Greetings, college girls. This is your Blaming Intervention for the month of December.
Periodically I am forced by circumstance to invoke Germaine Greer’s observation that women have no idea how much men hate them. Today that circumstance is occasioned by an email from blamer Anthony, who hipped me to a letter written by a woman to her student paper at the University of New Hampshire and the resulting slew of what Anthony calls “mindblowing” responses. The responses illustrate in hideous technicolor the astonishing extent to which male students at UNH hate women.
The student, Melissa DaCosta, writes to discuss the misogyny expressed by a safe-sex flyer posted on her dorm bulletin board. Her thoughtful and measured letter, entirely free of what those who enjoy male privilege usually call “shrill feminist man-hating,” seeks to point out that the scenario represented by the flyer reinforces antediluvian attitudes about male dominance. She is careful to temper her argument by doing what we’ve all done in order to mitigate the inevitable smackdown by proponents of the status quo: she admits that her point may seem small, and then tries to explain why even small instances of sexism matter.
DaCosta describes the flyer thusly: “The advertisement from Health Services, calling for safe sex, reads, ‘Whether you’re the catcher or the pitcher, always wear a glove!’ with a picture of a smiling woman holding a catcher’s mitt and a man holding a bat next to her.” DaCosta’s objections are several, but they center chiefly around the tired old sexist trope of women as receptacles.
“To consider,” she writes, “the act of sex as a subject/object encounter, as this advertisement does, where a woman’s role is to ‘catch’ a man’s ‘pitches’ is degrading, disgusting, and completely beyond the type of behavior I expect from an institution of higher learning.”
DaCosta hadn’t seen nothin’ yet.
Veteran blamers will be unsurprised to learn that the responses (numbering beyond 200 at this writing) to DaCosta’s letter exploded like a piss balloon dropped from a frat-house window, except that instead of piss, the balloon was full of the violent misogyny and asinine wisecracks we’ve come to expect whenever a woman dares to buck the Dude Nation worldview. The vast majority of the commentary — the work of larval boy-brains, the possessors of which, despite their desperate parroting of the psychotic ideology of their pornsick daddies, uncles, and pop stars, are somehow allowed to freely roam a state university without electronic GPS ankle cuffs — opine that DaCosta is a “stupid cunt” who suffers from insufficient “deepdicking.”
When I was a college student in the late 70’s, we didn’t have no internet to hip us to this shit. I like to think that if we had, I might not have wasted so much of my rosy youth wrapped in a thick crust of naive, trusting oblivion. It was not until many bruised and bleeding years later that I woke up, smelled the coffee, and realized that accepting that men hate women is an indispensable survival skill.