"OT here - so I managed to get in a feminist flame war (on a Christian site no less!) for having anti-feminist views. The flamers were old boomerMy advice is 1) you have to say what you have to say and then move on, resisting any and all urges to defend your arguments (which they never really listen to anyway) and yourself (whom they don't know) and 2) blow it all off. of a denomination that is egalitarian. Rather than dig through the previous 90 pieces of advice, do you have any posts on this phenomenon? It is a tactic of self-preservation, how not to get in a flame war with feminist Christians."
If you are a woman, the first advice is going to be much easier to take than the second because every group of women has a functioning tool of reinforcement of the groupthink (herd mentality). It's called: you agree, you're in (provided you meet their other requirements as well); you disagree, you're out. Very, very powerful, this tool is. Most women will silence themselves rather than disagree outright and be shamed or ridiculed. I did. For years I participated in communities filled with women who expressed opinions I vociferously disagreed with and remained mostly pretty quiet - because I wanted to be a part of these groups. And in my personal life I am much more discreet with my opinions than I am on this blog because I have roles to play that involve other people who need me to play those roles. And I know what women can and will do to women who rock the boat too much, mouthing off against the "truths" we have so recently established as truth-y. (IRL I actually know a number of nice women with whom I have had productive conversations about the kinds of things I discuss here; I'm talking more about a group dynamic, which has a life of its own.)
I think it's of value to get other opinions out there and express them plainly and logically, but on the kinds of boards Anna mentions, you have to know you're screaming in the wind. People don't want to hear, they don't want to listen to stuff they dislike, and they will shout you down and attack both your opinion and you personally. Sometimes you don't even have to go to these boards and they will still talk about you (search around on this board and you'll see other female bloggers - Terry, Laura Grace Robins, Hestia, Laura Wood - they also eviscerate for sport. Fun times.).
Personally, I've been taken apart on Twitter and discussed repeatedly, even psychoanalyzed on other blogs. The comments are mostly of this type:
Somebodies got stuck in the 50’s and didn’t want to leave.I will admit that when I first started blogging, and during a particularly intense period last year, these comments really stung. I felt the full force of the shaming. I felt - briefly - ashamed. Not for my opinions, but for the bad taste I'd shown in stating them. I had to stay away from my keyboard. I knew that any defense I offered would only be happily received as more fodder for the mockery. So I never commented on any of the blogs addressing me personally. That was a good decision.
… the scary part is that people with the mentality of those posters are VERY loud in the USA...
It seems the gene pool needs a little cleaning again….
Wow. It’s hard to believe people like this still exist.
I find it hard to believe that we’re even having this discussion in 2010.
An astonishing demonstration of internalized misogyny.
I know octogenerians who are more in tune with the times that she appears to be.
Sometimes I wish we could make a stupid bomb that would only kill stupid people, like my husband jokingly
...she should have known better than to spew what she spewed on a public blog…
...comments made that tore open some very ugly, very deep wounds.
She seems to be a rogue agent, much like La Palin. But I wouldn’t want to see her fired. It’s much better to pick up a rock and expose what’s underneath to the light than to pretend there’s nothing there.
There are some seriously scary people over there pontificating on how the world should be in their small minds and refusing to accept the opinions of others.
Nong ("It’s Aussie for nitwit, dipstick, dill, silly person – generally someone not to be taken seriously.")
intolerant and hateful
...behaves like a tool.
a bad apple
And, eventually...it ceased to matter to me what these people thought about me. None of them knew me. Not really. Not personally. No one was going to bring over a casserole and let me cry on her shoulder if I found a lump. The internet is full of people we don't really know, even after countless conversations. Commenters come, commenters go. They may be enraged at your opinions and hate "you" for awhile, but I found it helpful to remember that, unlike nearly all women, I am an INTJ, and, really, we don't care that much about what people think of us.
Flame wars feel really intense when they are happening, but ultimately they're entertainment for all the other people who get to watch someone get taken apart. They are remembered, but less and less clearly as time passes, and then not at all. Engage in them only when you simply must vent some spleen and then only when you feel you have nothing to lose. Otherwise, state your points, follow up once or twice, and then move on. Anything else you give will be cannon fodder. Did you notice the thinly veiled violence in the comments I quoted above. An interesting sort of "civility," huh?
Besides, mainstream Christianity is a dead man walking. You are talking to people who will leave no legacy because their beliefs are so shallow, unvetted, PC, and passionless that no subsequent generations will be able to assemble enough energy to take them up.