Sometimes your best intentions are completely misinterpreted and all you can do is accept that and move on. I sent **** a message to say thank you for recommending a book to me. I returned a recommendation by suggesting she watch Nola Darling because a scene in it reminded me of her shouting at a passing car. Nola Darling showed me something I hadn’t recognised before and I felt there were similarities to ****’s behaviour in that. Her actions didn’t inspire me or make me feel like a good feminist or anything of the kind. For me, feminism is about equality and it is difficult to relate to the challenges women face on a daily basis. So, when a TV show (or anything else) can force me to reevaluate my perceptions, I’m grateful for that.
What can I do to be more understanding? How can I possibly begin to relate without understanding? **** told me to take a step back and humble myself in my approach to feminism. Everyday I attempt to do that. I try to listen first and speak only when I have something meaningful to say. I was confused as to why anyone would react with venom and anger to something that’s driving away. I was confused as to why venom and anger is a reaction for anyone, but my perception changed watching Nola Darling and I felt I could empathise.
Empathise in that I can see your point of view – from my privileged position – of that incident. Not that I condone it. Or belittle it. Not with any intention of being condescending. I’m trying to live a life of empathy, love and compassion. Sometimes I should just keep that to myself.
Why is it so strange to message someone you have been intimate with? Any time I share my bed with someone, I share myself and my vulnerabilities. I relish my own struggles too much to make anyone else’s my focus; my muse. Although, I find the suggestion amusing (can’t do anything other than laugh). Is it not condescending to suggest my attempts at understanding are merely for my own benefit? Why bother?
Why bother trying to relate to women’s problems? Bother, because men, woman and children are equal. Bother, because you want to live in a world that doesn’t consider empathy condescending. That’s your world, Adam. Your intentions are clear in your head. There’s not much you can do to prevent others misinterpreting our words. Get your message straight from the outset. There was nothing condescending in my head when I sent **** that message. Not even trying to be friendly. Not wanting anything. Just trying to say happy new year, thank you for a lovely night together and trying to start the year off on my terms. Trying to understand what it means to be connected in 2018. I’m curious about what makes people do what they do. I guess that’s going to lead to a few misunderstandings. Put it down to experience and move on. Probably a good idea to stop sending super intense messages on WhatsApp. It’s OK to be an intense person but do it in person.
Talk to ***** about this. Talk to her about a man’s role in feminism. You’re doing great. You’re learning and you’re humble enough to crave more learning. Don’t let that go because of one persons interpretation of your intent. Find your muse within yourself, as you have done in the past. My interpretation of shared experience is mine alone. Indulge in that because nobody can take that from you. A kind word, antagonistically misunderstood. Creating anger from within, it simmers to the surface. Your empathy is condescending. Correct the definition. Life is never filled with clarity, but your intentions can be. Treat everyone with love and compassion. Even those who wrong you. Your sensitivities don’t earn you privileges. You were born with them between your legs. It’s not for you to apologise for that. Take your privileged position and use it as a platform. To scream, shout and echo the words of those who have been wronged. To kick up a fuss. A full-on riot if needs be. Try; fail; learn; grow. Forget the tensions and the ill feelings. Hold on dearly to the lessons.