Monday, January 5, 2015
The New Misogyny
There are some men in the West who think this sort of treatment of women is a good thing.
There seems to be a disturbing retrograde trend in the world today - a backlash against women, it seems.
Now granted, in the Arab world, women have basically no rights. This is not a backlash, but a lash - often literally. And perhaps the currency in our culture of these excesses in primitive Islamic cultures, has emboldened more Western men to attack women, both physically and verbally.
Comedian Bill Burr, for example, goes on this long rant against a "female douchebag" on his "podcast". I am not sure why this is funny at all, or if it was meant to be. It just seems like a rant against women for five minutes.
But he is not alone among comedians, and some have said some pretty appalling things. Daniel Tosh is a funny guy, but his rape comments are not. And worse yet, some comedians seem to believe that women are incapable of being funny at all. Apparently, there is a "glass ceiling" in comedy.
There is also a movement among some men, which some are calling a "men's movement" (which sounds awfully smelly) that is a reaction to perceived feminist gains. Terms like "Feminazi" - made famous by the odious Rush Limbaugh - are used to describe women who want to to assert their own rights. And these women are often described in crude terms as quasi-Lesbians with hairy armpits (so a little homophobia is tossed in as well). If you defend the rights of women, you are called a "Mangina" which is an interesting slur based on genitalia. Are these men afraid of vaginas? Paging Dr. Freud!
What exactly is going on here?
Well, to be sure, everyone is a little misogynist - and a little racist, too. For example, you might find this posting of mine to be a little (or a lot) misogynist. But a funny thing, a lot of women have e-mailed me saying that it resonated with them. The point of that posting was not that women are inherently bad or inferior, but that the normative cues that society flings at them (and women fling at each other) are self-destructive.
Are we on the brink of a new age of enlightenment? Or are we walking along the edge of a cliff, ready to fall into the debts of a new dark age? This is the question that troubles me.
I believe women should have equal rights as men - but that societal pressures (which are often self-enforced) are holding them back. And actually, this pattern is true in many minority groups. Nothing will hold you back, if you try to succeed, more than your own kind. People will pull down rather than push up.
But these new misogynists, they are saying something different. They seem to be saying that women are inherently different than men - inferior - and should be rightfully judged by their ability to produce sexual pleasure for men and to reproduce the species - for men.
Are we on the brink of a new age of enlightenment? Or are we walking along the edge of a cliff, ready to fall into the debts of a new dark age? This is the question that troubles me. Because this new misogyny is just part of an overall pattern, it seems. If you spend any amount of time online, you run into a lot of Nazi apologists, anti-Semites, Russian Trolls, and the like - all rooting for the next dark ages.
On the religion side, it seems that many people are becoming less religious, but the few that still are, are moving more radically to the right. Whether it is Judaism, Christianity, Islam, or even Buddhism, people seem to want to go back to "the old ways" and are willing to kill anyone who disagrees with them.
In Germany in the 1920's, a lot of people thought they were on the brink of a new age of enlightenment - that liberalism would prevail. And for a short while, that seemed to be true. But the weak government collapsed, and the intolerant voices of a few became the intolerant voices of the many.
It is interesting, but I guess today it is not politically correct to attack blacks or Hispanics. And even Gays seem to have sufficient political clout to protect themselves. Thus, it seems to be open-season on Women these days.
Caution: Some of the embedded links in this posting go to some pretty odious websites. Bring a barf bag! One site promotes the concept of "game" in the seduction of women, who should be treated as "sluts" while men are "Kings." It is a weird concept, and part of the objectivizing of women. Frankly, that website should be required reading for any young college girl who is thinking of attending a fraternity party.