There’s been much on-bandwagon-jumping lately by the name of Feminism Friday (which I discovered via Thinking Girl), and I, on a Monday, have decided to start out with this. I’ve seen many ways to do this, and since I’m not in a place where I can do analysis of feminist issues with a (to me) clear voice, I am going to simply share where I’ve been, and maybe what thoughts they’ve provoked. We’ll see where all this goes, and how long I can keep it up.
Lessons this week(end) have been in discovering misogyny and the exercise of privilege in the durndest places.
But first, the most obvious one: The Supreme Court of the United States, as blogged by Amanda Marcotte of Pandagon.net [be sure to read the comments too]:
[A]n important case about women’s basic right to have a full range of health care despite the fact that a lot of people hate us was decided, in no small part, because of Justice Kennedy’s faith in what Lithwick calls the “Inconstant Woman”. You know women—fickle and stupid. We may think we are all about having babies and then 8 months in decide fuck it, why not just get a painful and expensive abortion for no reason whatsoever. Which is a decision you know we’ll regret, because the little ladies are too stupid to know our own minds.
And one who saw it coming is quoted in one woman’s late term abortion story who the approval of the ban on so-called Partial Birth Abortion would have affected:
Because of the lawsuits, the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act of 2003 cannot be enforced, though it could be years before the abortion debate winds its way through the system and heads back to the Supreme Court. By that time, the composition of the court could be entirely different. “We are looking for a permanent restraining order,” says Petra Langer, the director of public relations and government affairs for the Planned Parenthood League of Massachusetts. “Who knows what the long-term situation will be? If George Bush is reelected, all bets are off, unfortunately.”
It was four years, and he was. Any questions?
You, dear male reader, are totally not one of those men. I know this, and I appreciate it. I really do. But here’s where all this victimy girl shit concerns you:
* every time you don’t tell your buddies it’s not okay to talk shit about women, even if it’s kinda funny;
* every time you roll your eyes and think “PMS!” instead of listening to why a woman’s upset;
* every time you call Ann Coulter a tranny cunt instead of a halfwit demagogue;
* every time you say any woman –- Coulter, Michelle Malkin, Phyllis Schlafly, Condoleezza Rice, Hillary Clinton, Britney Spears, Paris Hilton, any of us -– ”deserves whatever she gets” for being so detestable, instead of acknowledging there are things that no human being deserves and only women get;
* every time you joke about how you’ll never let your daughter out of the house or anywhere near a man, ’cause ha ha, that’ll solve everything;
* every time you say, “I don’t understand why thousands of women are insisting this is some kind of woman thing”;
* every time you tell a woman you love she’s being crazy/hysterical/irrational, when you know deep down you haven’t heard a word she’s said in the past 15 minutes, and all you’re really thinking about is how seeing her yell and/or cry is incredibly unsettling to you, and you just want that shit to stop;
* every time you dismiss a woman as “playing the victim,” even if you’re right about that particular woman…
In fact, I would wager that she never even thought that the language she was using — typical language, I believe, for adults to use in regards to relationships — could be exclusive. But, that’s just it. Privilege is having the dominant discourse be tailored to your group, to the point that you often don’t notice how certain words are exclusive of other groups. … People use words which are exclusive (boyfriend/girlfriend in the context of assuming heterosexuality, mankind instead of humankind, etc) all the time, but because of privilege, these words are in such common usage that we use them as if they are all encompassing when the reality is that they are not.
Then there were two independent but rather thematically related email “jokes” that got around to me, which each declared that women were inherently difficult to please when it comes to men, i.e. “Har har, women are never happy, they expect so much of us poor menz, in yr face!!!”
One is here, with my (very brief) opinion of each point in the comments, whereas the other was in my email, and therefore, here.*
—– Forwarded on 04/19/2007 09:59 AM —–
Subject: The Husband shop
For some reason I thought you all might enjoy this!
>A shop that sells husbands has just opened in New York City, where a woman may go to choose a husband.
>Among the instructions at the entrance is a description of how the shop operates. You may visit the shop ONLY ONCE!
>There are six floors and the attributes of the men increase as the shopper ascends the flights. There is, however, a catch. … You may choose any man from a particular floor, or you may choose to go up a floor, but you cannot go back down except to exit the building! So, a woman goes to the Husband Shop to find a husband.
>On the first floor the sign on the door reads:
>Floor 1 – These men have jobs and love the Lord.
>The second floor sign reads:
>Floor 2 – These men have jobs, love the Lord, and love kids.
>The third floor sign reads:
>Floor 3 – These men have jobs, love the Lord, love kids, and are extremely good looking.
>”Wow,” she thinks, but feels compelled to keep going.
>She goes to the fourth floor and sign reads:
>Floor 4 – These men have jobs, love the Lord, love kids, are drop-dead good looking and help with the housework.
>”Oh, mercy me!” she exclaims, “I can hardly stand it!”
>Still, she goes to the fifth floor and sign reads:
>Floor 5 – These men have jobs, love the Lord, love kids, are drop- dead gorgeous, help with the housework, and have a strong romantic streak.
>She is so tempted to stay, but she goes to the sixth floor and the sign reads:
>Floor 6 – You are visitor 4,363,012 to this floor. There are no men on this floor. This floor exists solely as proof that women are impossible to please.
>Thank you for shopping at the Husband Shop. Watch your step as you exit the building, and have a nice day!
>Send this to all men for a good laugh and to all the women who can handle the truth !
There will be an annotated version, as soon as I get un-mad enough.
Of course, if you get bored, you can always play bingo…