Breaking the Legacy of Silence #46 Masked and Latent Misogyny: Women, Stay Woke Part 2

Bathtub Receipt Mountain Mimih by Erkembode | Art | #thesideshow
July 22, 2017
Four Celebrations of Queer Transgression by Louie Crew Clay | Art | #thesideshow
July 23, 2017

Masked and Latent Misogyny:

Women, Stay Woke

Part 2

Breaking the Legacy of Silence #46

By:

Kim D. Bailey

“The feminist agenda is not about equal rights for women. It is about a socialist, anti-family political movement that encourages women to leave their husbands, kill their children, practice witchcraft, destroy capitalism and become lesbians.” —Pat Robertson, Southern Baptist leader (1930–)

 

 

So, here is the blowback, the words from one sample of many men who are vehemently opposed to women realizing and exercising their own independence and power.

The question begs to be asked, “Why? Why are they so bent out of shape about women’s rights? Why are they willing to disparage half the population (which includes their own mothers, wives, and daughters) to make sure their agenda is heard and honored?”

Here is my statistical rebuttal to Pat Robertson and his cohorts:

  • In the United States, nearly 9 in 10 young women have been sexually harassed. This includes sexual violence, unwanted advances, crude remarks, internet trolling, and body shaming.
  • 56 percent of men do not believe women still face significant barriers when it comes to getting ahead in the workplace, given the alarmingly high sexual harassment statistics above that include the workplace and education.
  • Of men surveyed, a THIRD said they thought it was appropriate for men to have a dominant role in a relationship with a woman.
  • So, a world where 87 percent of young women are sexually harassed is the same world where double standards exist, and where men freely and dangerously exert their power over women.

Adding to these alarming statistics and facts, we haven’t touched the statistical ramifications of women who were molested as children, arranged marriages in other cultures and countries, domestic violence effects, incest, drug and alcohol abuse effects on children, and—well, the list could go on forever, but what is clear is this: women are at significant risk of being demeaned, abused, raped, and even killed in direct contrast to their male counterparts.

Donald Trump’s win has not helped this matter. In fact, it has given permission to many men and boys out there to act on their baser instincts and instilled beliefs. By putting this man in office as President of the United States, the nation has ratified a nationwide response of rage from men who have resented the feminist agenda. This upheaval began slowly and has gained momentum with each day Trump is in office. No matter how many women (and men) endorsed Hillary Clinton, the fact remains that as a nation, it is believed that women should not have control over their sexual health and reproduction and that men are to have all jurisdiction over such choices, including touching and controlling women’s bodies at will.

Social media has become a breeding ground for these misogynistic men and the women who support them. Some more stats:

  • 45 percent of young women were very concerned about being attacked on social media while 38 percent of young men say they aren’t concerned at all.
  • 24 percent of women say that this kind of cyberbullying occurs in texts, 23 percent on Facebook, 21 percent on Instagram and Twitter, and 10 percent on Snapchat.
  • 38 percent have already been the victim of cyberbullying. It’s nearly an even division between racist and sexist comments, with “revenge porn” coming in at 23 percent.

Young women aren’t the only targets. I myself have been attacked by men online—many, many times. Of course, I have a social media presence and platform, and I write controversial material that sets some people off.

Still, other women I know quite well have been attacked, and quite recently, for seemingly benign observations or comments.

One example is my friend Shari.

She’s about my age, and very active. She rides her bike, runs, works in her yard, and she’s also an author. However, Shari usually posts about things such as her workouts, miles ridden, stretches that help with fibromyalgia pain, etc.

Once such instance evoked a vehement verbal rebuttal and shaming of her by someone she’s known a long time. As she said, “It shocked me that this guy I’ve known and been friends with felt free to blast me about doing stretches while waiting in line, to shame me for doing that in public.”

This is not uncommon, and the women reading this know what I’m talking about.

Another female friend of mine has recently been trolled by a fellow author who enjoys challenging every fact or opinion she puts on Facebook. She’s an Editor-in-Chief of an online literary magazine, and she receives a lot of submissions from men that are sexual in nature, and often, sexually explicit. She calls them out, in general, online.

She’s not the only female editor or author to receive such abhorrent material or blatant misogynistic remarks on their pages. Many of my female colleagues carefully screen their friend requests because some men like to send selfies, and I’m not talking about the ones of their face.

Men who seem to have good intentions, many who believe they are good and decent and have no latent misogynistic beliefs, can turn on a woman on a dime if they perceive they have been disrespected or challenged in any way. They won’t talk to the woman about it first. They’ll blindside her with what she did or said and say it’s her fault:

  • “If you hadn’t put that pic up of you and that guy, I probably wouldn’t have sent you a raging stream of texts and private messages about what a deceitful and disgusting bitch you really are. I mean, I thought we were kind of a thing, you know, in this open relationship.”
  • “You led me on by being nice to me and accepting my invitation to lunch. Yeah, so what if you said from the beginning we were just friends and you weren’t interested in anything else. I thought I had a shot!”
  • “I thought you understood my expectations. I guess you were wrong.”

Sorry. Not sorry.

Look, guys. It’s this simple.

You don’t like it when someone tells you what to do, right? You would be opposed to anyone telling you how to manage your reproduction, your reproductive health, your sexual relationships, your clothing, your hair, your words, your actions, and your feelings. You wouldn’t care for someone attributing every decision you make to “being a flake” or “being on the rag.” You would probably die if someone told you that “being seen and not heard” is your job.

Get real. Women are fully function human beings and intelligent lifeforms. We are just as capable as many men of making sound decisions and leading others in complex tasks and projects.

We don’t need your permission.

Next column installment: Part 3 and the final part of this series, where I will discuss how the shaming and misogyny of women has led to disordered eating, depression, and suicide.

*Statistics gleaned from various internet sources.