Ozy Frantz takes down a humor article that tries to be forward-thinking on gender issues and ends up the butt of its own joke.
This article originally appeared at No Seriously, What About Teh Menz?
Cracked has recently presented an article about the five ways modern men are trained to hate women, as part of its latest bid to be Feministe’s more ableist, more prone to dick jokes little brother. Seriously, what is it with Cracked and social justice these days? I can only figure that they’ve worked out that laughing at misogyny is funnier than “hey hey guys you know what’s funny? SOMETIMES PEOPLE ARE RAPED. Ohmigod I crack myself up.”
Unfortunately, unlike commendable articles such as 8 TV Ads That Hate Women and 7 Popular ‘Chick Flicks’ That Secretly Hate Women, this Cracked article tried for “feminist” and ended at “horribly misandric.” I really hate picking on David Wong; he is clearly trying, and criticizing people who are clearly trying kind of feels like kicking a three-legged puppy struggling to walk. But nevertheless he is spewing some really stupid shit! So here goes.
The first and most obvious problem with this article is that he keeps referring to “men” when he really means “straight sexist men,” which is a subset of men. While feeling entitled to a hot girl is very common sexist man behavior, it certainly doesn’t apply to (say) the shy guy who assumes that the girl who asks him out is joking, or the promiscuous dude who takes most rejections with a shrug and a “your loss.” People are different, and one’s anti-sexist language needs to be careful not to reinforce that sort of stereotypes.
The rest of the problems with the list I’ll go over point-by-point.
5. We Were Told That Society Owes Us A Hot Girl.
Here, I will admit that Wong has a point. A whole fuckload of media that star men and have nothing to do with romance end with the hero getting a hot girl at the end for being awesome. It’s simple Success Object: if you are successful enough at Thing X (whether X is earning money, playing in a rock band, or killing Nazi zombies), you should be able to earn a woman as a prize. You can even see the logic here kind of: I mean, everyone likes rich people and rock stars and dead Nazi zombies, right?
But, of course, dating does not work that way. There are lots of reasons that someone doesn’t get a partner that are no one’s fault and do not make one a bad person, ranging from shyness to not knowing many available people to a physical appearance disliked in one’s particular subculture to simple bad luck. And similarly there are many stupid assholes who still manage to get relationships (often with other stupid assholes). But the thing is, among certain sexist people, not getting the thing which you clearly deserve tends to lead you to hate the people who are so misappropriating the deserved things.
4. We’re Trained From Birth to See You As Decoration
This one is also not bad (except for an eyeroll statement about the difference between men and women is that women occasionally don’t think about sex). It’s also not particularly masculist, so I shall only discuss it briefly. Society tends to sexually objectify women; therefore, people of all genders tend to bring up women’s appearances even in situations in which it is not relevant, and to get positively angry when women aren’t sexy enough.
3. We Think You’re Conspiring With Our Boners To Ruin Us
Aaaaaand here’s where Picard starts facepalming.
Seriously? Way to erase low-libido or asexual men, dude. Just because you are constantly horny does not mean that men are constantly horny. And, yes, I think this section is a high-libido/low-libido issue, not a men/women issue. (Although what I have read about trans people on hormones suggests that it is possible that testosterone makes you hornier, the science is far from in, and at any rate lots of women are hornier than lots of men.)
I am fairly high-libido. I say I’m thinking with my clit! I get horny at inappropriate times! I really really want sex with partners I know are bad for me! I occasionally get horny when I don’t intellectually want an orgasm and have to put up with some annoyed masturbation in order to get work done! I was also born with a vagina.
(Also, dude, people with vaginas masturbate in public sometimes. If you’re clever you can rub your legs together in a way such that your jeans stimulate your clit and have a little orgasm and no one will even notice.)
2. We Feel Like Manhood Was Stolen From Us At Some Point
Darth Penis. Reaaaaaally.
Okay, look. Let me say this in the clearest way possible. Those urges to show your penis to people or hit something or light things on fire or jump off high objects or pee in public? Those aren’t necessarily evolutionary urges! It could be because our culture believes that men are supposed to be violent and reckless and risk-taking, and that proper masculinity (at least one form thereof) involves lots of explosions and lighting things on fire!
I actually don’t have that many objections to the “some forms of masculinity involve certain behaviors that are inimical to civilization, and therefore escapist media in which those forms of masculinity are possible is popular, and also some sexist men think that women stole getting to do awesome manly things from them” line of reasoning. I just don’t think those forms of behavior are evolutionarily hardwired in all men everywhere for all time.
…Man, everyone likes lighting things on fire, I don’t think that’s a dude thing, I think that’s a people thing.
1. We Feel Powerless
No. No. No no no no no no no no.
Queer men exist. Asexual men exist. Men who think sex is fun enough but all things considered would really rather play Magic exist. You CANNOT have a model of how men work that only applies to men who fit our culture’s idea of How Male Sexuality Works.
This is the Beast end of the Knight/Beast dichotomy. “All men indiscriminately want sex with everyone everywhere, all men continually exercise self-control to keep them from harassing and sexually assaulting and raping women, all men will fuck any warm hole that comes to hand, and if they try really hard they can pretend to be a Knight but there’s always the Beast lurking within.” No. That is not how male sexuality works. It isn’t necessarily predatory or violent or rapey or indiscriminate– any more than female sexuality is.
He then goes to a list of human achievements that exist because boobs. Apparently war is about raping women. Of course the myths of glory and dulce et decorum est have nothing to do with it– not to mention the horrific view “men are soldiers because free rape privileges!” gives us of men.
Seriously, this is SO misandric. Apparently men will not be motivated to do anything unless you bribe them with pussy for it like a five-year-old given a cookie to be quiet at the mall. The joy of creation, the rush of adventure, the endless hell of insecurity that nothing you achieve will ever prove wrong, even the desire for a fuckload of money in the bank– nope. Men know not these things! Men do great things because pussy. That’s it.
Simultaneously, he’s managed the dubious feat of making his feminist article incredibly misogynistic. DID YOU KNOW that women aren’t great architects? Or sports stars? Or musicians? Or actors? I mean, men only do it because they’re bribed with pussy to do so. But women can get cock whenever they like! So they really have no motivation to pursue art if they can already get laid. (Presumably queers don’t achieve great things either.)
Darth Penis. Christ.
Photo—Man do a facepalm from Shutterstock