Friday, August 26, 2011
We've been framed! - part one
Women "of a certain" age often find it frustrating to talk to women who are much younger about the subject of feminism and women's rights.
This is, in part, due to the fact that the women's rights/feminism movement lost the battle to frame the issue. Being a feminist became synonymous with "man hating" and "lesbian." Leaving aside the question as to what exactly is wrong with being a lesbian one could spend a hour (or a day or a year) discussing the strange lack of equivalence between "man-hating" and "misogyny". In general the critical and popular press in United States treats misogyny as an unfortunate (and perhaps sympathetic/understandable) shortcoming in an individual. Misogynist statements/actions by men who are otherwise considered admirable, interesting, talented and/or entertaining are treated much like evidence that the man in question suffers from questionable hygiene or has been known to spit or urinate in public. Note that his woman hating opinions/statements will be characterized as misogynist, thus removing their visceral impact.
The same critical and popular press treats indications that a woman may be, as they phrase it a "man-hater" as reason to call into question all of her other statements, actions and opinions. Note that the woman's opinions/statements will be characterized as man hating rather than misandrist thus heightening any visceral impact. Any indication of "man-hating" in a woman of otherwise sterling intellectual achievements will be used to undermine and question the validity of all her other statement or opinions no matter how unrelated they may be.
To put it another way; a man has certain opinions and is a misogynist while a women has certain opinions because she is a man hater. Misogyny in a man is like lefthandedness or a weakness for the early movies of John Wayne--only worth remarking upon if they are directly relevant to the subject at hand. "Man-hating" in a woman is evidence of inability to manage anger/emotions that calls into question her ability to make reasoned judgments about anything.
Posted by mmy at 1:12 PM