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 […]
A few months ago I posted an events notice for a MichFest Women’s Festival event in NYC. I screwed up big time in that original post by not including any text noting the trans-exclusionary policy of MichFest, which has excluded trans women as festival participants for many years. I apologise unreservedly for neglecting to highlight […]
I’ve labelled this post as (I) because my spidey-sense tells me that this will become a series. Here you go: [link]. Tell this cartoonist what you think of jokes about his comic’s protagonist drooling about raping disabled homeless women because “it’s hard to keep your legs closed if you don’t have any”. Hey, having no […]
cross-posted by Melissa McEwan , originally posted at Shakesville on November 20, 2007 [Important Note to Feminist Noobs: This is a long post. It contains lots of different, though related, Feminist 101 kind of ideas about misogynist language. Please carefully read the whole post before commenting. If you don’t understand one of the points that […]