The Authors at The Federalist Site Often Don’t Get It: Joy Pullman is Fine With Men Harassing Women Who Wear Headphones in Public – Part 1
I am quoting portions of an essay at The Federalist site in order to offer a rebuttal to it. Link is below.
The Federalist is a conservative web site.
I’m a conservative.
However, I am a conservative who is truly and actually repulsed by sexism against women – and yes, many conservatives will say they are as well – but then they go on to mock and ridicule the very legitimate concerns raised by other women, which means, ultimately, they are supporting and defending sexism despite their avowed concern for women and girls.
Let’s examine one example of this very thing. From the right wing site The Federalist comes this editorial written by a Joy Pullman (yes, the author of this appalling piece is a woman – one usually only sees such dreck from conservative male authors):
Here is the obnoxious sub-heading on that page, which was published in September 2016:
Back off, uptight whiners, and stop making public and romantic life so much less fun for everyone. Some ladies like a good chase.
I’m surprised a woman wrote this piece, because it conveys a lot of the stupidity, the ignorance of women, and wrong, sexist assumptions many men have of women, but this is written by a conservative woman – so maybe I should not be surprised.
A lot of conservative women (I myself am conservative, but please recall, I don’t agree with them on all topics) hold this bizarre and wrong position that the automatic, correct position on any topic pertaining to gender that feminists, or all women as a group (which may or may not include feminists), are championing or upset about, must be to adopt the direct, opposite position.
And that is an incredibly stupid and irresponsible position for conservatives to take, for, like broken clocks, (Link): even liberal feminists are correct at least twice a day.
To make up an extreme example of this, if liberal feminists were to, say, start making a bunch of blog posts or Tweets tomorrow explaining that men raping six year old girls is evil and immoral, a conservative writer will think that the immediate, right course of action is to diametrically oppose this position. I am serious.
The conservative blogosphere and Tweeters will fire off any number of blog posts and Tweets, and the Federalist will get one of their hack writers to reply, that no, actually it’s not bad when grown men rape small girls.
The conservative response in this hypothetical situation will go on to say…
Why, those six year old girls who were raped, and those feminists, need to chill out and stop complaining about men raping little girls, because they are being a bunch of wet blankets who are making society worse for everyone, and where’s the fun in that?
‘If those feminists,’ the conservative will go on, ‘had not started in with that sexual revolution mumbo-jumbo in the 1960s, there would be no such thing as pedophiles, either! Men today got the idea it’s okay to sexually assault little girls from the sexual liberation movement started by the feminists of the 1960s.’
And, those conservative commentators will cluelessly drone on, ‘will those feminists stop complaining already about men bosses threatening to fire women subordinates and co-workers for not having sex with them? What a bunch of kill-joys who are trying to ruin work-place fun for all!’
And, such conservative writers will opine, ‘how do those feminists expect those poor, poor, horny, male bosses who demand sex in return for steady employment – how will they expect those poor dears to get their sexual desires met?’
—It’s not like those bosses can, I don’t know, just be celibate and go without, or masturbate, or join a hook-up site for casual sex seekers.
No, none of that is plausible, and it’s asking too much of men. Women workers should just cave in already and service their horny, demanding male bosses.
And that, I am saddened and ashamed to say, is how a typical hot-take by my fellow conservatives goes, to whatever cultural subject is disturbing women at any given moment.
Women asking men to change their behavior on some point or another is most often viewed by those on the right suspiciously, as though women are “picking on men” and being “mean” to poor, poor, sweet, and helpless men, and as though the whole thing is an agenda with an ulterior motive to put all men in prison and to start a matriarchal revolt.
It’s ridiculous, but I’ve been a conservative since my teen years and have seen these attitudes often from other conservatives.
So, Pullman Is Saying…
So, Pullman is saying in her sub-heading to her piece, if a woman says when she has headphones on in public, and she would prefer men not approach her at such times, that makes that woman an “uptight whiner?” Really?
Many men, especially the socially awkward or the relationally inexperienced, (Link): incorrectly interpret a woman’s refusal to date them, or her “no,” to mean, “Keep trying, big boy, and you can wear me down eventually.”
That is what a lot of men out there understand Pullman’s phrase “good chase” to mean, but no, most women do not enjoy, contrary to Pullman, being stalked.
Yes, it’s stalking. It’s not being “manly” or “assertive.” It’s being either creepy or an entitled, sexist ass-hat, depending on the particular man.
Persistent, unwanted male behavior, especially from a man who the woman does not know, or whom she has just met recently, is not a “good chase.”
On the contrary, such male behavior toward women is harassment, and it can be frightening, and it’s a turn off to most women.
(Actually, it’s more like it’s a turn off to ALL women not just “most,” but I added the qualifier to make Pullman happy, because she wants me to believe via this essay that she is the one woman out there who indeed wants and invites strange men she doesn’t know to hit on her when she’s out in public and has headphones on.)
Operating in that manner, men approaching women in headphones and engaging in other behavior women have announced they find scary or a turn-off, is a sure fire strategy for a single man to remain single if he’s trying to get a date.
Most women, do not “like a good chase,” nor do most women want to be approached by flirty men (or any man for any reason, barring emergencies) while they are out in public listening to music or engrossed in a book, as I was (link): just explaining in this previous post.
My Fellow Conservatives Mocking the Concerns Of Women
Not only am I a conservative who is sincerely opposed to sexism against women by men, but I do not have a disgusting, immature, knee-jerk tendency – unlike other conservatives – to mock every concern of women that goes viral (such as Twitter backlash against articles by men who advise other men to approach women who are wearing headphones).
I occasionally agree with the ‘Federalist’ here and there – I have found some of their authors can be correct on some subjects occasionally, but often, on subjects pertaining to women, their authors argue on behalf of upholding a lot of sexist cultural norms.
To my fellow conservatives: not all change is bad, not all traditions from the past are worth defending and conserving, and sexist attitudes are one of those things not worth defending or justifying.
Belittling women, or diminishing their concerns, when they speak out as a group to air gender-based complaints is also a sexist tradition that needs to be sent to the scrapheap – and that is precisely what this 2016, Pullman- penned piece for the conservative Federalist site is doing.
Personality Based Differences Not Taken Into Account
I am a conservative woman, and I am also introverted. I am not, nor have I ever, been an out-going “people person.”
I also, in many a situation, depending on what it is, do not appreciate being approached by men to be flirted with, not when I am in public reading a book while on a bench or listening to music on an mp3 player while on a jog, or just walking down a street, or sitting on a bus, with headphones on.
Perhaps Joy Pullman enjoys random men approaching her over the course of her life not knowing who they are, what their motivation is, but I do not.
I, like many women, have been receiving unwanted sexually-tinged attention from men from the time I was a girl, and some of it is profane and vulgar, and I am tired of it. This does not make me rude, whiny, or up-tight.
I’d like to be able to go shopping, take a run around a park, or go to a movie theater or a restaurant on my own, and NOT be approached by male dim-wits who want a date from me, or who want my phone number so they can flirt with me later.
I find this behavior annoying, and, at times, creepy, depending on the particulars of the situation, the man, the environment we are in. I don’t find it flattering.
Conservatives and Liberals Really Do Not Care About Women’s Safety
Pullman, and conservatives like her, please take note:
I am not going to sacrifice my safety to appease lonely, single, hetero men any more than I am going to sacrifice my safety for…
Liberal identity crusaders who think I am a heartless, bigoted, meanie for not wanting biological men to be allowed to use women’s bathrooms and fitting rooms, because sometimes, CIS hetero men use pro- transgender laws as an excuse or pretext to access women’s bathrooms and changing rooms for the express purpose of sexually harassing or sexually abusing women and girls.
If you are a conservative arguing that women do not, or should not, have a right to determine how and if men can or should approach them for dating or for whatever reason…
If you are a conservative who is shaming women for speaking out and saying which behaviors from men they find offensive, worrisome, or creepy, and they are advising men to stop those behaviors, and you, conservative writer, are saying women speaking out on these matters is “ruining culture” in some fashion…
You are putting women in danger, and are trying to shame women into forfeiting an expectation of personal safety and privacy, just as much as any liberal pro-trans advocates, who think biological men should have full access to women’s bathrooms and changing rooms..
(And which has in fact resulted in girls and women being filmed nude without their consent by men when in women’s changing rooms, or being groped or raped by men in women’s restrooms – see link above for news examples.)
Congrats, fellow conservatives, for being just as flippant and unconcerned about girls’ and womens’ safety as liberals are, who advocate trans persons access to women’s bathrooms, no reservations, no compromise.
The safety of girls and women must be sacrificed to the group’s political agenda and beliefs, not only with liberals, but with with conservatives, as well.
Proud of yourselves, conservatives? You are siding with liberals and never thought you would, but here you are!
The liberals want me, and other CIS women, to be super considerate of the feelings and concerns of Transgender Women (who were born biological men), and you conservatives want me to be super considerate of the feelings and concerns of CIS men (biological men) who want to choose when and where they approach me to flirt.
That is all so, even though I’m not comfortable with either situation, and neither are many other women.
And you Liberal pro-Trans activists,
and you Conservative “anti-feminism, ‘feminists are all whiny,’ I- believe- men- should- flirt- whenever- however- they- want- with- women” types
demand, or expect me to, stifle my opinions, my feelings, and my needs on these gender- related issues to prioritize the feelings of biological men, whether trans or cis, and all for your (and their) political agenda, and even to put my safety at risk.
My response to that:
No thank you, I pass. A great big “Hell no,” as a matter of fact, to you liberals and conservatives. I will decide for me what’s best for me, and I will not be shamed out of it.
(this will continue in a post two. And probably a part 3 and 4 and who knows how long, until I break the whole post down….)
Update Feb 2019: I did intend on writing a part two but did not get around to it. I don’t know if I ever will or not.