Both combine to make me bitter.
A couple of nights ago I had dinner with a few friends and one of them turned the TV on afterwards. The show he wanted to watch so desperately is called ‘The Rules of Engagement’ and I had never had the misfortune to encounter it before this night. I hope I never see it again.
There were two plots running through the episode we saw, and both were so chock full of misogyny, I don’t know how anyone can claim women are seen as equal human beings, I honestly don’t.
David Spade, possibly the biggest Giant Baby (TM) to ever walk the Earth, featured in the first. His character had decided he had fallen in love with a woman the first time he saw her, but had no contact info for her. His ‘brilliant’ plan was to ride the elevator in her apartment building for a week til he saw her again. When he did see her again (need I add that she was blonde, gorgeous, thin and had big boobs? I didn’t think so), she freaked out at his stalking and sprayed pepper spray in her eyes. Part of me cheered at a TV show actually depicting stalking having some negative consequences for once.
Then the two men I was watching it with said that his big mistake was mentioning he’d been in the elevator for a week as it made him sound like a stalker. So there’s no problem with the stalking itself, you just have to be sure to hide it from the victim. They also described her as over reacting. Clearly it’s a perfectly normal reaction for a guy who has only seen a woman once to stalk her in an elevator for a week. But for said woman to be scared when confronted with this? Overreacting, of course. I deserve a reward for not ‘over reacting’ to their comments.
The second storyline involved two married couples wherein the men spent the entire twenty minutes demeaning and sidelining their wives just for the sheer fun of it.
The thing about these shows and the way they depict the sexes is, they’re offensive to men and women. If I was a male, I (hope I) would be genuinely appalled at being depicted this way. Honestly, these shows are doing none of us any favours. So it would be nice if the men joined our side for once and did the arguing for us. Might save us the energy to fight for things like reproductive rights and an end to sex slavery.
At work a couple of months ago an email thread was going through our team on birthday cakes. The team health nut sent a long email about calories and healthy eating etc etc and another male in the team decided to turn the conversation to sex.
People in the team reacted as you would expect them to when sex is brought up at an inappropriate time (like in a workplace) and were irritated. This was his response:
I was not being smutty
I thought we were all adults
Can everyone see the problem with this response? Apparently because I don’t like discussing sex with older men in my workplace during business hours, I’m not an adult.
Also, why do people insist on adding things to their apologies that make the actual apology worthless? Saying “I was not being smutty” is incorrect. Saying “I did not mean to be a smutty old sleaze” would be much closer to the point. Whatever you MEANT to be, you were being smutty and we objected to it. This is what you need to apologise for. And the last line of the email shows that you aren’t sorry, you’re just a jerk.
I’ve been holding on to this email since September. Feels good to finally blog about it.
Alright here’s the scoop for all you men out there who think you’re allies.*
Making misogynistic comments and then laughing at the look on the face of the closest feminist, and laughing at her as she starts a rant is not the behaviour of an ally. It hurts the cause more than you realise. It also shows that you’re an arsehole. Stop it.
If you truly honestly think you’re a feminist ally, and please don’t call yourself a feminist**, then ACT LIKE ONE. It is NOT funny to say hateful mean shit and then laugh at the reaction.
If you really agree with feminist thought, you’d know how horrible this shit is. Just. Stop. It.
*Blame Scrubs for the wording there. It’s a damn addictive show and I’m almost finished watching Season 2 for the fourth time.
** Any ally who insists on calling himself a feminist against the wishes of the very group he’s purporting to support, isn’t. No fighting about this in the comments. I don’t want to hear your excuses. I just want you to figure out how to be an ally.
You can do a feminist reading of a text without being a woman.
It is 100% possibly to read a text from a feminist lens without possesing a vagina. There is no need to follow up the comment “very good feminist reading [male name]” with “I am woman, hear me roar”.
I don’t care if you’re joking, you’re an idiot and it wasn’t funny.
I recently had a conversation with Nigel’s older sister about being childfree. This headed quite swiftly into the territory of tubal ligation as I pointed out that women under a certain age without children are not able to get this done easily. She seemed to think it was perfectly ok for this to be the case as she has had many friends who were anti children when young, but grew out of it as they got older. She did freely admit that none of these friends were so anti having kids that they would have gotten the tubal ligation, but clearly this was not the point in her mind.
After awhile of arguing about this, Nigel’s mum jumped in to tell me how wrong I am. I tried to gracefully bow out of the argument many times by stating that they will never be able to convince me I shouldn’t have full rights to my body and what I do to it, but they continued to try and argue with me.
A few of their arguments summed up:
1) there are other options available so it’s not necessary
2) people will regret it later in life
3) doctors are just trying to protect us by not allowing it
argument one doesn’t surprise me coming from his older sister as she’s twenty five (ish) and never had sex, nor has she ever been assaulted. She is a big victim blamer when it comes to rape and therefore probably doesn’t consider the possibility that it could happen to her one day.
In terms of the regret/protection argument, no. No one else needs to protect me. Thisi s my body and my right. If I happen to change my mind at a later date, that’s my cross to bear and everyone else can just back out of it. And I don’t want ANYONE else banning me from doing something for my own protection. Women are not children. We do not need some higher authority looking out for us for our own good. We just need to be left the fuck alone.
His mum brought up people who apparently have a sex change operation and then sue the doctors as they didn’t have enough counselling to make the decision. There was no evidence used to support this argument. Just the idea that there are such people out there and that they are the reason doctors won’t engage in unnecessary surgeries.
These people make it hard for me to have any hope for women as a whole.
Today I received an email from my brother that proved once and for all what a humorless feminist I am.
Below the fold and image heavy
Another overheard conversation.
Apparently there’s been a university study that has proven that the group most discriminated against in Australia is middle aged Anglo Saxon males with a mortgage.
Yes folks, apparently this poor privileged group is so trodden upon they are now the most discriminated in the country. Before I interrupted this delightful and intelligent conversation I heard the words ‘government benefits’. Now IF the study was looking for the group that receives the least amount of welfare money from the government, I’m not surprised it found this one. It’s highly possible that’s what the study was, and that the shock jocks simply turned the story into one about discrimination.
When I interrupted the conversation I asked for a link to the study. At this point teammate B* held his hands up and said “don’t shoot the messenger” with a stupid smirk on his face. I rolled my eyes and tried to get back to work, so he followed it up with “have you noticed I haven’t called you ‘babe’ or ‘sweetheart’ in a while?” Because that accomplishment its so deserving of cookies.
Replying that no, actually, I hadn’t noticed as I’ve been busy dealing with the death of a family member produced some satisfaction from the look on his face.
*profile to come. Same teammate who started the ‘female sports’ conversation.
I’m currently looking at rental properties in a bid to move out from my partner. I need to do this for my mental health. It’s something that a lot of people are encouraging and/or supporting.
There are a great deal of people in my life who are actively encouraging me to give Nigel another chance. They say things like ‘oh poor [nigel]‘ and ‘what will [nigel] do when you move out?’ and are pointing to the problems they know about and saying that they are only small, or that every man is like that or any one of a myriad of excuses.
Why? Why can’t people in this society accept that I need to move out and break up? And even if there was no NEED for it, why can none of them accept that maybe I just want to be single? Maybe it’s got nothing to do with HIM or US, maybe it’s just over.
It’s hard. To go through everyday dealing with these comments, and then go home and have him smile and want to hug. To stick by my resolve to get out when I know that no other rental place will be as good as my current place, in my price range, and not a house share. Why can’t they just accept that this happens sometimes?
My brother’s 23rd birthday is coming up at the start of September. A month ago he told me he was planning it with someone from his work and confirmed the date it would be on. The date he picked is particularly heinous for me as I have a uni thing on all day. It’s about 6 hours straight of classes. Not lectures, actual tutorials that need me to think and debate and discuss. But, that’s one person on his whole guest list, so that’s ok, I can deal.
Yesterday he tells me that nothing has been planned and he can’t be bothered and he can’t even decide between just going to the pub, or going somewhere for dinner first. So my sister and I spent half an hour on the phone going through options and coming up with the perfect night. My brother decides he doesn’t like the suburb we picked and that he’d prefer to do it in the city. He also said he’ll have to check with the girl at work and if she doesn’t have any ideas, we’ll just go to [pub x]. This really irritated me so I threw the towel in there and told him he was on his own.
Today, he sends me an email and copies in this girl from work and my sister and says ‘organise anything as long as it’s in the city’
I’m so close to throwing something at his head, it’s not even funny. Giant Babies oozing with white male Privilege make me sick. Even when they’re relatives.