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Aug 29 2005

My Patriarchy-Blaming Day Is Shaping Up Nicely

BmoviepostercongoBare-breasted virgins whipped for not turning down the music at a teen-bride-choosing party for the King of Swaziland. Plot of 50′s B movie "Annette and Frankie’s African Adventure"? Nope! [Via reluctant patriarchy-blamer Dan Durchholz]

Meanwhile, you know how white male liberals are increasingly revealing their inner misogynist douchebags with astonishing neocon notions like "abortion is a fringe issue"? The excellent Winter Woods has a thought-provoking post on the white male liberal douchebag’s unconcealed contempt for radical feminism. She describes her experience with dudely politics: "I have found left-wing groups dominated by straight white men with extremely pushy, sometimes agressive, personalities. You know the type, you get them everywhere: equipped with megaphone and trestle table, enormous chip on his shoulder, thinks he’s Che Guevara."

Winter Woods goes on to note that feminists on the left often seem reluctant to voice their disapproval for fear of betraying the cause, but suggests (I paraphrase) that we need to grow a pair. "We need to demand that these men show more solidarity with women, not the other way around."

For she has astutely observed that it’s always the women who are required to shelve their petty little concerns about institutionalized violence, marginalization, and oppression for the good of the movement.

Meanwhile, my long-awaited copy of Sheila Jeffreys’ new book Beauty and Misogny has just arrived. In it she argues a point that only just occurred to me a couple of months ago: that beauty practices in the West are every bit as ghastly and oppressive as the ones in developing countries we’re always trying to get the UN to pooh-pooh. All previously scheduled spinster auntly activities are postponed. Prepare to be thrown, Misogynist Beauty Standards!

57 comments

  1. rhondda

    Perhaps Bush and co. are good for something and that is the fact that women are again starting to question and make deeper connections, as they see where the male left is really coming from. I have been in despair over the women’s movement for a long time now. From my days as a social worker working with the younger generation of “little girls”, playing at a job,who only wanted the union to get the gov’t to pay for their birth control pills while gleefully imposing harsh rules on their poor clients, to a transgendered friend of my son’s comtemplating loping his balls off, I have thought there is something deeply wrong going on here. While the back lash is severe, so is the retreat of women who know better. My local women’s centre has become a NGO and they impose the harsh rules of their funding from the government. It is now a business for white middle class women. They recently sponsored a fashion show to get the money to sponsor themselves. As far as I am concerned, they have been assimilated and colonized, but,they would label me as redundant, if I try to point that out. Anyway, thanks Twisty for your site and the exposure of this book. I want to read it now for sure. The link to winter woods helps too. The last book that inspired hope for me was Mary Daly’s Quintessence. I eagerly await her new one.

  2. Baubo

    ‘Beauty and Misogyny’ looks like an amazing book! What do you think of it so far? I’m thinking of getting a copy, although amazon.ca lists two very different prices..$106 and $30.95!

  3. ehj2

    Oh, Twisty,

    You make me ache with pain and laughter. I’m so glad you and Bert do this “writing gig” because you are so totally good at it.

    I am so totally disgusted with the boys for messing everything up and showing no inclination to stop. There’s even a fallacy of logic named for this misapplied objectification of reality.

    In some places it’s called “ideology over reality.” Basically, those in thrall to objectification (ideas and ideology) have the following mental disease: when the terrain (reality) and their map don’t agree, they continue to follow the map.

    Thank you for what you do and the way you do it.

    You are a light in my day.

    /e

  4. Paris

    Is Sheila Jeffrey’s responsible for coining the phrase “the blonde burka”?

  5. Chris Clarke

    Winter Woods goes on to note that feminists on the left often seem reluctant to voice their disapproval for fear of betraying the cause, but suggests (I paraphrase) that we need to grow a pair. “We need to demand that these men show more solidarity with women, not the other way around.”

    Well, to be fair, you gals have only been making that same point to left men for like a hundred fifty years. I’m sure we’ll get it soon enough. Patience!

  6. Mandos

    I note that this issue seems to emerge from the anxiety of the Democratic party on how to achieve a majority in the House. The problem is that if they can’t achieve a majority, there’s not much they can do on any front including women’s rights.

  7. Twisty

    And if they do achieve a majority, Mandos (although it seems unlikely, since they don’t stand for anything), they will dream up some new reason why women’s oppression should take a back seat to more “pressing” issues. It’s always the way. And it’s fucking bullshit.

    There are more female American casualties from domestic violence, for example, than there are American military casualties in Iraq. Women’s casualties in turn spawn increased risk for kids. White male liberals couldn’t give a flip. I’m not sayin’ we should blow off Iraq, but come on. If these chumps won’t do the stand-up thing, then fuck’em. They’re misognynist assholes no different from the Bushwads.

  8. norbizness

    Fair enough, but when the time comes, this white male liberal douchebag doesn’t want his legalized weed issue to be shunted aside.

  9. Denise

    Norbizness,
    If you stand with me on women’s right to sovreign control over their bodies and destinies, I’ll stand with you on legal weed, even though I don’t smoke. Deal? That’s how populism is supposed to work.

  10. norbizness

    Sovereign control over bodies _and_ destinies? You drive a hard bargain. Throw in legalized recreational LSD use, and you have a deal.

    And I still get to be Che Guevara, or at least the giant black dude from Network‘s Ecumenical Liberation Army, once a month, right?

  11. Tony Patti

    I see feminisim as a common-sense issue that needs education and understanding to grow, not as a left wing issue.

    Most left wing groups are full of argumentative, anger-addicted nutjob men who love nothing better than to shout each other down and swing their big cocks in each other’s faces to show dominance and submission.

    Fuck those assholes – they’ve ruined leftist politics by dividing and conquering themselves into nothingness since the 1930s.

  12. Chris Clarke

    I note that this issue seems to emerge from the anxiety of the Democratic party on how to achieve a majority in the House. The problem is that if they can’t achieve a majority, there’s not much they can do on any front including women’s rights.

    And then when they do, they still don’t.

  13. ae

    Well, to be fair, you gals have only been making that same point to left men for like a hundred fifty years. I’m sure we’ll get it soon enough. Patience!

    So true, Chris. Here’s Marge Piercy’s patriarchy-blaming, now close to 150-yrs-old.

  14. ae

    Twisty, you said it: the Dems don’t stand for anything. They’ve shown no integrity, guiding philosophy, coherent strategy, nothing. F*ck them. Looking to them for assistance on “women’s issues” … I can’t even finish this sentence, because that scenario is so outlandish as to be rendered fantastical. A token bone (mm hmm) here or there doesn’t a patriarchy un-make.

    And Jeffreys really knows how to make a splash, doesn’t she? Whoo. Let us know what you think!

  15. Twisty

    Tony, feminism is a really, really far left issue. I’m not talking about the kind of “new, sexy feminism” where women in their 20s and 30s run around writing articles for “Bust” or “Real Simple” claiming to be empowered by eyeshadow and orgasms and boostering for equal pay. I’m talking about real feminism, radical feminism, the kind that is revolutionary, the kind that demands absolute liberation from male dominance.

    I guess you could call the liberation of an oppressed class “common sense,” but one problem with that terminology is that women’s subjugation is seen as “natural,” which means that any attempt to repudiate it cannot be viewed as commonly sensible.

    Another problem is that when you expect an oppressor to “understand” or sympathize with his slaves, and even the slaves view their status as “natural,” you got a pretty long row to hoe.

    If this doesn’t make sense, blame Bert. He woke me up twice last night and made me get up at 6. I hate dogs.

  16. Finn

    Twisty sez:

    “I guess you could call the liberation of an oppressed class “common sense,” but one problem with that terminology is that women’s subjugation is seen as “natural,” which means that any attempt to repudiate it cannot be viewed as commonly sensible.”

    I sez:

    Allow me to translate, roughly… You can get closer to convincing liberal Democrat males and females to embrace feminism than you can Republican males and females.

    If it’s political (and it almost always is) and we’re stuck in a two-party system (which we seem to be), which side do you appeal to in order to get things done?

    We sorta had this whole “get things done” debate on another thread. Theoretically, it’s easily resolved: take the high road, fuck the ‘get things done’ bullshit. However, humans live in a ‘what can be done in my lifetime’ mindset, whether we realize it or not. We want results and that desire often causes us to abandon principle to make a shorter-term gain.

  17. Mandos

    Well, your argument makes sense, Finn, if there was a clear dividing line between ends and means. But often ends themselves are just means to other things. Not just often, but always. So you have to include in your moral evaluation what you owe to those other things. So “results” (insofar as they are also inputs) do matter.

    At the present time, for whatever reason, the rights of women are playing catch-up. So if you have a choice between deterioration and accelerated deterioration, what do you do? I guess you can also take the revolutionary’s choice and go for accelerated deterioration, gambling that you’d eventually get revolt. Rarely happens, IMO.

  18. Finn

    Twisty sez:

    “Another problem is that when you expect an oppressor to “understand” or sympathize with his slaves, and even the slaves view their status as “natural,” you got a pretty long row to hoe.”

    I sez:

    Yeah, what’s up with that?

    Maybe, instead of debating methods of presenting women with information to awaken them to their slave status, you should form a feminist financing coalition to buy up oil reserves and cheap mortgages, like the Chinese have done. If feminists owned the oil and credit, THEN some muthafuckas would be listening to you, whether they agreed or not!

  19. Twisty

    you should form a feminist financing coalition

    Some women are trying this in Kenya, and are getting terrorized by the neighboring village of dudes.

  20. Twisty

    And another thing: until patriarchy is overthrown, piddling little advances for women’s rights, such as the currently endangered Violence Against Women Act in the US, will only be band-aids covering up a vast, gangrenous injustice, and will always be in danger of disappearing whenever they come into conflict with the patriarchal agenda. VAWA, for instance, is endangered because the old white dudes in government don’t wanna pay for it. Why not? Because nobody in government gives two shits for women.

    Here’s the deal: liberated women and patriarchy cannot coexist. Period.

  21. Mandos

    Here is, I think, one of the major problems in getting “women to wake up from their slave status”: love. Unlike, say, racism, human sexual relations involve the formation of bonds that are a lot harder to break in any way that would forment any type of revolution.

  22. Chris Clarke

    Unlike, say, racism, human sexual relations involve the formation of bonds that are a lot harder to break in any way that would forment any type of revolution.

    Then again, that love thing is pretty much why I want women to be free, autonomous beings.

    Love: a double-edged lesbian battleaxe!

  23. Mandos

    I point this out because even in the worst gender apartheid, people still love each other. Do you think that all Saudi Arabian relationships are hopelessly dysfunctional? Some may be, but so are many American relationships. There’s an element of love even in the dysfunctional ones. Love is also variable: you might say that an abuser hates women when he beats up his wife, but he might love her when he’s not beating her up…

  24. Sunya Harjis

    Some women are trying this in Kenya, and are getting terrorized by the neighboring village of dudes.

    Sure, but who’s doing it here. Aside from lipstick-wearing martini-sipping Laura-whatever-wearing HR women, I mean.

    One of my big problems with self-described feminists in general, radical or otherwise, is that they seem to be asking for equal rights… just because it’s right, somehow. You know what else was just… right, somehow? Chivalry.

    That man over there says that women need to be helped into carriages, and lifted over ditches, and to have the best place everywhere. Nobody ever helps me into carriages, or over mud-puddles, or gives me any best place! And ain’t I a woman? Look at me! Look at my arm! I have ploughed and planted, and gathered into barns, and no man could head me! And ain’t I a woman? I could work as much and eat as much as a man – when I could get it – and bear the lash as well! And ain’t I a woman? I have borne thirteen children, and seen most all sold off to slavery, and when I cried out with my mother’s grief, none but Jesus heard me! And ain’t I a woman?

    Finn has a good idea. It’s good like my ideas to arm all the women, also like my idea that women need to run for office more. You want equality? Be an equal.

  25. Sam

    Unlike, say, racism, human sexual relations involve the formation of bonds that are a lot harder to break in any way that would forment any type of revolution.

    There are a lot of men oppressing a lot of women they’ve never met much less desires to have sex with. Little girls dissuaded from playing sports, sweatshop labor comprised 90% of women, that 55-year-old woman who unsuccessfully sued a textile company that said she couldn’t work there because the chemicals might harm her future children…

    I don’t know any woman who loves most of the men in her life such that love could be considered an impediment to getting the justice they crave. Men don’t control women with love, they control them with violence.

    If you think love-based sexuality has the biggest effects on gendered human relations, try to go from there to imagining how violent-based sexual assaults effect gendered human relations.

    If you haven’t read Octavia E. Butler’s brilliant short story Bloodchild, I can’t recommend it highly enough. It is possibly the best short science fiction story ever written and it does great job of explaining the confusing mix of fear, need and love oppressed people have for their oppressors. This story should be required reading for all feminists.

  26. Finn

    >You want equality? Be an equal<

    The problem starts with biology and ends with sociology, in my opinion.

    For the sake of discussion, let’s say a man and woman could get together on level ground, politically and economically. They get married and she gets pregnant.

    Now, for nine months, she’s taken out of the race.

    Then, after the baby is born, society forces the decision to stay home with the baby on her. If she stays home, she’s out of the race for another five or six years. (If she doesn’t stay home, she’s branded in other ways.) All the while, the man keeps moving along.

    The only way to make that situation more fair is to, as Twisty suggests, remove the birth process from the female body. That’s pretty radical, but so was birth control when it first hit the scene.

  27. Anonymous

    It depends what race you are talking about Finn. If you are talking about the race that patriarchal men have created then you’re right she is out of that one, but feminism isn’t about trying to compete in a man’s race, it’s about creating our own. The plan isn’t just to blame the patriarchy, it’s to smash it to smithereens.

    Ending sexist oppression by removing women’s biological ability to create life would be like trying to end racism by bleaching any skins darker than pale pink. The problem doesn’t lie with the victim of the oppression it lies with the oppressor.

  28. Emma

    Finn, did you not know that we don’t need to spend all of pregnancy lying around in a lace-filled bower, waiting for our confinement? I don’t know any women who’ve just spawned who didn’t work right up until the births.

  29. Finn

    9 months. 3 months. If I had said 3 someone would’ve jumped on that, too…

    Are you saying that pregnancy doesn’t take you out of the race for a while?

  30. piny

    >>9 months. 3 months. If I had said 3 someone would’ve jumped on that, too…>>

    Well, yeah, because that would also have been false. Women frequently work up until the day they go into labor, or until a few days or weeks before. They have to; they’re forced to save their leave for after the baby’s born. There are abnormal pregnancies that require bed rest, and women who are able to take more time off than the three months mandated by law, but it’s not the norm.

    >>Are you saying that pregnancy doesn’t take you out of the race for a while?>>

    Recovering from labor takes some time, but it usually doesn’t take three months for you to get back on your feet. Caring for a child certainly represents a major time commitment that can affect your ability to work full time, but there’s no reason women have to assume all or even most of that burden.

  31. piny

    Sheila Jeffreys drives me up the fucking wall. Since you recommend the book, I might try to wade through the hateful stuff I’m pretty sure will be in with the grain. She does have a gift for the horrifying anecdote.

  32. piny

    Oh, dear. That sounded much nastier than I meant it to. She has a lot of intelligent, amazingly incisive things to say, don’t get me wrong–it’s really just a couple of very personal issues on which she makes me want to commit libricide.

  33. Finn

    >Recovering from labor takes some time, but it usually doesn’t take three months for you to get back on your feet.<

    I think the physical cost goes much further than the recovery months. Your mileage may vary, but our two children (one of which was C-section) had effects on my wife’s body that we’re still dealing with several years later. I don’t think we’re all that unusual, either.

    But, I’m off the point, which was simply to point out that bearing children is obviously more work for the woman. I barely broke a sweat… ;-)

  34. Twisty

    Well, Piny, I hafta say, Sheila and I are two hearts that beat as one in many respects.

    And Mandos, “love” means never having to say “I support the hegemony that oppresses you.”

  35. piny

    Oh, I can definitely see that, especially with your writing style; like I said, I agree with a lot of what she has to say, too. It’s mostly the transphobia. But then, that’s where she explicitly disowns me and all mine,m so it’s not exactly a minor facet of my relationship with her work.

  36. Johnny

    Finn,

    I see a problem with your pov, I’m a crazy thought criminal who usually works under contract. But…I also tend to save up cash, and then take my liesure time as I see fit. I’ve worked with Big Pharma in R & D, but I’ve also waited tables and worked at a coffee house for fun. I have found again, and again, women with more experience than myself (in twenty years I have actually only worked 10), and more time on the job, still often make less than me, get passed over for jobs (I had to quite a job back in the late 90′s because when I got there it turned out the woman who was training me, and who could do the job much better was passed over, and I was hired. It was a job that had never been done by a woman. I was disgusted, every woman in my life understood why I quite, not a single male did though.), and in general, got treated like second class citizens. I’m not buying it when you say you don’t know this. All the evidence points to this as surely as liberty for all included african-americans, and better damn well include women. If you have worked in a business in America, at some point you have seen it, or heard of it, and for most males, turned their heads and ignored it.

  37. Finn

    I wish I understood what the hell you’re talking about Johnny.

  38. Emma

    But, I’m off the point, which was simply to point out that bearing children is obviously more work for the woman. I barely broke a sweat… ;-)

    One of my favourite family stories is the one about my father, who after the 12 hours of labour that it took to bring me into the world was concluded, complained to my mother that he was in agony from sitting on a hard chair all night in the waiting room.

    Even in the UK, where we have a right to 6 months of paid leave and a further 6 months of unpaid leave, women work right up until they pop.

  39. Chris Clarke

    And Mandos, “love” means never having to say “I support the hegemony that oppresses you.”

    That’s so much better than the way I tried ineptly to put it.

  40. Twisty

    Oh no, Chris, you were quite ept. You describe one of my exes to a T.

  41. Sam

    Chris is a stick women pee on to see if they’re pregnant? I’d never have thunk it. ;0

  42. Twisty

    It’s mostly the transphobia. But then, that’s where she explicitly disowns me and all mine,m so it’s not exactly a minor facet of my relationship with her work.

    Oh. Yeah. Well, in that case, maybe you’d better give this one a miss. I haven’t gotten to it yet, but I get the feeling she’s gonna enlarge on the topic to which you allude with no small warmth. I admit, I find this aspect of her schtick fairly off-putting.

  43. Johnny

    Sorry, that was rambling, and I was on the fly. No excuse for poor communication skills though…

    Basically Flinn, if I take 2 years off from R & D work, when I return, I will still be paid more than a woman who took 3 months off for a baby. Even if she has more education than I do. Even if she works harder than I do. Like Mao Mart. Pretty well documented that a woman who worked there would make 5 to 10% less, even if she had more time on the job and more experience. When other men tell me they don’t know this, I think about all the folks who “didn’t know” slaves were being worked to death, raped…etc. They didn’t want to know.

  44. Chris Clarke

    Chris is a stick women pee on to see if they’re pregnant?

    Now Sam, that was supposed to be our little secret.

  45. ae

    I’m not talking about the kind of “new, sexy feminism” where women in their 20s and 30s run around writing articles for “Bust” or “Real Simple” claiming to be empowered by eyeshadow and orgasms and boostering for equal pay.

    Bwaaahahaha! Goddam, Twisty, that “Real Simple” reference was inspired. Hoo. (Wiping away tears.)

    And, um, You want equality? Be an equal? Equal to what? F*ck that. I want to smash this bullshit system of false equalities into a zillion xeno-homo-gynophobic pieces. Equal, my ass. I want to be free.

    And my definition of freedom would include making a life w/ the partner of my choice. That said, Twisty, your thoughts on the Great Heterosexual Feminism vs. Political Lesbianism Debate (as per Jeffreys)?

  46. piny

    >>Oh. Yeah. Well, in that case, maybe you’d better give this one a miss. I haven’t gotten to it yet, but I get the feeling she’s gonna enlarge on the topic to which you allude with no small warmth. I admit, I find this aspect of her schtick fairly off-putting.>>

    That’s what I’d heard; her take on transwomanhood seems to be that it’s an attempt to attain ultrafemininity as demanded by patriarchy. So it makes sense that she’d comment on it in a book about…ultrafemininity as demanded by patriarchy. She wrote about “trans politics” in Unpacking Queer Politics, too. I doubt it’s anything I haven’t heard before. Maybe I could just skim. I may wait for your review, assuming you’re planning to write one.

  47. Finn

    >Basically Flinn, if I take 2 years off from R & D work, when I return, I will still be paid more than a woman who took 3 months off for a baby.<

    I wasn’t arguing against this point at all.

    I think we’re on the same side on this one.

  48. Finn

    >And, um, You want equality? Be an equal? Equal to what? F*ck that. I want to smash this bullshit system of false equalities into a zillion xeno-homo-gynophobic pieces. Equal, my ass. I want to be free.<

    This is where I “get on the bus”. I’m a guy who wants to be rid of patriarchy, too, if it means smashing the system that expects me to act like a patriarch. I don’t want equality, either. I want freedom from the system, but good gravy I don’t see how to even start.

  49. Twisty

    Twisty, your thoughts on the Great Heterosexual Feminism vs. Political Lesbianism Debate (as per Jeffreys)?

    All in good time, my pretty…

  50. Winter

    Cheers Twisty! I guess “grow a pair” does kinda sum up what I was trying to say. Abortion is not a “fringe” issue.

  51. Winter

    Cheers Twisty! I guess “grow a pair” does kinda sum up what I was trying to say. Feminists should not allow themselves to be bullied by anyone, including shouty liberal and leftist men.

    And Abortion is not a “fringe” issue.

  52. piny

    >>I admit, I find this aspect of her schtick fairly off-putting.>>

    ETA: I cannot tell you how much I appreciate being able to get my daily cup of patriarchy-blaming without a soupcon of tranny-bashing, Twisty. I am a committed radical feminist, just one who’s developed an allergy to several radical feminist theorists.

    >>This is where I “get on the bus”. I’m a guy who wants to be rid of patriarchy, too, if it means smashing the system that expects me to act like a patriarch. I don’t want equality, either. I want freedom from the system, but good gravy I don’t see how to even start.>>

    This is an important point to be made, since so many anti-feminists are so locked into the idea of top-down that they can’t see any way for women to leave the oppressed class except by becoming the oppressors.

  53. Twisty

    Absolutely, Piny; anti-feminist men are terrified that if women did “take over” we’d make life just as sucky for them as it is for us now.

  54. handdrummer

    Tthere is nothing more fundamental the the freedom to control our own bodies. Reproductive rights should be at the core of leftist action, not the fringe, How can this be so hard to understand? Unless thy’re being willfully obtuse, of course.

    This old halfbreed injun is just sayin….

  55. Sunya Harjis

    The way to make the situation more fair – to run back to yesterday’s arguments – is to not have babies. Whoa, check that shit out. All of a sudden it’s just like you’re a man: unable to have babies.

    I wrote a long angry post about how unbelieveably retarded I think the whole “babies are holding women back!” line of reasoning is, and how, basically, brute force, tenacity, and a willingness to sacrifice everything else to one’s ambition is the way most of the world’s rich and powerful people get rich and powerful. It works for women just as well as men; there’s nothing so remarkably different about the different genitals and sex organs that a woman would be physically held back from success in America. But women aren’t forming credit unions and buying logistics companies: they are treading water in HR and wondering why the other professors in the English department are making them teach more than their fair class load – and those are the women with degrees.

    Then I capped it off by saying that, at least for middle class women, the primary force of patriarchal oppression isn’t men at all: it’s other women, their idiot assumptions, and their luxurious self-victimization on the altar of biological inequity. Speaking as a middle class woman born and raised, men only tried to oppress me and other women of my generation in crude, easily identifiable ways: rape, sure, but mostly refusing to let us take advanced placement tests, or jacking up the mph on the report so we’d have to go before the judge for a ticket – clumsy stuff like that. It’s women who have leeched onto me from the beginning, praising my strength but informing me that life would be smoother and easier if I was just a little more feminine, assuring me that a woman’s “strength” comes from some unfathomable other mysterious woman place than a man’s Strength strength.

    And they do it still! Trying to get me to go to lotion-swapping parties! Trying to get me to waste time at work chit-chatting! Trying to make me feel uncomfortable about my lack of make-up, or my predeliction to take on more work just because I like to get it done! They want to do my hair and put me in skirts and get me to stop carrying guns and doing serious strength training and pursuing such an extreme variant of feminism! And I eventually have to get real blunt and say can it, bitches! I know what I’m doing and I’m going to do it no matter how much it rocks your Stockholm syndrome.

    I’ve met exactly two women in my whole life who didn’t bust me for failure to conform, but no man has ever called me “bitch.”

    Well the original post was much longer and much angrier, but this one is still long and angry. So let me put my overarching point in brief: the patriarchy isn’t keeping any woman from owning oil and finance companies, not in this country anyway. Magic Babies From The Future Womb aren’t doing it either. So who is?

  56. piny

    >>Absolutely, Piny; anti-feminist men are terrified that if women did “take over” we’d make life just as sucky for them as it is for us now.>>

    Not that I can’t understand why it would be tempting….

    It was a common thread during suffrage, too–there are a bunch of vintage cartoons of women leaving the house in trousers while men scrubbed the floors on their knees.

    >>And I eventually have to get real blunt and say can it, bitches! I know what I’m doing and I’m going to do it no matter how much it rocks your Stockholm syndrome.

    I’ve met exactly two women in my whole life who didn’t bust me for failure to conform, but no man has ever called me “bitch.”>>

    But what right would you have to complain if a man did use that misogynist slur? You use it on women yourself.

    Lots of men have called me “bitch.” I’ve seen and experienced plenty of misogynistic behavior from men who are neither rapists nor state troopers. It was men who spearheaded fishing expeditions into teenage girls’ medical records. It was a man who cut funding for global family planning–yay, fistulas! It’s men who lead virtually every pro-life organization. It’s men who grope my sister every day on the subway, and men who catcall her whenever she leaves her house. It was men who used to catcall me, and boys who made my adolescence miserable. It was a man who got my mom fired for complaining about plagiarism, and an all-male review board that refused to hear her appeal.

    It was a man who just said burkhas were underrated, mere months after calling feminists hairy-legged viragos, and a man who blamed Amber Holloway for getting raped and disappeared by other men. It was men who raped and assaulted prostitutes in St Louis, and men who blew off the crimes and then covered up the cover up. It’s men who troll feminist blogs like this one, and who most definitely call out Amanda, BPhD, Roxane, Echidne, and la Twisty for failing to conform.

    So congratulations on managing to side-step all of that, but I don’t get the sense that your experience is representative. Men are, too, sexist, and that sexism does, too, have an effect on women in the workplace.

    Also, women aren’t complaining that having children keeps them off of the board of directors. They’re complaining that having children makes it impossible for them to retain their jobs, or to advance in any way. They’re also complaining that the mere presumption that they will have children makes it difficult for them to get promoted or taken seriously. They also complain that their coworkers, superiors, and corporate culture in general stereotype them as hen-partying spritch-headed bimbos with nothing better to do than paint their nails and compare tupperware, while simultaneously punishing any woman who dares to show up at work without two coats of mascara and a shit-bingeing smile.

  57. Chris Clarke

    The way to make the situation more fair – to run back to yesterday’s arguments – is to not have babies.

    Well, it would certainly make things more fair for about three quarters of a million other species.

    I’d be willing to support a brief moratorium on babies just to see if women do benefit from not reproducing. It’s not like we’re short of people around.

    I think a thirty-year moratorium would be about right. Then we could see where we stand.

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