To all you men: could you please stop embarrassing the rest of us?

Jen Gunter, gynecologist extraordinaire, had written an article about how a former boyfriend had tried to control her by constantly criticizing her appearance, which got picked up by the NY Post as a story about how she got dumped because of her smelly vagina…and then the men got ahold of the story. They assumed, of course, that the criticisms by the controlling, negging boyfriend were all true, so she got all kinds of mansplaining mail, which she has now written about in the NY Times.

And then the men came. They came to share their opinions regarding my vagina, writing on my blog and at me on Twitter. They flocked to my Instagram and my Facebook. One group of gentlemen, in at least their 40s, even decided that this story of me being dumped supposedly because of my vagina was worthy of a laugh on their podcast.

This rash bombarded me in both public and private comments. Men wondered if I had washed “that thang yet?” One man wrote that I “must be INTO smelly ones! How nice for you — we prefer FRESH as a daisy ones!” Another man warned me that “We men had a meeting, all 3.5 billion of us.” At the meeting they had apparently decided to “double down on calling out” my smelly vagina.

A man said I should call my ex and thank him “for alerting me to my smelly vagina.” There was also the #notallmen contingent, who felt it was impossible that my personal experience and 25 years as a gynecologist could offer any evidence that men ever try to control women by preying on insecurities. Obviously it was just my vagina that stank.

More men sought me out to explain vaginas to me. They gave me false information on how to clean and prep them (for men, of course), and told me how gross my vagina must be, and hurled insults that I cannot print here.

This has not been a good day to be male, but then, I guess it’s only fair — men have been making women’s lives miserable for millennia.

I was not invited to that meeting of 3.5 billion men, and I suspect most of us weren’t. It’s time to fire that committee chair and sweep the conference room free and get some non-assholes in there.


  1. says

    This reminded me of a conversation I had with my colleague regarding affirmative action. I argued that companies being legislatively forced to hire more women in engineering positions etc. is a good thing. He argued that because there are currently more men engineers than women, the companies & society would be forced to invest disproportionately into training/educating women while ignoring men who already have the training/education: To which I replied “So what? Women had to put up with being ignored for thousands of years, surely we can keep up with reversal for a generation or two until the playing field is level?”.
    To his credit, he conceded that the argument is sound.

    But we both have still a lot of work to do on ourselves.

  2. leerudolph says

    It’s time to fire that committee chair

    He has perfect qualifications to take over chairmanship of the Smelly Asshole committee.

  3. John Morales says


    Come back after not collectively behaving like trash for a millenium or so.

    *waiting for the “not all mening to start”

    No, no. The concept of collective guilt is not to be disputed.


  4. rietpluim says

    Yeah, like someone is seriously putting forward the idea of collective guilt.

    The problem is John Morales that people like you are more concerned by a hypothetical concept of collective guilt than by the real hurt done to real women.

    Like you’re some sort of victim in this case. You’re not. Don’t start whining.

  5. rietpluim says

    If you really want to be not one of those men, then speak out your support for Gunter openly, loudly and clearly. Act like “not all men” don’t whine about it.

  6. imback says

    I’m thinking of declaring as a splinter gender, the gender formerly known as the men who were why it was “not all men”, or TGFKATMWWWIWNAM

  7. John Morales says

    rietpluim, *I* am seriously putting forward the idea of collective guilt, where individuals who are part of a collective bear at least some responsibilty for what other members of the collective do by virtue of tolerating or ignoring their actions, even if they themselves don’t do them.

    And no, I’m no victim. I don’t even share PZ’s sentiment that “this has not been a good day to be male”.

    (I get it; #notallmen is trivially true but effectively a distraction from the topic)

  8. kantalope says

    I was not invited either…and I never commented on anyone’s anything. Maybe I’m the weirdo.

  9. Akira MacKenzie says

    If you little boys don’t care for the odor, then go buy yourself a Fleshlight and can of your favorite air freshener and leave the non-silicone-based genitalia alone. Womankind will thank you for it.

  10. batflipenthusiast says

    What’s the problem with ‘not all mening’? It’s simply not important? Maybe there’s fear it could be used to shield the guilty or marginalize the problem?

    Whatever the case, I’ve not only been decent in my personal conduct to everyone, i’ve spent too much time and energy trying to highlight and push back against this shit to easily accept being lumped in.

  11. Azkyroth, B*Cos[F(u)]==Y says

    What’s the problem with ‘not all mening’? It’s simply not important? Maybe there’s fear it could be used to shield the guilty or marginalize the problem?

    When no one actually said “All men” it’s an irrelevant distraction tactic which centers the feelings of some men rather than the harm done to women by, in the ideal case but not always, other men.

    When, as above, someone actually has, the charitable interpretation is that people are so used to lashing out in the distraction case that they do it out of habit.

  12. methuseus says

    @Giliell #1:

    Sorry, men, you have been banned from the adult table.
    Come back after not collectively behaving like trash for a millenium or so.

    Can I at least observe the proceedings? I’ll bring coffee/tea and cookies. I promise they won’t be burned, but they might not be the best you ever tasted.
    In all seriousness, we need to get rid of this idea that, by default, a man’s opinion means something. It doesn’t necessarily. Especially when talking about women.

  13. Markus Schäfer says

    With men being who we are it will be trivial to find a guy who has recently humped a summer meadow…

  14. says

    Robert Paul Wolff’s Autobiography of An Ex-White Man is a good description of how one can reject and fight against one’s class, racial, and gender privilege. I certainly want to be ab ex-white guy, right now with the emphasis on “guy” – after many years of sharing a gender with these rapey assholes I want to splinter off, somehow.

  15. says

    It’s becoming increasingly clear that men are simply too governed by their emotions to be allowed into positions of authority. It may be time for them to withdraw from the workplace and start tending the home instead.

  16. ragdish says

    Should Al step down? Does saying “What Roy Moore did was lightyears worse” a valid excuse? I say no and misogyny shouldn’t be treated as a spectrum with “bad” and “worse” ends. Misogyny is misogyny. Period. Even if Moore fessed up he should still step aside. And so should Al. Otherwise you’re agreeing with Dawkins who makes comments like this:

    “date rape is bad but stranger rape at knifepoint is worse”

    That’s no different than:

    “unwanted groping of an adult woman is bad but teenage girl molestation is worse”

  17. ragdish says

    Oops! Sorry my post was supposed to be on the Al Frankenstein thread. My brain fart. Please ignore it.

  18. woozy says

    What’s the problem with ‘not all mening’?

    In itself there’s nothing particularly wrong with “not all men” any more than there is anything wrong in pointing out that all lives matter (which they do) or some of your best friends are black (which is a good thing).

    But it’s an irrelevant tangent and concentrating on *that* rather than the rather blatant and troublesome misogyny or racism being discussed is to deliberately and obliquely miss the point. And such priorities *is* misogynist or racist.

    And it’s honestly *baffling* that anyone would take an innocuous statement such as “men engage in such and such a behavior” as “all men behave in such and such a behavior and you do too because you are a man and I hate you and you are guilty because you are a man”. Would these same people reading a statement claiming “Potential employers look for candidates who express themselves professionally in dress” respond by “*MY* company doesn’t and I resent being lumped into this gross and offensive generalization just because *some* companies do and you are slurring my profession just because I work in human resources.”

    It seems an equally weird and inappropriate response to me.

    And somehow… I seem to have missed Dr. Gunter’s blog where she said she gave up dating men because all men use degrading comments about her appearance and odor as a means of controlling her. I mean she dumped *one* man for that. And if all men do it and she’s consistent (and the heart of “not all men” is that inconsistency is inconceivable) then she had to have dumped all men and given up on dating and … yet somehow I missed that memo. Which is obviously my business as complaining about one man is clearly an attack on all men…

  19. woozy says

    By the way. “A rash of mansplaining” is one of the more brilliant things I read yesterday.

  20. gorobei says

    #4: Collective guilt is not as thing, but collective responsibility is.

    The argument that my kids make at times “I don’t need to clean that mess up, my sister did it, not me” is understandable but indicative of someone who is not yet an adult.

  21. Zmidponk says

    I must have missed my invite to that meeting of all men on the planet too. If I hadn’t, I would have raised the point that, even if the person concerned did have an odour issue with her vagina (which, by the sounds of things, is actually not the case), it would probably be best to leave advice on how to solve that problem to people who can speak from personal experience – which would mean people with vaginas of their own. After all, if I had a similar problem with my penis, I would expect it would be much more likely that relevant advice that actually worked would come from fellow penis-owners.

  22. some bastard on the internet says

    This has not been a good dayreally long amount of time to be male,


  23. imback says

    @Marcus #17,
    I read Robert Paul Wolff’s In Defense of Anarchism way back in the 1970s. I had no idea he was still around. I’ll look into Autobiography of an Ex-White Man which I see was written in 2005.

  24. Ichthyic says

    I would expect it would be much more likely that relevant advice that actually worked would come from fellow penis-owners.

    OTOH, your average penis owner is dumb as a box of hammers apparently, and I for one would tend to take the advice of ANYONE with a medical degree, let alone a gynecologist, over said average penis owner.

    much like I would take the advice of an auto mechanic over your average car owner when figuring out how to fix a car.

  25. Mark Dowd says

    ”He argued that because there are currently more men engineers than women, the companies & society would be forced to invest disproportionately into training/educating women while ignoring men who already have the training/education.”

    YES! Exactly! That’s the fucking point!

    “What’s the problem with ‘not all mening’?”

    It’s the sexist version of “All lives matter”.

    “Maybe there’s fear it could be used to shield the guilty or marginalize the problem?”

    Looks like you already knew that though.

  26. Ichthyic says

    are liberals in the US now declaring “antifa” a terrorist organization?

    if so, just shows how deep the stupidity runs.

  27. Ichthyic says

    in NZ, the group that started the “antifa” as terrorists were…

    whale oil blog.

    which is pretty much the very tiny equivalent to Breitbart here.

    this is most assuredly a tail wagging the dog moment.

    and yes, you actually MUST be quite stupid and gullible to buy this narrative, given there is not even an “antifa” organization itself to speak of, and it’s nothing more than a reaction to an already established and growing fascist movement.

    It does not at all surprise me that fascists would project the terrorist label onto anti fascism though. It’s what right wingers do.

    what does surprise me is how gullible people are to fall for it.

  28. John Morales says

    Ichthyic, gullibility is definitely part of it, but for mine, misinformation is a salient reason. Most people don’t follow politics and probably have only heard of it incidentally and second-hand.
    They don’t care enough to actually think it through and make an informed determination, they just go by whatever buzz has diffused into their consciousness.

    (If you want to get technical, I am appealing to the availability heuristic)