Embracing misogyny stunts you and makes you stupider.

Fred Clark of Slacktivist has written about how bearing false witness against your neighbor — they’re pedophiles/Satanists/just not right — is corrupting in a way other sins aren’t. Maybe you steal once or cheat once and then no more; a lie about someone else, though, is an ongoing thing. Y0u have to stay silent if other people repeat your lies; if someone challenges it, you have to refute them.

If it’s a lie you’ve been told — that the Democratic Party is a pedophile conspiracy, that Target hates veterans —  you have to reject the evidence to the contrary. Tell yourself it’s fake news, that the media are part of the conspiracy or (as in the second link) that Snopes is bought and paid for and can’t be trusted. And in so doing you stunt and shackle yourself to the false witness, and (as my first DM put it) refuse to play your intelligence.

I think it’s the same thing with misogyny and sexism. As I point out over and over in Undead Sexist Cliches, the stuff about women that Everybody Knows — they cry rape at the drop of the hat, they hate sex, they’re mentally inferior, they should be flattered by sexual harassment, they deserve to be raped — is bullshit. But the thought that having a penis makes you special and should give you special privileges is hard for some guys to let go of.

For example, some white supremacist authoritarians profiled at Religious Dispatches are all in on “a status hierarchy where you have a healthy society, with good values promoted and degenerate things shunned.” At least that’s what they imagine a white, male-dominated tyranny would look like (one of them is keen on absolute monarchy); rational thought says their vision is the opposite of a healthy society or good values. Misogyny and racism offer neither truths nor good values.

Or consider North Carolina shitbag Rep. Gregg Murphy, a Republican claimed after the Dobbs decision that “nobody is forced to have sex.” Or Matt Walsh.

A BuzzFeed article discusses guys who were egalitarian and feminist but after listening to misogynist bullshit on podcasts or YouTube suddenly changed, embracing a more malignant masculinity. Once again, we have people turning off their brains and their decency — because turning misogynist is fundamentally un-decent — though I wonder why? Was the resentment of women always simmering in their heads? Was it that like Rush Limbaugh, the influencers mix plausible observations in with extremist bullshit (which is how David Neiwert describes Limbaugh people into fascism)? Or as The Big Con says, that once you enter the echo chamber you have no opposing views (a major factor with incel online communities)

To paraphrase Robert Jackson Bennett, the more we can disperse power and give people control over their own lives, the healthier our society is. But for some people, power is only to be hoarded, a view that gets more acute when dealing with gender. If one woman has agency, all women have agency. If the woman down the street has the right to divorce her spouse or work even if her husband disapproves, that means everyone’s wife has that right. If women can go out and have sex without consequences, everyone’s daughter have that option.

I honestly think that for some people, gender equality is like the horrors of HP Lovecraft’s fiction, an idea so monstrous they can’t contemplate it or even conceive it. A world where men aren’t in charge is too damn horrible. Or they simply assume that equality isn’t possible: if men don’t rule women, women must rule men. So they simply reject all evidence to the contrary.

Their minds are clenched fists, and they aren’t going to open them.

For more details on why misogyny is crap, feel free to buy a copy of Undead Sexist Cliches, available as a Amazon paperback, an ebook and from several other retailers. Cover by Kemp Ward.

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Filed under Politics, Undead sexist cliches

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