It's FACT Because I FEEEEEEEL It...

"He is perfectly respectful and I can tell, a well intended person .... But in my opinion he, as a man, cannot agree or disagree (or his position has no value) with my assertion that sexually submissive images of the female body contribute to the rape culture... because he does not know. He could only have an opinion based on how he thinks it is. The proper response would have been "you know better than I" because yes I do. Yes, women do. 

Instead of respecting my opinion as my opinion, he could have said.... "You are probably right...because you have direct experience in this matter and I do not." If you want to be a male-change agent with regard to the RC [rape culture] then accept the truth of our direct experience. Essentially, believe what we say."


"Accept the truth of our direct experience..."

It is established science (I know...according to author, scientific proof is SO Patriarchal) that the least reliable accounts of pretty much anything are eye witness accounts.  Our memories are so malleable and easy to influence and (also established science) with each retelling of a specific circumstance, the memory of it changes.

Further, the idea that emotional response (fear, anger, happiness, depression) derived from personal experience somehow equates reality is a juicy one but when confronted with a broader look at reality, almost always is found to be specious at best.  Someone who has never lived in poverty certainly has a hurdle in understanding what poverty feels like but that fact doesn't prevent him or her from finding solutions to poverty.  One doesn't have to be a victim of a natural disaster to offer thoughtful assistance.

Simply put, direct experience and truth are not the same thing.

My direct experience with the police has been *mostly* contentious but never violent therefore it is true that white men are never beaten or killed by the police.  NOT TRUE.

I've never been to Moscow but I have a pretty good idea that it exists.

I feel like I am the Center of the Universe, that the movie playing in the Cosmic Cinema is about me and the rest of you are just extras in the Grand and Epic Story of Me.  I'm guessing that that's a crock of shit.

The concept is similar to relativism, the idea that points of view have no absolute truth or validity, having only relative, subjective value according to differences in perception and consideration.  Thus the victim of oppression is the only truth when it comes to oppression regardless of what the researched science may indicate.

"Of course this begs the question -Is there research that suggests pornography contributes to the rape culture? I don't know, and frankly, I don't care. Because inside ourselves women know it does. We know it because we feel and experience it."

Is she entitled to her opinion?  Of course she is but that, in and of itself is irrelevant to whether her opinion is substantiated or true.  Flat Earthers are entitled to their opinion; proponents of Trickle Down Economics are entitled to their opinion.  Neither are based in any sort of truth.

In an op-ed in the Yale Herald written regarding the controversies over a couple of Halloween emails about cultural appropriation and the conflicts with free speech, the author states:

"I don’t want to debate. I want to talk about my pain."

It obviously goes beyond issue or ideology, this decision that feelings are more important than facts.  It isn't a feminist thing or a racial thing - there are far more progressives who rely on verifiable facts rather than intuition or anecdotal experience than those who do not.  Politically, there are whole swatches of the country who know - as objective and indisputable fact - that Social Security is a Socialist program but cling to it while at the same time castigating the ACA as "socialism."  This is a shift in paradigm to accept that the emotional relativism of those identified as victims is a substitute for reality.

"I don’t want to debate. I want to talk about my pain."
"Accept the truth of our direct experience..."

It's as if the generation of Americans who proudly wear their therapy on their chests are looking for society to behave as therapists - the mantra of the "Ally" being suspend critical thinking, shut up and just listen as those claiming (often legitimately) their place in the Olympiad of Victim Status intone on all the wrong done them.

And here's where the problem lies.  Speaking only for myself (but strongly suspecting that most red blooded Americans feel similarly) - I AM NOT YOUR THERAPIST.  Your direct experience is fallible as is mine so I hear it with a healthy dose of skepticism.  If you only want to talk about your pain and have no interest in my response, I'm not going to listen to you.  See, I have my own direct experience and my own pain I want to talk about.

The anti-abortion crowd feels incredibly strong belief that children are being murdered legally and, in spite of evidence to the contrary, "don't want a debate and want to talk about their pain" but there's more than that.  We hear them but don't agree and the rest of us have decided that abortion should be legal.  Hearing them scream even louder that we are not "accepting the truth of their direct experience" by changing the law to appease their feelings results in Tea Party tactics of equating their feelings with fact and a streak of anti-intellectualism that sounds suspiciously like high school theatrics.  Then, when even that doesn't force the rest of the tribe to change course, the extremists in the mix get violent.

When social justice activists begin to look and sound like anti-abortionists - blocking media from recording their protests, pushing journalists around, censoring free speech and demanding the figurative beheadings of those who disagree with them, we're turning an ugly corner.

Simply put, we need to listen to one another but to conflate your feelings with fact, to create enemies out of those who disagree with this premise, is to Tea Party-ize all sides of the issues.