Men are there to provide and discipline; women are there to care. This lie is the foundation for every damnable binary about sex and emotion in our culture—men are rational; woman are emotional—and it is on what we’ve based our pernicious refusal to regard the most destructive versions of emotions like anger, jealousy, possessiveness, vengeance, apathy, and selfishness as not emotions at all, but merely biological evidence of strength, as long as they emanate from men.
Pursuant to yesterday’s letter regarding the cessation of your use of the terms “man’s man” and “ladies’ man,” I would also like to request that you jettison the following from your vocabularies: “He’s all boy” and “She’s all girl.”
These terms are used to refer to children, anywhere from infancy to about 10 years of age, who are regarded as conforming nicely to the sex- and gender stereotypes prescribed by The PatriarchyTM. Sometimes, their use is only as pernicious as reinforcing an exclusionary narrative like all male humans like sports or all female humans like fashion.
I had no reason at all to assume PatC was a woman, and I’m frankly not sure why I did; I’ve had female and male friends called Pat, and my email correspondents collectively skew slightly more male. So big wev to me: lol my gender assumptions.
What was more interesting to me was my reaction to PatC’s email: I was surprised, relieved, and grateful that he wasn’t insulted by having been presumed a woman.
And it was sad to me that I found it notable when his response wasn’t aggrieved.
I know the site’s been a bit quiet lately – other things in life have been keeping me busy. Luckily, there’s still plenty of other strong feminist writing around, including this great series from Echidne of the Snakes: If you somehow missed my six-part (so far) series on the need for feminism, you can still […]
It’s pretty obvious from the structure of this site that there are some information pages that we wish people to read before they go on through the op-eds and FAQs contained in this blog-section. If what you write makes it obvious that you haven’t read the Introduction frontpage and the recommended links there before commenting […]
A quick explanation for anyone who’s a little confused by the site’s new page configuration. Because I want people who stumble across this blog to read the introductory sections before getting stuck into the blog articles, I’ve changed the presentation of the site so that the Where To Start – Introduction is the frontpage now […]