Archive for March 2012
I really wanted to come up with something more to add to this, but honestly the article “5 Ways Modern Men are Trained to Hate Women” hit the nail on the head in just about the most perfect way I could imagine. The only thing I can think of to add is the idea that sometimes runs around that women are the perpetrators of STDs, though I believe it is a lot easier for a male to transmit a more deadly STD (like HIV/AIDS) to a woman than visa-versa. Opinions? Thoughts? Let me hear them!
I’m usually not a fan of baiting, but this a clever response to an organization who supports groups that marginalize non-heterosexuals. While Chick-fil-A isn’t slamming gays like the Westboro Baptist Church, I’d be interested to see what their response is to this video.
Hey, these drag queens are just supporting Chick-fil-A! Wouldn’t want to outwardly say that you actually don’t want to do business with people like this, because then people might see the homophobia and not want to eat there. It’s money before morals, right?…
By the way, for the sake of freedom I believe it’s Chick-fil-A’s right to use their money to support what they believe in, but it’s also our right to not support them financially if we don’t like what they’re doing, and what they’re using our money to support. Just some food for thought.
[P.S. - I don't mean this to sound too judging, as I have never eaten there and therefore it is much easier for me to resist what may be their chicken-y goodness.]
I’ve been on the fence with Bill Maher for quite a while. I first encountered him when I read his book, New Rules, as a teenager. From the get-go I noticed there was something about this guy that kind of rubbed me the wrong way. The majority of it was due to arrogant comments and a seemingly “comedic-yet-I’m-actually-being-serious” superior opinion of himself with regards to conservatives and religion. The other part was due to comments like:
Stop worrying. Hollywood won’t turn your daughter into a nymphomaniac or get her hooked on drugs… I will.
Forget the Peace Corps, we need a piece of ass corps. Girls, there’s a cure for terrorism and you’re sitting on it.
Guys watch the Superbowl while eating an entire tub of guacamole and then say ‘Hey it’s the good kind of fat!’ No. The only good kind of fat is J Lo’s ass.
Face the fact that there’s only one sure-fire way to erase credit card debt. By picking up a big, shiny pair of scissors and cutting your wife in half.
Far before the days of being a socially conscious and self-titled feminist, I noticed all this made me feel a little uncomfortable. However, I knew he’s a comedian, and I know they toe certain lines and use stereotypes to be risque, get laughs, and sell books, so I easily brushed it off as no harm, no foul, and moved on.
Shortly after I noticed Maher seemed to get quite a bit more bold under the guise of liberal values and getting laughs. When talking about the former presidential Republican candidates, Michelle Bachman and Sarah Palin, he called them “bimbos”, “twats” and “cunts”. Now, I’m no fan of these two candidates, but the choice of wording is a little concerning. “Bimbo”, “twat”, and “cunt” are very gender-specific terms and have been used to specifically degrade and express the worthlessness of a female. To members of the female community, it evokes a similar (though I’ll admit, not quite as harsh) reaction that black people feel when they hear a white person call another black person a nigger (“What are you getting in such a huff about, I was just calling HIM a nigger! I wasn’t even talking about you, stop being so sensitive!”). These terms are also not necessary to simply show his distaste for these people or to be funny, as there are plenty of other rude, non-gender-specific terms to describe these two (I’ll let you fill in you fill in your opinions of the candidates here).
Being quite a liberal myself, all of this still wasn’t enough to make me fully realize that Maher’s comments weren’t just for a random woman here and there, but conveyed a much broader attitude towards women as a whole… until I heard about Maher’s defense of Rush Limbaugh. Maher has stated that he thinks the left has overreacted to Rush’s comments and that he worries that Rush is being “silenced” and having his freedom of speech impeded on.
Two things here.
1. Limbaugh specifically called a Sandra Fluke, the law degree student who went to Congress to defend women’s rights to adequate sexual healthcare, a prostitute and whore. He further went on to state that Fluke just wants birth control to have more sex (her actual stated inspiration was from the story of her friend who got ovarian cysts because she couldn’t afford the birth control that kept her healthy) and that she should be forced to put a sex-tape on the internet to “see how the money is being used”. Personally, I think calling every woman who gets assistance for sexual healthcare a whore who should have to put on a sex display on the internet is more than a little offensive, especially when it is done to rally up hate and block the rights of other people to affordably take care of themselves and be healthy. So, overreaction? No, I think not. I think Rush is getting off pretty nicely with just some boycotts and rude words thrown over the TV and internet.
2. Maher knows damn well that this is not an issue of “freedom of speech” or “silencing”. If he does, than he has been very lucky to make himself seem far more intelligent. Rush is facing no legal recourse, no one is threatening to take him to court, imprison him, or even fine him. Rush expressed inflammatory hate speech, and the American public enacted THEIR freedom of speech to say they do not agree with what he is saying, and advertisers have decided to stop paying him to say it. Having people vocally disagree with you and deciding not to pay you to hear your opinions is not violating your rights. If it is, I want my compensation check NOW!
I realize that this post may come off a little strong, and I actually do hope that I am exaggerating, but whichever way you cut it, it seems that Maher doesn’t find using offensive terms for women, making generalized sexist jokes about women, or even having a well-known hatemonger demean and threaten the health of women to be a big deal.
And for those that try to say he’s “only” a comedian, what troubles me about Maher is it would be easy to dismiss his comments towards women if they were only all a joke. But as the saying goes, “There’s always a bit of truth in jest”, and in my opinion, I hold this man to a bit more of an intellectual standard. It’s not like we’re getting offended here at political comments by Larry the Cable Guy or Jeff Dunham’s dolls. Maher’s career is based upon political and social comedic commentary, supposedly taken from an intelligent and rational standpoint. And just like John Stewart or Steven Colbert, his humor is not just there for the sake of itself, it is also a vehicle of covering and expressing opinions of real political and social issues, no matter how humorously they do it. I do like a lot of Maher’s humor and positions on a variety of issues, but it troubles me that he seems to display misogyny at the worst, and an insensitivity towards women’s issues at best. He has apologized before if his statements offended women (though with a caveat), and others have stated his opinion on the Limbaugh fiasco is more backed by his own sensitivity from losing his endorsements after his controversial comments about 9/11, so let’s hope that his more irritating, degrading statements are made from a lack of understanding rather than a lack of caring.
- Maher: As Misogynist as Limbaugh and as Free to Be Vile (blogher.com)
- How Sarah Palin Invented Bill Maher’s Liberal Excuse For Misogyny | PoliticusUSA (politicususa.com)
I had wanted to write a post about this before, but I believe this author put it pretty much perfectly. It is a clear, detailed, supported, and researched post that explains why, even after all the great leaps and bounds some women have made, there is still quite a long way to go.
I’ve been seeing a lot of articles flying around recently about how women naturally dig jerks and want to be abused, backed by “scientific studies”, so I thought I’d put my two cents in.
Spoiler alert: We don’t really, but if the method is more to prey on weaknesses rather than playing to what would really make a woman happy, then yeah, I suppose it works.
Being an ass is more of a manipulation than an actual desirable trait that women chase, and as most older women will tell you, it is something that wears off after getting older or, in worst case scenarios, after marrying a jerk and then getting a divorce. Being a woman who used to consistently date jerks, and who eventually wound up with a smart, empathetic, and truly “nice” guy, I’ll tell you why:
Reason #1: The movie hero is often a brooder.
Now, this may sound a little silly, but again, I am talking about younger women, since they are the ones who typically go for jerks. It’s no surprise that the media does have an influence on our own expectations, especially when we are younger and less firm in our own independent opinions (eating disorders, male insecurity with muscle size, the expectation that women could and should be hit on everywhere… I could write this list forever). But how often is the handsome hero in the movie brooding, reserved, angsty, and cold, but deep down he’s just a misunderstood, noble hero? Repeatedly showing this to young females instills the expectation that pursuing a cold, distant, mean man will lead to a great romantic reward in the end, because it’s told that these men aren’t really that way, and that if a girl works hard enough she can uncover the treasure of an extremely intelligent, passionate, artistic, caring mate.
Reason #2: Women think they can, and should, change a man.
This again relates to the movies, often where the brooding hero is cold towards women until the right woman comes along and opens him up and changes his ways.
Women have also historically been valued as their role as a nurturer, meaning that they can fulfill this role by taking care of and sacrificing for an asshole.
Reason #3: Women who date jerks are often not ready and don’t really want a serious, intimate relationship
This is one that I can say from experience. In my case, I often pursued assholes for the excitement and rush, and I usually didn’t get to know them much beyond the romantic and sexual realm. But occasionally I had male friends that were open, kind, gregarious, and the idea of dating them freaked me out. Why? Because I actually cared about them and knew them deeply, and knew that they were looking for a real relationship, not games. They were not a romantic idea I could have fun with and then be done with without much fuss in a few months. In my eyes, being with them would mean being serious, taking on a relationship that was much more multifaceted and involved, and it really wasn’t something I felt ready or prepared for.
Reason #4: Low self-esteem
Many women will not pursue a man that treats them well because they don’t believe themselves that they should be treated well. If a girl thinks she’s pretty worthless, then she thinks there must be something wrong with a man who values her, because who would value her? This is often the case with women who end up emotionally and physically abused, and sadly may stem from abuse they have seen in their parent’s relationships, abuse they endured as a child, and abuse they received in past relationships. Eventually, it becomes the norm, and they learn that it is just the way relationships are, and that’s what they deserve.
It is unfair to both genders that these issues exist in some women, and it is our responsibility as women to help overcome these mindsets for our own benefit and for the men who would be much more worthy to date. However the idea that women just really”want” to date jerks is entirely overstated, and is far more a product of a screwed up society than built-in wiring.
On the other end of the spectrum is the so-called “nice guy”. This is a man who believes that because he is kind to a female, or just treats her with the decency that he would with a friend, she should date him/sleep with him. If she doesn’t, she is a bitch who has “led him on” and deserves to be treated badly.
Allow me to point out some flaws with this “nice guy” mentality.
#1: The term “nice” is often an empty description, not necessarily meaning kindness. Often when people are asked what they think of someone else, and they don’t know them well, but don’t really have a problem with them, then they say, “Yeah, he/she is nice.” Remember signing high school yearbooks for people you didn’t know well? That’s what I’m talking about.
Confidence (and again, I say CONFIDENCE, not ARROGANCE, as many “studies” seem to confuse) is attractive, no matter the gender. Often times people confuse those that are soft-spoken, submissive, and put up a polite front as “nice”. However, this can also be viewed as shyness, insecurity, and covers up the true personality, making it hard for the other person to really get to know and become attracted to the so-called “nice” individual. Most guys that are truly kind and not doormats are not turned down by all females systematically. For example, the man I am now with is definitely the one of the kindest human beings I have ever met, far “nicer” than the self-proclaimed “nice” guys I have met in the past, yet the fact he stands up for himself and is kind out of his own will and effort, and kind to just about everyone, male or female, attractive or not, rather than just being nice by default by not making waves and more specifically showing kind behavior to females he’s attracted to, he has had never had a very big problem with attracting women. I’m not saying all truly good guys have it easy, just like not all good girls have it easy. But generally, you are not going to be turned down by all women if you are actually just a decent, confident guy with a decent personality.
#2: “Nice” behavior is often showboating. Often people will make a big deal about how nice they are being, or do an act of kindness that’s not really nice. There is nothing wrong with being proud about your nice behavior, but when such a deal is made of it, it starts to seem that the niceness is not coming from a pure altruistic motive, but for other reasons, which leads me to…
#3, and the most important point, is it is not nice if you are expecting some sort of payment for it. Being kind and nice is about caring about other people and treating them with consideration, just because you enjoy making someone else happy. If you are doing it and expecting that they do something in return that is more than kindness, like expecting any woman you treat with a little respect to become yours, or offering to pay for a date but then expecting sex afterwards, it’s not very nice. In fact, you are basically trying to make a purchase that the other person was unaware of (which is why many women like myself never allowed a man to pay for our dates because it is unknown whether the man you’re with is genuinely being kind, or is going to try to make you feel like you owe them something later. I know some guys think that women use them for free food or drinks, which may happen occasionally, but it’s rare. Most of us can afford our own food, and with the going-rate of a decent hooker in America ranging in the hundreds of dollars, we’d really just be short-changing ourselves with that strategy).
So guys, honestly, it’s not that we love jerks or we hate nice guys. We like guys that are confident in themselves and kind to others. No, it doesn’t really make us happy to have a guy that is so “strong” (as some studies would like to call it, I say it’s arrogance) that they are mean to us, and it doesn’t make us happy to have a guy who is insecure and who is strangely polite to attractive women (or as some guys like to call it, “nice”). And yes, there are girls who don’t appreciate truly genuine guys, unfortunately there are callous people in both gender categories, but not all of us are that way. Find a woman that is beyond the bullshit. And if you really don’t want one or can’t find one, and feel like you must act like an asshole to get women (and again, we’re talking about more of the younger women here, like under 25), own up to it being your choice and don’t pretend that you’re just a nice guy who’s being forced to act like a jerk due to nature, evolution, and our stupid women desires. If you’re playing the game, you’re probably taking advantage of the young/niave/damaged, or you’re going to have to deal with women who are being just as shallow and uncaring as you. Own it, because the majority of us are also human beings deserving of common decency, respect, friendship, and genuine kindness too.
Shortly after Limbaugh’s misogynistic attacks on Sandra Fluke and every woman using birth control (calling them ‘sluts’ and ‘prostitutes’, and stating that Ms. Fluke should put a sex tape online so we can see where the money is being spent) a huge, unsurprising backlash against the bigot caused many of his shows sponsors to reconsider their sponsorships, with four companies publicly stating that they will pull their endorsements.
Bad move Rush. He probably believed that after all the other hate-mongering comments he has made in the past, that this one would fly by as well. However, 98% of women have used some form of birth control at some point in their lives. Calling 98% of women sluts probably wasn’t his best move.
Let’s see how strong Rush is in his bigotry, or if the huge loss of sponsorships and money will force him to play nicer.