The following is an exercise in assuming the best intentions of people who ask things.
How did this all this end up happening?
To quote the only dynamic (and possibly most problematic) adult character on South Park, there are no stupid questions, just stupid people. I’m pretty sure I’m not stupid. Therefore, I planned to ask a question that’s been bothering me for a long time. I must say, it’s been burning and frothing and and itching away at its little corner of my brain like a psychosomatic yeast infection. I was careful to ask it of the relevant group because I’m ignorant and I both need and deserve to be educated. It’s not my fault that I don’t know, right? That’s just my perspective. There’s not, like, some kind of tool by which I can access more perspectives that could educate me than I could read in my entire lifetime, right?
All I planned to ask at this panel of women at this atheist conference was what women planned on doing about a very important issue for women. I really do want to help with whatever efforts they make to end this scourge upon women. Just so you know, I’m in solidarity with women, not a sexist. I mean, a true sexist wouldn’t ask women at all but would disregard their input and do whatever he wanted. An even worse true sexist would ignore the problem. Because I care about the problem and I’m going out of my way to ask women about it, I’m an ally. I have other allies who are just like me on my side.
I’m a man and yet I attended this panel comprised entirely of women where they’re talking about feminist issues. Yes, I heard the f-word, and I wasn’t even put off by it. Good for me. I couldn’t wait until the Q&A so I could pose my query. When I did, it went well. The person on the panel answered graciously. I knew I was doing the right thing by asking and I still don’t think I did anything wrong.
It was what happened after that was the issue. Some mean lady decided that my question wasn’t okay. How dare she question my right to ask a question?! I mean, how else am I going to learn? Other people, potential allies just like me, excused themselves when she went on her rant, which proves my point: hurting my feelings as an ally is bad for your cause. Would you believe it, but a famous person, an ally like I am, was among those who left the room. Some other lady decided I was wrong, but the famous person who stormed out? He made sure that the world knows what happened: all I did was ask a simple question and I had the worst assumed of me by this lady.
She definitely should’ve reacted more reasonably. I’m not playing into sexist stereotypes for saying so, since all the other allies, not just the one who posted about it, are telling her to stop being so gosh-darn hysterical. It’s not as if a perfunctory search would have yielded any information as to what women are doing about this woman-specific issue. I mean, what kind of world do we live in where a man can’t ask about false rape accusations at a panel about women without having someone jump down his throat?
What’s next, a white person won’t be able to quote Fox News to black people without being called a racist?