Men Who Dislike Men Who Hate Women

Recently, one of my friends wrote a piece about how to stop hating men for another friend’s blog. I read this and digested it, and then the idea that came back up was what you see below.

Why do men hate women?

Well, let me slow it down a little before I run this bus off the side of the essayist’s most feared mountain, Mt. Generalization.

Why do some men hate women? There’s no one answer to this question. At most, I can sit in my armchair and wax psychological about some of the hangups that modern culture has imparted to its male acolytes. Some of these hangups I share, some of them I’ve gotten over, and some of them are pure speculation and based on no deeper research than internet forums (which generally self-select for creepy misogynists).

But, hey, I’m an American man of the modern era, well-steeped in the casual sort of “women r cunty bitches” talk that can get thrown around in our culture. So strap on a pith helmet (in beautiful gender-neutral khaki!) and get ready to delve into the jungle.

As soon as boys are old enough to be shoved in front of a television to shut them up, we’re shown that women are basically commodities. Of course this is a bad thing – I’m not going to insult your intelligence, dear reader, by claiming that the reinforcement of gender rules leads to a strong blah blah blah. I’m just pointing out the facts. Women are princesses to be saved, gorgeous items to be coveted, gross things to be shunned, or the confusing creature, the Tomboy, a Ken doll of a creature, a castrated man.

Is it any wonder that the result of this cultural education is the repetition of it when those boys grow up and start creating their own visions? It’s how we end up with action flicks with female roles ranging from “cold as ice and sexy black leather wearing assassinatrix” to “girlfriend with cleavage in trouble” and the always popular “kick-ass woman wearing a tight tanktop and tight ripped pants”. It’s the secret inspiration for TV shows where the female leads are either “goofy dumb girls” or “sexy secret agents who use their sexy secret agent bodies to accomplish goals with sexy means”. It’s why video game heroines end up as either action flick girls or normal looking women that are always lauded by the media as being proof that you don’t need huge tits to sell video games (and whenever they do this, I always think that they’ve gone so far in their praise that they circle back to the casual misogyny that they tried to get away from – it’s like in the original Mario Brothers where you could score so many points that the counter wraps back to zero).

But what we end up with is the idea of women as a cultural commodity, something to be traded in and consumed. I may step on a few toes with this next point, but I think it needs to be said: culturally and in terms of fictional narratives, this is not as big a problem as some people are saying. Archetypes exist and stay on because they grab hold of some chunk of our creative brain and scream, “There’s enough truth to me that I deserve to exist, motherfucker!” And it’s not as if men don’t have negative portrayals in modern media. The cad from the romantic comedy who does her wrong, the mustache twirling villain who plans to dominate the world, gay best friends, not-gay best friends of the “nice guy” who just want to sit around and smoke weed and talk about “hitting that”, fat slovenly male nerds with a PS3 controller sweat-glued into their hands (lady nerds aren’t dealt a better hand, though – always portrayed as either one glasses-removal away from gorgeousness or as some sort of tomboy who will fuck you while you both play Halo), and so on. The problem isn’t with the portrayals on screens and in books, although I’m always willing to go to bat for characters that accurately reflect womanhood in all its beauty and ugliness (just like men!).

The problem comes when we take it off the screen. And here is where the argument all falls apart. Because no matter how many linguistic gymnastics I pull off, no matter how many times I re-plan and rebuild the bridge between Point A and Point B, I can’t see any way to reconcile two ideas:

“Archetypes are fine and natural, as long as we leave them in fiction where they belong”

VS

“We’re so influenced by what we watch and read that it’s impossible to remove archetypes from our dealings with real flesh-and-blood people, so our casual misogyny is actually the media’s fault”

So, guess what? Fuck that noise. If you’re too much of a baby to realize the difference between fact and fiction, jump through a plate glass window. There have been times when I’ve been driving and I think to myself, “Man, I wonder what would happen if I drove through that embankment.” That thought is probably spurred on by memories of playing Grand Theft Auto. Here’s the thing, though: I have common sense, so I don’t do it. If everyone in the world would look at their entertainment diets and think, “Oh, right, this is fiction, the same results cannot be expected in the real world”, I think we’d be happier. As it stands, though, we have become a culture that is unable to separate fact from fiction.

So, how do we get back to the original road from here, the possible explanation of why men hate women? I’ve lead you deep into the Congo here, dear reader, and now it’s time for me to M. Night Shyamalan you and reveal that the village is actually deep inside a state park the whole time. Some men hate women for reasons that make sense, often times a gender-flipped version of why a woman might hate men. These reasons could be abuse, being told it so many times at an impressionable age that it just becomes Fact, so on, so on.

But for some of the rest, well, it goes back to the theory of commodity I talked about much earlier. Not only are we taught that women are more often objects than people, but we’re simultaneously told that without a woman, we aren’t “whole”. The knight always saves the princess instead of saying “You can keep her, Mr. Dragon, I’m gonna play cards with this dwarf here.” So we’re taught that woman are rare objects of great beauty and bizarre emotions and that as men it is our duty to possess one of them. That is the fiction.

The fact is that women are just like men, and I’m sorry if I’m preaching to the choir here. Women are just as beautiful and ugly, emotional and stoic, strong and weak, hurtful and hurt as men. Once you realize that fact and internalize it (and it can take a while!), then you find it impossible to hate women as a whole. Sure, you can hate certain women, but, well, you’re only human. And I’m sure women do the same.

If you can’t, though, if you find yourself so entranced by the pervasive myth that has been woven around you for pretty much your entire waking life, then you will end up hating women. You will hate them because you “love” (read: need) them so much, you need them to validate that you’re a man of worth, a knight who is able to get the princess, because that’s the definition of Man that you’ve been taught since you were sitting in your own poop watching cartoons. And, possibly because women can smell this need on you or your flirting technique is basically “hey let’s sex”, or maybe you’re just going for the wrong girls, it doesn’t work out. And you get mad at yourself, because maybe there’s something wrong with you? But that’s tough to handle, so it turns into “fuck all those cunts”.

The side effect of giving in to the misogyny is that you are now an expert on other people’s relationship difficulties. For example, did your friend just get dumped  by his girlfriend? Tell him this:

Realize that falling in love with someone is just the results of a series of generic events that can occur between you and basically anyone who meets your standards of attractiveness. It’s just an emotional manifestation of a handfull [sic] of chemicals bouncing back and forth. It’s not the holy grail of living, it’s not your reason to exist and it’s definitely not something reserved for “that one person.” Accept that you are just an animal with a big brain that allows him to fret over what only amounts to a game of hormone pool. What you’re feeling is not your soul dying a gurgling, ugly death, but withdrawal. All the happy chemicals that saturated your body when you were with [her] are kicking out cold turkey, and your body is screaming bloody murder, where are my fucking endorphins? It’s just chocolate. Find a new bar. (source)

It’s just cunt, find a new slut. Love is a lie, because none of these women will ever sleep with me and I know that the problem can’t be with me, because it can’t.

“But not every man on the Internet hates women! There must be a person out there who is able to stand up for us.” I looked, and this is as close as I found in my exhaustive minute of Googling:

“Getting women” as if they are objects to do what? Fuck them and forget about it? Some life. “Getting women” improves your social status amongst those who hi-five people for being “playa”s. Who gives a damn about being more social amongst those vapid wastes of food and employment?

Video games are a great way to have fun, and enjoy things that are availible [sic] to you in life. Not only this, but the making of a game is an art form – by playing through, say, an RPG, you are treated to a grand story that is just overwhelmingly more fufilling [sic] than going out, fucking some chick, hi-fiving yourself and calling it a night. (source)

Uh, women? No time for those stupid whores, I got video games to play! Notice how there’s no mention in there of why “getting women as objects” is a morally bad thing to do, but that it’s just a lamer way to spend your time than feeling your muscles slowly evaporate as you play video games.

So, what do we do about all of this? Stand up and fight for more realistic female characters in media? Direct people towards stories and works about three dimensional characters with motivations beyond “gettin’ paid and gettin’ laid”? Shrug our shoulders and go “welp”?

I don’t know. Yes, you’ve reached the point in the essay when the author just throws up his hands and says “OH MAN THESE ARE SOME BIG QUESTIONS” while backing out the door. The point of writing isn’t always to suggest a solution. Sometimes, you just want to exorcise some of your own personal demons and offer another point of view. And sometimes you just want to jump into the conversation and see what happens.

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2 Responses to Men Who Dislike Men Who Hate Women

  1. Pingback: Smorgasboard of Awesome  | Ega Jones

  2. Equalitist says:

    If you had the same attitude toward these misguided men that your friend did toward misguided women, you’d be a lot more convincing. Instead, you take the easy way out — making all women out to be blameless, and abusing all men who are put off by the women in their lives. Totally unimpressive. Her post was thoughtful, respectful of people’s experience, and constructive. Your post is nothing but another man-hating diatribe.

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