Posts Written by Joshua

Gendered Language in Feminist Events: Some Thoughts

I always hesitate to critique the feminist movement. It isn’t because I worry about responses (I generally don’t care that much about negative reactions to things that I say), but because I am empathetic to many (if not most… if not all) of the goals of most contemporary feminist groups. However, there is a particular sticking point that I ran up against very recently that I feel someone needs to address publicly, even if only on a marginal blog in the corner of the internet.

Last night I was out at an event with a few friends of mine. The event, Take Back the Night, is dedicated to raising awareness about domestic violence and abuse. As I have a few friends who have, in the past and present, been responsible for organizing the event, I make sure to go out to support them; it is also something that is deeply important. Raising consciousness about the issues themselves is important; so is offering a particular sort of environment to those who are coming who have dealt with abuse and violence in their own lives, an environment that is warm and compassionate, and also full of people, so that they don’t feel alone. But there’s one caveat to this wonderful event: The language used by the speakers during the main program of the event is, without fail, heavily gendered. The talks rest heavily on descriptions of (1) heterosexual relationships and (2) relationships in which the male is the ...