Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Case in Point: the Everyday Misogynist

My boyfriend told me about this conversation that occurred on facebook. In the interest of protecting people, even people who disgust me, I will use initials rather than people's names here and only the first letter of any city described. I will not include parts of the conversation that are irrelevant to what I want I want to discuss here, nor comments that reveal too much personal information. This is a prime example of the closet misogynist. Notice how he begins, and what is actually revealed. Notice that the comments reveal that he, in fact, is a straight conservative white middle class male who believes that if we are equal under the law, we must be in society. He believes that he is no more privileged than anyone else and that no one is less privileged than he is. He uses words like "scream" to describe the rightful protests demanding equality. People were being polite to him, I think. I don't intend to be. Once again, my commentary will be in magenta.

AE: is brainstorming for a speech for international women's day at the beginning of March.

PH: When is international men's day?
He couldn't just, you know, not comment?

AE: Every day... P
PH: No, really? Why is there a day for women and not men? Are we not all equal? I personally don't think there should be a day for either.
Because women are oppressed for being women, and men are not oppressed for being men. No, we are not all equal, yet. Ah, of course you don't think there should be a day for either, and that would have absolutely nothing to do with the fact that you're a privileged male, now would it?

JB: P, women are still striving for equality in many areas of society and any equality they do have has only come in the past 40 years. So according to your logic, anything in society that benefits or celebrates women more than men should be abolished? What about the many things that celebrates men more than women? Why is there a national hockey league for men but not women? Are we not all equal? While we're abolishing days celebrating women in the name of equality we had better do it right - better get rid of hockey as well.
Here we have a man who knows how to check his privilege, and you'd think P would bite, but...
PH: There is no day for NHL players, also women are allowed to play in the NHL.
...no. Got to love how he missed the point. Because people totally watch women's sports as often as men's sports. Note that JB said "things that celebrate men more than women". It's scary to think that P thinks the NHL does otherwise. Seriously smacking of MRA here, including the whole "I'm for ACTUAL equality" rhetoric.

PH: there are no days celebrating men, nor should there be. I don't understand the need to make everyone feel special.
Way to continue to miss the point, P. International Women's Day doesn't just celebrate how far we've come (a cause certainly worthy of celebration), but also discusses how much farther we still have to go. There are no days celebrating men because, once again, men are not oppressed. But you couldn't convince P that women are and have been! Oh no, IWD is just to make women feel special. Apparently it's not enough that we want significant others and family to make us feel special, we need a whole day! Damn, we are selfish, shallow bitches!
AE: Okay, first off P, women are still in a position to fight for equality. There are many countries where young girls don't have the option to go to school, to vote, or have a say in what they do. There are some places where it is still law, for women to obey their husbands and where being a wife, is comparable to being a slave. There are some places where it is more acceptable to have a boy, then it is to have a girl. And thousands of baby girls get put up for adoption, for the simple fact they were not born a boy.
Also if we as women forget how far we have come in the last 100 years, that women in Canada, who have been able to vote, have been give clear reproductive rights, have their ability to work outside of the home. But still less than 30 percent of women take part in things like politics.
I would add that female infanticide is common in those countries where boys are favoured. And let's not forget female genital mutilation, and little girls as young as three being married to adult men and raped by them, to say nothing of the mass rapes of babies in Africa by men hoping to cure their AIDS by raping a virgin, and thus often infecting those children. And while we're on that topic, how about the mass rape of Iraqi women by US soldiers, including that of a fourteen-year-old whose family was shot to death before the soldiers gang-raped her and then shot her as well? Yeah, I could go on, but I'll save it for another time.

AE: Part two...of comment
Take for instance in O, there are only two woman on council, out of 11, but women represent approximately 50 percent of the population. Would you consider that to be equal?
But we still have a long way to go, women on average in Canada still make less money then men and experience poverty more then men. We still have issues of women being abused, raped and murdered, for the simple fact they are women.
Not to mention the few convictions for such crimes, and damned if you're a Native American woman!
AE: Part three...
I am proud to support International Women's day and what it represents. And believe by the virtue of you asking your question, you haven proven we still have a far way to go before we have lasting equality.
This is P's cue to apologize or at least quit now, but...
PH: In Canada women are equal in the eyes of the law. I still don't see why we need to put different groups on pedestals. Were either equal or were not. Why keep bringing up the past? to me its just political correctness gone mad. The fact that we have a womans day, a black history month, gay pride day....ect. makes no sense to me, In Canada where we are all equal regardless of , race, sexuality,religion. I see no need to point out differences.
...he elects instead to again completely miss the point. You see P, law doesn't mean shit if it's not enforced, and there is still plenty not covered by the law as far as women's issues. But keep on with your straw feminist. We want to be put on pedestals! That's it! Acknowledging inequality is putting the oppressed group on a fucking PEDESTAL! Goddess damn it, did you even have even an inkling of what IWD is actually about before you threw up all over A's page? He then has the gall to ask why we talk about the past! This anti-historicism shit that is so pervasive these days seriously makes me wish a conveniently aimed meteor would fall. To paraphrase Norman Finkelstein's thoughts regarding the German women who didn't want to hear about the holocaust (they were part of the Hitler youth), we the oppressed live with the knowledge of our oppression to the last day of our lives. You can live with that knowledge to the last of yours. And, ah, the old "This is just PC!!!" bullshit that only ever seems to be a problem to the privileged when members of an oppressed group protest against their being treated as less than human. But if we were to call PH a misogynist, MRA leaning, chauvinist pig, I'd be willing to bet he wouldn't mind PC so much...And sure enough, as is the case with most of these people, he also has a problem with Gay Pride, and even Black History Month, for fuck's sake! It makes no sense to him! Well it wouldn't, would it? Gee, P, I don't think you have enough privilege! Now, to try to save himself from being labeled the sexist, racist, homophobic, privileged straight white male that he is, he says that acknowledging the history of oppression is simply "point[ing] out differences". He apparently has never heard of nor read the quote, "Those who do not know their history are doomed to repeat it." Oh, yeah, P, remind me to get your opinion on how to combat oppression any day!
JB: P, while you consider things like the International Woman's day, Black history Month, and Pride Parades to be unnecessary I take it that you are not a member of any of those social groups.
I see from your FB that you are a white, middle class
male. As one myself, I understand the sentiment that I don't need a day to celebrate being white, middle class, or male so if we are equal why should anyone else. This is an easy mistake to make - one I used to make. But people who are not white, or middle class, or male, or heterosexual do not share your experiences, my experiences.
If you were to have a conversation with most minorities and try to walk a mile in their you would hear their experiences of discrimination. They would tell you that as a white male you subconsciously celebrate your whiteness, maleness, maleness, and straightness on a daily basis. They would tell you that one of the greatest forms of discrimination today is the expectation by the majority that the minority should join them and become culturally white, male, middle class, and heterosexual in a society that seeks to become blind to differences rather than celebrate them.
Not only male, but white and middle class? Was I right or was I right? J, you have hit the nail on the head so well! Proof to me that P is indeed actively choosing to be the misogynist racist homophobe that he is.

PH: Mistake? says who? Like I said we are either equal or not, that's it. Why do we need to celebrate differences? They don't mean anything when were all equal. no one is asking people to become anything, you can do and act anyway you want as long as you don't harm me, or any one else.
P, the ability you have to allow well-made clear points to go right over your head is uncanny. "[E]ither equal or not", eh? We're not. There's your answer. Full stop. We're closer than we've ever been, but we're still not, even if that apparently infallible law says we are. By the way, differences do not magically disappear when we attain full equality: female humans will still gestate, give birth, and breast feed, and dark-skinned people will still be dark-skinned. Differences are something to celebrate as positive in order to avoid seeing them as negative, which gets you rapes, lynchings, and genocide. Oh, P, I can't tell right now whether you're extremely naive, an absolute idiot, in denial, or simply outright lying in the face of fact. Those of us who belong to oppressed groups are constantly told, not asked, to become something else, even (perhaps especially in some cases) when what we do or how we act doesn't harm anyone. Kind of like how IWD doesn't harm you, but you still want it gone. Nice logic there, genius.
AE: Well P, how does International Women's day harm you? Cause under your logic if it doesn't you shouldn't have a problem with it.
What she said.
PH: It does not harm me. I just don't see a need for it. I would just like to see what would happen if someone started an International mens day, or white history month. People can have as many special day as they want.
...And yet you keep responding. People don't spend that much energy on something that they "just don't see a need for" [emphasis mine]. What would happen? We the oppressed people would rightfully complain, and our voices would be drowned out. Yes, "[p]eople can have as many special day [sic] as they want" as long as it's not actually needed. I have a feeling that P has no problem with holidays or likely his own birthday.
PH: I also don't want to see any tax dollars supporting any such days.
Oh, you poor, poor, poor, poor privileged thing! How awful for you to spend SO much money in taxes to pay for a few events that happen once a year! Somehow I have a feeling that this money-rape victim doesn't complain about how much of his taxes are being spent on an illegal war that has shit all to do with our country.
AE: Sorry, to inform you P, this [...] event [is] being held at the school. If you want to be informed about [...] how your taxes are being spent[...](the ellipses are parts of the comment I have decided not to post because it shares too much personal information about AE)

PH: lol...I mean government in general[...] (this part of the comment is hidden because it shares too much information about AE)

PH: Im a mean conservative, but im not a complete jerk.
A conservative?! I must be psychic! I disagree entirely with the second part, however.

JD: Perhaps you should compare it all to International Men's Day.

JD: All the real women I know should have an International Week, 52 times a year. When "Men" can learn to do more than one thing at a time they should have a day for them.
Another man who can check his privilege! This being the second man to do so, maybe P will learn something from this one...

PH: I can do a lot more then one thing at a time, so wheres my day? I don't need one.
...No chance. Yeah, I'll bet you totally breastfeed while stirring a pot, worked 126 hours in nine days straight, worked at all without pay, had a three way phone conversation with co-workers whilst checking your work email and trying to eat a meal at the same time. Oh yeah, P, if YOU don't need a day that recognizes your oppression, then no one does. How does one get this oblivious to hir own privilege? Is it something that comes naturally, or does one actually have to work at it?

JD: Ok, your day was yesterday, Poof, did you enjoy it and did it really make a huge difference. That is the point, why are you wasting your time worrying about it all. You are welcome for the special day by the way.

PH: Thanks. I just don't see why people scream for equity, then when they get it, its never enough. We need special days and groups and laws protecting them, its just crazy.
lol WAY over your head. And yes, we just have such perfect equality, and we harpies should stop screaming. We're lucky to have the ineffectual and severely flawed and inadequate laws that we have! How dare we want them to improve? P, you might not be an MRA yet, but I'm sure they'd welcome you among their ilk. They just LOVE complaining that women have any protection from rapists, sexually-harassing co-workers, and abusive significant others. You see? P, like all other privileged white misogynist racist homophobic males, reveals his true colours once you get him talking long enough and as soon as he thinks he's found an ally. He began with complaining that oppressed people get a "special day", but now he reveals that he also doesn't think we need "groups and laws protecting" us! To him, that's "just crazy"! Hell, that all aside, given his use of the word "scream", it would seem that he really isn't in favour of equity. The fact that the law says we have it is quite enough for him, perhaps too much. Given all that, it's easy to see why International Women's Day, Black History Month, and Gay Pride would bother him so much.

JD: Amy, use this guy as your inspiration for International Women's Day.
That's about the only use one will ever get from this type of idiot.

PH: Whats wrong J, don't like the truth? Just because you born male, or female does not make you special.
Ah yes, P, the truth is totally that because the law says all humans are equal, they are treated as equal by everyone. But congratulations, P! You got the second part right! You will surely agree, then, that straight white male humans are not fucking special and they thus should stop oppressing women and others!!!

DS: P, as you said above ( "I would just like to see what would happen if someone started an International mens day...".) go ahead and start organizing an International Men's Day and see what happens - you'll get lots of support!
What she said.

PH: I would, but I don't believe we need one.
Sure, you'd only like to implement it to see what would happen! I'm sure you'd be completely in favour of ending it right afterward! You're right, though; we don't need one. Society doesn't need for you to have a day celebrating your privilege. It's bad enough that we don't share it.

JD: Men's day will include automated rifles, steroids, old fat ugly guys like me would be hidden for the day. haha. Perhaps thinking would be banned as well. Nice to know that one's rights end where anothers begin. Some peoples day would be standing in front of a mirror admiring themselves. Everyone can contribute to a society, be you male or female. I am special simply because I am the only me in the world. Enjoy your life.

JD: Part two, A, there are only two women on council, that is because they got elected, on a level playing field, look up the debate on representation by population and your percentage theory goes out the window. "No doubt the universe shall unfold as it should"
On a level playing field? A patriarchal playing field is not level. Jeez, did I miss something? I thought you were intelligent!

PH: whats an automated rifle? What do steroids have to with this J? J why do you say your ugly?

JD: I wonder how I knew you wouldn't get it. I am done. Life goes on. jd.

KB: Interesting. P, how do you feel about people with disaabilities? Most of them are living under the poverty level and alot of them are women. In terms of abuse, alot of women with disabilities are abused.
P likely believes we shouldn't have - sorry, don't need - ramps, wheelchairs, handicap spaces or buttons. I mean as long as the law says they're equal...

KB: I can give you the statistics and what will you do about it?
Nope, the law says we're equal so those statistics must be made up.

RP: can anyone say misogyny or check your privilege?
Indeed, and how a woman as intelligent as AE could stand to associate with such a misogynistic, privileged idiot, I'm quite sure I'll never know.

Anyway, Happy International Women's Day!!! 

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