Last Thursday, I got into a bit of a confrontation with a Croatia-based radical feminist artist by the name of MK Hajdin. It started when, in response to a post in which the artist announced that she was giving up on finding love for good, I submitted the following comment:
No offence, but I would never date a radical feminist woman. As an autistic person, I face enough hurdles in terms of interacting with other people in the right way as it is without having to worry about whether the particular way in which I’m looking at a woman is an exercise of my male privilege or whatever. Sorry.
My point was that, on a purely practical level, any sort of intimate relationship between myself and a radical feminist would be a non-starter. My autism means that I experience difficulties in terms of how to relate to and interact with others in the right way. To add to the equation the person with whom I’m interacting being someone a fundamental aspect of whose political worldview entails scrutinising every detail of how a man communicates with them for signs of the exercise of male privilege would achieve nothing but cause me frustration, particularly since (and I neglected to mention this but I should have added it) I’m the sort of person who really doesn’t take kindly to people upbraiding or criticising me on minor aspects of my behaviour that they find irksome. Thus, any relationship – in fact, any prolonged interaction – with a radical feminist would be a fall-out waiting to happen. It would be pouring petrol on a fire, quite frankly.
Anyway, Ms Hajdin did not react well (to put it mildly). She removed my comment from the thread and presented it in a follow-up post, in which she accused me of trying to elicit sympathy on account of my disability, of being ‘a privilege-denying asshole’ and of trying to use my autism to evade my obligation to support social justice.*
My response? Well, basically, I lost it, big time. In a screaming, expletive-ridden tirade, I scolded her for thinking that gendered oppression was the only form of oppression in the world that mattered, and stated that, while I was privileged by being male, she was privileged by not being disabled. She (reasonably) criticised me for assuming that she wasn’t disabled, for which I apologised in a follow-up comment. She subsequently told me piss off. I posted a further reply to her but she deleted it.
I’ve since got the message that I’m not welcome on Ms Hajdin’s comment threads. On the evidence of last Thursday, to put not too fine a point, I’m only too happy to stay well away.
*Since when did social justice involve people scrutinising every detail of how they interact with each other until they go crackers? A conception of social justice that involves people introspecting themselves into psychological shut-down is a very odd and idiosyncratic one, and certainly not a notion of social justice that I want anything to do with.