Not All Men, But Apparently Enough Men

not all men

I don’t know about you, but I’ve been spending far too much time online this week (and it’s not even over yet). In my defense, much of it was for research, but too often I’ve found myself clicking on links to articles that just made me really angry and did little else. Is it me or does there seem to be a lot of news relating to the abuse of women and general misogyny in the ether? I’m really asking because I don’t know if it’s actually everywhere or if Google and Facebook have finally got me pegged. At any rate, the mainstream media has really outdone itself over the past few weeks, making room in their headlines for lots of stories that seem to be tailor made for click bait, but with very real social implications. I know it’s a drag, but I’m going to post a few of them here for your perusal.

Right around the time the Ragged Ass Barber vs. Evie Ruddy story broke, the CBC ran another story about a woman in Montreal who got into an argument with a lifeguard because she contested their order to “cover up” her three year-old daughter at a swimming pool. Apparently, the girl had swimming shorts on but no top and, because anyone who identifies as female – at any age – is understood to be a walking provocation for men who might sexualize them, this was a big problem at the pool that day.

Then there was the story about pictures of famous naked women being disseminated without their consent. Of course, much of the discussion around this seems to have been about cloud computing security and slut shaming rather than how the hackers felt justified in sexually violating these women in the first place.

The story around the backlash to Evie Ruddy’s human rights complaint (which has been absolutely heinous) wasn’t the only one last week. Canadian gaming critic Anita Sarkeesian was actually chased out of her home after threats on her life became very real. Apparently her attackers took umbrage at her charge of sexism in the gaming world.

This morning, CBC’s The Current examined another story that surfaced last week about how college students at North Carolina State University have invented a nail polish that changes colour when it comes in contact with “date rape” drugs (by the way, can we stop calling it that? Rape is rape). They’d apparently like their product to be included in frosh week kits and, if it takes off, probably stand to make a lot of money. I wonder if they’d consider kicking any of the profits into some kind of PSA aimed at men who rape women after they’ve rendered them unconscious. Or would that be bad for business?

This reminds me of a very short conversation I had with a friend many years ago in another city. I was talking to her about how passive aggressive it felt to have received a vodka company-sponsored rape whistle in my swag bag from a local film festival (“Drink up girls! But don’t get too drunk – otherwise, uh-oh!”). I wondered aloud why it was, more than 40 years after the second wave of feminism, I should still find myself walking home at night with my apartment key sticking out between my knuckles, ready at a moment’s notice to take a swing at any potential attacker. At this time, my friend was working on a large floral arrangement (she’s a florist) and from behind a huge spray of dogwood and salal, she deadpanned: “It’s because of men.” Now before you start getting all “not all men” on me, consider this: Why did the lifeguards ask the little girl’s mother at the pool to cover up her child? Who prompted Evie Ruddy to shut down her Facebook and Twitter accounts after hurling vicious language at her? Who are women trying to protect themselves from should they start using that roofie-detecting nail polish?

How else can one put this other than how it’s already been put? The culture really needs to change. 

Author: Wanda Schmöckel

Wanda Schmockel is just trying to get by without shoving. You may follow her on twitter @vschmo

7 thoughts on “Not All Men, But Apparently Enough Men”

  1. Yes, sadly, this reminds me of the global warming “debate”. Get a few harsh winters in Saskatchewan or all across North America and people throw their hands up: “Uhhh, so much for global warming!!” Even though science is clear that global warming is precisely the cause of the polar vortex flip.it/sso3W

    Someone or something, or some ‘force’ has injected this new intolerance into the debate. With women or womens’ rights it’s like: “Ohh, gimme a break, enough is ENOUGH!!” type of attitude. I’d say it’s merely the lesser side of human nature coming out…or dummies trying to talk tough, since they probably don’t even believe what they say but feel they have a “social responsibility” to cluelessly “put a cap” on all of these “over-reaches” by people like Evie Ruddy.

    Take this with a grain of salt, but I’ve always also kind of noticed that depending on when a person’s parents came of age depends largely on how they behave and react to these social situations. Seems like if your parents came of age in the 60s, you turned out more tolerant and liberal and simple less concerned about keeping others down (which resulted in a more tolerant ’90s?), while parents that came of age in the ’70s during a ’60s social backlash, when many tired to retreat, impossibly, back into a “simpler ’50s mindset” have children who probably more mimic them and how they possibly behaved then.

    I also think education promoting tolerance probably tailed off, the same way education promoting AIDS awareness, for instance, tailed off, once educators believed their work was done and a “permanent state” of awareness/tolerance had been created. Ha, no, never is. History repeats. Look at early 20th century Germany. Look at Russia today.

    It’s the same way I feel about the RAB/Ruddy dispute: Dudes thought they were being rugged and contemporary with their ‘brocademy thing but it’s just coming off as hugely uneducated.

  2. This is one of those things I learned from the internet, so I’m not saying it’s true, but can we link our social interactions back to biology? Hyenas and elephants, the only mammals we know of with truly matriarchal cultures, have vaginas that hang outside their bodies making it impossible for them to be raped into pregnancy. They must be aroused to have sex that could result in babies.

    Human females are known as one of the few mammalian species with a true period, a full menstrual flush. This is because our uterine lining is so thick. It’s thick because human female bodies have a very narrow window of time to decide if conditions are sufficient to produce a baby (a cat or rat or bunny rabbit can reabsorb the feti if they realise there isn’t enough food, water, shelter to produce babies) ; after the placenta has attached in a human the fetus’ DNA is now in a female’s spinal fluid. Yes, human mothers carry their baby daddy’s DNA in their spine. For the rest of their lives.

    So is patriarchy that weird of a phenomena in humans? Is it so surprising that women are terrified of rape, and even more so when they feel self empowered, or otherwise in control of their lives and destinies? I’d like to think that more people knowing this stuff would increase empathy, but it also scares me.

  3. It was an ugly week! What with Cee lo Green stating on Twitter, “Women who have really been raped REMEMBER!!! If someone is passed out they’re not even WITH you consciously! so WITH implies consent.”

    And the Columbia University student who is protesting by carrying her dorm mattress everywhere she goes on campus until the perpetrator who raped her is expelled: “Mattress Performance: Carry That Weight.” . Until now the university has dismised and ignored her’s and three other students’ allegations of rape from the same guy!

    Disturbing to say the least…

  4. Thanks for this, Vanda. I find it quite disturbing to see the number of people carrying the progressive banner supporting RAB because they’re “nice guys”. Evie should be celebrated for standing up and showing us that right here, right under our noses, discrimination against women is alive and thriving.

  5. Thanks, Vanda, for making the obvious points that so many seem to be missing. It’s been a sad week and a half for women, but isn’t it always?

  6. I’m just not sure I’d want my little girl roaming around a public pool with no shirt. Just gives me the heebie jeebies, probably because I know there are pervs out there who would get a kick out of it, sadly. Then there’s the tricky area of, “Well, at what age are women required to wear tops?”. Personally, I would never want to roam the streets topless.

  7. “I wondered aloud why it was, more than 40 years after the second wave of feminism, I should still find myself walking home at night with my apartment key sticking out between my knuckles, ready at a moment’s notice to take a swing at any potential attacker. ”

    The answer is criminals…

    “Who are women trying to protect themselves from should they start using that roofie-detecting nail polish?”

    The answer is criminals…

    ————————-

    Can we teach criminals not to be criminals?

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