Dear Mansplainer: Have you tried listening?

Earlier this morning I was sharing a story about some suited douchebag who decided it would be his personal statement to hump the “Fearless Girl” statue. (You know the one — the tiny lass standing, arms akimbo, in front of the Wall Street bull. Thanks to Alexis Kaloyanides on Facebook for making this distasteful humpery a public story, by the way.)

So after I shared this literal assault on feminism, a friend of a friend decided he needed to hop onto my Facebook page and mansplain to me how the placement of the girl’s statue invited bad attitudes and “defaced” tradition. … Say what?

Here’s the exchange (at least so far):

My friend: Disgusting!!!

Her douchey guy friend: Disgusting, true but why put the statie there in the firat place. It’s just a nose tweak…

Me: Meh, douches like that consider anything other than slobbering adoration as a nose tweak. I say let’s install inspiration everywhere we can. Let the jerks sort themselves out while they sputter (and hump) in protest.

The douchey guy: The bull statue on Wall Street has been an icon for a very long time. So where does it end? Should we put a statue of dead Vietnamese in front of the Vietnam Memorial? Or maybe a statue of a Syrian refugee in front of the Statue of Liberty? Or how about a statue of a dead Confederate soldier facing Lincold at the Lincoln Memorial? What ever happened to decorum and common sense?

Me: I’m not going to jump on board and slide down your slippery slope with you. It’s not a statue of a vulva. It’s a little girl. If that violates your decorum, then your decorum is too delicate to be out and about in public. (Or you are just looking for someone to argue with.)

Return of the douche: Just saying that some traditions are worth keeping, some are not. When we start defaming those traditions then our society and republic are indeed on a slippery slope.

Me: Just saying that this is your view. And it’s not mine. It’s not “defaming” to place a statue of a little girl in front of a bull statue that is a well-known tourist attraction & tradition for people who want to rub its balls. (Look it up.) Could you BE any more ironic/blind? How does the image of a child being brave to a stronger force somehow defame your traditions or values?

I feel sure it will devolve into more sputtering on his part until I block his nonsense. I often face this dilemma. Do I take out my file and wear down the edges of his patronizing attitude, or preserve my peace of mind and banish him from my space? After all, I don’t know him from Adam. (It’s often this exact person — a friend of a friend — who butts into MY social media space with his unsolicited opinion. And quite often with a patronizing attitude.)

I feel like I should keep speaking, because they need to hear opposing voices. And it’s a Catch-22 when I decide to just block such people, because I believe it ups their smugness quotient. So, when I have the time and the energy (and often when I do not), I will:

  • Point out that the world changes, and we must change with it or become obsolete. Tradition for tradition’s sake doesn’t make allowances for the current needs of the living.
  • Show that it’s the duty of the privileged to protect and help those who are not so fortunate.
  • Show that it’s the duty of the brave to stand up when we can, even if afraid.
  • Explain that the objector is actually privileged and unseeing when he insists on “protecting” some viewpoint, practice or tradition that is harmful to others.
  • Keep on keeping on.



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