Sigh. I have someone badgering me via private messaging on Facebook trying to push me to agree that Jaclyn Glenn is a feminist, it’s just that she’s “a liberal feminist who doesn’t agree with radical feminism.”
I don’t know, that may be the way she sees herself, but it’s not what she’s said in any of the videos I’ve criticized recently (which are the only videos of hers I’ve seen). I’ve been criticizing what she says in the videos. That’s it. She says what she says, and I criticize that. If her meaning is something other than what she has said in those videos, it’s up to her to make that clear. It’s not up to friends of hers to do that, and it’s not up to me to take their word for what she really thinks.
Besides that, I don’t care. I wish both Glenn and her friends would stop making this personal. I don’t care about Glenn the person. I know nothing about her, and I’m not talking about her. I’m talking about what she has said. I don’t care about Glenn the person, I care about what she has said and seems likely to go on saying.
I don’t get why this seems to be so hard to grasp. Why would it be about Glenn the person? Why would it be about anything other than her product – the content of what she says? This isn’t school, or a job; we don’t have to get along personally. This isn’t personal; it’s public discourse.
Maybe her friend and supporter who keeps badgering me is right; maybe she does consider herself a feminist. It doesn’t follow that I have to agree that she is one. Sarah Palin once said she was a feminist. I don’t consider Sarah Palin a feminist.
This post too is not strictly speaking about Glenn; she’s just an example. It’s about the fact that public discourse is public discourse, and we get to respond to public discourse in public rather than in private. Her friend who’s been badgering me was also trying to push me to contact her privately, and rebuking me for saying I don’t have any friends who are friends of hers. All of this is wrong-headed, because it’s all an effort to short-circuit or divert public disagreement into some sort of back room deal. No. If the discourse starts in public, it should continue in public.
(Granted there are exceptions to that. If I were abusing her, then a private intervention would be fair. But I’m not abusing her.)