Rethink.

Ora sono ubriaco d'universo. (Ungaretti)

“I have to deal with lunatics hellbent on being idiots.”

Another reminder I’m not a superhero: I only need to deal with idiots being idiots. Murdock delivers this all-too-perfect line after dealing with a woman who sets his hair on fire and attacks him with two swords while singing to herself. Did I mention I love comic books?

Thinking a lot recently about why sexism is on the rise. And I don’t mean in terms of larger political issues. I just mean that it feels around me like there’s a lack of respect for women. We have examples of men in certain communities continually acting like pigs, babies, thugs: see here, here. What I typically see is more subtle. There are a number of men who can’t conceive of women as having open minds, who think they have the right to be loved by any given woman, a culture of thinking that talking about things considered feminine is exclusive of ambition, independence, intelligence. Oh yeah, there are those around who say openly a woman’s place is in the home; they sometimes are invisible for periods of time, but then they speak and it’s unmistakable.

Where I am I have never seen women as a whole avoid a man because he was a sexist pig. In fact, I can name one time where this guy got engaged while still pining for his ex and saying abusive, cruel things to nearly everyone he met. He didn’t just get attention from women – I distinctly remember how many more friends he had than me. It was a lot.

I can’t speak to all the issues that cause or exacerbate disrespect for women. One thing I can say is that with some people in the skeptic and gaming communities, it does look like lunatics are hellbent on being idiots. It seems sheer lunacy to abuse someone because of their sex. I know there are arguments about power and patriarchy and roles and such – that there is a horrific logic involved in sexism – but for the sheer number trying to put women down, all they do is 1) make themselves look really bad 2) get absolutely nothing for themselves that’s worthwhile. They get really angry and make themselves dumber.

Then again, maybe I have to take that horrific logic – where one believes putting others down is opportunity for oneself – a bit more seriously. After all, I have seen men who should know better reap friends and even lovers for ghastly attitudes and behavior. I really don’t know what to say at this point. I’m just wondering what kind of world I live in.

2 Comments

  1. I’ve been attributing it to a rise in immaturity and irresponsibility among males. It’s like 3rd grade among 20 and even 30+ somethings. The girls are the teacher’s pets and the boys still wanna run around and play and pull their hair. The sexism coming from feeling threatened and jealous and also from never having been taught how to act around women.

    And the girls take it as a sign of affection. He’s giving me attention!!!

    This is a very simplified explanation , I know, and you could argue that the proper term would be demasculinization over immaturity.

    I don’t know, but that’s how I try to explain it away.

  2. I’m actually shocked by this post. You would think the freedoms that women have gained would eliminate such behavior, or at least diminish it. From personal experience I learned that had I taken more control of my situation and demanded respect, my relationship might have been more balanced. But that was a long time ago. I thought surely things would change for this younger generation with its broadened access to the world. But then I’ve seen women bare their breasts for YouTube, and despite the sitcoms that create strong female characters and women taking stronger roles in business and politics, I also saw society attack Sarah Palin’s personal life with a viciousness that does not happen with male politicians who actually do bad things, and with so little uproar from anyone!

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