I want to address something that I’ve written about before, but it seems to be a problem that just won’t go away.
It’s the problem of sexism within the left.
Not everyone on the left, of course. And I am no single-issue commenter, as you guys know, but this just irks me so much I feel the need to vent.
As we are all aware, the right-wing in this country has women adherents, just as any other point of view has both male and female proponents.
Aside #1: I am just using “male” and “female” as general terms to make a point. I am not deliberately excluding transgender or gender nonconforming folks. I am aware that not everyone identifies in a binary way. What I am writing about today is a basic level lack of understanding of gender issues, so I am keeping it basic.
What I am objecting to is the use of misogynistic memes and statements to attack women on the right.
I don’t like right-wing women, either – just as I don’t like right-wing men. I realize, also, that right-wing women can be some of the biggest promoters of sexism around.
But it’s not a good thing, nor should it be an acceptable thing, to throw the c word at them, imply or outright say that they’re literal “whores”, attack their looks/weight/age, or write about how you want to rape/kill/torture them.
I’ve seen all these things in comments sections of websites frequented by leftists, and it’s upsetting – especially the violent ones.
And challenging them on these things? Forget it.
I get accused of being a 45 supporter, a “radical feminist”, a “Hillbot” (supporter of Hillary Clinton with no mind of her own), or of over-reacting. In fact, I have seen a couple of women basically chased out of comments sections due to challenging the sexism in them.
There are many things to attack about right-wing women’s beliefs. There are so many, in fact, that I can’t be bothered to list them all. But they are not peculiar to women – they are typically held by men on the right, too.
But let me be clear: when you reduce the complaints to what amounts to “I hate your gender” comments and memes, you are exposing your own deep-seated hatred/fear of all women.
“What?” you might be asking. “Not me! I am an ally, a brother, a progressive! I don’t hate or fear women!”
Ok, well, if that’s true, then STOP IT.
Look at it from a woman’s point of view: when you call women ugly, or fat, or make cracks about their ages, or state they perform sexual acts on politicians (for example), or attack anything totally related to their gender stereotypes and not their ideas…that makes some of us react and think, “What about us? What does he think about us?”
We’re “not like those c___s”, those other women? We’re somehow different?
But some of us are old/fat/”not attractive” too.
It’s similar to a POC being told, “You’re not like those other ones.”
Do you see it now?
Men who wouldn’t dream of attacking a POC’s ideas by using racist slurs somehow don’t see attacking women by using sexist slurs as unacceptable.
But it is. It is because it reduces all women to stereotypes, to sexual objects.
It creates distrust and fear amongst the very women you claim to be allied with. It makes us feel uncomfortable around you, especially if we don’t look like the societal norm and especially if we are survivors of domestic violence.
Aside #2: By the way, my abuser was a leftist – except when it came down to women and feminism. So, yeah, it does happen.
When you respond with defensiveness, and try to justify your attacks by citing how hateful and awful right-wing women are, it’s not working, dude – because you’re not attacking their actions or words, you’re attacking them as women.
And when it comes to the “I’d like to rape/tie up and kill/beat her to death” comments…
That’s horrifying. I don’t think I have to spell out why.
So please, don’t send me pictures that demean any woman, or post that crap on Facebook. Use your big-boy ideas and criticize Kellyanne Conway, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, Betsy DeVos, Dana Loesch, and others on the disgusting ideas they promote.
Not their looks. Not their clothes. Not their ages. Not whatever sick sexual thing you can conjure up.
And if you have rape/torture fantasies, seek help before you hurt someone in real life.
Weirdness of the week comes from the Chicago Tribune website. At first, I thought the story would contain a bit about how recipients of Amazon products they didn’t order wanted to return the products because it’s not right to take stuff that you didn’t pay for…but, alas, they’re just annoyed because “someone has our information” (name and address).
“The Mysterious Tale of the Couple Who Keep Receiving Free Amazon Packages – And Want it to Stop”. Marwa Eltagouri, Chicago Tribune website, 2/7/18.
Recommendation of the week is for Planet Fitness. I just joined this past week because they are only $10/month, and they have trainers there you can work with for free. Went to my first session yesterday, and I really liked it. They go out of their way to make you feel comfortable, and there were all ages/sizes of people there. I’ll let you know how it goes.
Be good. Be kind. Keep warm.