Why Repetition Matters
“Hasn’t it all been said before? I mean, we’ve heard all of this feminist crap before. It’s like a broken record…”
Okay, let me answer that initial question with a question (or five).
If it has all been said before, then why are women still the sex class, given value only for our level of fuckability? Why haven’t we achieved liberty anywhere, let alone worldwide, yet? Why is violence against women escalating? Why have MRA (Moron’s Rights Activists) groups sprung up all over the place? Why does rape still exist? And, and, and…?
If women were free and safe and thriving, we wouldn’t need to have the word feminism. Women’s liberation wouldn’t need to be a topic of discussion if we had the freedom that men have. This blog wouldn’t need to exist if I didn’t breathe in the toxic fumes of misogyny every single day of my life.
Here’s where I’m going. I’ve spent 23 years of my life in full-time study. And many more part-time years studying formally and informally, as well. I’ve been teaching on and off for the past 20 years. As a result of all of this education, regardless of where I stand on the giving-receiving spectrum, I’ve discovered a few things.
The more information is repeated, the easier it is to remember and the deeper and more long-lasting the learning is.
The most effective learning occurs when information is repeated in a consistent way, in different situations, by different people, frequently over time.
These principles apply not only to the classroom in any subject one might be studying formally, but also to human rights issues, such as female oppression. In short, more women need to speak up and out. And they need to repeat the message in a consistent way in different contexts, on a frequent basis.
The densest of people tend to be those in positions of power and those with the most egregious of abuses, so the message needs to repeated enough for even them to get it.
Ladies, if you feel like a broken record, brush it off. We aren’t speaking up nearly enough to be heard on the level we need to be in order to effect change. We don’t have a movement anymore. But unlike the 60’s and 70’s, we now have the internet. It is not used effectively, though. There is this idea that you shouldn’t bother blogging/writing online unless your goal is to become ‘famous’. Wrong. In my mind, it is better to have thousands of small, radical feminist blogs than one or two watered down ‘acceptable’ feminist sites. The more ways you can reach truth, and the more often it is repeated, the better. I don’t think I’ve read a single mainstream pseudo-feminist blog in my life, but I happen across smaller, more raw, feminist sites, and that reinforces my thinking and urges me to write. Again, it is all about repetition – different words, with a coherent truth – coming at us from all directions.
And men, if you truly support women – those in your life and women, in general – you need to speak up too. Not to women. We don’t need you to tell us what we should and shouldn’t do. We’ve had men talking at us all our lives. We KNOW what we need and want. Rather, speak up amongst your neanderthal buddies when they engage in verbal misogyny, pay for and/or support rape (aka hire prostitutes; watch porn; tell rape jokes), or otherwise hurt women. Staying silent is aiding and abetting. Luxuriating in your male privilege by remaining willfully ignorant of what women go through is unforgivable. Speak out the following truth: “Women are human and they owe us nothing.”
Wash, rinse, repeat.