There seems to be an epidemic of educated men saying the most ridiculously sexist things lately. I’m hardly one to be a proponent of the newest wave of feminism with it’s unbridled male-bashing, but the idiotic statements, in the news and semi-locally, about women in fields heretofore dominated by men have made me think that perhaps that battle isn’t quite done being fought either. With all the focus on Caitlyn Jenner and the trans-movement, I think I forgot that, in America at least, we haven’t made all that much progress after all.
Don’t mistake me, we definitely have opened the doors for women to enter into fields that have been previously shut to them. And the recent victories in the LGBTQ community are wonderful; we’re closer to marriage equality for all, finally. As for the race war, in theory all the media coverage of the racial prejudices of police departments across the country will bring an end to the race debate for once and all (wishful thinking, I know, but I’m trying not to be completely sour). All of these small victories working together should equal a big victory and an end to inequality, especially in a country who’s motto is one of freedom and opportunity for all…
But we are most definitely not there yet.
In America, a country that has no national language, there are daily comments, memes, bumper stickers, and who knows what else complaining about people not speaking the language. Of course, it would help if the people complaining could speak the (English) language properly themselves…
Wendy Williams tackled it a little bit when Tom Hanks’ son tried to defend his use of the word. Wendy had some interesting, and helpful things to say about it.
I love how Wendy points out that it’s kind of an ignorant word. She doesn’t say it in those exact terms, but pointing out that the true gangsta rappers who use the word started out on the streets in low, presumably uneducated circumstances, and that if those same people (she uses Jay-Z specifically as an example) were to begin at the top they wouldn’t bring themselves down.
I think the point there being that it’s not just a race issue, as most would view it and as it certainly is, but also a class issue. Educated people from wealthy backgrounds don’t get a pass to use such an ugly word.
There are just some things that can’t be taken back once they’re said.
Case in point: the recent resignation of Nobel laureate Tim Hunt, who resigned, by choice or by force, for basically saying that girls had no place in a science lab. He commented that they were distractions for the men (you know, the real scientists), and that they, the female scientists, would cry when receiving criticism. He said his comments were meant “to be light-hearted but also ‘honest’…”
Honestly, sir, you have no idea of what you speak.
And that sort of rhetoric is what has caused feminism to swing so violently to a man-hating, misandrist place.
Luckily, these women are better than I am…I’ll elaborate shortly.
For more fun and funny tweets and Instagram posts, check out #distractinglysexy. They’re worth a chuckle at least. My personal favorite is the one with the woman “shoulder-deep in cow rectum.” Because everyone knows that sticking your whole arm up a cow’s rear end is #distractinglysexy!
But the overt sexism is no laughing matter.
I recently experienced something similar in my own little world. Remember a brief discussion of Mr. West Coast, the guy with whom I was so enthralled, I was considering a move across country just so I could perhaps have a face to face conversation with him? Well, his true colors came through and they are about as sexist as those of Dr. Hunt.
To hear him tell it, he is something of a feminist. After all if he can work from home and still get excellent marks, surely maternity leave can be extended or women could work for home in a similar way…
OK, to be fair that’s not a bad idea, especially given how deplorable maternity leave is handled in the U.S.
But it’s the only truly woman friendly thing he’s said in over several weeks’ worth of back and forth via email.
Not only has he told me that I’m too idealistic, and unrealistic in my approach to relationships, but that my biggest problem is how I handle the way people tell me things because I am “bellicose.” He threw this word at me because I disagreed with his assessment of my person. When he told me that my belief in a purpose (and thus he assumed the traditional view of God) was a sign of my insecurity, tied to my fear of failure, he directly insulted me based on an assumption. He spouted some of Ayn Rand’s own words about how belief in a higher power was a way to cheat responsibility. By believing that I have a purpose or a destiny, I was, in his estimation, relinquishing my responsibilities to some invisible man in the sky.
Not only was his response condescending, but it was based on an assumption, which, as a man of science (which he claims to be), he should be loathe to do.
Plus he was wrong…
It was the way he described how things should be done in the workplace that really made me see the truth of him. Not only did he send me some muddled statement that women were unsuccessful as motivators, specifically naming Joan of Arc as the only successful woman motivator, but he later also told me how he sent flowers to some female supervisors who refused to sign off on a project of his in the time he needed it. He followed it up with an explanation that of course he would have never done such a thing for a male supervisor, but then a man would never have held up his project for so long.
Apparently, according to him, women leaders would rather not make a choice at all than make a wrong choice, and this hinders their ability to lead. He felt that they simply didn’t understand how important his part of the project was, and so he gave them the ultimatum to hear him out or get flowers every day until they did so. Two weeks behind schedule, it took 2 days of receiving unwanted flowers to get his way.
I’m pretty sure there’s at least one HR violation in there somewhere. Not to mention, it completely undermines the authority of those women. It could be misinterpreted from the outside as a bribe, or an inappropriate business relationship. Besides the insult of assuming these women were too stupid to understand what he needed them to do, he compounded it by forcing their hand. In order to save face, they would have to do what he wanted, or else be further bombarded by unwanted flowers.
Is it not possible there were more pressing matters ahead of his? And he simply had to wait his turn?
He says no. Then again, he cannot see anything wrong with what he’s done or said…
Really? There’s nothing wrong with giving unwanted flowers instead of letting someone do their job? It’s impossible for him to make a mistake in his assessments? And the big one: no woman other than Joan of Arc is capable of motivating?
Right… because things worked out so well for her!
Furthermore, while I tried to explain where some of his observations were faulty, in the attempt to continue our discourse, he refused to acknowledge that he’d ever been wrong. Instead, he’d point out words he felt I’d missed, and insult me by suggesting that I should have understood what he truly meant because I’m an English teacher and deal with words.
Admittedly, he used a lot of words like “seems,” or “maybe,” but at one point, the aforementioned discussion of purpose and idealism, he said that while he didn’t want to go too deeply into my personal life, he could say for certain that I was too idealistic. My arguments to his inaccurate assessment were based on that statement, and the following sentences which fell in line with that statement.
Yet he continued to suggest that he was merely telling me his observations, and he was glad I “could puff steam” at him… So when I point out his flaws, I’m merely puffing steam, yet when he points out mine, I’m supposed to take them as gospel truth.
Oh, and the phrase I think he meant was “blowing off steam,” in case anyone else thought that was a strange turn of a phrase. He told me he didn’t like to use the word “blow” when dealing with women… another unnecessary comment based in sexism.
He found it humorous, or cute at first when I tried to correct his mistake and I took a more aggressive (fine, I’ll say it: bellicose) tone because of his overtly condescending remarks.
Apparently people who take themselves too seriously are funny.
He must find himself hilarious.
Either way, he is hopefully gone. I’ve deleted the email account through which we were communicating, created simply to protect myself from the potential craziness that it turns out was more than just potential. When I told him I didn’t think we should speak any more, he was very specific in describing just exactly how his way was the best and he’d had no idea how sensitive I was, especially since I tried to promote myself as an Alpha Female.
In his estimation, I should have been able to handle his misogyny as the cold hard facts he saw them to be. I think he missed my post on the differences between being an Alpha Male and an Asshole.
That’s one bit of prejudice out of the way. Now if only we can fix the rest…