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Ending a friendship due to misogyny

 
 
sroboto
 
Reply Fri 1 Dec, 2017 02:53 pm
I am having a bad day and need some advice...

I just drew a line in the sand with a close friend on the wrong side of it. And I mean WRONG. Not incorrect, but wrong, as in bad, not right and to be avoided. A male friend that I have been like an older sister to, for years, just brazenly confessed via text that he watched a violent pornographic video last night in which a bound woman was repeatedly shot with an airsoft gun, leaving bloody welts and then gang raped. And he “ came hard and made a mess Smile”.

What. The. ****?

We have discussed at length my feelings on sexual violence (that it’s a disgusting violation of another being), the negativity of the porn industry and its victimization of women. Hell, I am not shy discussing the current events with the outing of sexual predators in the media, effects of toxic masculinity and struggles with gender equality.

I asked him why he told me this, and how did he think I would react (which was open disgust).

His response:

Because we talked about airsoft guns yesterday. (read: he wanted to)

He knew I would be disgusted.


Well **** that. It’s not my job to teach him how to be a better human being. This isn’t the first straw but the last. For years I have been reasonably voicing my objection to him using the word gay to insult something, or faggot as a derogatory term. He has sat through many of my “lectures” as he calls them about how the words we use are important, how harmful they are, and to be aware of what he is communicating. I have challenged him to be more aware of what is going on in the world and the oppression of women and POC. We have discussed at length the immediate violent reaction many men, him included, have to a woman’s perceived rejection. All this time I thought that I was helping to do what his parents didn’t- be the voice of reason, equality and challenge our misogynistic culture that helped shape him. Apparently I was wrong.


At what point do you give up on a person? At what point are they beyond redemption? Sure he stopped calling people “fags” in my presence, and he would never call ME a “dumb bitch” for rejecting a dude, but that’s not really growth from realization is it? He slightly modified his surface behavior to avoid me nagging him, but at his core, he is unaffected. This more than anything is what I find so upsetting. He doesn't see, he doesn't care. I cannot make him see or care. I tried and failed.

How is it I am swimming in the pain of failure because I could not “fix” him? Rationally I know that it’s not my failure, but I can’t help but think of the future women he is going to hate and call “bitch” because they reject him. The women he will objectify or cat call, or heaven forbid the woman who says NO, which he ignores. I feel responsible for them, like it is them I have failed because I could not change this young man’s thinking.


What I am asking myself:


Is ending our friendship the right thing to do?

Should I use this as a “teaching” moment to again discuss my feminist perspective?

I know I can “take it” - the continued misogyny he displays- but should I have to?

Even if my presence in his life would be a good influence and help him one day “see”- should I have to?

 
maxdancona
 
  -2  
Reply Fri 1 Dec, 2017 03:05 pm
@sroboto,
Let's be clear here. This is about your issues, not about his. You don't get to pass judgement on your friends. That is not what friends are for. If someone likes watching porn, even violent porn (I am assuming that the pornography is legal and that the performers were consenting adults who were paid), that is their business.

I am sure that that you want people in your life who accept you as you are without passing judgement. And I am sure that this guy wants people in his life who will accept him without passing judgment. All of us have things that we won't accept... and our issues aren't the same as other people issues. I am reading between the lines, but I suspect from what you wrote that he is testing your friendship by pushing the lines. He wants to see if you are truly his friend, or if you will only like him if he acts a certain way.

So, it is your choice. Be a friend to this person. Or don't be a friend. It is up to you.

If someone is going to judge me, or think that they are superior to me or that they are going to be a "good influence" on me.... I am likely to be the one to end the friendship. That is not how friendships work.




0 Replies
 
roger
 
  2  
Reply Fri 1 Dec, 2017 03:07 pm
@sroboto,
You aren't going to reform him in any way. Just write him our of your life, and keep on going.
najmelliw
 
  3  
Reply Fri 1 Dec, 2017 03:10 pm
@sroboto,
Let's go for the short answers first, and explain after:

sroboto wrote:

Is ending our friendship the right thing to do?


Yes

sroboto wrote:

Should I use this as a “teaching” moment to again discuss my feminist perspective?


No.

sroboto wrote:

I know I can “take it” - the continued misogyny he displays- but should I have to?


No.

sroboto wrote:

Even if my presence in his life would be a good influence and help him one day “see”- should I have to?


No.

And here are my arguments:
This guy sounds like a pr*ck, pardon my french. Given what you say about him, he sounds like he gets his kicks out of getting a rise out of you. That's not a good friend. The keyword here is friend: it sounds like you have come to place yourself in the position of a 'parent' figure, trying to show him how his behaviour annoyed you (and failing over and over). Now, we pick our friends, and if a friend turns out to be a pr*ck, such as this guy, we can just as easily dump them.
You should enjoy spending time with a friend. You shouldn't have to feel forced to explain to him why certain behaviour is bad.

Sure, people can mess up every once in a while, and it would be harsh to stop being friends with someone over one or two mistakes, but that doesn't sound like it would fit this guy: he seems to be doing it deliberately to piss you off. You don't need this sort of grievance in your life: time to move on and find other, better persons to start a friendship with.
0 Replies
 
sroboto
 
  1  
Reply Fri 1 Dec, 2017 03:11 pm
@roger,
Roger,

I appreciate the feedback. If I want to change him, I'm not a good friend. I need to accept that and move on.
centrox
 
  3  
Reply Fri 1 Dec, 2017 03:39 pm
@sroboto,
sroboto wrote:
I just drew a line in the sand with a close friend on the wrong side of it. And I mean WRONG [...] he watched a violent pornographic video last night in which a bound woman was repeatedly shot with an airsoft gun, leaving bloody welts and then gang raped. And he “ came hard and made a mess”.

What. The. ****?

Indeed. I couldn't put it better or more compactly myself.

sroboto wrote:
For years I have been reasonably voicing my objection to him using the word gay to insult something, or faggot as a derogatory term. [...] At what point do you give up on a person?

This point, if not considerably before. A person with such views would be someone I would disown as a "friend" just as surely as if they told me they were a Nazi, or supported the Westboro Baptist Church, or UKIP, You don't have the right to change their views, I daresay, but you don't have any duty to put up with them either.

sroboto wrote:
How is it I am swimming in the pain of failure because I could not “fix” him?

Here is where I am beginning to diverge from your viewpoint. You shouldn't try to "fix" him. Firstly because you can't (practical) and secondly because any change needs to come from within (moral).

sroboto wrote:
Is ending our friendship the right thing to do?

If you feel strongly enough, then yes. But just end it by fading away from his presence and cease to be in his sphere of acquaintance. There's no need to make a big drama out of it.

sroboto wrote:
Should I use this as a “teaching” moment to again discuss my feminist perspective?

No, no, no! This begins to sound like grandstanding.

sroboto wrote:
Even if my presence in his life would be a good influence and help him one day “see”- should I have to?

Dump this idea.
0 Replies
 
maxdancona
 
  1  
Reply Fri 1 Dec, 2017 03:40 pm
@sroboto,
The more judgmental you are, the fewer friends you will have. Of course, everyone draws their own lines. And I am sure that there are people who would judge your lifestyle and decide that you aren't good enough to be their friend. But think about it this way.

Surveys show that 80% of men between the ages of 18 and 30 use pornography at least once a month. If you are OK with selecting your friends from the remaining 1/5, then that is OK.

There is something to be said for having a variety of friends rather than a narrow group of people who all think as you do.
maxdancona
 
  1  
Reply Fri 1 Dec, 2017 04:30 pm


This is from the 1960s. But it is still relevant today.
0 Replies
 
PUNKEY
 
  1  
Reply Fri 1 Dec, 2017 04:31 pm
This guy is a CLOSE friend?

How long were you planning to keep that status? And WHY? .

His behaviors and attitudes offend you, so why spend any energy on this relationship? Is that the best use of your time?

Just fade away. Don't call him. If he calls, just tell him you aren't available.

Detach.

0 Replies
 
jespah
 
  6  
Reply Fri 1 Dec, 2017 05:20 pm
@sroboto,
Your friends aren't supposed to be your redemption projects or students to lectures on feminism or anything else.

The guy clearly gets a rise out of making you squirm. You take that out on him with lecturing.

You're not friends; there is no friendship to end. You're, instead, a toxic push-pull. So block him and stop pulling. I'm sure you'll both be a lot happier when the deed is done.
0 Replies
 
Cycloptichorn
 
  2  
Reply Fri 1 Dec, 2017 05:25 pm
@sroboto,
Quote:
He has sat through many of my “lectures” as he calls them


It's not that I disagree with your positions (mostly) but to be honest these do sound like lectures and he's right to complain about them. I don't need lectures from my friends on my behavior or choice of words.

Cycloptichorn
centrox
 
  2  
Reply Fri 1 Dec, 2017 05:40 pm
I am beginning to wonder if the entire situtation laid out in the original post is fabricated. There is something a bit cartoonish, two-dimensional and overdone about both the deeply repulsive "misogyny" (in fact something much worse) exhibited by the alleged "male friend", and also the truly noble desire by the OP to swallow her revulsion and educate the poor benighted fool. I wonder if our chains are being yanked here? How long has this "feminist" known this guy and only just now does she find out he jerks off over snuff movies?


sroboto
 
  1  
Reply Fri 1 Dec, 2017 06:23 pm
@centrox,
Wow. Wasn't expecting this kind of response.

I appreciate the community input here, and have been thinking on my situation. Trying to take everyone's responses into consideration, otherwise what is the point in posting.

This "it must be a fabrication" is ridiculous. This is real. 2 dimensional, sure- it is a partial account of a situation that is obviously more complex.

And yes, this is the first I have heard of his particular perfered choice of pornography. And sure there is the "porn isnt real" argument. But what bothers me is that someone I have been friends with for years, not only gets turned on by the dramatization of abuse and rape, but throws it out there in general conversation, knowing my stance on violent porn, like it's not going to bother me.

In the end, it seems I want him to be other than he is and that is my wrong. Though we have had a very mentorship type relationship (professionally and personally) this isn't something I am equipped to handle, so I won't.
0 Replies
 
sroboto
 
  1  
Reply Fri 1 Dec, 2017 06:29 pm
@Cycloptichorn,
I hear what you are saying. If someone says something I find issue with, I try to explain why- not just throw out a "don't do this". If my expressing how referring to homosexuals as faggots makes me uncomfortable because I find it demeaning and offensive is a "lecture", then I am guilty as charged.
I am a firm believer that communication is the first step to understanding, so my go to is to talk it out.
0 Replies
 
sroboto
 
  2  
Reply Fri 1 Dec, 2017 06:35 pm
@maxdancona,
Whoa there. No need to put words in my mouth. I take issue with violent porn that depicts abuse and rape. I'm not talking bondage. I'm not talking people in to pain. I'm talking porn that presents itself as non-consensual. I'm also not okay with porn that depicts sex with children (even if the actors are of age). Other than that, people are into what they are into, idc.
sroboto
 
  1  
Reply Fri 1 Dec, 2017 08:15 pm
Thanks for the feedback. Your comments have given me alot to think about.
0 Replies
 
maxdancona
 
  1  
Reply Fri 1 Dec, 2017 08:45 pm
@sroboto,
It is up to you where your lines are. There are lots of things I like to watch in movies that I would never tolerate in real life. I watch Game of Thrones with it's torture and murder, and Star Trek where humans are turned into souless robots.

There is a difference between fantasy and reality. I personally draw the same line you do with child porn. But we each have to draw our own lines.

All I am suggesting is that you try to step out of your own beliefs and see if this friendship is one you can't enjoy, not to change it, but to accept it for what it is.
0 Replies
 
petitevoiture
 
  -1  
Reply Sat 12 Jan, 2019 10:36 am
@sroboto,
I agree with Naj.
0 Replies
 
Felasco
 
  0  
Reply Wed 10 Jul, 2019 03:01 pm
Apologies, but it appears you may have poor taste in friends. Perhaps you might work on that so this doesn't happen again?
0 Replies
 
 

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