Misogyny rears its ugly head on social media almost on a daily basis. It is an interesting perspective of how men disagree with me on line. Now I am lucky, as I am not one of those women who have been threatened with physical harm. That is a level of abuse different from what I am writing about now. But, I was thinking about the conversations I have with men that I do not know, have never met, and have no prospects of ever meeting. People who do not know me in real life, and whom will never meet me in real life. After all, that is what social media is supposed to be about; the sharing of ideas and a discussion of issues with people that you would otherwise never get to talk to. These conversations rarely take place on twitter, by the way, more likely they take place on Facebook, as part of a topic page that we have all joined because we share an interest in the topic(s), or even lean towards a particular political point of view.
It’s an interesting phenomena that men do not like to be challenged by a woman, and quite frankly seem to resent that you take them to task. It’s as if they resent the fact that you don’t agree with them. They become whiney, nasty, turn to ad hominem, and infantile remarks. But they do not behave that way when discussing the same issues with other men. In fact, they talk to the other men, and parse issues and questions as if they are talking to an equal. They may not agree with each other, but there is a different perspective, and level of respect, when they address their adversaries.
Now I never call anyone names. However, I do point out that they are being rude and either block them, or suggest they behave. I assume that if they are going to act like bratty children, they should be addressed like bratty children. They may not like that, but I am also not going to take nonsense. Don’t in real life, and especially not going to on line. (Of course, some may say, don’t engage on line. But then it’s all supposed to be a simple intellectual exercise. The modern day “Salon of intellects.” Not something to actually loose your shit over.)
The truth is that I also simply point out how their arguments are wrong. It’s really not that difficult to deal with the reality that someone can be wrong. But it seems to me that they take particular offense when a woman challenges them. I have blocked more men for being nasty, rude and inappropriate than I care to even remember.
Now there have been nasty women of course over time. But in truth, most of that is simply dealing with that unsubtle middle school mean girl mentality. For these very sad females, it’s more a question of why haven’t they grown up, and yes, now we also know why their daughters are such bitches. Without a doubt most horrid actions are learned behavior. Children assimilate social skills by watching their elders. And if your model is a “nasty cow” then yes, that is what a female child will emulate and become.
But back to the original thesis: are men so weak of will that they cannot handle that a female disagrees, or confronts their reasoning? We talk about mansplaining and the abject ludicrousness of men thinking that because you are a woman you are devoid of knowledge on any given subject, or that they even try to explain to you “what you should or should not believe because you are female.” Well here is an additional take on the subject of mansplaining, where men simply cannot abide by a woman not adoring their every word.
And the best part of this conversation is that the men who are the nastiest, and most condescending are the Progressives or “Liberals.” Of course, that’s probably because I don’t tend to get into discussions with hard core conservatives, but the few times I did, yes, they were no different than liberals. I wouldn’t say worse, simply condescending in a very different “righteous-religious” way, instead of an “elitist-know-it-all” way, but condescending nonetheless.
Listen, there is no question that the Leftwing mantra is that if you leave the identity-theory-plantation- of-righteous-thought that is the liberal mindset, means that somehow you are beyond evil. But at the same time I still don’t see that the average male is subject to the same deprecating language that I receive when I refuse to tow the “female” or “progressive” line. However, many conservative person’s of color do discuss how they are subject to massive amounts of ridicule by the Left for not following an assigned path of perspectives.
Interestingly, the Nigerian novelist, Chimimanda Adichie actually discusses this phenomena in The Atlantic, The Intolerant Left. She talks about the lost art of discourse, and the fascist dictates that characterize today’s progressive movement. This article is also a powerful discussion about race, reality and what it means to live and be an American with a darker shade of skin pigment. Along this line she also gives a provocative, earlier TED talk on the Dangers of a Single Story. Here she expands on the idea about racism, preconceived notions, and being able to think beyond the immediate when dealing with another person. This discussion is extremely relevant if we want to address the issue of how people treat one another and whether they live up to their own expectations. (The two articles go very nicely together)
Meanwhile, it is an interesting social phenomena, in the midst of the Harvey Weinstein sexual harassment and rape worldwide meltdown, that men still do not see how they talk to women, even on line, as misogyny. These men truly do not see that they address women in a different manner from men. They do not see it as sexual harassment that they treat you differently, with an air of condescension and dismissiveness, in a tete-a-tete environment because you are female. They are completely oblivious to their own intellectual deficiencies.
Ladies, we still have a long way to go….