I got myself into another Facebook debate. This time, it was over an article from Men’s Health called “11 Qualities of the Perfect Woman.” The author, in a simple Buzzfeed kind of way, presented research on what men find attractive. You can find the results in the article itself http://news.menshealth.com/the-perfect-woman/The thread consensus was that the article was misogynistic and oppressive towards women.
I’m going to explain why most feminists and progressives bother me to no end. I’m not against feminism just like I’m not against equal rights for any minority or disenfranchised group. I’m annoyed by the extremists. The Al Sharpton feminists.
1.) Consider the source. The article (above) is from a sex section from Men’s Health. I’ve read the magazine. It’s the Cosmo for men. I would imagine most of the readers are…men. Feminists and progressives get a hold of these things and promote the injustice to everyone. You should be offended! They say the perfect woman has to have big breasts! That’s not right!. This article didn’t jump up into their lives. They decided they were going to be outraged with it on an intellectual level. If you have to think about if you are offended, then I think in some sense, it’s a fabricated offense.
If the research is accurate in the study, then it’s not right or wrong. It’s just the way it is. I like short girls. If a mass study finds 8 out of 10 men like taller women, so be it. I just don’t represent the norm. There’s nothing wrong with that. Now, the article is talking about attraction. The subject itself then, WILL be superficial in many ways. Because, as any normal person would admit, physical looks play a role (probably larger role in men) when it comes to attraction. Are there sexist people, literature, and stigmas that exist today in the US? Absolutely. Without a doubt. But I hate, just hate, when people look for it. You can exacerbate any issue by looking for it in places that it may not exist. Take a course in Feminist Lit and you’ll find that you can find at least a dozen lines in any book that can be construed as misogynistic.
2.) Your opinion is worthless if you’re not a representative of the minority group/oppressed group.
I got ripped for commenting on the Facebook thread because I was a guy apparently telling the women they had no right to take offense. I can’t make someone unoffended but I think it’s OK if I simply ask what they had an issue with, no?
If you’re a white guy talking about race issues in the US, you better be on the progressive side or else you’re an ignorant bigot. If you’re a guy who is pro-choice—go hide—because you cannot possibly comment on a woman’s body because you know—you’re not a woman. And if you’re on Facebook talking about the perfect woman, shut the hell up, because you are inconsiderate of women’s feelings. You cannot possibly understand the pressures on women to fulfill an unrealistic, media-driven expectation of what a woman should be like.
Isn’t this the same type of exclusionary behavior that feminists lament? Diversity of thoughts. Equal treatment of the sexes. Well, unless your thoughts don’t align with mine.
Perhaps I haven’t read enough research on the direct relationship between sexist media and it’s impact on women’s self-esteem. Do women (especially young girls) have problems with body image, anxiety, and depression more so than ever? Yes. This has been shown. But I’m not sure the misogynistic media is the direct link. Feminists downplay or outright ignore the impact women have on other women. This recent NYT article, http://www.nytimes.com/2013/11/19/science/a-cold-war-fought-by-women.html?ref=science%3Fsrc%3Ddayp&_r=1& talks about how nasty women can be towards other women based on how they dress. Even feminist rag Jezebel laughs in this column http://jezebel.com/hahaha-men-still-think-were-dressing-for-them-1467711115 about how women mainly dress to impress other women. Do articles like these definitively prove women are the biggest contributors to their own insecurities? No. But, I do think it’s inaccurate to label the misogynistic culture for most of these issues. How about what history has told me on an anecdotal level? Why didn’t Hillary Clinton dominate the woman’s vote when she ran for office? Bitches hatin’ on bitches, that’s why. Obama was charismatic and all but don’t tell me that he had to be to get the African American vote. He would have commanded the vote had he sounded like Bob Dole. Hillary should have commanded the woman’s vote just by being a woman. She didn’t. Women on women crime. On the woman on woman subject…Every girl I’ve ever dated had a family member make a reference to their weight. You know which member? Machismo dad? Mean brother? Nope. Mom. MOM implied you needed to lose weight. Mom’s a girl.
3. The Prevalence and Impact on Your Life
So let’s stick to the subject of gender roles and equality. What are we talking about and where are we seeing it?
- The workplace (equal pay, opportunity, respect)
- Relationships (subordination, equal partnership, slut-shaming, gender expectations, rape culture etc.)
I think these are the two biggies. Where are we seeing the inequality today in the workplace? My guess would be the upper echelons of society in places like government and corporate America. These are problems that need to be addressed and are the slowest to adapt to the times. I would also add traditionally male-dominated law enforcement as well. These segments of the population constitute a small percentage of the workforce. Now, just because a majority isn’t significantly affected doesn’t mean it’s not an issue worth fighting for (see Slavery). But I think the true activists have done and are doing their job with this fight. If I have the same position as a woman, and I’m making more money than she is, then guess what—that’s a fucking problem. Is this happening a lot these days? In my current workplace, we’re bombarded with trainings on workplace harassment, diversity, etc. Employers are scared shitless of getting sued. The gap of gender and racial inequality is shrinking as far as I can see in the workplace. What pisses me off are the wingbats complaining when a guy refers to a girl as ‘hot’ or the people outraged that BarStool Sports has a popular section called Smoke Show of the Day promoting sexy girls. These people need to go. So where else are we seeing this patriarchy?
This is my biggest beef with feminists. Feminists either don’t know, or refuse to admit, a very true reality that exists. MANY women not only act in ways that perpetuate these gender roles, but they PREFER it.
Personally, I’ve always dated strong, independent girls. I’m attracted to ambition. AND YET, with every one of these women, there was an expectation—sometimes explicit, sometimes implicit—that I was to be “the man”. Even the most liberal, feminist girl I ever dated expected that I pay for everything. This is not equality. Just like it’s not true gender equality that if there was a draft, women would not be forced into combat. But guess what? I was OK with always paying and I’m OK with it now. And this isn’t just about money. How many of you girls prefer that the guy makes the decision on where you go to dinner? Or that the guy makes the first move? Or that he shovels the driveway? Are you capable of these things? Sure. But you happily go along with these things. Women just want to be judged by the merit of their intelligence and character. No shit. Most people do. But is that all people want? Studies have revealed how important it is for women that they are desired, even dominated (sex). Desire has a lustful connotation and to be desired means you’re the object of someone’s desire. Men don’t typically desire your intellect and women don’t usually try to exact that desire from men with witty jokes about calculus.
Issues pop up, pun intended, when there are mixed signals. Problems arise with women when they want what they want, when they want it, and from whom they want it from. You wear a shirt that exposes your boobs and go to the bar. You’re hoping for the smart, sexy guy to notice you and talk to you and then date and you have beautiful Ryan Gosling kids. But what happens? No no no! I didn’t want that creepy guy to talk to me. I wanted the other guy. From my mind. Most guys are idiots. Don’t give them too much credit thinking they can figure out that they don’t fit your profile. As far as most men go, your boobs are red and they’re the bull. Does this mean you were asking for it? No. I’m supporting the fringe ‘she wanted to get raped’ nonsense. Women get upset that their messages were misread and men get upset that they got rejected. Everybody’s sad and the guy is the creep. But let’s get away from the bar scene. Nobody likes that scene.
Whether it’s evolutionary, culturally based, or something else that drives these gender roles—it’s somewhat irrelevant. What matters is that many women behave in feminine roles because they choose to. Feminists do one of two things in response to this behavior. They either a.) suggest that women do them because it’s a sexist culture and it shouldn’t be that way or b.) say that it’s outright wrong that women behave like this.
If a woman prefers a certain role, then it’s not right or wrong. It’s what she wants. I think this is the epitome of the irony in the movement. Men get blasted for being superficial monsters who only go after the skanky girl while the nice girl sits on the sidelines. Is it that different with women? Ask 10 girls from the 90s who they prefer: DYLAN OR BRANDON from 90210.
8 of them are picking Dylan: the bad boy. Same goes with Pacey and Dawson. Actually, 9.5 are picking Pacey. The .5 was a midget. Women are attracted to the bad boys. How awful of you. Men watch porn. Women watch True Blood and read 50 Shades of Gray. And stop complaining about there not being any nice guys to date. There are plenty. They’re your best friends or the guy you won’t talk to. We’re superficial and flawed in many of the same ways. Don’t act like you’re the purer species because your perversion comes out in subtler things like a Carrie orgasm speech in Sex in the City. Don’t tell me you have no idea why half the party thought you were down to fuck after you wore your “cute” Halloween costume.
But I digress. And by digress I mean I stopped to watch some really horrific pornography.
Based on my cumulative life experience, I have concluded that the majority of women want to be taken care of.
OH NO HE DIDN’T. Sexist statement.
Hold the 104 degree jet flow!. I do not mean they are incapable of taking care of themselves. Hell, every girl I’ve dated has had her shit more together than I have. I’ve found that even the most self-reliant females want their significant other to fulfill a role not far off from what their father provided to them. Additionally, I think most women find it very unattractive when it doesn’t happen. Women often times say they want the sensitive type but I don’t believe it. If a guy sent you flowers every week for a month your friends would be calling him one of two things: creepy or gay. If a guy cried as much as you do, you’d already be looking for another guy probably named Dylan.
Most women like chivalry and guess what? Most forms of chivalry are predicated on the men doing things. Holding doors, pulling out chairs, paying for meals. However you look at it, there is an imbalance going on. In relationships there usually is a precarious balance of power. Men may buy their wife a random I Love You bracelet with a tacit expectation of a blow job. Women may withhold sex with the expectation that they get whatever they are looking for. Both are players in the game and they’re playing the game with different tactics. Generally, if there’s mutual respect going, nobody gets hurt and nobody is more wrong than the other.
I respect women. I love them.
But I don’t understand this breed of feminist who won’t shut up about how a man-driven, patriarchal media is a detriment to the women’s movement. It’s far more complicated than that. I look at the argument this way. If I told you on average, home-schooled kids are less depressed than kids who attend public school, could you then say it’s better to have your kids home-schooled? I don’t think so. That’s incorrectly making a giant assumption and oversimplification that the source of depression in children is the public school system itself. Likewise, I don’t think the photo-shopped women on magazine covers are symbolic of the patriarchy or why some women feel insecure. Are they pieces of a larger societal problem? I’m not even sure about that. I can intellectually imagine two scenarios. One scenario is that there are no sexualized or photo-shopped women in any media source. Would body image issues disappear? Greatly lessen? I doubt it. Would society be better? I don’t think it would be better or worse. Because if society is getting it’s self worth from magazines in general (no matter who is on the cover) than that’s the problem, not what’s on the cover. Scenario #2 is that every magazine cover, Victoria’s Secret model, etc. was say—full figured—or more of a representation of the average. Haven’t we tried this approach? Give everybody a ribbon who participates in an event? Make everyone feel good? We are more politically correct and self-conscious of our words and actions than ever…and yet we have more depression and madness than ever before. There will always be those excluded in silly articles like “11 Traits of the Perfect Person.” But if you suggest that most women get their self-worth from things like these, you are underestimating their power—the power that you’re trying to promote—to recognize where their value really rests.