OMG. That is so hysterically funny. I wish Medium allowed us to post gifs in response to posts like yours.

You think you know me & what I am about, but you are so far off base it's as if you live on entirely different planet. Perhaps even an entirely different universe.

We don't need allies like this guy who understands absolutely nothing and mistakes everything. Of course you would see him as an ally. You have so obviously mistaken who I am it's no surprise you are mistaken about other people.

BTW, I figured out a long time ago that I have no interest in a relationship with a man other than as friend. I actually know a lot of allies who truly ARE allies and not "mansplainers" who think they know it all. Mansplainers walk around in this cloud of ignorance while presenting themselves as experts.

That, btw, is solid evidence that they are not, in fact, allies. That they need to live through a lot of pain that comes with recognizing how ignorant they have been and still are. That they need to be humble and LISTEN rather than trying to educate women about what they are so certain is the truth.

Yes, I am angry at how many men intransigently refuse to give up their ego and just freaking LISTEN. You would be too if you'd lived through my 73 years of life. About which you know absolutely nothing. Your ignorance evident in your comment here.

If you had actually read anything I have written besides my comments here, you would know how SO OFF BASE you are.

I am sure that right now you think I am a "man-hater." That is so typical of women who bend over backward (that could be a joke, but it's not) to please men who vaguely look like "allies."

My relatively long life has trained me well to identify those who think they are allies but are so unconscious of the ways they are not that they aren't worth bothering with.

I've met plenty of them.

It could be said that I have "fake ally radar."

At 73 I've had long experience with said "fake allies."

I married one...

OMG I was so stupid that I excused his failures time and again trying to be "understanding" of the ways his misogyny leaked out of his paternalistic and truly patriarchal head, to the point I tried to kill myself. I thought I had to be crazy because he had convinced me of what a good guy he was, so there had to be something seriously wrong with me and the world would be better off without me in it.

Thankfully, that was a very long time ago. Feminism and the feminist theory I learned in graduate school saved me.

Women like you have no idea. Seriously. NO IDEA.

If this man truly is an ally, he will realize how totally off base, presumptuous, and overbearing his comment was.

If he truly is an ally he will recognize the fault in his words and will work very hard & through a lot of pain to be much better. In particular he will get out of his abstract, irrelevant clouds, come back down to earth, and see his mistake.

True allies don't get miffed over not being treated as god's gift to women. True allies understand how much real men (as in actual men--in this context, "real men" is not a complement) are puffed up egotists, as opposed to allies.

True allies will do what I ended up doing several years ago with regard to race & the harsh criticisms I received from the other side of the racial divide.

I decided to live my life in the "as if"--by which I mean altering the framework through which I viewed myself in re: racism.

Thanks to that harsh criticism, after a truly "dark night of the soul," I finally saw how much I needed to focus my attention on LISTENING.

I finally stopped assuming that my life-long opposition to racism made me somehow a special white woman. A "special white woman" whose words would be so much appreciated as I believed they represented firm, unequivocal ally-ship.

My first response to that criticism was to cry a hell of a lot of tears. Thankfully, I wisely chose to work through the pain instead of demanding that those who criticized me comfort me after realizing how mistaken they were.

Thankfully, I did not expose those tears online, despite the recurring urge to do so. Instead, I took the time to really think through what I had said, and put major effort into trying to see those words from the other side.

Thanks to that effort, I finally figured out that I really knew and understood very little. Indeed, virtually nothing.

The same criteria apply here. The moment a man stops speaking and starts listening is the moment he becomes a true ally. An ally who knows he has a lot to learn from the voices of people who've actually LIVED the lives about which he believes he has so much expertise.

That analogy (as should be obvious to you by now) also applies to white people with regard to race.

Until white people have spent a long time listening, until they've acknowledged the framework derived from living white in a white dominated world has blinded them from the reality of racism, they are USELESS as "allies" -- indeed, DANGEROUS as "allies."

So forgive me (or not) for speaking truth to power. You are obviously afraid of doing so yourself, perhaps thinking it will take you out of the circle of women men will find attractive.

The difference between you and me is that I am delighted when men who live within that very limited framework walk (or even run) right past me.

It means I don't have to waste time living out that same old same old mythology of Beauty & the Beast, where Beauty has to devote her life to teaching him how not to be a Beast.

I'm done with that. I've been done with that for several decades. Contrary to your misperception, I like my life so much better this way! Love it, actually. Far, far more than when I felt incomplete without a man in my life. That is, somewhere around 1980.

There is nothing lonelier than being lonely when you are with somebody. There is nothing more satisfying than enjoying your own company, and devoting your energies to the people who already love and understand you, and are seriously proud of who you have become (as I am of them).

While growing old has many deficits, the wisdom you gain over the years (assuming you have SOUGHT it) is well worth all the physical limitations you end up with. Especially the wisdom that comes with knowing you don't need a man in order to be happy.

If a man won't come near me because of all this that I believe, I must thank him for staying away and not wasting my time.

The minute that women learn that they don't NEED men (tho sometimes they can be nice to have around...the right kind of them, that is), is the moment that patriarchy dies beyond all possible resuscitation.

***

P.S. I must thank you for the inspiration you gave me to write this. I'm gonna turn it into a publishable piece.

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Retired professor, feminist, writer, photographer, activist, grandmother of 5, overall Wise Woman. Phd UIA School of Journalism & Mass Communication, 1994.

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Georgia NeSmith

Georgia NeSmith

Retired professor, feminist, writer, photographer, activist, grandmother of 5, overall Wise Woman. Phd UIA School of Journalism & Mass Communication, 1994.