Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Feeding trolls is fun!

They're baaaack.

Dear God, I should never have used the word "feminist." All it's brought me is grief and the attentions of people who are apparently very much morally superior to me. Y'see, when I started using that word, I thought it meant that I favored equality of the genders and opposed set gender roles. But no, apparently it's a very exclusive category that only applies to people who are pure of word and spirit and deed--and who, as befits saints, suffer for their purity.

Perhaps you should stop seeing sex as your path to worthiness - then you wouldn't feel so awful when that option is unavailable.
Feminism should surely provide you with some basic ideas about this.

1) Oh, it's that beloved old sexist canard--men have sex to get their rocks off, but vaginas have no nerves so women will only have sex for an ulterior motive. I don't get frustrated because I'm a horny motherfucker, but because I'm a sad little girl desperate for approval. Christ, man, this isn't my whole life, I have an education and a job and I've saved human lives, I have a few more ways to feel good about myself, it's just that none of the other ones will give me an orgasm.

2) And yet. You know what? Sex does make me feel better about myself. It's not the only way, but yeah, being sexually desired does raise my self-esteem. I don't understand why this is a bad thing. If my whole ego rested on it, it would be, but having your entire self-image based on any one thing is destructive. Liking yourself more when you get laid and less when you can't is human.

So. You've never been groped by someone you didn't want to touch you? You've never been taken advantage of at a party whilst you've been drunk? You've never been told that you can't read a map, play a computer game, drive a car, argue rationally, do maths or tell jokes? You've never wondered why all your favourite bands have male guitarists, and all the gigs that you go to are full of men? You've never wondered why all women on adverts are overtly sexual, whilst the men are just... men? You've never wondered why it is ok for men to talk about wanking in public as a joke, but if you bring up your body it immediately becomes something to make sexual comments about?

I cannot be bothered to go on. To conclude - why even bother to call yourself a feminist, if you can't even see why feminism is needed?

1) Well, to a lot of these things, no. I've never been more than fleetingly groped against my will, I've certainly never been drunkenly raped, and although I'm sure it's happened, I don't get my map/game/car/etc. competence challenged on a regular basis. Do I get treated with perfect equanimity by everyone? No. But I don't live in a jeering Rapeland either. And I believe the same is true for most women--we face challenges, but we aren't in Gender Hell, and it's dishonest and obnoxious to talk like we are.

2) I never said we were living in a Gender Utopia. Yeah, our society is sexist. I never denied it. I just said it was somewhere in the middle, man! That neither victimhood nor complacency is warranted! There aren't enough grrrl guitarists! You're absolutely right! But stop tearing my ass like I said otherwise, coz I didn't.

3) Uh, I'm pretty sure men (over the age of sixteen, at least?) don't get much more respect for talking about masturbation in public than women do. I can't really remember the last time I saw a guy on the street yelling "I LOVE JERKING OFF!" and passerbys heartily congratulating him--in a nonsexualizing manner!--for it.


  1. Wanna have some more? Try a sentence like.

    "I looked at my career options and felt I'd really rather marry my high school sweetheart and have three of his kids."

    They couldn't imagine such a woman. They also never seem to have realised that men seek skills, money and power to attract a better class of women. I've never figured why women do it except to "prove" they can.

  2. Tom - Um, people of both genders seek skills, money, and power because those things are good to have. It's not all about mating for men and it's sure as fuck not all about "proving" for women--it's about, you know, making something of your life.

  3. Don't feed the radfems! They'll never leave you alone.

    Seriously, I don't get people like that. It's like they don't even want to make things better because then there'll be nothing to whine about.

    Does sexual harassment happen? Yes. Are there men who'll be dismissive assholes to someone just because she's female? Of course. And yeah, a lot of it probably depends on where you live and what kind of people you have to deal with day in and day out, and maybe you've been lucky in terms of how you've been treated by most of the men you see regularly.

    But I think a lot of it is about attitude. If you expect people to treat you like shit, they will. If you won't stand up for yourself you'll get walked all over and if your version of standing up for yourself entails spitting obscenities at every guy who looks twice at you, you'll be called a bitch. There is a middle ground, and it's called 'maturity.'

    How did this get started up again, anyway?

  4. Tom v. radfems would be entertaining.

    Where did this um, debate? take place?

  5. I'm not here to argue with you, but it's all about mating for a LOT of men. And it works well enough that they keep doing it, which means it does attract a lot of women.

    It's kind of like negative campaign advertising. Everybody rushes to condemn it, but every campaign does it. Why do they all do it? Because it works. Why does it work? Because the people who condemn it are kidding themselves. They eat it up and it gets results.