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Woman is a dirty word

I left a comment at Rebecca Watson’s recent post on being objectified; I said that while I face only a fraction of the abuse outspoken women get, lately the most common insult I get is being called a mangina, or worse, a woman.

I now get email accusing me of being a woman.

Think about that. This is the horrible awful insult they want to browbeat me with; that I am a woman. Not even the creationists ever sunk to that; I think it’s part of their mindset that women are lesser beings, but they don’t use “woman” as a dirty word.

It’s bizarre; they don’t even realize that they’re confirming everything I say about sexism and misogyny by treating womanhood as the most degrading term you can apply to a man.

But maybe this will wake them up…at least, maybe it will stir the ones who don’t worship Glenn Beck.

Glenn Beck chewed out Obama for having concerns about brain injuries in football.

Beck played a clip from the interview on his online show and interjected the word “girl” in between the president’s statements, before switching into a “female” voice to mock him. When Obama was finished making his rather cautious comments on the matter, Beck began his full-on attack.

“His man card has been revoked by me, and that’s saying something” Beck said. “When I’m saying you’re a girl, you are absolutely 100% girl power.” He proceeded to slam the president for getting too “philosophical” and “complex” in his answers to questions, which according to Beck was further evidence of Obama’s femininity.

Referring to Obama’s nuanced approach to the football issue, Beck continued, “You’re a full-fledged woman. I never heard anybody but a woman say that.” He explained that only women are concerned about the dangers of football and “every guy, even me, says ‘relax.’”

Taking a stern tone, Beck said, “Stop being such a chick, Mr. President. Stop it. You’re commander-in-chief. Not chick-in-chief.”

Watch the video, slimy people: it’ll be like looking in a mirror. That’s what misogyny looks like — it’s the gratuitous assumption that you can belittle someone by calling them a chick.

Comments

  1. says

    Hi PZ, you could easily have quoted the entire comment you made over at Rebecca’s for relevance; here I’m recycling some of a comment I posted further down that Skepchick thread.

    I think it’s notable that you receive a quite different kind of harassment on account of espousing feminist principles as opposed to that which you receive based on religious or atheistic views. It’s not surprising that some of the abuse is highly sexualised, but because you’re a man, the imagery has to change accordingly – either having to be depicted in the position or with the attributes of a woman to be objectified (which is misogyny, or femmephobia to use another term) or else depicted as taking the submissive role in a homosexual act (and that’s homophobia), and that either of these tropes cast non-masculinity or non-heterosexuality as inferior; it is well known that misogyny and homophobia are intricately linked in this way. Language choices like mangina or chick spell out that cis-hetero male is the only acceptable option to these douchebags.

    As far as the Glenn Beck comment goes… there aren’t enough face palms.

  2. says

    Wait, part of the complaint is that Obama has the intellectual capacity to deal with philosophical and complex matters? And is therefore (as part of the “indictment”) a woman? Yet in other penis-haver threads, the opposite claim is made.

    It appears that “woman” is nothing other than “The Other”. Some magical counterpole to whatever the anti-intellectual Glenn Beck imagines Himself to be.

  3. mythbri says

    I really like my boyfriend. He’s a good guy, and he’s willing to learn about things that he didn’t know before. Feminism and social justice are some of those things.

    Last Saturday, we went to a state park to go hiking and take pictures of some awesome scenery. We were starting a hike, and it had been a long day. My boyfriend started breathing heavily and I asked him if he was all right.

    “It’s okay,” he assured me. “I’m just a little out of shape – I’m not pussing out.”

    “Of the two of us,” I said, “I’m the one with the pussy. And I don’t quit. Are you coming or not?”

    He didn’t quit that day, either.

  4. says

    Theophontes, you’ve hit the nail on the head! I’ve noticed that before in male writers, where whatever they do, even if it’s the complete opposite from each other, is normal and sensible, while the other way is the irrational way women do things.

    I once abruptly stopped reading a book on the analysis of humor when the author threw in as fact his opinion that women–all women, he implied–didn’t understand humor and couldn’t tell jokes.

    But the manly misogyny prize was won by the author of a history book who confidently stated, “The Empress was a woman, narrow-minded and ignorant”! Not an ignorant woman, but a woman and therefore ignorant.

  5. says

    I think the (anti-intellectual) message that Beck is trying to put across is that Obama is over-intellectualising a subject which ought not to be treated with any such seriousness or concern; instead, the football is a manly thing, therefore it’s good, therefore expressing concern about football injuries is unmanly, rah rah rah (*more Beckian tub-thumping*).

    It’s an example of toxic masculinity, which interestingly can embrace ideas as far apart as, on the one hand the anti-intellectualism of macho sporting culture, as well as the idea that only men are leading intellects and geniuses responsible for the triumphs of Western culture (the ‘canon’ of Dead White Males).

  6. mythbri says

    @Markita #4

    A woman is narrow-minded when she refuses to entertain the notion that she’s inferior to men.

    A woman is ignorant when she does not know her place.

  7. Daniel Schealler says

    That’s odd.

    I thought women weren’t logical or serious-minded enough for philosophy.

    Oh, silly me.

    Except for when a male opponent of mine is making logical and serious-minded arguments that I can’t counter. Then he’s clearly being unmanly and all womanly and such.

    It’s so obvious now. How could I ever miss it.

    That must be entry #5,345,234,231 for why women can never win.

  8. Sophia, Michelin-starred General of the First Mediterranean Iron Chef Batallion says

    It’s a depressing and mostly futile exercise trying to understand the thinking behind such attitudes, but what I’ve come up with is this; the anti-feminists use woman as an insult with the rationale that they’re calling you “something you’re not.” They fail to see that it’s not just that, the other, more sinister and far overriding part is that you’re calling them something they see as inferior. It’s the lack of a simple logical connection, wilful or not, that the fact you can use something as an intult means that you believe the form of that insult to be an insulting thing – an inferior or disgusting thing.

    It wouldn’t be an insult, otherwise. You cannot use woman as an insult without espousing the underlying idea that being a woman is a bad thing. Heck, I still catching myself using sexist phrases. They’re ingrained. I feel horrible when I use them, and often publically rescind and chastise myself for using them. I often get asked why, and that’s usually a good conversation to have with people. If they catch themselves out too, then it’s working.

    People like the deplorable human fecal stain above need some severe attitude readjustment, preferably with a good, solid high heel to the cranium.

  9. says

    Theophontes:

    It appears that “woman” is nothing other than “The Other”.

    That’s been the case for thousands of years now. Women are terrifyingly other and our cooties cause the feminization of men, oh my yes. It’s a terrible thing.

  10. Sophia, Michelin-starred General of the First Mediterranean Iron Chef Batallion says

    … uh, the person in the last sentence I am referring to is of course Beck, the horrible excuse for a human in the OP, not any of the commenters above!

  11. Cyranothe2nd says

    I’m teaching a class about the performance of masculinity right now, and this article falls in line with a lot of what we’re talking about–that showing concern for others is “unmanly,” that sports are men-only spaces, that being a woman is degrading because many men view women as less-than…

    Sheesh, I need to email this article to the class!

  12. Cyranothe2nd says

    Caine–yep; Women: The Universal Other.

    BTW, who is the author of that book on the history of misogyny that you’re reading?

  13. says

    Cyranothe2nd:

    BTW, who is the author of that book on the history of misogyny that you’re reading?

    It’s Misogyny: The World’s Oldest Prejudice by Jack Holland and if anyone wants a crystal clear view of woman as other, that’s the book which will provide it.

  14. mikeyb says

    Almost all of these right wingers such as Beck, Rush, O’Reilly are total racist sexist pigs – if you bother to listen to any of them even for a few minutes of a typical broadcast. Why this isn’t crystal clear and patently obvious to everyone is beyond me. How is any of this stuff even remotely funny. Is simply sick, barbaric and pathetic. I have to assume that most of the listeners of this ilk are completely clueless and shameless about their own sexism. Or they need someone to constantly reinforce their own bigotry.

  15. JohnnieCanuck says

    I just looked up Misogyny: The World’s Oldest Prejudice on Amazon.ca.

    $78 for a new paperback. Ooof.

  16. Happiestsadist, opener of the Crack of Doom says

    Caine: That book is really excellent, and I’ve lent it out a few times already to others.

  17. says

    JohnnieCanuck:

    I just looked up Misogyny: The World’s Oldest Prejudice on Amazon.ca.

    $78 for a new paperback. Ooof.

    Barnes & Noble has the paperback listed for $28.31 and the electronic version is $9.90. I bought the e-book, because I like to do a lot of highlighting and note taking with such books.

  18. says

    Happiestsadist:

    That book is really excellent, and I’ve lent it out a few times already to others.

    Yes, it is and I think it’s required reading for anyone who wants a clear understanding of the roots of misogyny.

  19. ck says

    I have to assume that most of the listeners of this ilk are completely clueless and shameless about their own sexism.

    You’d be wrong. Most of them would be proud of their sexism. The idea that women are inferior is part of their fundamental view of how the world ought to be. That’s why feminists and gays are so threatening, because both are tearing down walls these people never want to see crumble. From their standpoint, feminists are masculinising women, and gays are feminising men.

  20. echidna says

    I am in awe of Caine’s reading list. Every book she mentions seems to be a must-read.

    **takes feverish note of latest mention**

  21. profpedant says

    “Misogyny: The World’s Oldest Prejudice” is owned by at least 276 libraries around the U.S. and Canada. If your local library does not have a copy you can ask for it via Interlibrary Loan, and, in order to save every one a bit of time, some potentially useful OCLC numbers for this book are 70834039, 70992332, and 226970135 (the first two are probably the best options).

  22. says

    OK, college library has the book.

    mythbri
    The difference between a good guy and a Good Guy™ isn’t that one holds sexist, racist, homophobic, transphobic and ableist ideas and the other doesn’t.
    The difference is that one is willing to learn and the other one throws a temper tantrum about how you called him a misgynistic rapist whenever you dare to mention that the thing he said wasn’t quite the pinacle of enlightenment.
    Last week I had the following exchange with Mr.:
    He: that new manager, he’s a total psycho.
    Me: Honey, would you please stop equating mental illness with being an asshole? If you want to call him an asshole, just do so.
    He:… You’re right, I never thought about it. Yeah, he’s an asshole.

  23. Nakkustoppeli says

    Is this “man card” something like a chemical safety card warning about toxic and corrosive masculinity?

  24. casus fortuitus says

    Wait, Glenn Beck doesn’t care that men are disproportionately affected by sporting injuries?

    Misandrist!

    </obligatory snark tag>

  25. Louis says

    So wait, being philosophical and complex in one’ approach to something is girl thing? Not wanting head injuries is a girl thing?

    But I thought that Girlz™ had Pink Fluffy Lady Brainz™ and thus couldn’t do Man Thinking™ which is obviously complex, philosophical and generally not happy about head injuries. After all most complex thinkers and philosophers have been men, right, and most men use common MAN sense to avoid head injuries…

    …Hey! It’s just an observation

    …Why it’s like this calling people “girls” for being philosophical and complex thing is not consistent with the rest of the misogynistic bile that spilleth forth. GET WITH THE PROGRAMME MISOGYNISTS! At least try to make your drivel coherent!

    Louis

  26. Owlglass says

    Glenn Beck. Clean-shaven dude in pink shirt, clearly the go-to authority in all things manliness, wants to revoke “man card” of president. Being a complete idiot is one thing, but then being inconsistent about it doesn’t make it exactly much better.
    ***
    Other than that, I find Watson’s writing always intriguing, how she establishes what kind of hate mail she gets and how vile it is, and how she quickly adds Shemer to the mix (who indeed wrote idiotic things recently). Also, right-wing, evangelical, creationist, misogynist seems to overlap much more than any of these things with atheists/skeptics (yes, which is possible and documented, too).

  27. vaiyt says

    I think the (anti-intellectual) message that Beck is trying to put across is that Obama

    is doing something, therefore it is wrong and the opposite virtue must be praised.

  28. Anri says

    Owlglass:

    Glenn Beck. Clean-shaven dude in pink shirt, clearly the go-to authority in all things manliness, wants to revoke “man card” of president. Being a complete idiot is one thing, but then being inconsistent about it doesn’t make it exactly much better.

    Hmm?
    Ok, please explain in what ways being clean-shaven, or wearing pink prevent one from being ‘manly’. Do try not to reinforce typical gender role generalizations, please?
    ….aaaaand go!

    (The point is that invoking a stereotype while critisizing someone for invoking stereotypes probably isn’t the best of ideas. It’s like being critical of President Obama’s racial policy by saying “He’s not even really black – he wears suits all the time!”)

  29. jamessweet says

    I was at the gym when I saw the “news” of Obama’s comment about the dangers of football on TV. I was somewhat confused that anyone found it in any way remarkable.

  30. methuseus says

    @Giliell #23:
    I do the same thing at your Mr. Part of the problem is that my wife and I are trying to be less prolific with our swearing and try to use more “accepted” words. I read posts like yours and I want to pull my hair out at times, but I know it’s for the better to think about these things and modify my personal behavior.

    @Anri #30:
    I believe Owlglass was referring to stereotypical masculinity ideas that Beck seems to subscribe to when he talks of stuff like this, hence the “inconsistent” remark. I could be wrong, of course.

    For my own take, I never wanted to play football because it looked boring, and seemed painful just wearing the pads. I played soccer instead, and regularly almost broke things in my body. I was regularly made fun of for not playing a “manly” sport by other boys/men. Of course, leave the US and men will make fun of Americans playing our “football” as not being manly, and that they should play a real man’s game such as soccer or rugby. I did almost play rugby at one point, as well, since the rules are much more interesting than those for American football.

  31. Nepenthe says

    @31

    Haha! “Man Coulter”! I get it! It’s funny because people think she “looks trans” and being a trans woman is bad! Hahaha.

    *glares*

  32. says

    mikmik
    Transphobia is not accepted here. This has been mentioned time and time again, especially with regards to Ms. Coulter. See my #23: If you want to call her an asshole, call her an asshole.

    metheus
    I draw some lines between swearing, name-calling, and slurs.
    I swear like anybody, yes, even in front of the kids. I avoid name-calling in front of them. they can do that once they’re old enough to understand what they’re saying. Slurs are 100% not acceptable.

    +++
    Ahhh, Owlglass is here to enlighten us that manly men don’t wear pink. That’s the same person who thinks that I’m a racist because I want to talk about race and racism.

  33. bjtunwarm says

    So Beck the pudgy stoner who weeps in public (it’s my understanding testosterone make it hard for men to weep) tells Obama and the NFL players to stop being girly men and “man up” about traumatic head injures? Talk about projection.

  34. hexidecima says

    heh, having one’s “man card” revoked by some twit like Glenn Beck is like having one’s humane card revoked by a Klansman.

  35. says

    I’m reminded of a boy in my class at grammar school whose greatest insult was, “You woman!” Even forty years ago, it seemed a bit of a non sequitur, and an altercation with him would halt in confusion at that point as often as not. Nowadays, I wonder what his family was like, that he would go to this as an insult.

  36. eric says

    @8

    It wouldn’t be an insult, otherwise. You cannot use woman as an insult without espousing the underlying idea that being a woman is a bad thing.

    Its entirely possible to insult or tease someone by using a comparison you know they will take offense at, even if you, the insulter, don’t personally think the comparison is offensive. So, for example, a liberal poking fun at a conservative may point out how some view of theirs is quite liberal. Doesn’t mean the speaker thinks “your view on x is quite liberal” is an insult; it means the speaker knows how to get under the recipients’ skin. Its hard to see something like that as ‘espousing the underlying idea that being a liberal is a bad thing.’

    Human language is so flexible that its even possble to use a comparison which, taken literally, neither the speaker nor the recipient thinks is particularly offensive, but say it in a way that offense is clearly implied. “Cheese-eating” applied to the French, for instance, or Monty Python’s “your father smelt of elderberries.” I have no idea what elderberries smell like, but I don’t need to to know that to know its intended as an insult. Humans are pretty good at turning such complete non-sequiturs into insults just through intonation or context alone. As with the “liberal” example above, its really hard to claim that all the people insulting the French by calling them cheese-eating are literally espousing something negative about cheese. Its pretty clear that the insult doesn’t rely on any property of cheese at all, or the insulter’s or insultee’s opinion of cheese. It relies on the audience’s past familiarity with the phrase, its context, etc.

    Having said all that, whether they are “really” espousing a negative view of women or just being mercenany in their choice of insult (choosing words based purely on how they think PZ will respond, rather than any ideological agreement with the content of their words), makes very little difference. Being that mercenary about sexist language shows at least callousness, and going to the level of personal insult probably qualifies the speaker as a jerk and ass in the first place.

  37. Epinephrine says

    I get the misogyny in some attacks, but the fact that being feminine is a bad thing (at least, in some views) for men seems to be balanced by an equally prevalent view that being masculine is a bad thing for a woman. And both men and women are guilty of both of these, which would seem to argue about the roots being misogyny.

    I’m not going to argue that this isn’t incredibly sexist (it is!). Misogyny is typically a hatred or disdain for women; many of these behaviours are just sexist – the idea that women have their roles and men have theirs, and that men should be manly and women should be womanly.

  38. says

    I wonder if Beck has ever suffered a concussion, He might be a bit less blaise if he had. Former Toronto Blue Jay Aaron Hill missed most of the 2008 season after sustaining a concussion on May 29. That was from one concussion, and to the best of my knowledge the first time Hill suffered from one.

  39. Epinephrine says

    You cannot use woman as an insult without espousing the underlying idea that being a woman is a bad thing.

    For a man. Just like being masculine is a bad thing for a woman, in sexist minsets. It doesn’t necessarily mean that the speaker hates women, just that they are sexist.

  40. What a Maroon, el papa ateo says

    Wait, part of the complaint is that Obama has the intellectual capacity to deal with philosophical and complex matters? And is therefore (as part of the “indictment”) a woman?

    See, real men bang their heads repeatedly into hard objects until they lose the ability to think complexly.

  41. Steve LaBonne says

    For a man. Just like being masculine is a bad thing for a woman, in sexist min[d]sets. It doesn’t necessarily mean that the speaker hates women, just that they are sexist.

    You’re either very naive or full of shit. Sexism = the belief that women are not fully human = hatred of women. Period. This fine distinction between sexism and misogyny distinction that apparently exists in your mind does not exist outside it.

  42. birgerjohansson says

    “It appears that “woman” is nothing other than “The Other”.

    Well, they cannot use “Jew” anymore…
    BTW don’t diss pink. Lead-based paint is great for protecting metal exposed to water.
    But, no, I cannot see Beck practising any archetypical “manly” things, like fighting Conan in the pit of death. Or strangling a giant snake demi-god. If we use Beck’s own values, it would make him a “pussy” (sarcasm).

  43. says

    Nepenthe

    5 February 2013 at 7:32 am (UTC -6)

    @31

    Haha! “Man Coulter”! I get it! It’s funny because people think she “looks trans” and being a trans woman is bad! Hahaha.

    *glares*

    Fuck, I am sorry. I am so naive, and I was just trying to show that women can be called manly as an insult, but now I need to reconsider this viewpoint.

    Giliell, professional cynic, I did it again! Stcking my nose into a place where I’m clueless to the nuances (another was the knight with a list of strikeouts for women he supposedly stood up for).

    I am truly sorry, and it is certainly unacceptable to make slurs like this, or about anyone’s sexual identity(if I’m using that correctly) or ethnicity, or any ‘unprivileged’ situation, such as poverty. Well maybe I’ll reserve that approach when it comes to fundamentalist religion.

  44. strange gods before me ॐ says

    If you’re saying maybe you’ll insult someone’s sex, gender, ethnicity, or economic class when criticizing fundamentalist religion, don’t.

  45. Epinephrine says

    @ Steve LaBonne, #44

    You’re either very naive or full of shit. Sexism = the belief that women are not fully human = hatred of women. Period. This fine distinction between sexism and misogyny distinction that apparently exists in your mind does not exist outside it.

    Thank you twice; once for not making a big deal about my typo, and second for at least giving me an out (claiming naivety) rather than simply calling me full of shit.

    I contend that the distinction is important, and does exist outside of my mind (and that the choice between naivety and shit-fulledness is a false dichotomy). That misogyny is sexism is not in question, it is of course a form of sexism, but it is specific, rather than general. It is far easier (and less intentional) to fall into the pervasive sexism of roles, and using these in insult, than to specifically dislike or hate women and view women as inferior (explicitly).

    As for the distinction existing outside of my mind, other than being able to observe sexist behaviour that is not solely misogynist (look around, it is out there), the fact that we have distinct definitions for various types of sexism is pretty good evidence of the distinction existing outside of my mind. I won’t both linking to definitions, as they are easily looked into – but given the descriptionist nature of most dictionaries, the existence of those definitions would suggest that the words “sexism” and “misogyny” are not in fact equal and exchangeable as your equation suggests.
    sexism ⊃ (misogyny = the belief that women are not fully human = hatred of women).

  46. Nightjar says

    Epinephrine,

    but the fact that being feminine is a bad thing (at least, in some views) for men seems to be balanced by an equally prevalent view that being masculine is a bad thing for a woman.

    No, definitely not equally.

    You need to read up on femmephobia. Sometimes women who do traditionally masculine things can be perceived as being “better” than more feminine women because, say, they are perceived as being less weak, less vapid, less frivolous, more rational, etc. Being feminine is generally looked down upon in a way that being more masculine (or less feminine) isn’t, and this is true for women as well as for men. Feminine men are woman-like, therefore bad. Feminine women display everything that is considered bad and inferior about being a woman. Less feminine women are cool ’cause they have less of those things that make women bad.

    This is not to say that gender-role-non-conformity is never a factor to keep in mind, but when it comes to women it is not the only factor, and sometimes it’s not even the most important.

  47. Steve LaBonne says

    but given the descriptionist nature of most dictionaries, the existence of those definitions would suggest that the words “sexism” and “misogyny” are not in fact equal

    With that style of ‘argument” you’d make a great creationist.

  48. Nepenthe says

    Ooh! I love set theory.

    So Epinephrine has proved (by dictionary) that sexism ⊃ (misogyny).

    It only remains to show that misogyny ⊃ sexism and we have sexism = misogyny!

    Proof is, admittedly, difficult. I’m not aware of any instances of sexism not founded on hatred of women, albeit often well buried. But that’s not proof. Anyone want to take the chalk?

  49. What a Maroon, el papa ateo says

    It is far easier (and less intentional) to fall into the pervasive sexism of roles

    And what are the roles that are traditionally considered feminine? What do those roles have in common? (Hint: think about power.)

  50. nightshadequeen says

    Hey Epinephrine,

    I’d recommend you stop thinking with your adrenal medulla and instead think with your frontal lobes, and persue some reality before you come back here and continue JAQing off.

  51. Steve LaBonne says

    (Hint: think about power.)

    But of course, that’s exactly what those who don’t want to examine their own privilege will never do. No matter the gyrations required to avoid it.

  52. says

    strange gods before me ?

    5 February 2013 at 8:50 am (UTC -6)

    If you’re saying maybe you’ll insult someone’s sex, gender, ethnicity, or economic class when criticizing fundamentalist religion, don’t.

    That’s not what I was saying.

    I am truly sorry, and it is certainly unacceptable to make slurs like this, or about anyone’s sexual identity(if I’m using that correctly) or ethnicity, or any ‘unprivileged’ situation, such as poverty. Well maybe I’ll reserve that approach when it comes to fundamentalist religion.

    Yes, that’s what it looks like I was saying, alright.
    No way I would use minority, or ‘unprivileged’ status as a slur. I do reserve the right to use slurs based on a person’s religious stance, although I try not to do that very much, anymore.

    Sorry for the confusion in my comment. I fucking despise slandering people, or the fuckheads that do it. Even gratuitous instances of it where religion or politics are involved, but I will, gladly, when it comes to NRA pro assault weapon, anti-background check and registration malcontents.

  53. Epinephrine says

    Hi Nightjar,
    What you describe would indeed be misogyny, and perhaps there is a lot of that out there too. I am certain that there are people who do view feminine traits as inherently negative, and I’ll read up on your link when I have a moment. My pickiness was over PZ’s statement that:

    That’s what misogyny looks like — it’s the gratuitous assumption that you can belittle someone by calling them a chick.

    I disagree. In these cases, it’s (very likely) misogyny, but to assume mysogyny any time anyone uses language that would belittle someone for not staying within sex roles is inferring something not necessarily present. For example, my (late) paternal grandmother felt that I was far too feminine with long hair, singing in choirs, etc. – but I don’t think it was rooted in a self-hatred of feminine things – she’d have been equally vocal if she’d had a grand daughter dressing like a tomboy (and expressed such views).

  54. says

    it’s the gratuitous assumption that you can belittle someone by calling them a chick.

    It’s the gratuitous assumption Glenn Beck can belittle anybody without someone pointing out that he’s got as much credibility as a cuckoo clock. (see how I did that? I didn’t call him a “girl” I called him a “cuckoo clock”)

  55. Epinephrine says

    With that style of ‘argument” you’d make a great creationist.

    Don’t be an asshole. All I had to do to disprove your assertion is demonstrate existence outside of my mind, which was done. Words only mean what we agree that they mean. We can argue about the meaning of words, but the final arbiter is how the word is actually used. You can’t go and claim something “sexism=misogyny” without something to back it up when the words have different meanings as agreed on by society.

    Nepenthe is correct, if you can demonstrate that all instances of sexism have as their root a hatred of women, you establish equivalence, and we can probably remove one of the two words from our language with no loss of meaning. If my grandmother’s traditionalism is the reason for her finding both feminine traits in men and masculine traits in women unbecoming, is that in fact rooted in misogyny?

    Others: Yes, I know that the roles are traditionally associated with differences in power. I get that, and that the arising of the roles is sexist and misogynist. What I was trying (perhaps not capably) to demonstrate was that a person’s intent or motivation could come from a motivation that was not mysoginist. For example, if I unthinkingly use height as a selection tool, my selection process is sexist, as the heights of men and women are not drawn from the same distribution – this results in a sexist but not misogynist selection process. I think (though I can never really kjnow the thoughts of another) that my grandmother’s dislike of role reversal for both sexes was sexist, but not misogynist, and stemmed from her dislike of change, not of a feeling that women were inferior.

  56. Ing:Intellectual Terrorist "Starting Tonight, People will Whine" says

    @Marcus
    you give Beck too much credit. A cuckoo clock is right at least twice a day

  57. Steve LaBonne says

    Don’t be an asshole.

    Don’t be a moron. I choose to be an asshole to morons.No sense encouraging them.

    For example, if I unthinkingly use height as a selection tool, my selection process is sexist, as the heights of men and women are not drawn from the same distribution – this results in a sexist but not misogynist selection process.

    That’s a remarkably contrived example. No real-life sexism works like that. Reaching this hard is a pretty desperate move. The question is why it’s so very important to you to avoid confronting the real sources of sexism in the actually existing world that it motivates you to continue generating these word salads.

  58. Ing:Intellectual Terrorist "Starting Tonight, People will Whine" says

    “why can’t a woman be more like a man!?”

  59. Sophia, Michelin-starred General of the First Mediterranean Iron Chef Batallion says

    @39

    A conservative using liberal as an insult -is- saying that being a liberal is a bad thing.
    You can’t use something as an insult without thinking it’s bad. That’s the whole point of insults.

    It’s remotely possible to try to get a rise out of someone by associating them with something you know they hate, but it’s not an insult then, it’s just trolling. Poking to get a reaction. An insult, by definition, is associating someone with something that -you- see as inferior, crass or disgusting.

    Using woman as an insult is indeed saying that being a woman is inferior, crass or disgusting if you are male. In fact, it’s even used on girls – “don’t be such a girl about it”, “you’re such a pussy” and “bitch” are used derogatorily for all genders. Calling a woman a man happens for two main reasons; insulting her appearance as not feminine enough, or calling her ‘uppity’ and ‘not knowing her place’, which, really, is just an extension of the first reason.

  60. Nightjar says

    Epinephrine,

    I am certain that there are people who do view feminine traits as inherently negative, and I’ll read up on your link when I have a moment.

    Okay.

    but to assume mysogyny any time anyone uses language that would belittle someone for not staying within sex roles is inferring something not necessarily present. For example, my (late) paternal grandmother felt that I was far too feminine with long hair, singing in choirs, etc. – but I don’t think it was rooted in a self-hatred of feminine things – she’d have been equally vocal if she’d had a grand daughter dressing like a tomboy (and expressed such views)

    Yes, like I said, gender-role-non-conformity is in itself something people get oppressed over, and of course gender-non-conforming cis women get to experience it too. But when a man/boy gets mocked for being too feminine, it is certainly not the only factor at play, or even the most important, as you implied when you said:

    but the fact that being feminine is a bad thing (at least, in some views) for men seems to be balanced by an equally prevalent view that being masculine is a bad thing for a woman.

    This is what I took issue with. It is hardly balanced. The view that being masculine is bad for women has to do with gender-non-conformity. The view that being feminine is bad for men? That plus misogyny plus femmephobia. At least. There simply is no “equally”about this. You cannot discount the contribution of the last two.

    a person’s intent or motivation could come from a motivation that was not mysoginist

    Intent and motivation hardly matter. You don’t have to be consciously misogynistic to come across that way or to reinforce existing problems caused mostly by misogyny.

  61. Epinephrine says

    Don’t be a moron. I choose to be an asshole to morons.No sense encouraging them.

    The strategy of being an asshole to anyone who could potentially be a moron certainly cuts down on your false positives.

    That’s a remarkably contrived example. No real-life sexism works like that.

    Setting physical standards for jobs does occur, firefighters come to mind. And whether contrived or not makes no difference – if you can give a counterexample, you disprove a universal.

    Reaching this hard is a pretty desperate move. The question is why it’s so very important to you to avoid confronting the real sources of sexism in the actually existing world that it motivates you to continue generating these word salads.

    I don’t think it is word salad if it can be understtod. Word salad is gibberish. And you presume I don’t confront sources of sexism – I do, and I describe myself as feminist. I generally agree with PZ on these issues; speaking up in this instance about what seems to be declaring a false universal doesn’t mean that I am not an ally, and that I don’t work to address these issues.

  62. Sophia, Michelin-starred General of the First Mediterranean Iron Chef Batallion says

    @Epinephrine

    Examine the root of the reasons why people regard masculine women or feminine men as bad and you’ll find that it’s not about change, it’s about traditional gender roles. Women do this, men do this, women look like this, men look like this. At this point, it looks sexist but not misogynist until you dig another level deeper into why gender roles themselves are misogynistis. That’s where it comes together.

    Traditional gender roles are pretty obvious, so I won’t go and explain them, but they do favour men and masculine qualities and deride female and the feminine. Of course, both traditional gender stereotypes are hurtful, but the hurt is disproportionately done to women. For evidence of this, see… most of the internet, real life and history. Women are things that exist to be pretty, be quiet, clean, cook and breed. That’s a subservient role. Men do Action! Jobs! Economy! Protecting! Important things! That’s the ‘master’ role. Men take care of the important stuff, females clean up and make the man happy at the expense of having a proper life.

    That was clumsy – think of it this way:
    If someone uses an anti-black racial slur as an insult, would you still argue that the remark was racist, but didn’t show that the person thought black people were inferior specifically? That’s essentially what you’re saying with this argument. Sexism/racism, misogyny/hatred of black people.*

    *”black people” is a stupid statement, left in only for emphasis. Sorry.

  63. says

    @eric #39:

    Its entirely possible to insult or tease someone by using a comparison you know they will take offense at, even if you, the insulter, don’t personally think the comparison is offensive.

    Even granting that, there’s absolutely no reason to believe that PZ would be insulted by being called a woman. Anyone who tries it is plainly exposing their own feelings.

  64. Steve LaBonne says

    I generally agree with PZ on these issues; speaking up in this instance about what seems to be declaring a false universal doesn’t mean that I am not an ally, and that I don’t work to address these issues.

    Have that cookie you’re fishing for cookie. After you eat it, you’ll still have a lot to learn.

  65. mythbri says

    Sophia has it right.

    I have family members who call people “gay” or “faggot” or “homo” or “lesbian” or “butch” and “dyke” and they mean it in a derogatory way. And these family members DO believe that there’s something inherently wrong with being homosexual.

    These words are inherently insulting, or intended to be insulting, because of the association with an attribute that is perceived as “wrong” or “bad”. I doubt that many people here would challenge my assertion that this kind of language is homophobic, even if the person using it didn’t directly intend to insult homosexual people.

    We could change this thought experiment again, this time using racist slurs. The result would be the same. The language is racist, regardless of the intent or the “true beliefs” of the person using that kind of language.

    It’s not suddenly, magically different when we apply this principle to sexist or misogynistic language. Regardless of “intent” or “true beliefs”, the language is sexist. It’s harmful. It validates and reinforces sexist opinions and stereotypes. It causes splash damage.

    This is so internalized that of course even women will engage in gender-policing. This guy is “too femme” or this girl (word use intentional) is “too butch”. Both of those characterizations reinforce already rigid gender roles (and only two gender roles at that). And when looking at rigid gender roles, one role is definitely perceived as superior to the other. I’ll let you guess which one.

  66. Epinephrine says

    Nightjar:

    This is what I took issue with. It is hardly balanced. The view that being masculine is bad for women has to do with gender-non-conformity. The view that being feminine is bad for men? That plus misogyny plus femmephobia. At least. There simply is no “equally”about this. You cannot discount the contribution of the last two.

    I’m sorry, I wasn’t intending to imply that they were equally harmful or expressed with equal intensity, and I acknowledge that there are multiple reasons for both sides – misogyny and femmephobia certainly play a role (and to be fair, misandry probably also enters the picture if we want to be thorough).

    Intent and motivation hardly matter. You don’t have to be consciously misogynistic to come across that way or to reinforce existing problems caused mostly by misogyny.

    Ok, I can see how the result don’t differ, and that it is legitimately a problem when the actions result in continued misogyny by others, but I feel like intent does matter, especially when we are using the statement/action to judge the person uttering/acting that way. Surely we want to judge them based on their intent, not solely on the action? I don’t mean to take away from the harm done by blindly perpetuating harmful sexist dogma, but I have a lot more trouble judging someone harshly when they act out of ignorance rather than malice.

  67. says

    @Ing:
    you give Beck too much credit. A cuckoo clock is right at least twice a day

    Yeah, but its got about as much to say, and in the same tone of voice…

    I just realized something: a cuckoo clock that was running let’s say 55 min/hr – would not be right twice daily! And if you had a cuckoo clock that was as wrong as Glenn Beck, it might manage to avoid being right for quite a while. Besides, with someone like Glenn Beck, it’s best to focus on how wrong they are, rather than the occasional flashing instant when they’re accidentally right.

  68. Sophia, Michelin-starred General of the First Mediterranean Iron Chef Batallion says

    @71

    Speaking of intent – intent is irrelevant when we’re talking about harm, no buts about it.

    Intent is only applicable when speaking to the person having done the harm in the first place, and can be gauged very easily: Simply inform them that their language is hurtful and why. If their intent really isn’t to deride the group they have used as the butt of a slur, then they will be apologetic. That’s if they’re just ognorant, but well-intentioned.
    If their intent isn’t so good, you’ll see defensiveness and heel-digging and resistance to change.

    Which one do we see in pretty much every interaction of this kind? Hint: it’s not the first one. :|

  69. Sophia, Michelin-starred General of the First Mediterranean Iron Chef Batallion says

    uuuugh spelling. Sorry about that. It’s way past my bedtime. Keep on educatin’, horde!

  70. mythbri says

    @Epinephrine #71

    Surely we want to judge them based on their intent, not solely on the action?

    Why? What would that serve, in this case?

    Beck was calling President Obama a “chick” and “woman” because Beck wanted to insult him.

    PZ Myers gets hate mail from anti-feminist atheists and skeptics that call him a “woman” or otherwise associate him with femininity in a negative way.

    What does it matter what their underlying intentions are, even if they’re offering insults that don’t reflect their True Feelings in their Heart of Hearts?

    The fact that they think that calling someone a woman is insulting says a lot more about them than it does about their target, so I’m calling bullshit on the True Feelings of their Heart of Hearts argument anyway.

    What would be the use in trying to ascertain or clarify the True Feelings of their Heart of Hearts when they’re obviously willing to use sexist language that promotes negative stereotypes and hurts women (and men, by the way, by denying that masculinity can be a broadly-defined spectrum instead of a narrowly-defined prison).

    What’s the point?

  71. Pteryxx says

    Who cares about judging their intent? That’s not only unfalsifiable, but tangent to the work of getting the harm to stop.

  72. David Marjanović says

    Ok, please explain in what ways being clean-shaven, or wearing pink prevent one from being ‘manly’.

    I’m very surprised to learn that Beck dares wear pink. Based on the other prejudices Beck holds, I had expected him to hold the prejudice about the meaning of pink, too.

    Having said all that, whether they are “really” espousing a negative view of women or just being mercenany in their choice of insult (choosing words based purely on how they think PZ will respond, rather than any ideological agreement with the content of their words), makes very little difference.

    Especially because… why the fuck would they think PZ would feel insulted by being called a woman? Because they’re projecting. They’re really talking about themselves.

    would suggest that the words “sexism” and “misogyny” are not in fact equal

    Well, misandry exists, it’s not a purely theoretical possibility. My own sister holds a few misandrist prejudices (in addition to a few misogynistic ones).

    However:

    1) Misandry is, at present and in the past, mostly harmless. It’s not a sizable component of general culture; it doesn’t add to existing power gradients.
    2) The misandrist prejudices my sister holds? Most or all of them are simply good old misogynist ones with “good” and “bad” exchanged.

    to assume mysogyny any time anyone uses language that would belittle someone for not staying within sex roles is inferring something not necessarily present

    In a patriarchal society ( = any you or I are remotely familiar with), insisting that everyone stay within sex roles is very hard to separate from misogyny. Thinking that men shouldn’t behave like women? Femmephobia. Thinking that women shouldn’t behave like men? That amounts to thinking they shouldn’t pretend to be something better than they are, something higher, something more manly

    Ceterum censeo myself to want Comic Sans back.

  73. David Marjanović says

    Thinking that men shouldn’t behave like women? Femmephobia. Thinking that women shouldn’t behave like men? That amounts to

    And yes, women get the short end of the stick both ways.

    I’m reminded of the New Testament passage (Paul’s Letter to the Romans, I think) that says it’s a shame for a man to have long hair, but not for a woman – apparently because being a woman is already so shameful that long hair can’t really add to it.

  74. says

    This topic of being insulting is something I’ve been thinking about for the last year or so, since the great push-back on gendered/ableist insults here on Pharyngula. (BTW, I fully support that and have been trying to apply creativity to insults ever since) I don’t want to reach for a dictionary, but let’s say “insult” is a term that’s applied to another in an attempt to hurt their feelings or as a sign of disrespect. If I’m trying to insult someone, I might call them “poopyhead” (implying that they have a head full of, covered with, or made of, shit!) All insults will either be true or false. If they are true, then I suppose they are mere statements of fact and are not disrespectful because they’re not unfair or wrong. The insulter is looking to make the insult hurtful because it’s inaccurate – if I do, in fact, have a head covered in shit and someone calls me “poopyhead” they’re not hurting my feelings because I’m probably otherwise engaged in getting the poop off my head or I might proudly answer, “indeed I am!” The insult only stings if I think that my head is covered in rose-petals and unicorn fur, not poop. But suppose my head is beautifully coiffed in unicorn fur with ornate rose-petal edging: then calling me “poopyhead” is manifestly false. Anyone can see that my head is not covered in poop at all, so what was the point of the insult? I should be able to simply reply, “no, it isn’t.” and allow my abuser to keep calling me “poopyhead” all they want because it’s going to become obvious to everyone around that they’re wrong wrong ongitty-ong, themselves.

    I’m left with the thought (partially lifted from Hume) that the only reason an insult works on me is because I choose to let it. In that sense, my choice to take offense is what’s driving the situation after they’ve thrown the insult. I might just as “easily” take offense at someone telling me to “have a nice day” (and, if they said it in a snarly kind of tone, I might!) I realized a few years ago that the one thing that can really really piss me off is: someone trying to piss me off. Once I realize that “oh, this person is trying to make me angry!?” I completely lose my shit at them.

    But don’t all “insults” rely on an invidious comparison? If I call Beck a “cuckoo clock” I’m probably not throwing an insult if one of the listeners is a fan of cheesy Bavarian time-pieces. So the only way to insult someone properly is to use something that you know is both a) wrong b) something they’ll get their feelings hurt if you’re wrong about. It makes the typical gendered insult reliable and affordable: if I call Glenn Beck a “girl” there’s certainly the idea that “girl is bad” but also that it’s really easy to tell that it’s wrong (whereas it’s hard to tell if Beck really doesn’t coat his head with poop when he’s off camera, as I suspect he does) I am not in favor of gendered insults or ableist insults, but it makes a lot of sense to me, now, because of the ease-of-use factor of such insults more than anything else. I could not possibly count the number of times I have referred to religious faithful as “idiots” and I realize that implicit in that insult is the idea “mentally challenged is bad” which I now regret.

    I apologize for rambling. I guess the short form is that I’ve realized that using insults is inherently risky since it puts you in the line of fire for a (thoroughly justified) moral challenge. It’s easier to stick to insults-of-fact, i.e: “Beck sounds like fascist who’s just looking for a pair of boots to lick” rather than insults-of-category.

  75. moarscienceplz says

    So, Glenn Beck, the bastard child of the Pillsbury Dough Boy and the Sta-Puft Marshmallow Man, thinks President Obama isn’t manly enuf?

  76. Nepenthe says

    @80

    Hahaha! I get it! it’s funny because Beck is fat! And fat isn’t manly! Fat men aren’t “real men”, right?

    That’s so funny!

  77. D says

    I’m very surprised to learn that Beck dares wear pink. Based on the other prejudices Beck holds, I had expected him to hold the prejudice about the meaning of pink, too.

    Wearing pink has become an act of machismo amongst certain fratboy cultures in the US. So it might well be that in Beck’s case is it part and parcel of toxic masculinity.

  78. Ing:Intellectual Terrorist "Starting Tonight, People will Whine" says

    Insults can be true by attracting stigma or cruelly drawing attention to a factual thing that has shame attatched.

    Constantly receding to a teen as pus face because of their acne is hurtful even though the acne is a fact.

  79. Nightjar says

    Epinephrine

    I’m sorry, I wasn’t intending to imply that they were equally harmful or expressed with equal intensity, and I acknowledge that there are multiple reasons for both sides – misogyny and femmephobia certainly play a role

    Ok. That was my main problem with your post, I’m glad you acknowledged the differences.

    but I feel like intent does matter, especially when we are using the statement/action to judge the person uttering/acting that way. Surely we want to judge them based on their intent, not solely on the action?

    I guess, but I’m not particularly interested in judging the person. It’s not useful. I’m more interested in judging the statement/action so that people who don’t want to reinforce misogyny will stop saying/doing those harmful things.

    ***

    Could everyone please stop with the “Hahaha, look at the unmanly Glenn Beck saying who is manly!” comments?

  80. Pteryxx says

    Could everyone please stop with the “Hahaha, look at the unmanly Glenn Beck saying who is manly!” comments?

    THIS. What the hell, people? “I’ve got Obama’s Man Card!” “Oh yeah well I’ve got YOUR Man Card, Glenn Beck!” THERE IS NO MAN CARD, FFS GET OVER IT. /rant

  81. says

    I have family members who call people “gay” or “faggot” or “homo” or “lesbian” or “butch” and “dyke” and they mean it in a derogatory way. And these family members DO believe that there’s something inherently wrong with being homosexual.

    These words are inherently insulting, or intended to be insulting, because of the association with an attribute that is perceived as “wrong” or “bad”. I doubt that many people here would challenge my assertion that this kind of language is homophobic, even if the person using it didn’t directly intend to insult homosexual people.

    Yeah, if I didn’t think that being a woman/gay/person of colour is something bad, why on earth should I
    A) reinforce that notion in a bigot by using it as an insult?
    B) insult women/gays/people of colour by comparing them to said asshole?

  82. says

    @Epinephrine–

    Any distinction that requires either telepathy or long, extended, therapist-level -of-detail conversations to draw, is not a useful distinction to draw.

    Not only that, but consider for a moment the kind of mentality it takes to use gendered slurs without a specific hatred of women or intent to harm women.

    It’s a mentality that says, “I don’t hate women. I just don’t care if I inadvertently harm them. That tiny iota of mental energy it would take check my language to make sure I’m not accidentally contributing to women’s oppression? That’s too much energy. I can’t be bothered.”

    The people who think like that are actually THE biggest problem we have to solve if we are going to end sexism. The active, conscious, intentional woman-haters are a pretty small minority of the population. It’s the apathetic, ignorant fence-sitters who enable the misogynists. Their inaction creates an environment where sexism is tolerated, and the misogynists think that everyone agrees with them.

    So, no, lack of intent is NOT NOT NOT NOT fucking NOT an excuse in any way, shape, or form!

    I hope this helps.

  83. David Marjanović says

    Wearing pink has become an act of machismo amongst certain fratboy cultures in the US.

    I’m stunned.

  84. David says

    I think we could find a better example of misogyny than Glenn Beck, a man who is either so unbalanced or so totally given over to adoration from his Tea Party fan base that he spouts nonsense that would make a paranoid schizophrenic look downright sane. This is a man who attempted to tie together such disparate elements as people carrying red flags in Wisconsin, Arianna Huffington’s “Shadow Party Conventions,” George Soros, and the high price of gas to justify his insane “Muslim Caliphate” theory.

    Of course, it’s entirely possible that Beck is a Poe, and in real life he’s actually a liberal and a Methodist.

  85. iknklast says

    only women are concerned about the dangers of football and “every guy, even me, says ‘relax.’”

    Oh no! And here I thought my husband was a man! Was there a sneaky, same-sex marriage put over on me by the pretense that he was a man? (NOT dissing same-sex marriage here, just dissing the idea that there is one way of being a man).

  86. carlie says

    I wish I could turn in my man card. But I fucking lost it.

    If you’d just have your wife keep it in her purse for you this wouldn’t happen.

  87. omnicrom says

    @89

    Glenn Beck to me seems to be a huckster of the worst kind, one utterly without morals or ethics except “Look out for number 1″. I wish I could recall the book I read that chronicled how Beck went above and beyond the call of duty to become the Tea Party Darling. It talked about how he really pushed all the popular Tea Party cliches as hard as he could until they were adopted and the hateful carbuncle of a movement became the ugly reactionary fringe we know it as now.

  88. Antiochus Epiphanes says

    carlie: hee hee! :)
     
    But seriously. I carry a backpack everywhere. I have no excuse.

  89. Koshka says

    David #89,
    In a post about bigoted slurs you use a bigoted slur.

    Is it that hard to think about what you write?

  90. jackiepaper says

    #80
    Can we refrain from mocking “bastard” children too, please? The intended insult is misogynist.

  91. throwaway says

    Wearing pink has become an act of machismo amongst certain fratboy cultures in the US. So it might well be that in Beck’s case is it part and parcel of toxic masculinity.

    It’s a confrontation gesture. A false submissive posture, taken in an attempt to coax challenges to masculinity, affording opportunities to affirm that masculinity through violence or threats of violence. ;)

  92. twincats says

    So, Glenn Beck, the bastard child of the Pillsbury Dough Boy and the Sta-Puft Marshmallow Man, thinks President Obama isn’t manly enuf?

    Really? Fat bashing?? Isn’t that just super special!

  93. says

    Hmm. I don’t think epinephrine is 100% off kilter. I think there is actually a meaningful distinction to be made between sexism (actions & words) and misogyny (underlying attitudes). We all say & do sexist shit from time to time, because that’s how we are raised in this culture. If we are trying not to be sexist, but we slip sometimes, it’s still sexism (intent! it isn’t magic!) but it’s not necessarily misogyny (intent is not magic but it’s also not nothing.) You only know it’s misogyny if the sexism is proudly claimed, defended and doubled down on.

    Where I think epinephrine goes wrong is trying to hand the benefit of the doubt to people who really, really, don’t deserve it.

  94. says

    Yes, that’s true enough and I absolutely agree that it’s important. But the apathy isn’t terribly relevant to *this* discussion, is it? We’re talking here about explicit expressions of sexism, and explicit defenses of it, not about silent onlookers. The bigotry is quite clear, not hidden at all. Trying to deflect it with “we don’t know that they really think that” is a red herring. We do know. It’s been obvious for a long time now.

    But it’s true in some OTHER cases – a person who accidentally uses sexist language and apologises when called on it is a very different person to a Slymer and poison-pen/photoshopping harasser.

    I admit I’m mostly just talking terminology, but this got hashed out a lot in Australian media recently so it’s on my mind.

  95. says

    David:

    I think we could find a better example of misogyny than Glenn Beck,

    There are all manner of examples of misogyny in action, however, why are you looking for a “better” example? This one suffices just fine. Beck hit all the primary points of the systemic sexism in our culture, which has deep roots in misogyny. Everything he said expresses the thoughts and feelings of men for hundreds of years in the U.S. in particular. I’ve been reading Manhood in America: a cultural history by Michael Kimmel and looking at the history of such thinking, Beck didn’t miss a beat. People will listen to that and nod their heads in agreement because it is standard thought process for a lot of people.

    a man who is either so unbalanced or so totally given over to adoration from his Tea Party fan base that he spouts nonsense that would make a paranoid schizophrenic look downright sane.

    Othering Beck is not helpful, nor is punching down when it comes to those who have a mental illness. Beck is a believer. He believes hard in his particular ideology and faith. He’s also calculated in his messages – he’s trying to reach a specific audience and he does so successfully. You may not like that, but it does no good to ignore reality or attempt to stick him in a little box with a neon “other” label so you can feel more comfortable. A whole lot of people believe in the same things Beck does, and even those who don’t agree with much of what he has to say would have little problem agreeing with him in this particular case. Why? Because woman is the universal other. The most terrifying threat to masculinity there is, and it’s been that way for thousands of years. Beck is a masculinist, and whether or not people agree with him in general, this particular rant will be met with a fair amount of approval as we’re now living in time of vicious backlash towards women and feminism.

  96. says

    I agree, Alethea H. “Crocoduck” Kuiper-Belt, and I think/know that that is an important distinction. Intent is important, and is shown by the willingness of the offender to apologize, or not.

    Talking of sexism is the great unequalizer around here.