Everybody knows it’s REALLY, REALLY, REALLY HARD TO BE A MAN!!!
And when you’re part of a tragically oppressed subaltern group like yours, there’s no shortage of excuses for justifying your perfectly noble and laudable addiction to telling women to quit telling men what we do wrong.
Still, here’s why you/we might think twice about using these old chestnuts in future…
1. But we’re not AAAALLL like that!
Playing with logical quantifiers, huh? “All, some, none…” Yeah that’s all pretty damn intellectual. I bet you were the first tinpot Wittgenstein who thought about that one, right?
Yeah, we all know about “women have very little idea how much men hate them,” the oft-quotemined sentence from “The Female Eunuch.” But Germaine Greer smacked down her critics with a mere couple of sharp, dismissive sentences in “The Whole Woman.” She didn’t waste her breath trying to refute the not-worth-refuting:
“Some men hate women all of the time; all men hate women some of the time.”
2. Men have it hard too! I mean, LITERALLY!
Yes, men have it hard too. Many men are homeless; probably not because they are a man. Many men are killed in wartime; not usually because woman clerics or government officials have beat the drums of massacre. Many men end up in prison; but not because the police or legal system is “institutionally misandrist.”
3. I’m actually a REALLY, REALLY nice guy, but all the EVIL, BAD, NASTY men spoil it for me.
Hmmm… sexism isn’t just something “sexists,” i.e. “bad men” do. There is not a clear-cut category of nice boys who treat all women with all possible respect, all of the time, and then assholes who destroy the reputation of good guys like you, and who maliciously turn all women into “shrieking, antagonistic harpies” who absolutely refuse under any circumstances to sleep with you.
(Whoops! A bit below the belt there, son?… Pity).
And… I’m not even gonna broach the topic of why you ended your assertion with that particular pronoun.
4. Look, you kind of have a tiny little bit of a point, but can you please spare my precious, tender little feelings?
OK. Maybe your girlfriend, your wife, your professor, colleague, mother, sister, grandmother will be “nice” to you about your crass and oblivious behaviour.
Maybe they’ll consider it when women are not being trafficked, pimped, sold as marriage trophies, viewed as the gateway to hell, or having to be Madonna, Mary Magdalene, and Marilyn Monroe in one.
Until then, just remember that no one is going to come down on you for your verbal antagonism or aggression half as hard as they will on most women you know.
You might be just “having a bad day;” she will be “uppity/moody/on her period/bitchy/snappy/yada yada yada.”
5. There are so many REALLY horrible things going on in the world, why talk about sexism? (Or at least sexism in “civilized” countries?)
Do you ACTUALLY need me to say anything about this one?
Maybe pause for breath here.
Join us next time.
Hold on to your pacifiers!