First up, I want to thank the wonderful Lexy for her post on how Tony Abbott doesn’t get it when it comes to homelessness. I asked her to write about it because she knows what she’s talking about, and it was a small way for me to thank her for being such a big part of this blog. So thank you very much, Grand Master Falcon Lexy.
So after talking about a lovely lady, let’s talk about misogyny.
Anna N at Jezabel has reviewed a dating book by Julie Klausner called I don’t care about your band: What I learned from indie rockers, trust funders, pornographers, felons, faux-sensitive hipsters, and other guys I’ve dated. If she added ‘and really crappy housemates’ to the title, it would be a book about my twenties.
Klausner writes about a “particular type of Nice Guy – one who wants a woman who never upstages him, even with her beauty”:
Fear can be the result of admiration, or it can be a symptom of contempt. When I see squeamish guys passing over qualified women when they’re hiring for a job, or becoming tongue-tied when a girl crashes their all-boy conversation at a party, I don’t credit them for being awestruck. They’re reacting to the intimidating female as an intruder, an alien, and somebody they can’t relate to. It’s not a compliment to be made invisible.
Anna N writes:
Klausner understands that not all misogynists are blustery types who think they’re better than women. Male insecurity, too, can breed misogyny – often a subtle kind that forces women out of the spotlight with sheer diffidence. According to Klausner, we shouldn’t cater to this insecurity by being more nurturing – we should just not fucking stand for it.
Which got me thinking about a guy I work with. Which grossed me out because I don’t like to think about him. He’s a lazy pisshead, yet keeps getting promoted. He also treats his girlfriend like shit and openly flirts with one particular woman in front of her. Anyway, apart from the few his penis likes, he won’t make eye contact with women. On the rare occasions he is forced to talk to me, he doesn’t even look in my direction, but will stand sideways at my desk, like he’s just paused briefly, mutter something out the side of his mouth and then walk off, following his beer gut. Gee, can you tell this guy makes my skin crawl?
But I think it’s too harsh to call him a misogynist. Because from High School Debating 101, my Australian Concise Oxford Dictionary defines misogyny as “the hatred of women”, the Oxford Pocket Fowler’s Modern English Usage says “a person who hates women”, and the Collins Australian internet-linked Dictionary (yes, we have a few) says “a hatred of women”. At Dictionary.com, it’s “a hatred, dislike, or mistrust of women”.
Regular readers will know that this is not a man-hating blog. I don’t hate men. I don’t even hate sexist men – they annoy the hell out of me, but I don’t hate them. But I need a word. Because I don’t think hatred and being dismissive are the same thing.