So… due to the fact that I used the term “putty tat” in place of vagina, it was decided by a [now former] feminist FB “friend”–actually, she wasn’t a friend, just a subscribed lurker who never commented once, except to criticize me–that I’m not a womanist (feminist centered on the interests of WOC) after all.
My use of “putty tat” was “gross, ignorant, lacking in empathy and playing into respectability politics.” Proof that, because I am a man, I should have no voice on behalf of women. My thoughts/feelings on the matter are irrelevant.
Context: In a conversation with actual friends–all women, some I’ve known personally for many years–about dating married people, one of my friends told a story about her best friend feeling betrayed after her longtime married “sugar daddy” didn’t marry her after his marriage was over. She described the guy as a total control freak who spent lavishly for sexual exclusivity with her. (Which he didn’t get, because she was seeing other men ‘on the side.’)
Speaking from HIS (not my POV) I surmised that the “sugar daddy” was not investing in a committed relationship with her. His priority was clearly sexual and temporary in nature. Now, even though this is a conversation with good friends, I try to keep my cussin’ to a minimum in ‘polite company.’ So, instead of saying “Well, it seems he was paying for p*ssy, not vying for a 2nd wife,” I said, “I’m assuming the sugar daddy was leasing her putty tat, not renting to own.
And… BOOM! Up jumps my fine feminist friend (lurker) to revoke my womanism card on the grounds of having testicles and a potty mouth. (Guilty as charged.)
My homegirls defended my of their own volition. (I didn’t ask/need them to, but they were offended by her intrusion.) I futilely tried to explain to her that I was not saying the woman’s only worth was her vagina, but that the “sugar daddy” clearly felt that way. I clarified that in my statement, it was the “sugar daddy’s” values that were subject, not the other woman’s or her “putty tat.”
I even explained that my use of “putty tat” as a euphemism for “p*ssy” was because a) my friend telling the story is a Christian and I didn’t want to casually cuss around her and b) I was trying to convey that the “sugar daddy” had sexually objectified her from a whole woman to a body part.
She was not having or hearing it. Period. I’m a man… thus, I should shut the f*ck up and stand corrected when a woman checks me for saying something I didn’t actually say–even if other women present disagree with said woman.
She tossed up a few trite racial comparisons–asking my if I though a white person should have a voice in black affairs–to justify disqualifying me views. She then made the one situation we were discussing about all women and applied my opinion of that one specific situation as my overall worldview of women in general. Even the other women were targeted as “biased” when they disagreed with her.
Basically, it was her way or the highway and we all (my friends, her, and myself) agreed on one thing: the highway. *deuces*
Not one to be dismissive, but it’s hard to feel that I was dismissive to show her the door after a marathon circular argument with a stranger subscriber who seemed to have been lying in wait for the chance to chide me, and wasn’t going to let her big moment pass without making the most of it, come Hell or high water.
I’ve seen this play out in “Black spaces” where a non-Black person is singled out and made the object of frustration for one or more among us who feel their very presence is a trigger. I get it. I don’t agree with it, but I understand that conditioned response. I have no idea why “putty tat” was a trigger for this woman–nor why it was such a deal-breaker for her that made her expel me from advocating for women. Still, to the best of my ability, I genuinely tried to ‘get it.’ But did I?
Hmm… When I sat down and started typing this piece, I was well on my way to writing a super snarky, ironic humored, take down of some ‘rabid feminist troll’ who caught feelings and set out to tone police me over a silly euphemism. But the more I write the more I realize such a piece would be a misogynist d*ck move and only validate her aversion to a man having a voice and sway in a “woman’s space.
I could scrap and re-write everything above with a more empathetic tone, but I think there’s just as much to be learned from the rough drafts of our thoughts as there is from the finished, polished product. It’s all a part of the learning process.
So… ‘apologies’ to those of you who’ve made it this far in what you hoped would be a feminist diss and now feel like my cheeky title was click-bait. It wasn’t intended to be. I just think that instead of checking her, I should check my male privilege.
Of course, I disagree with both her views and conduct, but I’m not about to use my platform to put a sister on blast for trying to do the right thing in earnest, even if it wrongs me in the process. And I use the term ‘wrongs me’ loosely. Let’s face it: she will likely face far more adversity in her day to day life as a woman of color living in a white supremacist patriarchal power structure than I will. I’m not the victim here.
If I can’t respectfully disagree with her, while understanding her frustrations, she would be right to repossess my megaphone and advise me to not bullsh*t myself.
I do disagree, sis, but I understand. I have seen the enemy and they are not us. #dontBSyourself