I always get the most interesting comments and mail when I'm a snarky bitch to someone else's writing. You guys are such jerks. This is all your fault.
Twisty Faster on why a dumb T-shirt means the entire world is against you!
A reader writes in that she was at a bar and saw a guy wearing a shirt reading "Dead Girls Don't Say No." Retarded "edgy" bullshit? Yeah. A literal murder/rape threat? Um, yeaaaah.
She leapt to inform him that his t-shirt was disgusting, that he ought to be ashamed of himself, and instructed him to either turn it inside out or leave the pub.
Well, that wasn't obnoxious at all, controlling the clothing and actions of other people on a third party's property is like, a human right, man.
Of course, he laughed, play-acted that he was adoring the attention she was pouring on him, then used his advantage of size and privilege to completely dismiss her once he’d had enough.
"Advantage of size"? Does this mean that if he'd been a little guy and she'd been with a bunch of tough girls they would've taken him down? Wow. (I'm sure it doesn't really mean that, but maybe she should consider that since he wasn't going to make it physical either, the "advantage of size" really just means that he disagreed with her while being large.)
Let’s imagine for a moment that you are like most Western women, and have been assured that you are entitled to certain human rights under the law. Let us further imagine that — although, sure, you’re aware that women do more housework than men, and get paid less, and are less likely to hold public office, and stuff like that — you have more or less believed that you’ve got it pretty good compared to women living under other regimes. Let us then imagine your surprise when, one fine day, you discover that it is all a lie.
But, um, it's not. I am entitled to human rights, and a damn t-shirt doesn't change that. I have free speech and freedom of association and a vote and a right to property no matter what t-shirt someone wears or how much of a tool they are about it. Hell, I even have the right to wear my own douchey t-shirts if I so choose. It's pretty awesome really, and I don't think if I lived in 1850 or in Saudi Arabia I'd be taking any of it for granted.
I might go that far on accounta the big problem with patriarchy is that it is already functionally invisible, and it is this invisibility that is women’s worst enemy.
"It's all around you, you just can't see it!" (I can, coz I'm better. Smarter. Listen to me.)
Likewise, you are a human being, and should be able to drink a beer in a room where nobody is sporting the raiment of a death-rape cultist.
Oh, you can! You just have to get your own damn room. Because if female freedom means being the boss of men, well, I see some minor logical and ethical problems with your plans.
In the case of women vs patriarchy, there is no resistance. There are a few professional feminists, a few “Save Roe!” campaigns, a few sexual harrassment suits, a few spinster aunts, but these are a drop in the ocean compared to the overwhelming popularity of the dominant culture.
This is the really weird thing about radical feminism: they're oddly dismissive of ordinary useful feminism. No real progress can be made before La Révolution, so feh to your little sexual harassment suits, they're meaningless Ewok slingshots in the face of the giant Death Star of Patriarchy. Never mind the rather significant number of women who now have safer workplaces in the meantime.
(This is also ridiculously classist; if you were pregnant with a child you couldn't care for or your boss was telling you how the good girls earn their wages, you wouldn't be quite so dismissive of these things. You need to be rather comfy yourself to ignore pragmatic progress that might occur before your ridiculous hero-fantasy "revolution.")
Women who elude capture in that manner are taken into custody by consumer rape culture; the occupying forces keep them at heel by using them as receptacles and rewarding them for internalizing such messages as “I need big boobs to feel good about myself.”
And you're pretty sexist if you think women actually fall for that shit. It's true, a lot of us do want big boobs for very silly reasons. But what you're missing is that we manage to live and work and express ourselves even with boob-insecurity. The fundamental humanity of women is simply not that easily taken down.
The interests of both groups of women are thereby aligned with those of the dominant culture, which contingency not only ensures the patriarchy’s continued self-replication, but discourages women — whom the system pits against each other — from fomenting civil disobedience, let alone riots and insurrections.
A) Saying "women should stick together above all else" is denying women's humanity, because like any group of humans, women are different. I'm not being pitted against Twisty and her pals, I actually disagree with them.
B) "Riots and insurrections?" Literally? Against whom? What are we going to burn? Our own houses? Who are we going to fight? Any man we see, regardless of what he does or thinks? How will we even know if we've won?
If I seriously believed these dainty armchair-general milquetoasts were ever going to step away from their computer screens, I'd actually worry.
The occupying forces have neutralized your personal sovereignty. You have no right to object to behavior that is consistent with the global accords governing fair use of women.
And this is the single weirdest tenet of radical feminism: that men believing women are inferior makes women actually inferior. That a man wearing a douchey t-shirt makes you somehow physically incapable of saying "dude, your shirt's all retarded and shit." It's true you can't make him obey you, but... that's the price you pay for not obeying him.
The truth about patriarchy is this: insurrection will require, as its first step, copping to the one thing that no woman with either a family or a Nigel or a successful career as a hottie or an empowerful-grrl investment in the patriarchal canon can bear to admit: that men hate them.
Gosh, really? Guys?
I've gotten men to admit some awfully personal things to me. I've had a guy tell me about how as a teenager he once fucked a chinchilla. I think that if he hated me and all my kind, that might've slipped out at some point. From someone. You'd think one guy in my life would've gotten drunk enough. I mean, some people just can't keep a secret. But other than a small minority of visible and widely despised exceptions, this one is ironclad.
I want to do a "Twisty Faster's Commenters Are Fucking Insaner," but this post is Tolstoy-long already, so that'll be the next one unless I get distracted by a shiny object or my coworker takes his shirt off.