The shoe pinches when it’s on the other foot, doesn’t it?


Here’s an article in Salon that shows how the gender war is progressing. It is a study in very selective outrage. A female professor catches a snatch of a phone conversation when she is passing a student that she recognizes from class and is flabbergasted at his dismissal of stupid women as “bitches” and “cunts”. Welcome to the world you and the Sisterhood made, lady

“Twenty feet, 10 feet. He is talking at top cellphone volume, but my mind is on Clive Owen, so I register sound but not words. At 5 feet from each other, our eyes meet and in the second I offer a big pleasant smile (I adore my students, isn’t the world lovely?) I hear what he is saying, has been saying, is continuing to say:
“Those fucking girls are too stupid to be bitches. They’re too fucking stupid to be cunts.”

How awful that must have been. Now imagine yourself as an eight-year old boy hearing basically the same thing about boys – they’re trouble, they mature slowly, they’re violent, the girls are just smarter and more disciplined, boys are stupid, throw rocks at them – from a female teacher, an adult in charge of you and with control over you; and then next year another, and then another… imagine hearing this kind of thing from your female peers year after year, with the full sanction of those overwhelmingly female teachers.

“Because any protective stature or authority I think I might possess due to my age or professorial rank are still trumped by the fact that I am female.”

Cry me a river. Gender is exactly why little boys get this same treatment from adult women. Is what that kid so nonchalantly said disturbing? Guess what – misogynists are made, not born, and in the case of this generation of young men, who from cradle to graduation have grown up under the authority of female teachers, female principals and in some cases female peers, the hand that rocks the cradle really does rule the world and really is responsible for this state of affairs.

She starts to analyze her reaction:

“For god’s sake: “Appropriate?” I actually think that way, now? What’s the big deal? His words were not directed at me. He didn’t spit at me. He didn’t assault me, or mug me, grab the weathered-leather bookbag from my professorial shoulder, abscond with my lecture notes and wallet. He didn’t throw acid. A few years ago, a student was shot dead on the street three blocks from where this kid and I passed each other. So, why am I upset? “Because finally, I realize: What I felt in that brief encounter with the young guy was not offense, or discomfort or puzzlement, or the comfortable detachment of sociological or linguistic analysis. It wasn’t even that I felt disturbed. What I felt in that moment was fear. I felt vulnerable.”

I agree with the writer that the student’s comments were unacceptable. I disagree both with her facile and shallow and clueless femsplaining about the student’s thinking behind them. I really disagree with her reverting to the tradcon pose of female fearfulness. Toxic femininity harms women far more than any misogyny can.

Here she is at her most unaware:

So, this is normal, now, something to be expected, accepted, shrugged off? Maybe I really am an uncool professor, because that is crazy. I still understand the language of dehumanizing hatred, no matter how indifferent the tone.

Completely unaware of the language of dehumanizing hatred aimed at boys and men in elementary and high school and yes, college settings. But that’s different of course, because….hypoagency or something, it’s less hurtful when it comes from a dainty, helpless, harmless female. More toxic femininity.

I wonder how this woman would feel if she were bombarded with messages about how she was a presumptive rapist or a presumptive pedophile? I may start caring about her pathetic fears when they start lynching and jailing women based on these attitudes she is whining about.

Oh, and did anyone catch the stink of hypoagency in all of this? A male student says something and the female professor is completely at his mercy. Does it get any more tradcon ?

Jim Doyle
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<span class="dsq-postid" data-dsqidentifier="154081">17 comments</span>

  • I think she’s right when she says she feels fear and vulnerability. Fear is an instinctive, predictive reaction to anything that might pose us danger according to the processes we biologically developed in a very different time. Sometimes fear is in response to a real and present danger, while oftentimes it isn’t. Reactions of fear have been measured in the context of racial identity: seeing an out-group face can curb processing time to favor negative reactions over positive, and the effect is much lesser for people who were raised in a very diverse context. In the same way that people who have been acclimated to processing danger according to a racial tribe will feel fear around the out-group, so I think has this woman become acclimated to a tribe of “we women.” When she witnesses this discussion, which is not directed at her, is not spoken to the people it’s critical of, is not violent and is not threatening any form of harm, she feels fear and vulnerability because her brain has identified an “enemy of the tribe.”

    There are a few ways people can process this fear after it’s been noticed consciously. First is to observe and asses the results of what happened: nobody was harmed. The fear was unjustified in this particular case. She begins to make that conclusion here (“His words were not directed at me. He didn’t spit at me.”). This is rarely enough to alleviate fear though, because humans have to know why it came about in the first place. Here’s where a fork comes in: you can perceive a problem withing your own reactions, or you can perceive a problem within the external trigger. What I wrote above is a problem that happens internally (you might also say “I heard it out of context,” or “I’ve been on edge lately”); what she goes on to do in the article though, is to say, “This is wrong. I know this is wrong because it made me feel fear. I must find why this is wrong.” Then she starts to over-analyze the shit out of it. Even when she tries to suppose the event more neutral, she puts the burden on him (“The kid was impassioned. Wounded, perhaps?”) rather than on what within her may have caused a misunderstanding, and ultimately she falls back on the idea that language itself is harmful (“language of dehumanizing hatred”), that his thoughts are corrupted (“this young guy’s casual loathing of women is all the more dangerous”) and even that other women just don’t understand what she does (“None of them are shocked, or even surprised. A few of them laugh.”) She ultimately loops around and concludes that her fear was in fact justified, because while there was no harm, there was evil. In this way she resolves her cognitive dissonance with the only introspection being to call herself weak (“I’m angry at myself for doing nothing,… because I felt that fear”) and not having to re-think her basic motivations and her place in the moral landscape.

    • I’ve been hearing for 50 years that women are smarter, stronger, and braver than men. I don’t see why she was scared in that case.
      And let’s not have any “that’s not the kind of strength/courage we mean” nonsense…

      • I’ve heard all that same twaddle before and then time after time we see this kind of thing. She probably felt real fear, but it was culturally induced fear. it was a function of her toxic femininity. It was no different from crossing the street when she sees a black man coming her direction.

        • Women constantly complain about everything; rich or poor, young or old, sick or healthy all they do is complain. I saw this as partly a function of that plus ACTUALLY HAVING TO DO THINGS and be responsible.

          • In this case her complaints were both an expression and an excuse for hypoagency.
            There used to be a norm where women policed this kind of thing. that seems to have gone out of style.

  • Don’t have the self-confidence to just tell the idiot, hey, you’re being an idiot when you call women that. Maybe the idiot, seeing that this is a supposedly intelligent female saying this, would take it to heart. Instead she perpetuates feminism is victimhood by staying quiet and not being confrontational.

    I took MLK’s words to heart, judge a person by the content of their character. While his exact words were regarding race, his message should be universally applied. People are varied no matter what their characteristics. Some are nice, some are not, doesn’t matter if you are male, female, straight, black, white, red, brown. Being good or evil has to do with what’s inside you, not what’s visible on the outside.

    I thought we were supposed to be past projecting the sins of the group onto individuals. Bigotry isn’t dead, it’s just shifted in public to acceptable targets.

    • For some people it’s a very long road to that kind of maturity and and let live, do no harm, but take no shit”
      For some people it’s a very long road to that kind of maturity and balance.

    • I’ve seen a few women who carried responsibilities and didn’t throw tantrums. I can respect them, but this behavior is typical of women.
      And I do not elicit it unless they imagine instead of actually see me. I WANT them to behave like adults. Girliness is a sexual signal that in most cases is insincere and thus boriing.

      • “and didn’t throw tantrums. I can respect them, but this behavior is typical of women.”
        Women have broad license to all kinds of extreme emotionalism. Look at how Glenn Close’s bunny boiler character was celebrated.

    • Did this woman not understand he was having a conversation she wasn’t a part of? Talk about looking to be offended

    “Do Men Need To Check Their Privilege?” As Camille Paglia said,’If the world were only women, we would be living in grass huts…’ I humbly suggest that men have built the entire infrastructure of Society; Designed, Built and Maintain the entire infrastructure with the help of women. With privilege comes Accountability and Responsibility and until Feminists accept this we will go absolutely no where in our dialogues and monologues about Male Privilege.

  • Women have Contempt for the Male Gaze. One writer even suggested that women have inside them the same Male Gaze! Much of what women do for men ostensibly is really done for other women. Women are far more motivated by competing with other women. It’s a fact.

By Jim Doyle

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