… okay, that's an overstatement, but given the ever-increasing National Enquiresque nature of OS I figured without a provocative title no one would even read this post. Still, I’ll be surprised if this post isn't mostly ignored given the politically incorrect opinions that are forthcoming.
But on with the post. Hooray for all the great posts on misogyny! Although I’m happy for those who were able to exorcise demons or get things off their chests, in truth I’m tired of reading of misogyny and believe most of what is called misogyny is in fact misguided whining - more on that later.
First let’s look at misandry because as much as misogyny is talked about, in society in general and here on OS in specific, I find it curious how little attention its counterpart (hatred of men) gets. Actually, I’m not really surprised because as I stated indelicately on Stellaa’s recent post, OS is mostly a site by women and for women (and sure, I also said that half of the men here were castrated suck-ups, which was a bit harsh, but honestly it seems like guys here go to absurd lengths to check their testicles at the door).
Oh yeah...misandry...for starters, let's look at a few examples of how misandrist attitudes *seem* to be subtly woven into our culture and our collective psyche.First - in the media
The Tiger Woods story is a great example of this. Shortly after news broke of Tiger’s accident, the media began reporting that Elin Woods may have whacked Tiger in the face with a golf club (which I doubt she did). What I found most interesting about all of this was the attitude in the media (and among the public) regarding the whacking.
The responses generally fall into two categories:
1. That it was funny. The idea (and image) of a scorned Elin chasing Tiger out of the house with a golf club seemed humorous. The golf club irony no doubt helped.
2. That he “deserved” it. He was a horndog, cavorted with more than a dozen other women including porn stars, and humiliated her; ergo her actions were justified or at least understandable.
In fact, in the dozens of articles I’ve read about this, I can’t recall EVEN ONE that portrayed Elin negatively or condemned her actions (a few made reference to spousal abuse, but did so in the context of explaining why Tiger didn’t want to talk to the cops).
Now let’s suppose for a minute that Angelina Jolie cheated on Brad Pitt and in response he hit her in the face with a golf club and chased her out of the house as she tried to flee, causing her to crash her car. Do you think the media portrayal would be that it was “funny” or that “she deserved it”? Hardly.Second – TV and movie depictions of violence
How many times have you seen a woman slap or hit a man on a TV show or in a movie? How many times have you seen a woman kick a guy in the balls in a movie? If you don’t think these depictions of violence are common you’ve just become numb to it and I dare you to start paying better attention because these depictions are so common that they seem to be the building blocks of relationship movies and sitcoms.
Sure, TV shows and movies also depict violence against women, but let’s observe how the two different acts are put to use by directors and what kind of audience response they’re looking for.
On TV or in a movie, almost any time a man commits a violent act against a woman the point is that he is a criminal or a brute, and the act is portrayed so that our sympathies are with the woman. Fair enough, but conversely, almost any times a woman commits an act of violence against a man it’s either played for laughs or we’re made to feel that the guy deserved it (sound familiar, Tiger).
If a guy says something untoward he gets slapped and he deserved it. If he is misunderstood and gets slapped anyway, it’s funny. If a woman gets mad at a guy and breaks a vase over his head or hits him with a frying pan or inflicts pain on him in any of a thousand creative ways, it’s either funny or he deserved it or both, depending on how the director pulls it off.
Bottom Line: the woman always gets sympathy and the guy always gets laughter or indignation.Third – prison rape as a joke
Did you hear that O.J. is going to play football in prison? Yeah, he’s starting out as a tight end but is going to switch to wide receiver. Funny, huh? How many joking references have you heard about men being raped in prison? It’s a total cliché.
Not having done time in the big house, I don’t know how prevalent prison rape is and it might be more cultural lore than reality. But again, as a society we either joke about it or else we rationalize it because “they deserve it”. You might argue that in this case, they really do deserve it because hey, they’re criminals. But if that’s the case then we should also laugh or express indignation toward women convicts who are raped by prison guards, but we don't.
Bottom line: If a guy gets raped in prison it’s funny or he deserves it, but if a woman gets raped in prison, judgment falls on the male guard.So, then ….
If misogyny is so bad, why is misandry so ignored?
Why is it horrific when a man throws acid in a woman’s face, but fodder for late night comedians when John Wayne Bobbit’s wife cuts off his pecker?
Why is it that if I call a woman a cunt I’m a misogynist, but if a woman calls me a prick, well then it must be because I’m a prick?
Why can the Dixie Chicks (Goodbye Earl), Miranda Lambert (Gunpowder and Lead), or Martina McBride (Independence Day) write songs about killing men (albeit abusive ones) without anyone raising an eyebrow?My politically incorrect .02
My point in this post has nothing to do with misandry or even double standards. In fact, those examples I just listed are all bullshit and I don’t believe any of them constitue misandry because for all intents and purposes it doesn’t exist.
I, for example, don’t hate men, but I find the image of Elin chasing Tiger with a golf club hilarious (I even played the internet game where you try to steer the Escalade around trees and fire hydrants while Elin chases you with a golf club). I also laugh when the guy in the sitcom gets slapped or when the guy in the movies gets kicked in the cajones (if the actor’s cross-eyed, groin grabbing reaction is properly executed). As for prison rape? I suspect that society ignores it simply because to the best of our abilities we try to pretend that prisoners don’t even exist at all.
And although I have two young daughters who have to live in a world where there is a lot of hatred, I barely believe that misogyny exists either. The vast majority of what gets labeled misogyny is simply garden-variety hatred that happens to be perpetrated against a woman.
If a guy is angry and violent and kicks his dog every night, it’s not misogyny. But if he gets married and starts beating his wife instead, is it suddenly misogyny? I don’t think so. I think he’s just a violent asshole.
Why is it that if a guy gets into a bar fight it’s not misogyny, but if then goes home and also hits his wife, it is? Why isn’t he just regarded as an equal opportunity jerk?
What seems to be completely overlooked when throwing around the word misogyny, is MOTIVE. If I kill a black guy, it’s not necessarily a hate crime. It depends on my MOTIVE. If I kill him to intimidate other blacks, then yes. But if I kill him because I catch him sleeping with my wife, then it’s not.
Similarly, before labeling something misogyny we need to consider motives. Just because a guy yells at you or hits you or doesn’t give you a promotion, or in some other way makes you cry or wounds your inner child, it doesn’t mean he’s a woman-hater. It depends on his motives, and I’m guessing that in the vast majority of cases his anger or violence is NOT motivated by hatred toward women, specifically. Most likely, he’s just a jerk who hates a lot of things and a lot of types of people, including himself (but a discussion of self-loathing as a cause of antisocial behavior is beyond the scope of this post).
Applying the word "misogyny" to so many things is misguided, over simplistic and perhaps even disengenuous. You may as well call taggers, “building-haters” or the person who keyed your car a “car-hater”. In reality, the overuse of the word “misogyny” is a PR move of sorts, because on some level it is used opportunistically to conjure up umbrage (in the service of one's cause) by mischaracterizing, ignoring or oversimplifying the perp’s motives. And it’s done to constantly remind us guys that in nearly every scenario, we are the scum and women are the victims.
The unfortunate downside to all of this is that by making a gender issue out of misbehavior that has its roots elsewhere, we inadvertently cast all women as victims and all men as potential victimizers, fueling an artificial divide. And I for one am a bit tired of hearing half of the world’s population shout “misogyny” every time a member of the other half treats them badly.
I'll shut up now, but I’m reserving an eye-roll for the first poster to call me a misogynist or misogyny denier.