Friday, August 04, 2017

Misogyny And Standards

To hear the Bible say it, the man should be in charge of the family but he has to treat it right. To hear any number of others say it, seeing any distinction between genders is misogyny. I have of course heard it from all sides.

Now there have been any number of women who told me that they were comfortable with the so-called traditional female role. They wanted to be what is known as feminine, and they wanted to let the man lead, for as long as the man was good to them. They did not want to have to go without a man; they just wanted the man to treat them well. These women weren't weak, and they weren't stupid. Any number of them have lived through very difficult things and had to become strong even if they did not start out as strong.

Ayn Rand, who was a woman, said that the matriarch is an unnatural creature. She was in favor of women having careers, but she believed that the nature of woman was hero worship. So she believed that men should be in charge of relationships. Of course she had very high standards as to what it means to be a man.

This brings me to perhaps a more important issue: That of standards. If you have standards that are unrealistic, you will be disappointed in most of what comes your way. In some cases you will become hateful. Thus the ancient Greeks had impossible standards for women. No human woman could possibly meet their standard; so they became misogynistic and passed on that ruinous attitude to posterity. We see some women now making the same mistake with men. They expect of men ridiculous things. This will always lead you toward hating most of what you encounter.

Now I have of course encountered all sorts of nasty behavior by women; but I did not start hating women in return. What I have learned to do instead is discern. I would see whether the next person – male or female – is a good human being. This has been a productive approach. I now have a number of excellent friends of both genders. As for the jerks, they now tend to avoid me. The only jerks in my life now have been the people who attack me online.

Am I, as some people claim, “a creature of the patriarchy”? I had many influences in my life, some of which were patriarchial and some of which were not. One person with a lot of influence on me was my grandmother, who was a Soviet Communist. She was both strong-willed and intelligent. However she behaved in a humble and reserved manner. She was a genuinely strong woman; and I have respect for that kind of actual strength.

Now there are some women in feminism who think that they are the only strong women; and that view is deluded. There are many very strong women all around the world. There are strong women in India; in Russia; in Africa; in Middle East; in Indonesia. Most of these women are strong enough people. They also tend to be humble. Once again, I can have respect for that kind of actual strength.

If I had actually been a misogynist or anything of the sort, I would not have written this. In no way do I see women as being inferior to men. In fact, many of them are better on most meaningful standards. However I am not going to prefer someone over another just because she is a woman and the next person is a man. Anything capable of choice can be good or bad. It makes sense neither to deify nor to demonize a gender.

Nor am I, as some claim, a bigot. My views on this subject have been shaped by interaction with all sorts of people, any number of whom have been intelligent women. I am willing to research the subject to a greater extent, and the people who have recommended that I do so are in the right. I have respect for their opinions. Once again, if I had been a misogynist, I would not have.

In an interconnected world, everyone will be influencing everyone else. This will result in most cases in people having a mess in their heads. This mess would require all sorts of effort to resolve. One would not have what Reader's Digest called “integrity” - “acting as a single unit.” The beliefs that are formative to one's original worldview will be seen as bias or bigotry and deconstructed. At which point one would have to figure out what's what for himself and based on that process to create a better, more informed, integrity.

Having been on the Internet for a long time, I have been exposed to a wide variety of views. Some of them were fanatically held, and others were more reasonable. In some cases, challenging a person's views would bring on an intense personal response. There were situations in which someone would fixate on me and keep going and going at me trying to wipe me off the face of the planet. There have been situations in which people would commit real crimes over the Internet to people for their views. And of course most of these views were mutually incompatible.

I have been called a misogynist, and I have been called a pussywhipped idiot.
I have been told that my writing is good and my personality sucks, and I have been told that my writing sucks and I have a good personality.
I have been called a wog idiot; a stupid Chinese; an Aussie Cocksucker N*gger F*g.
I have been called a Nazi, a Communist, a totalitarian boob, a leftist libertarian dumfuck, a Republican.
I have been called a Muslim, a religion-hater, a sick deluded Christian.

Obviously all of these people cannot be right.

Should one, as some suggest, have respect for all views? I do not think so. If your view is that you should throw sulfuric acid into the face of a little girl for going to school, then no, that view should not be respected. What does stand to be respected however is people. You never know when someone may have something of merit to offer. So even the people who condone such things as sulfuric acid attacks may very well have something of wisdom to say on another subject.

On the issue of misogyny, I have reasons to believe that the research is wrong. A middle-class liberal American woman would not go with an actual misogynist. Instead she would go with a liberal man, who most likely does in fact hold good will toward women. The woman would apply to the man impossible standards such as ones I spoke of before. Eventually she would decide that he is as bad as the men who are socially conservative. And of course if he responds with anything like anger, she would also say that he is an abuser.

This is crying wolf. It plays straight into the hands of actual misogynists. These people look at such behavior and say, “See, we told you, women are evil, we should beat them down and deprive them of their rights.” I have dealt with such people, and let me tell you they are nasty. If you are really serious about fighting misogyny, boy do you have a battle on your hands.

I am willing to contribute my efforts to the fight against actual misogyny. I am not however willing to support women who are being jerks. Equality means treating people based on what they are. So if a woman is being a jerk, she should be treated in the same manner as would a man who is being a jerk. That is the true meaning of equality.

If a woman is being assertive without being insulting, then that is a viable stance. That really is the stance of a true winner. Once again, I am willing to respect that kind of actual strength, whether it is found in women or in men. I cannot however respect crying wolf; and I am of strong suspicion that neither can most other people, both men and women. To the people who are sincere about improving the lot of women, I recommend more responsible practices. Extend intelligence and acceptance to people who are not committed misogynists, then fight real ones.


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