Saturday, April 02, 2005

An Angry Woman

I was already wriled up when I checked my email and opened a foward from a friend entitled "Men Strike Back" -I should have known what was coming and how mad it would make me. Here's what it read:

The time has finally come... Men strike back! ! ! ! ! ! How many men does it take to open a beer? None. It should be opened when she brings it.
Why is a Laundromat a really bad place to pick up a woman? Because a woman who can't even afford a washing machine will probably never be able to support you.
Why do women have smaller feet than men? It's one of those "evolutionary things" that allows them to stand closer to the kitchen sink.
How do you know when a woman is about to say something smart? When she starts a sentence with "A man once told me.."
How do you fix a woman's watch? You don't. There is a clock on the oven.
If your dog is barking at the back door and your wife is yelling at the front door, who do you let in first? The dog, of course. He'll shut up once you let him in. What's worse than a Male Chauvinist Pig? >A woman who won't do what she's told.
I married a Miss Right. I just didn't know her first name was Always.
Scientists have discovered a food that diminishes a woman's sex drive by 90%. It's called a Wedding Cake.
Why do men die before their wives? They want to.
Women will never be equal to men until they can walk down the street with a bald head and a beer gut, and still think they are sexy.
In the beginning, God created the earth and rested. Then God created Man and rested. >Then God created Woman. Since then, neither God nor Man has rested.

I was angry after the first "joke" and quickly flew down the road of rage as I read along. The person that forwarded this to me is well aware of my feelings toward racism and sexism -zero tolerance, so why did he send me this? He thought it was just light-hearted humor. But there is nothing funny about sexism. It's bullshit! He might not be sexist himself, but he supported sexist ideology by forwarding this email. People might say these are just jokes, but they are more than just jokes because of the effect they have on the consciousness of the population. With "jokes" like these floating around in the public discourse, people come to see sexism as just part of our society and even acceptable. Forwards like these are perpetuating sexist fucking bullshit ideology!
"Men strike back." What bullshit! Men have been striking back for millenia; excluding women from education and politics. Women have only just begun to "strike back" in the past couple of centuries, and only because they know that gender equality is right and fair. Ahhhhhhhhh. The title of this forward is the worst part of it! For men to think that they are finally striking back is the most idiotic thing I've heard in a long time. Oh ya, you've been really oppressed by these feminist movements in less than two hundred years of women fighting to end sexist oppression - that's got to be tough. Try thousands of years of oppression! Maybe for the next two thousand years, we should make women the dominating gender, then we'll talk and see how you feel about it.
I've been reading a fair bit of feminist literature and literature on feminism, and I intend on reading more so that I can understand it the best as I can. Because the thing about feminist movement is that it's incredibly misunderstood and it's foundations and goals have been really warped in the public eye. Feminisms (and yes, there is an S on feminsims there for a reason - there are many variations of it) take a lot of flack because when people hear the word, they think of raging white women burning bras, creating women's only communities, and hating men. But, as bell hooks recently pointed out to me (through my school readings), feminist movement is a movement for the end to sexist oppression. When people understand this, many of them realize that they actually advocate feminist movement. Understanding what something is is essential in building your relationhip to it.

But back to the email, the only funny line in the whole email is the one about woment never being equal to men until they can walk down the street with a bald head and a beer gut, and still think they are sexy. (This is still sexist - toward both men and women - but the social commentary is humous). But the thing is, women will never be equal to men so long as emails like this get forwarded, read, and laughed at.

Read articles by hell hooks here!


At 1:28 AM, April 03, 2005, Blogger Geoff said...

“Feminism is a struggle to end sexist oppression. Therefore, it is necessarily a struggle to eradicate the ideology of domination that permeates Western culture on various levels.”

I used that quote from Bell Hooks' book Ain't I A Woman in the last paper i wrote. I think you nailed it right on the head though. I make jokes about woman beloning in the kitchen sometimes and I have to change that. I have to embody the change in society that I seek. I just hope that you let "the friend" know how you feel or pointed him towards this blog. It will bring you one step closer to your goal of changing the way people view the world.

At 2:42 PM, April 03, 2005, Blogger Darcy said...

I certainly did let him know - i really tore a stip off him (which was perhaps not the best reaction, but I did really get my point across, I think. That or I just came off as a raging lunatic.)
Kudos on this sentence:
"I have to embody the change in society that I seek." I couldn't have said it better myself.


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