This blog post is a brilliant reply to the misguided Cracked article called 5 Ways Modern Men Are Trained to Hate Women, that has been shared a lot recently.
Here's my favourite line from this excellent rebuttal:
“Either way, stop blaming sex for misogyny. If all men wanted was women to fuck them more, the English language wouldn't even have the word ‘slut’ in it.”
I was talking the other day with someone about equality, and she was telling me it's got better since the days they used to have beauty pageants. I said they still had them in America and she said something about American popular culture being underdeveloped or primitive.
That got me thinking whether it was true or not. I wouldn't want to offend anyone by rashly agreeing with it, because certainly the American people I've met have been very friendly and nice. When I went to New York on a school art trip when I was about 15, we met a lady in an art gallery that we got talking to accidentally, because someone had thought she was somebody else from the back. She gave us some money to go and get a coffee. We had only just met her.
We also met a couple who gave us advice on what bus to catch back to the hotel, so that we didn't have to trudge blocks and blocks back to the hotel again. We didn't know them, either; they just helped us out.
So the American people I've met have been, on the whole, friendly, outgoing and kind. Although some people just seem mental, such as the people who present Fox News, fuelled by anger and hatred, I'm sure it's the same in Britain. The mental ones give the rest of us a bad name.
But the recent crackdown on women's reproductive rights does not fit with a country that calls itself progressive. It seems strange that people who are so terrified of Communism should readily accept personality figures like the hateful Rush Limbaugh and Glen Beck telling them what to do. But then, how can you fight for women's rights against people like that, and institutions like the Church? I happen to think that they are very very wrong on these issues, but people listen to them, and they are influential. It's difficult to campaign on issues when people's opinions are influenced by religion, because that makes it a lot harder to argue with them.
I recently finished reading I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, in which Maya Angelou worries that she is a lesbian because she has read something about it, and so sleeps with a boy in her class to reassure herself that she isn't. Three months later, she finds out that she is pregnant, and has the child at 17. She loves her son and doesn't regret having him, but the choice wasn't really given to her, because she wasn't given enough education to know the consequences of her actions beforehand. One of the reasons Angelou worries that she might be a lesbian is because she thinks her body hasn't developed properly. She was not informed about her body, reassured that she was normal, or educated about sex. As such, worried and confused, she tried to reassure herself that she was normal. Now, who do you think a Republican would blame? Not society's failure to educate her about important issues, I'm sure, and I don't think the nameless boy who was the father would even get a mention.
With the recent controversies surrounding contraception in America (and a serious lack of medical understanding), I really do think I might agree that because America is such a young country, it still has a long way to go on some issues. Especially when it polices women and women's sexualities, calling anyone on birth control a slut, but completely neglects to be judgemental about, or even mention, (heterosexual) men's sexualities. It takes two to tango.
That said, we aren't immune to that in Britain either. A terrible terrible article in the Daily Mail blames women for having one night stands, with no mention of men at all, and also complains about the "widespread availability and tolerance of pornography" next to a sidebar where pictures of boobs are apparently news.
So, in summary, I don't really know what I was trying to say with this blog post, but it's been interesting thinking things through.