Can’t Beat ‘Em? Shame ‘Em.

Posted on June 14, 2012 by


The revolution WILL BE texted

Wednesday, June 13, 2012:  NPR has Sandusky’s trial analysis on every a.m. talk show. According to an expert on men in prison,  there is a huge number of men clogging the penal system who have histories of sexual abuse. All those men, untreated for sexual abuse. All those men with huge violent wounds. And while I listen to why men seek treatment less often (fear of being perceived as weak or non-manly) for sexual abuse than women I read Hayley’s piece about online misogyny. Then, as is my ritual, I stopped by Jane Roper’s, she had a piece on girls getting waxed before going to summer camp.

How the hell am I going to connect these seemingly disparate pieces of information?

With the strong thread of misogyny.

I can sew the man in the cell who didn’t want to discuss sexual abuse because he would seem like a “girl and not strong” with the animated female “fuck toys” populating the background of video games in Hayley’s online misogyny piece…

I pick up my needle and thread again: Of course twelve-year-olds are waxing before camp. Nobody can look anything other than airbrushed anymore. (Think of those perfect girls in the video games!) Not if you have a vagina. And finally, I can say that after watching pre-prom-prep,  I realize that never in my whole life–as a make up loving, high heel-hoarding woman–have I ever spent as much money or time getting ready to go anywhere as female teenagers going to the prom in 2012.

The standards,  to which women are now held, are stricter than ever before. And the standards correlate with increased animosity toward women. The perceived threat of female success is greater than ever before.  Women take college more seriously  than their male peers and often go on to out-earn their male peers. Better put the overachievers in their place before one of them becomes president! How else could Hilary’s weight become an issue in the middle of Syria’s bloodbath?

The places where women can be shamed and shut up? Sexuality and physicality.  Thus rape-culture and slut-shaming and higher physical-ideal standards than ever before. Hatred towards women is nothing new. However, the modality for delivery and the anonymity of the web, unleashes a whole new subset of assholes. Assholes who before may not have given voice to their vitriol. But they are here and they are actively hating. And we are responsible as a culture to address our damaged humans, both men and women

And that folks, is how you take a morning talk shows, a post on numbness to sexism on the web, bikini-waxed campers and prom-preparation, use a little red misogyny thread and make an uncomfortable quilt of many layers.

The web offers a place of discourse and change and potential revolution. Revolt on and listen not to the hate, but the howling winds of change! Woop!

(Image: Diana Walker for Time./Texts From Hillary Tumblr)