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I've become a terrible misogynist in recent years. I used to be a happy "women are wonderful!" type back in the 90s and the early years of this century, but I'm not anymore. However, the solution, in my view, is feminism. This leads into my belief, shared with author and English language professor bell hooks, that feminism is good for men.

The usual short definition of "feminism" is "the radical concept that women are people". I add on my further definition, "Feminism is what I require to make myself not hate being a woman in this society."

The current culture of femininity in this culture is disgusting. It encourages women to be passive-aggressive greedy little girls. Are women by nature passive-aggressive, greedy little girls? No, they are not, but by the Magna Mater, they sure as hell are REWARDED for being such. What's worse, men are then urged to ACCEPT this behaviour as being just the way women are.

Because adulthood for women, ladies and gentlemen, is what I think is the goal and also the demand of feminism. I've been writing a lot about the Prairie Muffins and the Ladies Against Feminism and Christian Taliban such as Colleen Hammond and Lily Maiden. My ultimate great scream of outrage against these females is GROW THE HELL UP!!!! Hormones don't excuse you from SHIT. I've noticed that they'll say women aren't suited for positions of leadership because of their hormonal cycles, but I know very well that testosterone interferes with good judgment too. It was all very bad design.

But the "girls shouldn't go to college, but rather wait for their prince and raise his children" crowd are only an extreme example of what I'm talking about. I'm talking about the women who will say, "Oh, he'd better get me a ring or I am going to make his life a living hell!" types. When I hear a statement like that, I break it down like this:

1. I want to marry this man, but I don't respect him enough to let him know.
2. I require an expensive material item as evidence that he loves me.
3. I will punish him for not being able to read my mind about 1 and 2.

This is common, and guys go along with it, usually accompanied by saying, "Well, you know that's how women are," or "Women, who can understand them?"

Both these actions and attitudes from men and women are absolutely intolerable. They do not foster good relationships or make anyone happy. All they do is validate harmful gender roles and pass them off as human nature. They are not. They are learned behaviours; toxic ones.

I'm a misogynist because far too many women accept the gender role of manipulative eternal child and actually like it. I'm not a total misogynist because there are millions of women out there who realize that they are adults, that behave as human beings first and foremost, and treat men with equal respect as human beings.

There are equally toxic male stereotypes, but I have to say in my experience they're easier to bypass. Men are usually more open about their being assholes than women, probably because of the manipulation thing. However, readers' mileage may vary on this; I cannot give my experience as an absolute because it's only my experience.

Here is the modest proposal I'd like to offer. You like wearing chick clothes and being cute? Fine. You want a Coach bag and Prada shoes? Okay, I think you're signing up for being a slave to designers who want to rip you off, but far be it for me to interfere with your bliss.

Now, go get an education, a job, and an identity that doesn't hinge on having a man in your life. When you do get a man in your life, which you probably will because you're cute with your Coach bag and Prada shoes, act like an adult with him. Be honest. Don't play guessing games. He'll love you for it, and when you both decide it's time for a ring, go choose it together.

And yeah, that IS feminism, thanks for asking.

P.S. It would also be nice if women would abandon the learned behaviour of stabbing each other over stupid things like personal appearance. I noticed that in Basic Training, if I didn't shave my legs it was the other females who complained. I never did understand that.

Comments

( 20 comments — Leave a comment )
rockahulababy
Dec. 17th, 2008 12:56 am (UTC)
Honestly, I do not think there is anything wrong with wanting to be proposed to and for a man to know you well enough to know what you like. If that is a diamond ring, fine. If that is a simple band, fine. If it's a ring from one of those ten cent machines, fine. The simple fact that he loves you enough to propose to you and ask you to spend the rest of your life with him is romantic. And if he knows you well enough to know what you like or is considerate enough to find out, then that is character. No one should be robbed of that and not all women are manipulating their way to that, either. Frankly, if I have to manipulate a man into marrying me, he is not a man I want to spend the rest of my life with, because I shouldn't have to manipulate someone to get them to think about me, love me, etc. And I have absolutely no issue with a woman asking a man to marry her or two people coming to an agreement on it like a business deal. What works for the couple - that's all that matters. But if I happen to be a traditional girl who wants a man to ask me to marry him and buy me a nice ring, then there is nothing wrong with that. That's ME. And any man I choose to be with will respect that and he will know ME. I don't mind going to choose a ring together, but he has to be the one that asks. I may make subtle hints that I am ready, maybe open up some dialogue, and while I do not want a huge, expensive wedding - I don't want it to be, "All rigthty then, lets go down to the courthouse tomorrow and get married." I want some romance. There's being classy and there is being tacky.

It's also a lot easier for men to be assholes in this society than it is for women to be bitches. The asshole is "cool". The bitch is the "one no one wants to be around". She's "that bitch".

And men play games, too. Men play manipulative games with the best of them. In fact, dare say, I think it's men that invented the games played when it comes to relationships and women have had to adapt to them. You sleep with him too soon and you're "loose" and if you don't, you're an "ice queen". You go on a date and he tells his friends the next day he had sex with you when he didn't (a guy did that to my mom in high school, she punched him and he fell over the hood of his car in front of all of his friends ETA: he apologized profusely).

In dating, relationships, marriage, and love, it takes two to tango and to blame one gender for the manipulative games played in them is unfair.

I hope I am not sounding hostile here. I'm not saying women are perfect or exempt from all criticism. Far from it. That's human nature for you.

Edited at 2008-12-17 12:58 am (UTC)
kishiriadgr
Dec. 17th, 2008 01:40 am (UTC)
The thing is, when women act in the manipulative ways that I complain about they aren't being "bitches". They are acting in societally acceptable ways. This is my problem.

I've written a lot in the past about manuals that exist on *how* to manipulate men, from the still-used "Fascinating Womanhood" to "The Rules" to "The Surrendered Wife". I don't think openness and honesty rules out romance at all. I think it enhances it.

There's certainly nothing wrong with the diamond ring. I have an opal ring myself because I don't like diamonds. However I let americanstd know that I wanted a ring as part of the engagement because otherwise, how would he have known?

I actually think women invented manipulation in relationships because historically they have lacked power and manipulation is a way to assert your will in a situation where you're the underdog. We aren't de facto the underdogs anymore and it's time to ditch these outdated notions.
rockahulababy
Dec. 17th, 2008 02:01 am (UTC)
I think that it is up to everyone's free will. I don't think people should behave one way because that is how the herd is going. But they should do what they feel is best and what is most comfortable with them. Your set of rules probably won't work for me. Just like mine may not work for you. There may be elements that could be borrowed, but ultimately, we're going to use the set of "rules" that works best for ourselves.

I'm not saying dialogue negates romance. I think it's important for people to discuss what they want from each other. I just personally don't want my marriage proposal to be a business deal and over-discussed. My needs, his needs, our desires - all of this will be a part of the dialogue of our relationship, you know? I won't agree to marry a man unless what he wants in life matches mine, to an extent. I am, of course, flexible, but a deal breaker for me would be a man who does not want children. I want to have at least one child, preferably two, but I want at least one. If he wants none? Bzzt, sorry.

Culturally, at least in America - or where I grew up - the ring was a big part of an engagement. I can't be alone in that train of thought. Generally speaking, I'm sure most men - American men, at least - know that the ring is a part of the deal. (Unless you meant the type of ring? If you meant the type of ring, well, I would hope that if he wasn't aware of the type of jewelry I preferred, he would ask a family member or friend who was close to me. This would be a part of the getting to know me process. Not that I drag men to jewelry stores, but you get my drift.)

How you express your needs and who you are is not how I or the next woman does.

I think humans are manipulative. I certainly can agree that women have had to master that art, but men were and are, just as manipulative as women. I don't think this is some new thing that has risen up, men have had to manipulate other men.

If how men and women interact in their personal relationships is your jihad, then that is you. I just don't see the point in getting my fur up over such things. It's a personal preference. If a man doesn't want to tolerate a woman's manipulation and vice versa, then they have the option to leave, (is she holding a gun to his head?). Maybe they think it's cute. Maybe there are things about that person they like and the game playing is a small irritation. No one really knows what goes on between a couple from the outside looking in.
kishiriadgr
Dec. 17th, 2008 02:21 am (UTC)
Open communication and refusal of toxic gender roles is my jihad.

Seems to be working--I've been in the same relationship now for around 12 years.
valdelane
Dec. 17th, 2008 02:27 am (UTC)
Amen to that.
rockahulababy
Dec. 17th, 2008 12:42 pm (UTC)
I do agree with you on that. However, not everyone is you, you know? That's my point. And people change and sometime someone isn't compatible with their significant other anymore. Relationships and marriages fail for a variety of reasons.
die_uberfrau
Dec. 17th, 2008 01:00 am (UTC)
This post rocks. Esp the PS:

I noticed that in Basic Training, if I didn't shave my legs it was the other females who complained.

I don't shave my legs. The only people who have ever complained/mocked are other women. (Normally, my legs are pretty much covered because that's how I am.) I don't wear makeup. The only people who have ever complained/mocked are, you guessed it, other women.

I don't think men are responsible for all of society's ills. I think what's hurting feminism is women, ourselves.

So, *salute*
taxlady
Dec. 17th, 2008 02:12 am (UTC)
For the most part, I agree. But, I have had the same kind of bitchy comments from some gay men. I wonder what that says.
kishiriadgr
Dec. 17th, 2008 02:18 am (UTC)
Same-sex relationships are a completely different kettle of fish, and I deliberately didn't mention them at all in this essay.
die_uberfrau
Dec. 17th, 2008 06:34 am (UTC)
Most of the gay guys I hang around with are bears, so that might be why I haven't gotten teh bitchy. ;P
taxlady
Dec. 17th, 2008 06:06 pm (UTC)
These weren't the gays that I hang out with, but co-workers and casual acquaintances.
marphilly
Dec. 17th, 2008 04:10 am (UTC)
That's so true, and I've heard more than one guy say they don't particularly care for makeup or are at least indifferent to it. My ex-boyfriend hated makeup. Yet I've had other women stare at me like I forgot to wear a top if I didn't happen to have makeup on
garpu
Dec. 17th, 2008 01:28 am (UTC)
I agree...but I don't know if this is misogyny, per se. I think it's one thing to disapprove of how a generation sees itself (your post) and it's another to hate all women. (At least that's the vibe I'm getting.)

Do you think this is a result of the parenting styles after our generation?
kishiriadgr
Dec. 17th, 2008 01:44 am (UTC)
Maybe. I don't hate all women or I wouldn't have around 100 of them on my friendslist, but I think there are more women I dislike than men. When I heard that the law firm where I interviewed was all women, I was nervous. They turned out to be precisely the kind of women I dislike, except for the principal attorney, who was kind of a scream, long talon fingernails and all.
garpu
Dec. 17th, 2008 02:55 am (UTC)
Hrm, I know what you mean. I guess I tend to be inherently distrustful of "girly" women, until I learn otherwise. Prejudice, I know, but I don't have a whole hell of a lot in common with a lot of them.
catdraco
Dec. 17th, 2008 03:55 am (UTC)
I've noticed that they'll say women aren't suited for positions of leadership because of their hormonal cycles, but I know very well that testosterone interferes with good judgment too. It was all very bad design.

You know what, that's a really good point. When I hear people say that hormones don't excuse anything, it makes me a bit uncomfortable... I'm like, "yes, but..."

Not because I think hormones actually excuse anything. I don't. But I do feel the effects of differing hormone levels (and boy, I really did when pregnant and especially early post-partum), and it's just one more thing to keep in mind and work with/around in order to behave like an adult.

I mean, I get that some women never notice the effects of their cycles on moods or behaviour, but some of us really do - and I think that requires a conscious effort to get past/over/around/whatever, it's not just something to make excuses over.

But it hadn't really occurred to me before now that men face exactly the same sorts of issues - perhaps not qualitively the same, given that testosterone causes different effects than oestrogen and progesterone et al - but yes, men do also need to gtf over it and behave like reasonable adults.


So thanks for pointing that out. It's pretty freaking obvious now I think about it.

Edited at 2008-12-17 03:58 am (UTC)
marphilly
Dec. 17th, 2008 04:15 am (UTC)
It's very true. You never hear anyone talk about the impact of men's hormones on their behavior. Hormones are always talked about like only women have them. But I mean, come on, testosterone is one of the most potent hormones out there.
kishiriadgr
Dec. 17th, 2008 05:20 am (UTC)
Exactly! That's why they respond to anger by physically acting out. Colleen Hammond & Co. want to pretend that that's rational, and unrelated to hormones? (One of Colleen Hammond's comments that made me go ballistic was, "It sure is complicated being a woman isn't it? Must be all those hormones.")

Plus ask anyone who's transitioned male to female if testosterone made anything go out of control. Most of them report flipping between wanting to hit things and wanting to fuck them.
eosin
Dec. 17th, 2008 06:54 pm (UTC)
Well said!
desert_vixen
Dec. 18th, 2008 03:41 am (UTC)

Because adulthood for women, ladies and gentlemen, is what I think is the goal and also the demand of feminism.

Yes. Rights and responsibilities.

And you're absolutely right about society rewarding the passive-aggressive BS. If women are direct and honest, it's pretty likely that we get the bitch label stuck on us. I'd rather be thought a bitch than a manipulator, but that's just me.

I thought we had a very equal relationship - we talked through a lot of issues that we thought would be important before we got married - and while it didn't work in the long term, part of the reason it didn't work in the long term was that he wasn't honest. He felt like he had to play a role, and apparently the behavior that was sexy when I was 22 and hitting on him turned into, "you're too loud and opinionated and aggressive" later on.

But it doesn't remove my faith that equality in relationships is the only way to go.

DV
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