Friday, July 20, 2012


The author of the webcomic Bruno, Christopher Baldwin, at one point criticized another cartoonist on the issue of misogyny. This was a decade ago. It sparked an entire series of comments from readers mostly chiming in with Baldwin in defense of women against a perceived attack by brutish male oppressors, which he posted on his site, but given that i'd never read Cerebus, the comic which prompted Baldwin's initial reaction, i've never been particularly interested in the discussion as a whole.

I did start skimming through the messages recently in the course of re-reading Bruno and one comment in particular caught my eye. To a reader who remarked that misandry should be addressed at the same time as misogyny, Baldwin replied

"I have never seen an incident in our society where a man was oppressed (except on an individual relationship level) by women as a group. And I've always felt women's anger was part of their expression to have a voice, not to extinquish the voice of men"

First of all, yes, the oppression of men by women does principally happen at the personal relationship level, because this is women's preferred modus operandi. The female ideal in female eyes is still for the most part Lysistrata, Lady Macbeth or Helen of Troy: the seductress who keeps men tied around her little finger, who can shame, badger or withhold the man under her control into doing whatever she wants, who can have men fighting wars over her breeding rights but benevolently maintains the peace by simply making them compete economically. Women do control men through sexual relationships and they always have and probably always will simply because they can, because nature has afflicted the male mind alongside possessiveness with protecting his mate and providing for her, and its all too easy for women to exploit this weakness. This control is excused in today's society, glorified even as female empowerment, women using the advantages nature gave them. The view is as criminal as its reverse: excusing rape since males' superior muscle mass and higher libido are simply the traits nature bestowed upon them.
Nature does not create or imply morality.

Much of the oppression of women for the past couple of millennia has had this male insecurity at its root. We are skittish when it comes to dealing with women on non-sexual terms and rightly so because women are so much more adept at skewing any situation by batting an eyelash, crying or showing some leg that males are automatically at a disadvantage in any situation; any terms will become sexual. This is not to say that the male restriction of female socioeconomic status is excusable, but that we must recognize the innate imbalance which prompts male insecurity and recognize that it is just as morally reprehensible.

We've gotten to the point where we're willing to punish any overt action while overlooking a lifetime of provocation. At the same time that women are using provocative clothing, make-up and high-heels to control men through their instincts, it's men that are expected to take the blame for forcing them to wear heels, makeup and flimsy skirts. If you're going to punish the office lech who grabbed the secretary's ass (and you should), you also have to punish the secretary who consistently flirted in order to get promoted (and you should). Women, however, are rapidly becoming saints in today's society, and this translates into protection from repercussions for their actions. It is taken for granted that any individual male can and should be punished for the statistical imbalance between sexes, that any time a female lashes out against a male, this is excusable as simply righting social wrongs. Women do use this newfound extension of their existing power to extinguish the voice of men or simply of individuals who happen to be men. It permeates every aspect of life just as the oppression of women by men always has. The examples are endless if you're not so scared of being labelled a misogynist that you ignore them.

A high school teacher calls all her female students "young lady" and all her male students "little boy".
A supermarket employee lazes about, does shoddy work when at all, throws tantrums and tosses objects at the walls when called out on it, but cannot be fired because she immediately calls her superior sexist for criticizing her.
A male office worker gets yelled at by his boss for questioning orders. His female colleague yells in front of everyone at that same boss. A month later, his position has been "downsized" while she's polishing her nails looking forward to her promotion.
Schoolchildren start arguing in the halls. Three boys are reprimanded. The group consisted of three boys and five girls.

Blogger's spellchecker recognizes the term "misogyny" but not "misandry." Chew on that while you're getting called a 'pig' or a 'dog' by a woman you'd never be allowed to call a 'bitch'.

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