Is it any wonder that when those young geeks and nerds grow up, they don’t become an empathetic and enlightened new breed of men, but rather, even worse incarnations of those who bullied them?
Just go check out the tech, comic book, and video game industries.
The intention behind those messages—that intelligence and hard work are valued more by your peers as adults than as children, that you can grow out of your awkwardness and into a person people love, that the meanness displayed by bullies gets old and that kindness becomes valued (and if these kids are being told this at the same age I was, it’s before bitterness sets in and the kindness turns sour and fake and becomes a tool, at the time when we should be learning that we aren’t entitled to others’ affection so that our gap in understanding doesn’t turn toxic as it inevitably does if we aren’t set right)—is good, but it needs to be communicated in a way where that comes through instead of the message, “You are better than everyone around you and you will get what you deserve, including being granted a woman who fits into your adolescent power fantasy.”
We should be telling these boys, “If you build on what’s good about you and try not to get bitter, as you get older, you’ll be more likely to find people who appreciate what you have to offer,” not, “You are entitled to money, power, and sex, and you will get those things by virtue of your personal brand of greatness.”
Damn, Stevie just fuckin nailed it.
We have allowed ourselves to believe, for a long time, that the misogynist subcultures flourishing on- and offline in the past half-decade, the vengeful sexism seeding in resentment in a time of rage and austerity, is best ignored. We have allowed ourselves to believe that those fetid currents aren’t really real, that they don’t matter, that they have no relation to “real-world” violence. But if the Isla Vista massacre is the first confirmed incident of an incident of gross and bloody violence directly linked to the culture of ‘Men’s Rights’ activism and Pickup Artist (PUA) ideology, an ideology that preys on lost, angry men, then it cannot be ignored or dismissed any more.
We like to think that violent misogyny - not sexism, but misogyny, woman-hatred as ideology and practice, weaponised contempt for one half of the human race - isn’t something that really happens in the so-called West. No matter how many wives and girlfriends are murdered by their husbands, no matter how many rapists are let off because of their “promising careers”, violence against women is something that happens elsewhere, somewhere foreign, or historical, or both. So anxious are we to retain this convenient delusion that any person, particularly any female person, who attempts to raise a counter argument can expect to be harassed and shouted down."
misogyny sexism patriarchy
Because she had the audacity to refuse an invitation to prom. Maren Sanchez is dead, murdered by a sixteen year old classmate who flew into a rage when Sanchez declined to be his date.
Two weeks ago a man in France was arrested for raping his daughter. She’d gone to her school counselor and then the police, but they needed “hard evidence.” So, she videotaped her next assault. Her father was eventually arrested. His attorney explained, “There was a period when he was unemployed and in the middle of a divorce. He insists that these acts did not stretch back further than three or four months. His daughter says longer. But everyone should be very careful in what they say.” Because, really, even despite her seeking help, her testimony, her bravery in setting up a webcam to film her father raping her, you really can’t believe what the girl says, can you?
Everyone “knows” this. Even children.
Three years ago, in fly-on-the-wall fashion of parent drivers everywhere, I listened while a 14-year-old girl in the back seat of my car described how angry she was that her parents had stopped allowing her to walk home alone just because a girl in her neighborhood “claimed she was raped.” When I asked her if there was any reason to think the girl’s story was not true, she said, “Girls lie about rape all the time.” She didn’t know the person, she just assumed she was lying…
No one says, “You can’t trust women,” but distrust them we do. College students surveyed revealed that they think up to 50% of their female peers lie when they accuse someone of rape, despite wide-scale evidence and multi-country studies that show the incident of false rape reports to be in the 2%-8% range, pretty much the same as false claims for other crimes. As late as 2003, people jokingly (wink, wink) referred to Philadelphia’s sex crimes unit as “the lying bitch unit.” If an 11-year-old girl told an adult that her father took out a Craigslist ad to find someone to beat and rape her while he watched, as recently actually occurred, what do you think the response would be? Would she need to provide a videotape after the fact?
It goes way beyond sexual assault as well. That’s just the most likely and obvious demonstration of “women are born to lie” myths. Women’s credibility is questioned in the workplace, in courts, by law enforcement, in doctors’ offices, and in our political system. People don’t trust women to be bosses, or pilots, or employees. Pakistan’s controversial Hudood Ordinance still requires a female rape victim to procure four male witnesses to her rape or risk prosecution for adultery. In August, a survey of managers in the United States revealed that they overwhelmingly distrust women who request flextime. It’s notable, of course, that women are trusted to be mothers—the largest pool of undervalued, unpaid, economically crucial labor."
Men want what they want.
So much of our culture caters to giving men what they want. A high school student invites model Kate Upton to attend his prom, and he’s congratulated for his audacity. A male fan at a Beyoncé concert reaches up to the stage to slap her ass because her ass is there, her ass is magnificent, and he wants to feel it. The science fiction fandom community is once again having a heated discussion, across the Internet, about the ongoing problem of sexual harassment at conventions — countless women are telling all manner of stories about how, without their consent, they are groped, ogled, lured into hotel rooms under false pretenses, physically lifted off the ground, and more.
But men want what they want. We should all lighten up.
It’s hard not to feel humorless as a woman and a feminist, to recognize misogyny in so many forms, some great and some small, and know you’re not imagining things. It’s hard to be told to lighten up because if you lighten up any more, you’re going to float the fuck away. The problem is not that one of these things is happening, it’s that they are all happening, concurrently and constantly.
These are just songs. They are just jokes. They are just movies. It’s just a hug. They’re just breasts. Smile, you’re beautiful. Can’t a man pay you a compliment? In truth, this is all a symptom of a much more virulent cultural sickness — one where women exist to satisfy the whims of men, one where a woman’s worth is consistently diminished or entirely ignored."
I hemmed and hawed over publishing this publicly because it makes me look dumb. I know co workers will see it, associates will see it, people who look up to me as a survivor of abuse will see it, and I will look Dumb. But I think that’s okay. I was being pretty dumb and I think a lot of…
One of my co-workers wrote this. You absolutely must read it.
Breaking Bad spoilers within. Trigger warning for abuse.breaking bad abusive relationships skyler white walter white misogyny queue