in the group:

I was thinking about unsubscribing today and wanted to share with why. All of the “man” bickering of late had me flashing back to another foundational girl group. One of the main reasons I stopped being a member of (name removed) in LA a few years back was because I thought I was joining a pro-woman group that turned into an anti-man group. Personally I think that’s the reason Martin Luther King is remembered far fonder than Louis Farrakhan. It’s hard sometimes to be a woman and have to deal with feminists. In their attempts to prove women are just like men, feminists fight to get all women into the labor force and combat — never mind that not all want to join. Those who prefer stay-at-home motherhood are ridiculed. God created men and women, and, thankfully, he created us different. But he still made us equal.

Have you seen the West Wing episode recently about the ERA’s Article 14? It was a discussion about guns, Republicans, ERA etc. and one of the cast was really opposed to it. She went on to say she didn’t agree with the ERA because it was redundant. This is what she said:

You know, you insist that government is depraved for not legislating against what we can see on the newsstands or what we can see in an art exhibit or what we can burn in protest or which sex we’re allowed to have sex with or a woman’s right to choose. But don’t you dare try to regulate this deadly weapon I have concealed on me for that would encroach against my freedom. And Democrats believe in freedom of speech unless you want to pray while you’re standing in school. And you believe in the freedom of information act except if you want to find out if your 14 year old has had an abortion.

A new amendment we vote on declaring that I am equal under the law to a man? I’m mortified to discover there’s reason to believe I wasn’t before. I’m a citizen of this country. I’m not a special subset in need of your protection. I do not have to have my rights handed down to me by a bunch of old white men. The same Article 14 that protects you protects me. And I went to law school just to make sure.

There are some great articles on the web about this and I’d encourage you to read them before the next email tirade you launch into.

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