Saturday, April 29

Battle of the sexists

Bored, I was reading the Fark thread about Pete Doherty's latest hilarious junkie antics, when I stumbled upon this comment by Salieri_82:

How the fark does this waste of skin and hair get to bang Kate Moss?

Every problem in the entire world will be solved when women stop lusting after dickheads.

/Okay, that may be a touch hyperbolic. But the point stands...

And, while I recognize that most Fark threads are more are less where all good things go to die, I was still taken aback by this comment, because it is profoundly stupid. And profound stupidity, for whatever reason, still manages to surprise me, despite my coming in contact with it on a daily basis.

Adding to my chagrin is the comment's response from Quantum Apostrophe:

Women are completely farked in the head when it comes to men. I have some theories to explain their aberrant, neurotic and self-destructive behavior, just enough to turn me off women forever. Let them suffer the consequences of their wonderful choices. I know I can live without 'em!

You know, this idea that women are responsible for how men act is getting really fucking old. But it's a brilliant strategy: Set up society so that woman is automatically the other -- the lesser -- and man is the default -- the norm -- and then laud man for his unbelievable achievement and ability to corral nature to do his bidding, but -- brilliantly! -- scapegoat woman when man's faults get out of hand and he fails to live up to his socialized ideal. Everyone wins, because women are inconsequential to the paradigm.

This thinking makes mommies of all women: It's up to us to do the right things to convince men to act like decent human beings, apparently. What insufferable bullshit.

And what's with the commenter who looks at the story -- stupid male junkie appears to be giving heroin to an unconscious female fan -- and says something to the effect of, "Women (as represented by either Kate Moss or this unconscious fan) are so fucked up and self-destructive to the point where I can't stand fucking them, so fuck 'em!" Really, how to you get from point A to point B without drinking some sort of weird Kool-Aid that tells you that if a man's fucked up, it's normal, but if a woman's fucked up, it's twice as bad because she has some sort of cosmic innocence that makes her a better person so much that more is lost when she becomes corrupted.

There's sexism flying all over both/all genders when you think like that.

Really, this is the kind of discussion that's Aunt B's forte. She's all the time having to argue with her persnickety alpha male commenters about The Way Things Are and why making women responsible for ending horrific male behavior is sexist on lots of levels.

I'm reading Camille Paglia's Sexual Personae, which is related to this notion, so I hope to have some insightful stuff to say about this at a later date when I've digested more of the book. It's rather lengthy. And my thoughts on it at the moment are rather scattered.

A few things I want to ponder that Paglia sort of intimates early on in the book: What if men are a mess of writhing hormones and instincts that make them more prone to bone-headed "gimme" acts of violence against women and their fellow men despite institutionalized socializing against such urges? What if women really are better adjusted people who live as self-contained eggs of contentment, while men are always battling against their inner resentment and consequential hatred of women? What if women are always going to be socially and economically disadvantaged because of their status as childbearers, despite the fact that men -- if we are to believe Paglia's theory -- are batshit but brilliantly insane?

I'm not exactly a Paglia fan; I think she's loony but in an admirable way. She's smart as a whip, and knowns more about Greek and Roman and pagan history than any person living today, I would bet. Her obsession with Madonna is ridiculous, though, and makes her credibility a mite suspect. And her obsession with herself and how she gives the "feminist establishment" fits is masturbatory and silly.

But she makes me think. And she makes me worry.

So I'll keep reading.

*Both Quantum Apostrophe and Salieri_82 are from Canada -- the former from Montreal and the latter from Toronto. I suppose now would be a good time to make a joke about Canadians, but, being a blog devoted to creativity in all things, I'm going to let you supply your own joke. Right here. Go.


Blogger J. R. said...

First of all, Canadians suck. I have a long justification for why I dislike Canadians with such vehemence. I'm not going to repeat, so just trust me. They suck.

Secondly, I don't think either of these comments or the story in question say anything profound about men or women, really.

You know how many times I've said "why is SHE with that asshat?". It's pretty much daily, especially since I work with teenagers on a daily basis.

To me, does it seem like women get with guys that are below them or that are "dickheads" (to quote Salieri)? It sure does.

And it seems that way because I am a man that doesn't attract nearly the caliber of women that I think I deserve.

To flip it, do I make poor choices about women? Of course. And there probably are other women out there wondering why I do so.

Do people draw generalizations based on the examples I drew above? Sure. If a person of the opposite sex (or the same sex, I guess, though I have no- erm, okay, little, experience there) thinks someone they are attracted to hooks up with a less suitable mate, does that make them a sexist?

I think not.

It makes them jealous. Jealousy makes humans angry and anger makes humans irrational. It works both ways, it's just that the angry/jealous/insecure/irrational men tend to be the ones that pubically air their anger/jealous/insecurities.

Witness the lengthy popularity of The Smiths and emo music.

Sun Apr 30, 12:55:00 AM  
Blogger theogeo said...

Saying that all the world's problems would be solved if women wouldn't sleep with assholes is a profoundly stupid thing to say. (That's where the profundity comes in.)

Just skip the middle man and say all the world's problems would be solved if assholes would stop being assholes. Framing it the other way sounds a bit like "If women would stop rewarding jerks with sex, everything would be better."

And that sounds pretty sexist to me. But it works against men as much as it does women, unless we are going to admit and believe that men are that pathetic. (Which may be the case. My jury's still out. And bitter.)

This is just a small, mostly semantic example of how some people tend to the put the burden of male behavior on people who shouldn't be required to shoulder it: Women. This BS argument is related to "If Susie Q hadn't been wearing those hoochie clothes, she might not have gotten raped" or "Yes, it's terrible that Betty Sue was raped, but she shouldn't have been walking that street so late at night without an escort."

I take issue with those arguments ("common sense" urging aside) because they're not what we should be working toward. Seeing such blatantly related BS in a random conversation about a stupid junkie just sort of reminded me how prevalent this thinking is, and how much it sucks.

Sun Apr 30, 08:34:00 AM  

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