Misogyny 101 For Women

Did you know that women could be raging, misogynist jerks, too?

Well, they can be! Even though this ironically proves that women are fully capable of doing jobs often considered the exclusive domain of men. The only caveat is that you have to pretend you're stupid. But come on, we're women; all too many of us had an MA in pretending we were stupid by the age of 12.

(Hey misogynist guys, question for you ... Would you find it more disturbing if you discovered that your female SO was faking climax or that she was secretly wicked smart? Hmmmmm. I digress.)

Yet, like being a Black conservative, being a female misogynist can land you some really lucrative, high-profile, media and foundation gigs. Since I am nothing if not interested in helping other women compete equally with men in the job market, I've helpfully pulled together a guide to woman-bashing for women, below the fold.

Ooh, and huge thanks to my super empowered Sisters whose recent writings made this task so easy that even a woman could knock it out in an afternoon ;D LOL! Shall we get on with it, girls ...

First, and most importantly, remember that rape is the woman's fault. Always. And it isn't really a problem. No, sirree. (Ahem. I meant, no Sir! Sorry if any of my male natural superiors took offense at my playful taking of their title in vain.)

Fellow women, you have to step up and keep people from taking rape seriously because, and you're going to get tired of hearing me repeat this, men totally can't get away with it anymore. How are we to stop taxpayer dollars from going towards useless programs that protect women from violent attacks by people they know if rape isn't treated like some campy, youthful lapse in judgment? Hilarious!

Second, make sure and use the word "hysterical" in reference, however subtle or sidewise you need to make it, to positions and arguments likely to be advanced by other women.

This is a really, really important one! See, the word hysteria is a centuries old slur against women that gained currency as a way to accuse endometriosis sufferers of being hypochondriacs. Throughout recorded medical history and up to this very day, the medical profession has been split (and not necessarily evenly, hah!) between doctors who think it's a real problem and those who think that 'female troubles' are best treated with sedatives. If women can't even reliably know when their own bodies are sick or in pain, how trustworthy is their judgment about anything else?

This line of attack stems from revulsion towards women's 'mysterious' (read: irrational and therefore unpredictable) bodies, which are objects simultaneously of fetishization and fear.

'Hysteria' comes from the word for womb, and is literally a way to call someone crazy just because they're a girl. Use with abandon, then follow it up by telling the woman you're mocking to "calm down," because what she's concerned about is clearly a distortion of overwrought nerves. Yet another one the dudes can't get away with.

Third, stereotypes are your friends.

It doesn't matter if they've been disproved or not. In fact, you need never worry your pretty, little (little! did you catch that?) head about that, because your target audience is men who are too smug to study up and women who are crippled by doubts about their own competence. Call your detractors shrill nags who hate men and can't face reality.

This will be projection, of course. Fair warning that, should you undertake this job, you'll acquire a level of cognitive dissonance and self-disgust that'll leave people wondering if you'd be happier with a gender reassignment surgery (which you could easily get in Iran, btw) due to your clear loathing of your own gender.

To wit, with counterarguments, so you can be adequately prepared for them:

  • Relationships are stupid things that only chicks care about. This is why men have never been driven to violence, or the writing of weepy ballads, novels and world famous plays, over women they were desperately in love with. Real men would rather live alone in the woods with the uncomplicated company of their right hands, though they'll periodically deign to try and impregnate someone.
  • Men only have car accidents at 89% the rate of women, in spite of practicing driving 75% more, and while men's accidents are deadlier, this is all a clear indication that women are lousy drivers. Because everybody knows that. Just don't expect that argument to wash with issuers of car insurance and you're good.
  • Memory and verbal intelligence don't really count as 'intelligence', as such. If you have a hard time with calculus, it's because you're a stupid woman, not because calculus is an objectively difficult subject, for which having a Y chromosome does not provide a secret decoder key.
  • Women have smaller heads than men, so they're not as smart, because size is everything. Relentlessly ignore the fact that this recycled racist argument positing a link between head/brain size and IQ has not been demonstrated in healthy adult human beings whose mothers had adequate nutrition during pregnancy.
  • Typically female hobbies and interests are stupid and frivolous by definition. You can coast for years on snide references to shoe collections and overshopping in a culture where women are judged primarily by their appearances. Just remember that video games, cars with engine capacities that few mortals ever get to fully test, groups of grown men chasing balls around a grass lot cheered on by other men in garish face paint, and really tricked out audio equipment are deadly serious interests. Unless women are interested in them, in which case it's cute how they want to tag along.
  • All women love kids, want their own, and are instinctively competent at caring for them at a mysterious, almost animal level. Women who disagree ... look, we already covered the hysteria part, don't know their own minds, etc., don't make me do it again. I have limits and tell you what, you get into character too fast and I will rain some hellfire snark down on your mincing self.

Fourth, as often as possible, it's women and children.

This is important because most of the restrictions placed on women by patriarchal society are the sorts of restrictions you put on kids. That's the basic premise, after all; that women lack full moral agency. Men get to be adults someday, women, not so much.

So when you talk about women acting on behalf of children, make sure to equate the two so that the women themselves are seen as childish and in need of stern, steady adult guidance. (See how that sticks it to those uppity, irresponsible bitches, while subtly flattering men? Learn.) Because it's somehow childish to be accountable for the welfare of another human being, unless you're a man.

Consider:

[In an article about moms who are active in local politics to support taxes that fund schools and other local services in Massachusetts] "These are people who have the spare time to do this," said [Barbara Anderson, executive director of Marblehead-based Citizens for Limited Taxation]. "They are obsessed with what they want for their kids, which is a private school experience that they don't have to pay for themselves."

... Still, Anderson said she saw the constant push for overrides as a dangerous lesson for young people.

"It is teaching kids to be selfish and to live off other people," she said. ...

Anderson approaches mastery at this technique. Leading off with a standard conservative trope that people who use public services should expect those services to suck, she segues right into drawing a comparison between women who want their kids schools not to suck and the archetypal stay-at-home mom who's perpetually in the position of having money only through the charity of her husband, because she doesn't do any real work.

This applies just as well to moms with jobs, because the momness invalidates their adulthood. (And they say conservatives value motherhood. Tsk. ... What? Did I say I agreed with this BS, or something, just because I know how it's done?)

Then note, she says that the women are teaching their kids, by example, clearly, to be selfish. See how she didn't come right out and say that the women themselves were selfish?

Though mind, the rest of her argument, I'd advise you to be more cautious about emulating. Kids do, in fact and virtually by definition, live off other people. You could drive a truck through the gap in that construct. Though what she's saying here, that you don't want kids to think they have any value beyond what they can personally earn in a paycheck, is important. It tells young boys that they oughtn't put anything ahead of earning money, and young girls that work traditionally allocated to women is valueless, as are the women who do it.

Coming back around to the way anti-feminist woman-bashing meshes with conservatism, absorb the important base perspective that people's value to society is represented perfectly by their annual salary.

If this is true, and if women are relegated to low-paying professions, or lower pay for the same work, or, glee!, prevented from ever taking salaried work, whether they want to or not, then they are permanently second-class citizens. Lowly. Of very little intrinsic merit. Like the poor, and kids.

People who are dependent, like women and children, are pathetic.

Men, naturally, never depend on anyone. They're born needing no one and no one's help. Except when the right hand gets a little boring. This is why men are never selfish, because any little thing they do for someone else is a supreme act of charity.

Tread carefully with this, though. If you can't write a coherent, 1,000 word essay on why earning a salary by working for someone else isn't living "off other people," you may make some of the same mistakes Anderson makes above. This is an exercise with which I can't be of assistance. Though clever, certainly enough to mock those of you who fail to attain this level of skill, I'm not quite that clever.

Fifth, pull the 'catfight' card.

This builds on several of the emergent themes you may have noticed threading through this primer. Women as mysterious and moody animals, and therefore subhuman. Women who are out of control and probably acting against their best interests. Women acting out of primal, not rational, motives. Women as agents of limited intellect, were they inclined to try to use it in the first place.

Work the word 'claw' into your argument for maximum effect.

Guys can still get away with this one, obviously, but they need your help to keep it legit. And remember, when men disagree enthusiastically and perhaps irreconcilably, or nurse long grudges against each other, they spar, battle, lock horns, engage, argue, thunder, and blast. They don't have spats, except with their female SOs, and it's always her fault he had to get so mad, because the bitch just wouldn't listen.

And ... done!

Well armed with these talking points, you'll quickly achieve dizzying heights (dizzy! hah!) of woman-bashing prowess. You can go ahead and simper to your conservative male cohorts as if it were no big, but your feminist counterparts will know the truth of your achievements.

Even as we mercilessly destroy your misogynist apologism.

Tags: feminism, misogyny, Women (all tags)

Comments

67 Comments

Arghhhhhhhhhhh!

I'm a 62 year old woman who marched and yelled and donated and walked to change those perceptions and the realities for women for the past 42 years.

And now I learn that I HAVE ACHIEVED NOTHING!!!!!

EXCUSE MY WHILE I GO SLIT MY WRISTS.

I am at the point of saying FU to future generations - we did the hard work for you and now you're blowing it (pun intended!!).

Good luck!  

by Shazone 2008-03-02 01:36PM | 0 recs
Re: Arghhhhhhhhhhh!
Just another emotional female response.

(KIDDING!!!)

Honestly, I think gender bashing, both in and out of politics, is going to be with us for the long term. I think we're at some level genetically wired to define by dividing.

by PhilFR 2008-03-02 06:33PM | 0 recs
Re: Arghhhhhhhhhhh!

It seems that the premise of your comment is that anyone who does not support Hillary is not a feminist, and in fact, that those who oppose her are presumed to be sexist.

IMHO, there are plenty of good non-sexist reasons to prefer Obama.  I am not trying to start a flame war, but I would like a little thoughtful discussion. Any takers?

by upper left 2008-03-03 04:26AM | 0 recs
Re: Misogyny 101 For Women

I'd love to have a woman president, but I refuse to vote for a woman because she is a woman.

by mainelib 2008-03-02 01:48PM | 0 recs
Me neither. That's why I'm voting...

(even as a write-in if I have to) for the best qualified candidate for the job...Hillary Clinton.

by Shazone 2008-03-02 01:58PM | 0 recs
Re: Qualified is in the eye of the beholder

Qualified?  Qualified is in the eye of the beholder.  

I feel Obama is far more qualified: better judgement; committed to a bottom-up organizational structure; far better campaigner; demonstrates a capacity for self-reflection and self-knowledge in his books that is extremely rare for a politician; far more committed to trying to stop the cycle of negative campaigning that has driven millions of Americans to totally tune out politics; and, far more capable of building a winning progressive majority.  

by upper left 2008-03-03 04:35AM | 0 recs
Re: Misogyny 101 For Women

I agree.  There has been terrible sexist slime in this campaign.  Every voter should stand up and say it is wrong.

by mainelib 2008-03-02 02:03PM | 0 recs
Re: She is not loosing because she is a woman

Sure there have been many sexist comments directed at HRC, particularly from some members of the media. But I do not think there has been a pattern of sexism coming from Obama's campaign. There have been one or two apparently inadvertent slips of the tongue, but I have observed no pattern of sexism from Obama.

In fact, I do not think that sexism is the primary reason that HRC is in trouble:  She has lacked "message cohesion" from the beginning of this campaign.  To many, she does not come across as "authentic." Her refusal to apologize for her Iraq vote cost her dearly.  Her campaign was out-fundraised and out-worked at the grass-roots level.  She is a very good campaigner, but Obama is clearly better in the eyes of a majority of voters.

She had the vast majority of the advantages and still lost.  In fact, if she had not been a woman, and had the fierce allegiance of so many women based on identity politics, she would have lost long ago.

by upper left 2008-03-03 04:51AM | 0 recs
Where'd that come from?

It seems like you assume that I think people are sexist if they don't support Clinton, whose name I didn't mention even once, iirc. I think that would surprise some of my Obama-supporting friends.

Please note that this isn't a candidate diary or endorsement.

Also, I included links in an earlier post today that tackled racist attacks on Obama, and if that makes me an Obama booster, that's news to me. Seriously, big, honking, breaking news.

by Natasha Chart 2008-03-02 02:29PM | 0 recs
Re: Misogyny 101 For Women
sexism goes both way. women have been just as guilty as men during this primary season. both are wrong.
by supsupsup 2008-03-02 02:06PM | 0 recs
Re: Misogyny 101 For Women

I think that's the point of this post.

by Iphie 2008-03-02 02:15PM | 0 recs
Re: Misogyny 101 For Women

I completely agree, supx3. The difference is men have more often been in positions of influence and power, so the effects of their (our) sexism is felt more havily than reverse sexism. Women hating men is just as bad on a moral and ethical level, but not on a practical level. Not yet, anyway.

by Nathan Empsall 2008-03-02 02:29PM | 0 recs
Re: Misogyny 101 For Women

Actually, I think the most interesting thing aobu having a black man and a white woman run is seeing the limits of progress. That is to say how far either canidate can go before they run up against the limits of tolerance:

-Hillary appears stilted due to the fact that she can't show emotions, or be seen as caring otherwise she would be discredited (to feminine, like a mom, etc.)

-Obama appears hesistant to attack due to the fact that he can't be seen as angry (instantly bringing to mind the image of Malcolm X, street thugs, Wille Horton, Al Sharpton, etc. )

Shazone-

"Chelsea is a symbol to youg women" look I was with you until that, seriously? A symbol?! Chelsea has less relevance to young women than ScarJo? Do you consider Barbra Bush (the non-party girl Bush twin) a "symbol to young women"?

by Socraticsilence 2008-03-02 02:08PM | 0 recs
Re: Misogyny 101 For Women

Maybe it's reactive, but I think it's just who they are as people. Obama has gone on the attack plenty, just in a very pleasant way. Clinton has been electorally rewarded for showing genuine emotion in the past.

by Nissl 2008-03-02 02:41PM | 0 recs
Racism and Obama
That's exactly it. When Obama goes on the offensive, he has to do it "in a nice way". That is, he can't be a scary, angry black man.

Just as Clinton can't be an "emotional woman".

It's such BS... and I think it'll be many, many more decades, if ever, until we get past it.

by PhilFR 2008-03-02 06:37PM | 0 recs
Re: Racism vs Sexism

I think you make a number of excellent points.

I have argued, for over a year, that Obama's message of bringing people together and his less-partisan rhetoric are very much related to his attempt to break the race barrier. He cannot afford to be labeled as "the angry black man."  

This is one of the reasons that it makes me crazy when hyper-partisans criticize him for not being "strong enough" or when they suggest that he will "roll-over" against the Republicans.  

I was a Sociology and Women's Studies double major in college.  I have found this contest to be endlessly fascinating.  Both Obama and Clinton have had to walk a tightrope.  It is interesting to speculate as to who had the more difficult task.  Is the fact that Obama appears to be coming out ahead a reflection of the fact that he had a simpler task, or a reflection that he has undertaken his task with greater subtlety and skill?  I think you could make a case either way.

by upper left 2008-03-03 05:09AM | 0 recs
oh God, you've got one of your own

you assume women suck at math and that my friends is also sexist and a myth.

Has nothing to do with chromosomes or which side of your brain (or ass) you are thinking out of.

Women can do math, they can rock at math and there is much evidence to back it up.

I admire your diary but that's just a real myth and I think women are brainwashed with the threat, if chicks score in math, the threat is they won't score in the mate category.  i.e. you are are good at math you will not be loved, that's the societal threat, overt, convert.

by Robert Oak 2008-03-02 02:13PM | 0 recs
Re: oh God, you've got one of your own

I said if, if you suck at math. And did you, by chance, look at the link embedded near that comment? Might have driven home the thrust of the sarcasm a little better, which is that advanced math is hard and being a man doesn't mean you'll be good at it, either.

by Natasha Chart 2008-03-02 02:21PM | 0 recs
more precisely

I said, "If you have a hard time with calculus ..."

Isn't it sort of unusual not to have a hard time with calculus, to have to really work at it?

But thanks for explicitly making the connection regarding why women are supposed to act stupid.

by Natasha Chart 2008-03-02 02:33PM | 0 recs
Re: more precisely

all math is hard, except huckamath.

by Doug Tuttle 2008-03-02 03:53PM | 0 recs
Calculus is not hard

actually, I think that's the issue, it's not hard and women are more than capable of figuring it out.

What seems to happen is as women enter puberty, socialization and all of it the message is horrific that women should not excel at math OR they won't get a date and won't be "feminine".

But, your assumption that Calculus is hard is what I reacted to, not to worry your overall message is right, just that message that Calculus is tough when it's just not.  It's not tough until you get into mathematical proofs and some things like abstract algebra that require really speaking the language of mathematics and that's another issue, it uses the language center of the brain to speak the language of math.

Q.E.D.

by Robert Oak 2008-03-02 05:33PM | 0 recs
Maybe for you

I took calculus, a whole year of it. It's hard.

By which I mean that it takes a lot of study and work, more for some than others, but tending towards the 'more' end of the spectrum. It takes a certain mindset for it to be 'easy' and we call that talent. One of my best female friends, a very talented programmer and a leader in her field didn't find it nearly as difficult as I did. And she's the one who told me, when I was grumping about my calculus grades bringing down my excellent GPA that it's a class most people couldn't even pass ... because it's a hard subject.

And I don't take it to mean that I'm therefore dumb. I did great at biology, good at chemistry and organic chemistry, all of which I took at college level for a full year. And some of the people in those other classes who were really sharp at math told me that they just didn't know how I seemed to sail through biology and organic chemistry, which they had to work at a lot harder than inorganic chemistry, higher math or physics.

Now perhaps I was being taught calculus in some suboptimal fashion, it could be, but it's how everyone else got it, too. I did do much better with my third teacher in the series than the first, and got started on it in my late 20s after having to work up to college math past remedial algebra and geometry, but I don't think you're going to find a lot of takers for your 'calculus is easy' proposition.

The way most people are raised and taught, which are the conditions we sort of have to live with, it's takes considerably more effort to excel in it than in many other topics.

by Natasha Chart 2008-03-02 06:31PM | 0 recs
eh

it's not hard but yes many people flunk out and yes many are guys!  That said, have a crappy book plus a crappy teacher (but it's the book that's critical, it's really just a bunch of formulas and understanding the concept of delta).

anyway, I find so many people psych themselves out with this fear of math, "OMG it's so fucking hard" they won't lift a pencil and deal with it.

Add to that women are told they "can't do math" so they will sit there and insist they "can't do math" and thus not try.  7/8th of teaching is to get that brain cleansed from math panic disease and preconceived stark raving fear.  

If you haven't figured it out I've deal with this often and so much of it is in the perception of calculus versus learning a few formulas and using that pencil.

by Robert Oak 2008-03-02 07:15PM | 0 recs
I find calculus

more comprehension-based than learning-based.  As opposed to say, biology.

Once you know the basic derivative an integral rules, a calculus problem is like a little puzzle where you have to find the hidden function, perform the right substitution, and unscrable it all.

I was good at calculus and sucked at biology.  Probably because I didn't have the patience to memorize the names for everything.

by corph 2008-03-03 06:38AM | 0 recs
Re: I find calculus

Just so this doesn't go forever unchallenged on the internet ...

Yes, if you learn the rules, you can unlock the calculus puzzles. But biology isn't just about memorization. There are a lot of disparate facts you have to cram in your head, but you can't do really well in it if you don't gradually assemble them into a big picture of how a living creature works as an integrated structure. It's not like taking anatomy and physiology, where memorization is 99%.

To get biology, it has to become an integrated story to you. It's a story that requires you to learn a whole other language to understand, but it contains many uncertain puzzles of beautiful intricacy whose answers only make sense when all those memorized terms become a working vocabulary so that you can think in Biology the same way you can think in English.

I should write a post about this one of these days.

by Natasha Chart 2008-03-08 09:02AM | 0 recs
Shorter Me

It is hard, and many women are capable of figuring it out anyway.

If I had more time, I would have written a shorter letter - T.S Eliot

by Natasha Chart 2008-03-02 06:34PM | 0 recs
Re: Shorter Me
And many, many men are incapable of figuring it out. If anything, we're in the realm over overlapping Bell curves here.
by PhilFR 2008-03-02 06:39PM | 0 recs
Re: Misogyny 101 For Women

You know, not too recently, I had a conversation with someone right here on MyDD covering exactly these issues -- hysteria (which, may I add to your overview, was actually a legitimate medical diagnosis, one that was made exclusively of women and was made until the last century) and speaking of women with language that is more commonly used to describe children.

Now, the person with whom I was corresponding was a man, who seemed to be indicating that I was being overly sensitive by pointing out the misogyny of the language being used (I know, overly sensitive, I'm a woman and regularly let my emotions get the best of me). And this person basically told me that since he didn't believe the word "hysterical" was at all sexist then it wasn't. His word was final apparently, and my thoughts on the subject (and  the etymology of the word) just didn't matter. He then went on to describe his two year old child as being hysterical, and since his child was a boy, then clearly it wasn't a sexist term. My suggestion that comparing a grown woman with a toddler was infantalizing to the woman was ignored.

As difficult as it is to believe that I should have to point these things out to a guy (and be completely dismissed), it makes me want to cry (I know, I know -- I can't help it, I have ovaries!) when other women partake of this bull**.

I live in NYC and sometimes indulge the fantasy of running into MoDo somewhere and challenging the blatant misogyny that she peddles. Perhaps it will be as she's walking out of her doctor's office after having her botox freshened up -- it would be an ironic twist when we got to the part about judging other women's physical appearance.

by Iphie 2008-03-02 02:14PM | 0 recs
Re: Misogyny 101 For Women

I wrote a diary recently for mydd called "Sexism as the last acceptable predjudice", read it when you can.

by ddigioia 2008-03-02 02:21PM | 0 recs
Re: Misogyny 101 For Women

I will definitely check it out.

by Iphie 2008-03-02 06:13PM | 0 recs
Sexism as a Candidate.

One of the elements of this campaign is that Clinton says relatively frequently lines such as, Simply electing me will be real change! I agree that electing a man or a woman to the office would be real change, but the candidates should not be offering that as a reason to support their candidacy.

The historic nature of electing ANY first is not something that should be done because it is a first. I want a woman president, I want a black president, I want a latino/latina president, a gay/lesbian president, an atheist president. I want more diversity in the office, but we should never get to the level of suggesting that being that first should be the reason one supports a candidate.

Props to Shazone for supporting Senator Clinton because (Shazone believes) she is the best qualified person for the job. I have simply heard too many feminists say that they support Clinton because it is time for a woman president. I'm a feminist because I don't believe what you do or do not have in your pants should be a qualification for anything.

by Obama08 2008-03-02 02:17PM | 0 recs
Re: Sexism as a Candidate.

Like you, I'm an Obama supporter, but I disagree about offering up gender as a reason to support a campaign. Women really do have a different leadership style, on average, then men, and that can be offered up as a positive. The same can be said of minorities - they'll be more in tune with small prejudices and the patterns they build than another white male (like me) would be.

by Nathan Empsall 2008-03-02 02:32PM | 0 recs
Re: Sexism as a Candidate.

If she made an argument about a different leadership style based upon her gender that would be one thing. Voting for a candidate who is a woman because she would be a first is a different issue altogether.

by Obama08 2008-03-02 03:42PM | 0 recs
Re: Sexism as a Candidate.

Fair enough.

by Nathan Empsall 2008-03-02 03:53PM | 0 recs
Re: Sexism as a Candidate.

It's not just about what's in the pants - it's about the hormones (testosterone included) that have a physiological effect on the way you think and act, and about the experiences you've had as a result of your gender (like dealing with prejudice and sexism).

by Nathan Empsall 2008-03-02 02:33PM | 0 recs
Re: Sexism as a Candidate.
But we're in the realm of overlapping Bell curves here, aren't we? I mean, do you really want to have comparative testosterone tests of Hillary and Barack?
by PhilFR 2008-03-02 06:43PM | 0 recs
Re: Sexism as a Candidate.

Admittedly, this is one pairing where the typical gender distinctions may not be as relevant as normal, they do have varying styles.

by Nathan Empsall 2008-03-02 07:57PM | 0 recs
Leaving anything out?

I bet a fair number of those Clinton supports who say that also add that, given two competent candidates, they're going with the woman.

It'd be hard to speak for people you know, but the ones I know seem settled on the question of whether Clinton is up to the job. She was an accomplished lawyer, she is an accomplished Senator, and I think it's hard to make the case that she's being supported just because she's a woman.

Which is to say, don't issue blanket insults of other feminists for making that a decision point between two qualified applicants. I think you're aware enough to see the mirror of it and know that's not where you want to take this.

It's reasonable for candidates and supporters to make arguments about which person is more qualified. That's because they're competing for a job only one person can hold and they have to differentiate themselves by making a case for why they're a better choice. Clinton says experience, Obama says judgment. We look at their positions and histories, we do a gut check to decide which one we like the most, and make a choice. But neither is unqualified, a position that's reflected in a Democratic electorate that, on the whole, really likes both of them.

Lastly, you may be enlightened enough not to judge people's qualifications by what's in their pants, but that isn't the prevailing attitude and it almost always comes down against women. Don't make the mistake of assuming that everyone's grown beyond a problem, and therefore it needs no correction, just because it isn't a problem to you.

by Natasha Chart 2008-03-02 02:50PM | 0 recs
Re: Leaving anything out?

I wasn't issuing a blanket statement. I was saying I have heard people argue SIMPLY that it is because she is a woman that they are voting for her. That is the only reasoning they give. "It is time for a woman in the White House."

If people think the candidates are 100% equal and the fact that she is a woman gives her a leg up, that is fine with me.

by Obama08 2008-03-02 03:44PM | 0 recs
Re: Leaving anything out?

And your evidence for assuming that this one, isolated statement means that they're voting for her without regard to competence is ...?

If these are people you don't know well, then you also don't know well enough to say. If you do know them, then I imagine that over a course of conversation, you might discover that they didn't just see a woman and say, hey, that's my candidate. There's a reason that didn't happen in 2004 with Moseley-Braun, who didn't meet a basic threshold of credibility to let most people consider her seriously. There's a reason that probably none of these women supported Elizabeth Dole, which would be that Dole isn't even in the ballpark of supporting a range of policies that would be acceptable to most feminists.

Your line of reasoning is every bit as insulting as saying that a Black person who supports Obama and thinks it's time to have a Black person in the White House is making a false, or foolish choice. Because those voters didn't go for Sharpton a mere four years ago. Some of those voters tossed Al Wynn for Donna Edwards because they actually paid attention to policy. Obama has met a credibility threshold, one that, as with Clinton, is actually higher than what the typical White male candidate would have to cross.

Either Clinton or Obama would have swept every campaign in 2004 completely away and no one would have been able to stand against them. They are titans of candidates, whatever their many, human flaws. Because everyone knows that only White males are allowed to rise to the level of their own incompetence without reprisal, everybody else has to know something and have some serious talent to get ahead. Like both Clinton and Obama plainly do.

So please, for love of gods and little fishes, cut this out.

by Natasha Chart 2008-03-02 05:14PM | 0 recs
Re: Leaving anything out?

The polling indicates that this race is bringing women out in even larger numbers than usual, but, while they are are a majority of those voting (at rates of about 55-59% of the primary electorate)they are more or less splitting their vote between the two candidates. Which would indicate they are NOT voting on the basis of gender.

Men, on the other hand, while making up a smaller percentage of the voting population, are voting heavily for Obama. Which may indicate that they are voting on the basis of gender.

Women are providing strength to Clinton's campaign not because they are more likely to vote for her, but because more women are voting than men.

Men are giving Obama his edge, even though they are less than a majority of those voting, because they are voting overwhelmingly in his favor.  

This may not be typical, but, in my caucus many of the new participants were middle aged men supporting Obama. When they spoke for their candidate they all made arguments against Clinton rather than for Obama. I couldn't help but wonder if all or most of them will bother to show up in November if there is no Clinton on the ballot to vote against.

by esmense 2008-03-03 04:33AM | 0 recs
Re: "Experience" may often be a cover

I think you make a number of excellent points in your main diary and in your comment here.

However, I think that a lot of people use the "experience" or "qualified" arguments as cover for making decisions based on identity.  I think this is true both for women and for AAs.  I do not fault either group, there are very good reasons for thinking that some one who is a member of the same group understands your needs and aspirations in a way that some one outside your group cannot.  Experience and qualifications are socially acceptable ways of supporting ones preference.  Saying, I am voting for HRC because she is a woman is much less so.

The same is true of any group, Evangelicals may support Huckabee based on shared religious identity, but they may justify their vote based on other qualities.  Vets may vote for McCain based on that identity and yet articulate other reasons.  I think identity is particularly strong for groups that have experienced oppression such as women and AAs.  The fact that Obama has pulled such huge numbers seems to reflect that historically AAs have been the most oppressed group in American society.

by upper left 2008-03-03 05:33AM | 0 recs
let me send you a good dictionary

Misogyny is hatred of women, not stupidity about women.    

PS- Women ARE lousy drivers. :)

by mboehm 2008-03-02 02:38PM | 0 recs
wish i thought you were joking

When did it become not hateful to perpetuate the idea that women are naturally mentally inferior, an argument long used to deny us full rights?

Misogyny encompasses many forms of bigotry against women, even when it doesn't coincide with wanting to cause them physical harm. Denigrating women, denying them opportunities, and scapegoating all women for the actions of one or a few, are all misogynist acts, just as they're racist acts when perpetuated towards a discriminated against ethnic minority group.

by Natasha Chart 2008-03-02 02:57PM | 0 recs
OK, but I think you're talking about sexism

Misogyny is too strong and over the top, imo.   That doesn't make sexism a lesser reality, just different.  Something along the lines that all misogynists are sexist but not all sexists are misogynists.  

Overstatement is a cancer on credibility.  Ask Taylor Marsh.  

by mboehm 2008-03-02 04:00PM | 0 recs
Re: OK, but I think you're wrong

I can't make you face the fact that a lot of people in this society hate women. Even some people who are women themselves.

This language, these diminutions of women's personhood, gets used as justification for subjecting women to forced pregnancy, blaming them for their own assaults, putting them in medical danger, and materially impoverishing them. If that isn't hatred, well, I'm stumped what else to call it.

But I'm not going to pretend it isn't there because it makes you squeamish.

by Natasha Chart 2008-03-02 04:34PM | 0 recs
Re: Misogyny 101 For Women

Hey, as a feminist, as someone who remembers one of my professors telling the class (in 1967) that as talented as the women in the clas might be, teaching them is a frustrating proposition since we all would just settle down to domestic life and never do anything, etc. etc. a few things occur to me.  This was said out loud and without any sense he was saying anything untoward.

Women are 51% of the population (at least).  There are women holding high poltical office.  Almost everyone is going to get trashed for something about themselves.  I think we can fight for what we need without presenting ourselves as victims (of who, us?).  Enough already.  

I few months ago I saw a letter from NOW basically telling women who did not support Hillary Clinton that they were traitors.  I can't find the letter but it was a nasty piece of work.  Are you saying that because I am female my choices must be proscribed by that fact?  Hey, I marched, I argued, and I supported all candidates that promoted my world view, male or female.  

Again, almost everyone has something bashable going on, so you fight.  That may inform your choices but should not be the entire way you see yourself.  Maybe it is my age creeping up but I'm just so tired of this.

by mady 2008-03-02 02:55PM | 0 recs
Blame the patriarchy

Yes, it would be terrible if women ever admitted to being victims of anything. It's a total coincidence that we still make less, and that our activities are considered stupid and worthless by default, and that our judgment is considered so poor and our appetites so uncontrollable, that we still get blamed for our own rapes.

Because none of the collectively worse outcomes women have are related to the fact that we're victims of attacks on our competence, or threats, or fear, or anything else like that. You might be tired of all this, but don't take that to mean that everybody else should quit giving a damn, because people still live with the next generation iterations of the same problems you faced when you were in college.

Or, as Twisty says:

... These feminists seem actually to be critical of women on the wrong end of a beatdown. Their motto is that the wronged women should open up a can of whup-ass on the thugly oppressor. Otherwise, men might take it into their heads that women can be kept in line with intimidation. According to these feminists, the women who cry uncle have allowed themselves to become "victims rather than people."

But look here. Who are they trying to kid. Women can be kept in line with intimidation, and the whole world knows it. Aren't people who have been raped and intimidated and harassed and threatened with death "victims"? What the fuck is wrong with that word? It describes the situation perfectly.

Do you guys get, I mean actually get, that our society is a patriarchy? Patriarchy isn't just a gimmick for a blog. It really exists. There are actual implications. Do you get that a patriarchy is predicated on exploitation and victimization? It's not a joke! It's not an abstract concept dreamed up by some wannabe ideologue making up catch-phrases while idling away the afternoons with pitchers of margs. Exploitation and victimization is the actual set-up! A person is either an exploiter or a victim, or sometimes both, but never neither. ...

Once again, this is not a candidate diary, even if this campaign has been permeated by sexist rhetoric. And I, even though I am a feminist, am not responsible for every mailer sent out by an organization I don't work for.

Though if you think that writing this essay means that this is the entire way I see myself, then you don't know much about me. But you shouldn't have assumed in the first place.

by Natasha Chart 2008-03-02 03:10PM | 0 recs
Victims

One of the greatest barriers to becoming a feminist (or becoming an activist against any oppression you suffer) is that you have to admit that you are a victim.

This takes great courage. It means facing the truth.

You have to admit that you are deficient in power, in the ability to defend yourself. You have to describe what has been done to you. And it is hard not to feel shame. You fear you are opening yourself to more victimization. That somehow you are saying you deserve it, and so forth.

When feminists criticize a sexist institution, take marriage for example, married women often react in anger that they are being criticized. It sounds to them as though feminists are saying, you should have been stronger, you should not have been a victim. That isn't what feminists, all of whom know they have been victimized plenty, are saying. But it is very difficult to face what has been done to you, and move past your own capitulations.

Without the courage of victims to speak the truth, there would be no social progress.  

by foxx 2008-03-02 04:46PM | 0 recs
Re: Misogyny 101 For Women

The letter you are referring to was from someone at NOWNYC, not the national organization. It was completely offensive to those of us with both brains and ovaries and who do not base their political choices on people who have the same. I'm a New Yorker who has had some experience with the local NOW chapter, and I can tell you they are not exactly relevant or credible in local politics. I was embarrassed by the letter.

by Iphie 2008-03-02 06:22PM | 0 recs
Re: Misogyny 101 For Women

Thanks for the explanation.  I'm not sure where I ran across it, but I was shocked.  This was not the NOW that I knew, it was written by a bully.  

by mady 2008-03-02 07:16PM | 0 recs
Re: Misogyny 101 For Women

What I am trying to point out is the fight is about injustice across the board.  I'm not belittling this stuff, just saying it's part of a continuum of injustice that runs through much more than only women's issues.  That you need to fight against what harms you and what harms others, and that looking at it from a point of view so skewed towards gender is a mistake.

by mady 2008-03-02 03:16PM | 0 recs
Re: Misogyny 101 For Women

Yes, it is part of a continuum of injustice, but that doesn't mean it's pointless to talk about it. Just like it still matters to discuss racial bigotry and homophobia.

Considering all the time that it gets not talked about, or talked about as though it were a solved problem, or how often women are trotted out to support it, I think that makes it a damn fine topic to focus on now and again. Especially by people who have first hand knowledge of being on the receiving end. People need to understand that this stuff is real and it has consequences.

Steve Gilliard talked about a wide variety of subjects. But he made time to single out Black conservatives who were propped up to cover for racial bigotry and backward policies, and I don't think too many people would have dared tell him he shouldn't have talked about it except in the context of all the many other injustices that went on in the world. He talked about what he knew, he was able to speak about it with authority, and he was never intimidated into shutting up because people might think he was a victim because he dared bring it up.

And that's part of what keeps these subjects under the rug. Because people who attain some level of success want to identify with the people with power, not people who are being oppressed. They want to get ahead, not make trouble.

I understand that, plenty of people have families and mortgages and they have to smile and go along.

But I don't have to and so I'm not playing that game. Also, certain friends of mine would be really ticked if I decided that this subject wasn't 'important' enough to write about anymore now that I had more of an audience.

by Natasha Chart 2008-03-02 03:44PM | 0 recs
Re: Misogyny 101 For Women

I loved what you wrote, but even more than that I love your thoughtful responses to the comments. The fact that some are tired of this or that some are too lofty to let what is in a person's pants be a factor in their decision completely misses the point of the piece. Misogyny is here and it is most definitely real. For me, you were able to express the very feelings I have, but I could never have written so eloquently. Terrific piece.

by femdem99 2008-03-02 04:05PM | 0 recs
Re: Misogyny 101 For Women

Of course it's fine to talk about all of this (and by the way I'm not a smile and go along anything, that's not what my life has been about).  It's been hard.  It is hard...and I've fought for what I believe in.

Your equating my point of view with my somehow being a placid, self-satisfied, afluent person is completely off base.  You can be poor, be having a hard time, and STILL not agree with you that this issue has to be the big one for women.

by mady 2008-03-02 04:08PM | 0 recs
Re: Misogyny 101 For Women

I was just looking at some of the above comments.  I agree that if you had not used the word misogyny the piece would have gone down a lot easier with me.  There is a big difference between misogyny and sexism as the poster wrote.

by mady 2008-03-02 04:11PM | 0 recs
Re: Misogyny 101 For Women

You didn't say it was fine to talk about this. You implied that this was the entire way I saw myself or was asking other people to do so, that it was a "mistake" to talk about injustice "skewed" towards gender. Yeah. Just because poverty and sexual violence and acceptable bigotry skews towards gender, clearly not enough reason to bring it up on its own.

I also didn't say anything about you directly in that passage about going along. I said that many people don't speak up because they want to get ahead (which doesn't mean that they're necessarily affluent, just that they don't want to be poor, which, let's face it, nobody wants), and because they don't want to be hassled on the merits of even bringing it up, like you've done to me. People don't want to be told it's a mistake to talk about the injustices they notice, so they shut up and those injustices get harder to fix.

And I didn't say that this issue has to be the only issue women consider. Where did I write anything that remotely approaches that? In fact, read this, or this, or this, or this, and then you tell me that gender is the only issue I care about, or the only issue I've suggested anyone else care about.

I talk about feminism, and that's all I am to you; a woman making these same old complaints that you're sick of hearing. Which pretty much makes my point for me. I wish more people were sick of the problem than sick of hearing about it, and while I don't know which side of that you fall on, I don't give a damn.

If you make it difficult for me to talk about this as a problem, and tell me no, it's just too narrow, too harsh to say it's misogyny when it's really just a little sexism, then you aren't part of the solution. And I will continue to talk about it, because of all the people who can't, or just don't want to put up with being marginalized whenever they open their mouths.

by Natasha Chart 2008-03-02 04:59PM | 0 recs
Re: Misogyny 101 For Women

You are right.  These are all serious problems, I agree.  I guess we each come at it from what is the overriding problem at any given stage of our life.  I've been victimized by this too.  I just have come to see things a little differently than you do.  I fought hard against a level of institutionalized paternalism that doesn't even exist anymore, or rarely does.  I just have a somewhat different perspective now.  I think your righteous anger is a good thing for getting done what you need to get done.  Right now I save mine for survival.

More power to you.

by mady 2008-03-02 05:07PM | 0 recs
Re: Misogyny 101 For Women

And good luck to you in the struggles you face, changed or just new, I hope you find plenty of people to stand beside you in solidarity.

by Natasha Chart 2008-03-02 05:28PM | 0 recs
Re: Misogyny 101 For Women

I am missing what the distinction is between misogyny and sexism.  Is there a meaningful difference between people who hate black people and people that are racist? Is one not a product of the other?

by femdem99 2008-03-02 04:20PM | 0 recs
Re: Misogyny 101 For Women

I would personally find it most disturbing if my female significant other routinely used the word "wicked" to express intensity.

by MNPundit 2008-03-02 04:38PM | 0 recs
Have You Seen This? 1943 Guide to Hiring Women?

Check this out:

http://www.iheartchaos.com/2008/02/23/ho w-to-hire-a-woman-how-to/

Don't forget to read the comments. I can't believe this is 2008.

by beve83 2008-03-02 07:05PM | 0 recs
Re: Misogyny 101 For Women

As a female executive, I have witnessed much bad behavior on the part of both men and women when it came to dealing with a woman being in a position of power that I couldn't imagine anything in this election would have shocked me. It has.

In my experience, the level of misogyny increases as the woman gains power. I suppose much of that is to be expected as women, in order to succeed, have to take on traditionally masculine characteristics. The thing that really surprised me the most, however, has been watching other women turn on each other as one rises through the ranks. I've been amazed at how so often women hold other women to a much higher standard than the men in our lives. It seems so easy for us to cut each other down. I even had a male boss tell me that the male exes at our company were aware of it.  

Men and women are different and we will never fully understand each other because we can never walk in the other's shoes. But to see this type of behavior from other women is what really breaks my heart.

by Dari 2008-03-02 07:16PM | 0 recs
That Post article

I read that Washington Post piece earlier today and ... wow. I couldn't believe what I was reading, and that it came from a "serious" media outlet.

Beyond the fact that her premise is quite, well, dumb (two women, like, think Barack Obama is hot, so all women are stupid and incapable of higher thought), it was the last paragraph that really raised my alarm bells (and I'm a guy):

"So I don't understand why more women don't relax, enjoy the innate abilities most of us possess (as well as the ones fewer of us possess) and revel in the things most important to life at which nearly all of us excel: tenderness toward children and men and the weak and the ability to make a house a home."

Wow. Yeah, shut up you bitches, and get back into the kitchen and get pregnant!

Oh, and maybe the whole mess with Hillary Clinton's campaign isn't so much because she's a woman so much as it is because, I dunno, she's a crappy campaigner?

by AggieDemocrat 2008-03-02 08:31PM | 0 recs
Re: Misogyny 101 For Women

Good post.  

And the fake Orgasm would bother me much more. Espcially since my wife is smart to begin with.  There are certain things she is smarter or better than me at (including this uncanny ability at recognizing faces which I am terrible at) and certain things I am.  It suits us well.  

by yitbos96bb 2008-03-03 05:02AM | 0 recs
Re: Misogyny 101 For Women

Good post.  

And the fake Orgasm would bother me much more. Espcially since my wife is smart to begin with.  There are certain things she is smarter or better than me at (including this uncanny ability at recognizing faces which I am terrible at) and certain things I am.  It suits us well.  

by yitbos96bb 2008-03-03 05:23AM | 0 recs
Re: Misogyny 101 For Women

apparently, being a black conservative woman makes you a pundit on CNN as well

by sepulvedaj3 2008-03-03 08:23AM | 0 recs

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