An Open Letter to you all

I’ve failed you. I get looked upon as a leader of this little group, and if I am to assume that role, then it comes with certain responsibilities, which I haven’t lived up to.

I should stick up for you more, and I don’t. Yes, we’ll disagree with each from time to time, but I don’t handle that very well either.

What this group needs is someone to actually lead, and that isn’t me. Can I contribute? I’d like to think so, but I don’t think I have the strength of character to actually be an effective leader.

In short, I’ve not done enough to ensure members of this site feel safe. I haven’t been assertive enough in dealing with arguments, and therefore I’m suggesting the following:

The Coalition site becomes a read-only site. By that, I mean we continue to contribute articles here, and do we more or less do already – we publish the same article on our own sites, and provide links so anyone who wants to engage us in conversation about the article does so on our own sites – where we have more control over what happens. That way, discussion can continue to be had, but in situations where the contributors feel more secure.

I won’t be abandoning this idea. The concept behind Coalition is one I’m very proud of, and I am very proud of all of you who have posted here. We are a diverse bunch, and I look forward to working with you, in any form that takes, as we move forward.

Kind Regards,

 

Ben

 

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22 thoughts on “An Open Letter to you all

  1. “I should stick up for you more, and I don’t. Yes, we’ll disagree with each from time to time, but I don’t handle that very well either.”

    People aren’t children and I’m not sure why anyone would need you to stick up for them.

    ” I’d like to think so, but I don’t think I have the strength of character to actually be an effective leader.”

    Speaking your mind, being open to new ideas and calling it as you see it makes a good leader and as far as I could tell, you were doing that.

    “In short, I’ve not done enough to ensure members of this site feel safe.”

    Blogging isn’t a safe space. It’s full of people ready to disagree with you, and those disagreements are part of what makes a good blog. Otherwise you’re the proud owner of an echo-chamber.

    Sort of like how that post where I disagreed with Carla, all of my comments have been erased and only the agreeing comments are left. That’s what you’d call an echo-chamber.

    What they want is a yes man. People want to be told they’re right even if they’re wrong.

    Honestly, I’d suggest giving up on regressive social justice. It’s dying and people who follow it are generally against discussion. They would prefer everyone agree with them and tell them how good they are as people.

    Or if you really want to make this site worth something, invite people with opposing viewpoints to write here as well.

    “The Coalition site becomes a read-only site. By that, I mean we continue to contribute articles here, and do we more or less do already – we publish the same article on our own sites, and provide links so anyone who wants to engage us in conversation about the article does so on our own sites ”

    Not sure why they would need this site then.

    “We are a diverse bunch, and I look forward to working with you, in any form that takes, as we move forward.”

    You don’t really have a diverse bunch though. You have a bunch of people who hold the same sorts of viewpoints. If you want a diverse bunch, you’d have to find people who are willing to hold opposing opinions to the writers you already have contributing here.

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    1. <quote.People aren’t children and I’m not sure why anyone would need you to stick up for them.

      No, but people are human beings and subject to human emotions and vulnerabilities. If I am to assume the mantle of ‘leader’ of this group, then that makes me responsible for them.

      Speaking your mind, being open to new ideas and calling it as you see it makes a good leader and as far as I could tell, you were doing that.

      People came to me with concerns and I didn’t address them. Regardless of whether I agreed or disagreed with those concerns, I should have addressed them. I didn’t.

      Blogging isn’t a safe space. It’s full of people ready to disagree with you, and those disagreements are part of what makes a good blog. Otherwise you’re the proud owner of an echo-chamber. Sort of like how that post where I disagreed with Carla, all of my comments have been erased and only the agreeing comments are left. That’s what you’d call an echo-chamber.

      Disagreement is a fact of life, but how it’s handled is important. That’s the point. Carla took the decision to remove all her posts from this blog, and to my knowledge, this included all comments too. I’m not about to go into public detail about her reasons, but suffice say, I didn’t do enough to listen to the concerns she had.

      In all honesty, I don’t know how to handle confrontation. It’s a weakness of mine. I don’t like it. I always try to see both sides of the coin, but it’s also about perspective. Hence a post I wrote about that very subject. The manner in which a point is made can influence how someone receives the message. Is that always right? No, it isn’t, but it’s how we’re wired as human beings. Tell me I’m being emotional in my response to a point and the chances are it won’t improve my reaction to it or desire to understand it. I’m guilty of that, because like everyone else, because I’m only human.

      An argument can be had whilst showing respect to the other party, even if you disagree.

      Honestly, I’d suggest giving up on regressive social justice. It’s dying and people who follow it are generally against discussion. They would prefer everyone agree with them and tell them how good they are as people.

      Or if you really want to make this site worth something, invite people with opposing viewpoints to write here as well.

      What’s the definition of social justice here? There are people on this site who are black, white, feminist and gay. Who would you suggest to invite here that would provide an opposing point of view to posts about institutionalised racism, sexism or bigotry?

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      1. “What’s the definition of social justice here? There are people on this site who are black, white, feminist and gay. Who would you suggest to invite here that would provide an opposing point of view to posts about institutionalised racism, sexism or bigotry?”

        I don’t know. You’d have to use the same means as you did to find the other writers. There are lots of people who disagree with modern feminism, for example. I’m one of them and I’m not the only one. There are a lot of posts on this site that I personally disagree with in whole or in part, although I still read them. Not everyone thinks the same way, and having opposing viewpoints is a good thing or you run the risk of running an echo-chamber.

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      2. Out of interest, what’s your objection to feminism? Is it based on the extreme end of the spectrum (I saw your post referring to the segregation of males, the controlled groups etc)?

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      3. “Out of interest, what’s your objection to feminism? Is it based on the extreme end of the spectrum (I saw your post referring to the segregation of males, the controlled groups etc)? ”

        So many. Such as the post I just put up about domestic violence.

        And I object to modern feminism. Or 3rd-4th wave feminism. I object to the patriarchy theory, which is a sexist theory that paints all men as oppressors and all women as oppressed. I object to their false narratives, and their painting of men as monsters.

        I think we need to stop looking at issues through a female only lens, and address issues from a people-centered approach. I’m more egalitarian then a feminist. I also object to feminism’s hijacking of the word ‘equality’. Many pretend that you need to be a feminist in order to be for equality.

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      4. As we’ve discussed before, there are distinctions between different types of feminism. All are (in theory) pulling in the same direction, but with different methods. The extreme end of any movement should never be used as the basis of judging the entire movement – that is in itself a false narrative.

        I’ve written posts recently that take a look at the false equivalence established by MRAs, who care less about men’s rights than in attacking feminism and women for men’s problems. I’ve written posts (both here and on Meerkat Musings) that highlight the ongoing and genuine problems women face, at the hands of men, in every day society, and whilst I have read posts that suggest all men are conspiring against all women, I have also read posts – written by feminists – that are quick to mention that it’s not like that at all – however, society is geared up towards male power over women – the Brock Turner case encapsulates this poignantly.

        The role in which feminism (or more precisely, liberal feminism) plays is one that can actually help men too. Case in point: http://everydayfeminism.com/2012/08/why-men-need-feminism-3/

        http://www.flightandscarlet.com/feminism-helps-men/

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  2. Has something happened? I think one of the main attractions of blogging is the interaction and exchange of ideas. Put a smart and diverse group of people around a table and great things can happen, especially when there’s disagreement. I’ve learnt a ton from how Carla and Rae, for example, see the world and what’s important to them by questioning their ideas/positions. That’s changed how I see safe spaces, for example. It’s just my opinion but I think dialogue does more than monologue.

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    1. Without going into too much detail, I feel like I’ve left the door open for people to come under attack. I haven’t decided what to do, and I don’t want to act unilaterally – this is a group site for all of us, and so any decisions about it are up to all of us.

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  3. “As we’ve discussed before, there are distinctions between different types of feminism.”

    Yes. The one that uses patriarchy (most common today) is nonsense. That’s a wide spectrum and covers pretty much all of 3rd-4th wave feminism.

    “The extreme end of any movement should never be used as the basis of judging the entire movement – that is in itself a false narrative.”

    We have to stop making excuses for bad ideologies that contribute to actions that have consequences. In your last post, you apologize for being a white male for crying out loud. Where did that idea come from? Why are you apologizing for your skin color? Why is Pink (who I disagree with on many things) being told that his opinion doesn’t matter because he’s a man?

    It came from feminism and regressive liberalism.

    “I’ve written posts recently that take a look at the false equivalence established by MRAs, who care less about men’s rights than in attacking feminism and women for men’s problems. ”

    MRA’s are wrong for the same reason. We shouldn’t be looking at issues based on sex.

    However, MRA’s are very small compared to feminism.

    “I have also read posts – written by feminists – that are quick to mention that it’s not like that at all – however, society is geared up towards male power over women ”

    That doesn’t make any sense. You mean they paid lip service to virtue signal that not all men, but then go on to say all men are geared towards power over women.

    “he role in which feminism (or more precisely, liberal feminism) plays is one that can actually help men too. Case in point”

    You don’t have to be a feminist to question gender roles. We don’t need feminism. Just self reflection.

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    1. Is it nonsense? Upon what do you base that conclusion?

      Do you believe there are less barriers or hurdles for men entering business and politics than women? Or that there is a level playing field?

      I can’t speak for the discussion that Pink is having with Rae. However, Rae is right in that her perspective is unique to her, and Pink’s perspective is also unique to him. I literally cannot experience the world through their eyes, just as I cannot experience it through the eyes of homosexuals, transsexuals, or anyone else who isn’t me. I don’t therefore get to decide how they should take a statement or a remark.

      You’re also incorrect – I don’t apologise for being a white male. I believe you’ve misunderstood what I wrote. I pointed out (truthfully, in my view) that I need to be more mindful of other perspectives. I stand by that.

      You say we shouldn’t look at issues based on sex, but there are issues which are unique to sex – abortion for instance, affects women far more than men – and this is but one issue. What is the best vehicle to tackle something that is currently being decided predominantly by the men in charge?

      You misunderstand. The phrase ‘male power’ doesn’t mean all men have power. Perhaps I wasn’t clear in my meaning. This swings back to the link I provided earlier. As a man, there are more doors open to me than closed. Whether I choose to take advantage of that, is up to me. The potential is there to use society to my advantage. After all, we repeatedly here of MRAs squealing about false rape accusations and demanding the presumption of innocence, and we see and hear of women coming under attack for making a rape allegation – the victim tends to have to jump through hoops, answering questions about her sex life and personal habits, as though this somehow invited being assaulted (assuming she isn’t presumed to lying, and assuming the case even goes to court). Even police officers here in the UK have been found to be sexually exploiting victims of crime.

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      1. “Is it nonsense? Upon what do you base that conclusion?”

        Any idea that judges people as a collective and tars an entire gender or race is nonsense.

        “Do you believe there are less barriers or hurdles for men entering business and politics than women? Or that there is a level playing field?”

        Depends where you are. But in North America, women can achieve what men can.

        “I don’t therefore get to decide how they should take a statement or a remark.”

        We are all human. I can very much judge how someone should take a remark. That doesn’t mean I’m right but saying your offended isn’t an argument. People aren’t under any obligation to care whether you’re offended either.

        “You’re also incorrect – I don’t apologise for being a white male. I believe you’ve misunderstood what I wrote. I pointed out (truthfully, in my view) that I need to be more mindful of other perspectives. I stand by that.”

        No sir. You said that you’re privileged because you’re a white male. That’s apologizing for attributes you have no control over and frankly don’t matter.

        “You say we shouldn’t look at issues based on sex, but there are issues which are unique to sex – abortion for instance, affects women far more than men – and this is but one issue.”

        It does effect men though. And so you need to have a dialogue between both sexes. Shutting one out isn’t helpful, and many, many men (myself included) are pro-choice. That’s why we have language.

        Feminism shuts one gender out and tells them they aren’t important.

        ‘What is the best vehicle to tackle something that is currently being decided predominantly by the men in charge?”

        Egalitarianism. Democracy.

        “As a man, there are more doors open to me than closed. ”

        Like what? What profession can you do that women aren’t allowed?

        “After all, we repeatedly here of MRAs squealing about false rape accusations and demanding the presumption of innocence, and we see and hear of women coming under attack for making a rape allegation – the victim tends to have to jump through hoops, answering questions about her sex life and personal habits, as though this somehow invited being assaulted (assuming she isn’t presumed to lying, and assuming the case even goes to court). ”

        There are several documented instances of women making false rape claims.

        Our justice system is based on innocent until proven guilty. It’s a cornerstone of our justice system. Victims of other crimes also have to jump through hoops and get questioned when they’ve been victimized. One crime doesn’t get special treatment over another.

        It’s not a perfect system but it’s the best one we have.

        “Even police officers here in the UK have been found to be sexually exploiting victims of crime.”

        They should lose their jobs and face prosecution. A female officer doing the same thing would also face the same consequences.

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      2. I think we are going to either A: shelve this conversation for the time being or B: agree to disagree on most of it, for the reasons given on my comment on your site. I simply don’t have the energy right now to continue this.

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