Before the rant commences, I gotta get a few things out of the way:
- Hi, it's been a while. This writing will be rusty. Also, coarse language ahead, but I shouldn't have to warn about that anymore.
- TRIGGER TOPIC WARNING.
- I have had the fortune of having feminists around me throughout my adult life, and while I'm read up on some facts, figures, and concepts, I'm not going to claim myself an authority on anything, least of all qualified to speak on feminism in the scholarly sense. My college degree isn't in Gender Studies. This is a rant, not an academic journal. Besides, I am interested in this. And this is my blog. And I will write what I damn well please.
- "What? A man? Interested in feminist issues?" Yes. Why is that weird? That's kind of a problem that that's weird, if you think about it.
- Inb41 "white-knight"2 name calling.
- In my near-decade of blogging, this is my first post about any kind of -ism. This will be a bumpy ride.
I've been paying attention to the #YesAllWomen hashtag on Twitter regarding recent events involving a shooting that is, in large part, motivated by misogyny. As far as if it really had anything to do with misogyny, that discussion is over. Because the answer is "Yes, misogyny played a part."
What disappoints me about the online conversation surrounding #YesAllWomen is that I'm seeing a lot of "This is a problem" and not enough "Here is a possible solution."
I'm not claiming that I've got a solution, because if I did I would be: 1. lavished with praise and a Nobel Prize, and 2. likely an assassination target. But what I would like to do is start having conversations about, I dunno, what we should do to get to a solution.
Let's start with a biological metaphor. When a disease state exists, there are symptoms. The #YesAllWomen discussion diagnoses that the problem (culturally indoctrinated misogyny, in case you forgot) is already showing substantial symptoms in modern western-world life. As such, this is why I'd like to propose treating misogyny -- and while we're at it, any other kind of debilitating misanthropy -- as a disorder rather than a social issue. Why? Because social issues tend to be debates of preference or social order, and I am daring to say this is rather an issue of health and safety. If you suffer from a disorder, you can and should receive treatment. If you don't seek treatment, you might bring harm to yourself and/or others. And isn't that where we've found ourselves with recent events? A case of untreated acute misogyny that led to harm?
To cut it more cleanly, let's also distinguish hate from resentment or distaste. 100% of women are not always going to get along with 100% of men. We can be equal (we're not there yet, but humor me), but we have to realize that we are simply different creatures. For some, that's easy to accept. For others, they might tolerate that difference. But it becomes an issue, just like in racism3, when the differences are the basis for intolerance. Being different is not a reason for outright burning hatred. If you hate the other because of whatever disparity, you should maybe get evaluated and perhaps treated for anger management, or if you're absolutely certain you're well-adjusted, grow the fuck up and take a goddam nap. Seriously, am I the only one around here that has ceased hating things because I'm now old and tired of giving a fuck? Hate is ridiculous and irrational and exhausting, and to hold onto it long enough to motivate you to harm other human beings seems more than a little batshit crazy.
Sadly, that distinction between hatred and simple distaste means that sexist remarks like an eye roll accompanied by "[gender], amirite?" might still be a thing. But maybe that's good enough for now. Because I'd rather these remarks make us grate our teeth and squabble a little than the alternative, which is to be maimed or killed.
You lobby for social justice with statistics and posturing and money. But you can treat a disorder with science.
Maybe this whole thing is cockamamie and won't go anywhere, but my point is that we know there is a problem and seem to be comfortable complaining about the effects instead of deconstructing the root cause and taking a precise and clinical approach to eliminating it.
Misogyny is a problem. Of course it is. That much is certain.
But now that we know there's a problem, aren't we supposed to do something about it?
Something to consider.
- "In before", as in "Let's be clear, I am self-aware of how this sounds." ↩
- Feigning chivalry to get into the good graces of women. And to clear that up, I'm not interested in getting into the good graces of anyone unless you're planning on giving me shit tons of money (or shit tons of pizza, whichever comes first). ↩
- DON'TEVENGETMESTARTED ↩