Like A Girl

The filmmaker, Lauren Greenfield, created an advertisement to market and sell sanitary rags and other feminine products for the Always brand. This advertisement is a short documentary in which the filmmaker interviews folks on camera and has them act as though they are doing various physical activities like a girl. The video is titled Always #LikeAGirl and was published to YouTube a few weeks ago. At last check, the video has over thirty-four million views.

The advertisement is also accompanied by the hashtag, #LikeAGirl, on Twitter and there are thousands of folks tweeting about the video. The overwhelming response to the video seems to be positive. The video and hashtag are clever in that they invite consumers into a discussion about gender-related issues.

One of the primary issues discussed is the dive in self-confidence felt by girls during puberty—how being like a girl is supposedly the worst possible thing that a girl can be—how saying that somebody runs, fights, or throws like a girl is an insult that contributes to this decline in the self-confidence of girls.

Lauren Greenfield calls this a “confidence crisis” that is “profoundly disempowering” for girls. Greenfield also says that she is “excited to be a part of the movement to redefine ‘like a girl’ into a positive affirmation.”

The movie, The Sandlot, does a fine job of showing how this insult is typically used. Telling a boy that he plays ball like a girl is the ultimate insult to a boy, worse than scab eating, fart smelling, butt-lickers who mix Wheaties with their mother’s toe-jam.

The insult is used primarily against boys who are not very competent athletic-wise. If a boy is told that he fights, hits, or throws like a girl, it means that he isn’t valued as a man…and neither is he valued as a woman. As such, the boy is just plain old worthless.

If a girl is told she fights, hits, or throws like a girl, it means that she isn’t valued as a man either, but, assuming she identifies as a woman, she still may be valued as a woman (or girl). As such, the girl isn’t seen as plain old worthless, like the kinesthetically impoverished boy.

So, when feminists try to spin this insult, when they say that our culture disempowers women via this insult or that there is no worse insult than being like a girl, they are failing to articulate the depths of meaning within the insult. They are failing to comprehend how that insult applies to boys and men and how that insult is more harmful to those within the male body.

I don’t really expect much more from our gynocentric culture. That feminists would spin this insult as a form of misogyny is to be expected. When an ideology is primarily fixated on the problems of women, of course those ideologues wouldn’t bother to understand the nuance of the insult. Of course they wouldn’t comprehend how it harms boys more than girls. Of course they wouldn’t bother to articulate how this insult actually contributes to a culture of male disposability, sacrifice, and heroics.

The insult has more to do with reinforcing the traditional gender roles of men. Those roles are a form of cultural misandry. Those roles reinforce the notion that the male body is nothing much more than a tool—a labor machine. There is very little, if any, misogyny in the insult because it primarily targets and degrades men with a male body who don’t fit a certain stereotype—an athletic-aesthetic and prowess. It’s a way to enforce a sort of gynocentric masculinity—a masculinity marked by chivalry, disposability, sacrifice, and heroics—primarily for the benefit of women—in deference to them.  It highlights the distinction between the performance value of a man versus the inherent value of a woman.

As noted above, if the girl is told that she throws like a girl, nothing is subtracted from her value as a woman. That insult takes nothing away from her because she is…a girl. And there is nothing wrong with that. The female body isn’t typically expected to be subjected to use like a male body and neither is it expected to perform like one. So, if a girl is told that she throws like a man, she is being told that her body is mannish…and that’s probably a more harmful insult to lob at a girl who may already be suffering with self-esteem issues.

It would have been interesting to see the reactions of the folks in the video had they been asked to perform like a man. Folks likely would have walked with a swagger, opened their gait to seem macho, and moved their arms like an ape. Hidden beneath the surface of these machismo motions of the male body is the abstraction of manliness—the self that tries to exist in a space where he is valued primarily as a labor machine—something of a performing monkey. Telling a man that he acts like a man is telling him that he is valued for what he does. Our culture doesn’t really place much value on a man apart from what he does. He doesn’t have much, if any, inherent value outside of his performance. As such, his value seems tethered to the performance of his male body—while simultaneously and seemingly contradictorily being reduced to a thing of abstraction—a disembodied and disembedded self.

In contrast, a woman can do practically nothing, sitting on ass—watching TV all day. So long as she doesn’t eat like a hippopotamus and gets a couple hours of cardio or yoga workouts in every week, she has a sort of inherent value—even though she does barely anything above the level of a slob. She could be a damn princess and nobody would be able to distinguish much of a difference.

The female body isn’t expected to throw, fight, hit, or run like a male body. As noted above, if a boy is told that he throws like a girl, he is just plain old worthless…because not only is he not valued as a man in a male body, but he is also not valued as a woman in a male body. Aside from the misandric nature of the insult, it also has transphobic and perhaps homophobic implications too.

The insult, when hurled at a boy, is meant to demean and police that boy into compliance with a masculinity that submits the male body to a dominance hierarchy of status. The insult is the inverted way of saying man up or be a man. It plays on the chivalric tradition that binds men to the role of provider and protector of women through the use of their disposable male bodies.

Yet, feminists seem to see this insult as one that mostly harms and disrespects girls by supposedly being profoundly disempowering to girls. This focus on how the phrase primarily harms girls is also an example of the gynocentric and chivalric tradition that continues to perpetuate the cultural norms that place women first—at the expense and sacrifice of men.

So, the insult is more harmful to boys because it reinforces the gynocentric and chivalric cultural norms of the traditional male gender roles—something that feminists ostensibly claim to be fighting against. The population that needs liberated from these gynocentric and traditional gender roles is the male population. Women already experience a great deal of liberation from these roles. Women are empowered to be caregivers or breadwinners. Men are empowered to be breadwinners or bums.

 So, you’re a stay-at-home dad, like a girl? Why don’t you get a real job, like a man?

When I was in my early twenties, I watched Saving Private Ryan with a half-dozen or so of my friends. I’ll never forget that opening scene on Omaha Beach. I’ll never forget how my friend leaned in to ask if I was OK. I’d never really seen anything like that—the way Spielberg used the camera to move in and out of the action. The opening scene captured the fear and courage, the duty and sacrifice, the male body and heroics—the disposability of men.

This is what it has meant to be a man. Being like a man has been (and continues to be) tethered to the willingness of men to do things like in this opening scene–to throw one’s body into the water and run headlong for cover—up a beach peppered with bullets, grenades, mutilations, and death. Being like a man, like the men who stormed Omaha Beach, means using one’s hands to try and keep from bleeding out while crying out for mother. Being like a man, for thousands of men who suffered dismemberments, meant using one good arm to pick up the other arm—the one that had been blown to bits and now lays apart from one’s male body in the sandy blood-soaked beach. It means detaching. It means becoming a disembedded and disembodied self—a thing to be used like a pawn, a tool, an object-of-utility. Yet, according to feminists, being like a girl is so profoundly disempowering for women. Where is my fainting couch?

fainting-couch

The opening scene of that movie made me feel queasy. Ever since I filled out my Selective Service card so that I could get my driver’s license, I’d wondered about what it’d be like—going to war. My friend’s father was a Vietnam veteran and had multiple purple hearts and stories from the injuries sustained in battle. He, my father, and my grandfather had tales of duress, disposability, combat, and war, but those stories were just words. The visuals from the movie gave more meaning to those words and suffering.

I’m sure that these men would not have reacted kindly to anybody saying that they do anything like a girl. However, if asked whether they’d choose to live their lives again, as a stay-at-home dad or as a veteran of war, they’d likely choose the former, assuming they had experienced liberation from their traditional gender roles.

So, when I see this moving advertisement about the confidence crisis that girls face, I can’t help but condemn it for being gynocentric, for its reinforcement of traditional masculine gender roles, for its callousness towards men, and for it being a piece of propaganda to sell sanitary rags to women and girls who may feel profoundly disempowered about being like a girl. If we want to be liberated from traditional gender roles, perhaps we should stop reinforcing them with empty, but feel-good #LikeAGirl propaganda.

Most sentences and blog posts are like a girl. They usually end with a period.

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Ms. Marcotte’s Sandy Vagina

Sandy Vagina

The overall picture she offers, however, portrays woman only as victim—maimed, mutilated, dependent, confined to a life of immanence and forced to be an object…[Beauvoir]…expresses outrage at the selfishness, blindness, and ruthlessness of the men who benefit from the mutilation of the personhood of half the human race. –Iris M. Young, Humanism, Gynocentrism, and Feminist Politics

In a gynocentric world, mentioning an example of misandry is misogyny. Expressing dissatisfaction about men being used as objects-of-utility—that is radiated hatred of women. A man concerned that a woman might be more interested in his credit score, rather than his philosophy degree, obviously hates women. A man who challenges the gynocentric ideas about male privilege is a misogynist prick.  In a gynocentric world, men are human-doings; they are not humans-being. Men are maimed, mutilated, dependent, confined to a life of immanence and forced to be an object-of-utility for a woman, for women, and for society-in-general…and if a man expresses outrage at the selfishness, blindness, and ruthlessness of the women who benefit from the mutilation of the personhood of half the human race, the man can be expected to be further dehumanized with insults—troll, worthless tool, loser, dead-beat, whiner, and some form of a non-human Other.

If you think I’m exaggerating, check your privilege and consider what typically happens when a man challenges anything originating from a gynocentric point-of-view. Take, for example, what happened to me and to other men who challenged the notion of male privilege put forth by an entitled princess like Amanda Marcotte. In an article she put out on July 29th, she complained that men are not doing enough with their privilege. Men are not being quality objects-of-utility for her. As such, this irks her, like sand in her vagina, and she took to her keyboard to write an article excoriating men for doing too little and for doing romance all wrong.

Ms. Marcotte complains that she needs a giant douche nozzle to wash all the sand from her inflamed vagina.

What sort of sand seems to be inflaming the vagina of Ms. Marcotte today? Victimhood sand. Yes, the sand of victimhood is irritating the Marcotte vagina today. It seems that when men make public proposals for marriage, men are oppressing women. Yes, the evil patriarchy puts women at a disadvantage in these situations because a woman might feel like an “ungrateful” bitch for saying no.

That’s right. Options are oppression. The privilege of telling a man no isn’t really a privilege. According to Ms. Marcotte, the option of saying no actually disadvantages women. It’s oppression on par with slavery. Men have the “privilege” of making the first move, of putting their necks on the chopping block—risking public rejection and humiliation. Yes, in the twisty-straw world of Ms. Marcotte’s sandy vagina, it’s male patriarchal privilege—being expected to make the first move and take such risks.

It’s also male privilege to proposition women at bars or at night clubs. Making the first move in these settings also disadvantages women. Men who take the initiative and proposition women…those men are imposing on women the choice to say yes, no, or maybe. It’s like a big rapey “Penis O’ Freedom” that busies itself with raping women of their freedom to be free of making choices.

So, being filled with this irritating sand in her vagina, one would think that Ms. Marcotte would put forth a remedy for this oppression. Perhaps something like the importance of changing the social norms such that women are expected to proposition men—spreading out the risk equally between men and women. That way a woman gets the “privilege” of being full-on rejected by men who want nothing whatsoever to do with her.

Nope. Ms. Marcotte’s solution for this sand in her vagina is for men to do more. That’s right. Men who proposition women should do more to prove their worth. She writes.

Hitting on a woman in a public place by telling her she’s got some quality that sets her above other women, without explaining why he should be the natural recipient of all that unique goodness… [that is oppression because it is] …without nary a suggestion as to what he can do for her.

You see, if only men did more for her, then she wouldn’t have to worry about looking like an “ungrateful” bitch for rejecting a poor fool. She simply wouldn’t have any “reason” for rejecting him. If the man proves himself worthy to be up inside her, then there is no reason for her to say no…and this alleviates the oppression, effectively removing her from the slavery of choice—that big rapey “Penis O’ Freedom” that imposes itself on women via propositions.

In the comment thread to Marcotte’s piece of tripe article, I mentioned how this is one big lamentation about the quality of men who proposition Ms. Marcotte.

Big Penetrating Penis O' Freedom

Moments later, a white knight who lives in the twisty-straw world of the Marcotte Vagina rushes to rescue the damsel and to save her honor.

White Knight

Being a black knight, I quickly agreed that panhandling is a lot like propositioning a woman. It’s called “pussy-begging.” Most men are happy to get a few strips of bacon flap, kind of like how a hobo is happy to get a few pennies. My comment didn’t go over too well…and neither did any of my other comments.

When I pointed out the blatant misandry and objectification of men as objects-of-utility, I was quickly excoriated and my comments were heavily down-voted. The problem is that “pointing” is very patriarchal and too much like a penis. Pointing is “mansplaining,” and so I was accused of “radiating hate.” Here is the “hate” that I initially wrote in the comment thread.

Instead of men expressing how they find a woman attractive, how about men simply plop down their credit report and wear a t-shirt imprinted with their credit score?

Essentially, what Marcotte is saying here is “what have you done for me lately?” That’s not very progressive, empowered, or independent, In fact, it’s very traditional in that men have to prove that they can afford her, [kind of] like a herd of sheep. She wants men to “pay” for her with reasons. That actually seems to objectify women and that’s not empowering for women.

Also, Marcotte is claiming that men dehumanize women as objects-of-sexuality that are pressured with an obligation to reciprocate interest, but at the same time, Marcotte insists that men should dehumanize themselves as objects-of-utility for a woman. Prove that you’re a good tool for the women, that there are reasons for her to bother with exploiting the fact that you’re attracted to her.

Nothing about the piece of tripe article empowers women or men. It’s more of the same old crap. Nothing about this article values humanity. It’s all degrading to humanity—to both women and men.

So, I actually argued that people are humans—that men should not be treated like tools and that women should not be treated like sex toys. Nothing controversial about that, right? Well, if you live in the twisty-straw world of the Marcotte Vagina, what I wrote about human dignity is nothing more than raging hate—pure misogyny. Here is Ms. Marcotte’s moral correction of me and my reply to it.

Marcotte ReplyMy 1st Reply Ms. Marcotte never did bother to reply, but some white knight did so on her behalf.

Money for TimeI assume that a contractor who builds my house wants money in exchange for his time and labor. That doesn’t mean I radiate hatred for the contractor. Anyway, that was not my assumption, but it is Ms. Marcotte’s demand and main complaint about men—that they aren’t doing enough for her.

“…without nary a suggestion as to what he can do for her.” In her own words, Ms. Marcotte echoes the selfish and gynocentric idea that men exist for the purpose of doing something for her. Janet Jackson best sings about such things (men) in her song “What Have You Done for Me Lately.”

So, the white knight valiantly attacks the straw man and I simply point out that my assumption has nothing to do with money. My assumption is that these sorts of expectations are traditionalist in that men are still expected to prove their worth to a woman…and nothing about that is progressive. It is still based on the assumption that men must be objects-of-utility for a woman, for women, and for society in-general.

The valiant white knight desperately constructs another straw man to beat.

Circular Argument

Desperate gibberish. I never made any claim that both parties shouldn’t contribute to the relationship. If the valiant white knight had actually bothered to read my words, he’d realize that I’m arguing against the objectification of men as objects-of-utility. White knights have difficulty removing themselves from their gynocentric fog. If the white knight could remove himself from this fog for a moment, he’d realize that Ms. Marcotte doesn’t value men; she values what men can “do for her.” For gynocentric gender supremacists like Ms. Marcotte, men are human-doings, not humans-being. This is traditionalist in that men are tools. There is nothing “circular” about that statement and there is nothing wrong with making the comparison between men being tools and Ms. Marcotte’s demand that men be better tools.

And so…there are other “tools” that I had to deal with in the twisty-straw world of the Marcotte Vagina. Take, for example, this person—“Kesh Meshi.”

Kesh Meshi 1

Right. There are no social expectations on men to be objects of utility. What culture is that? Or, what crazy-straw universe does she live in? I have no idea. It’s “beyond me,” if it’s not the twisty-straw world of the Marcotte Vagina. As is usual when dealing with asshats, the conversation quickly degrades into name-calling.

Keshi Meshi Asshat

Yeah, I know. I stooped to her level. My bad. Apologies to all, but her insult wasn’t the worst. I was called all sorts of meanie names and accused of bad things. All for supporting the radical idea that women and men are humans and should be treated as such.

“LJC” claims that I’m arrogant for being a man who thinks of himself as a person. “How dare that uppity man not present himself as a dog! Bad doggie! No treat for you!”

Full of Himself

And then there is this insult—the one in which I’m cast as being entitled to a woman and that I’m just “upset” because I don’t meet the standard. Apparently, showering every day is the standard…and I don’t meet it. It’s kind of like a grade-school insult—you know, “stinky-head.”

 Zython Standard

There is the one by “Amazing Sandwich.” It’s an attempt to say, in some sort of pseudo-intellectual way, that because I value my humanity and the humanity of others, I “project” dehumanization of myself onto women. Yeah, it’s the twisty-straw world of the Marcotte Vagina. In that world, valuing my humanity is projected dehumanization of women. Go figure.

Amazing SandwichThere is the “Shohanna” insult of even more incoherent gibberish. I’ve read her tripe multiple times and, giving her the benefit of the doubt, I think she is saying that I’m a “waste” (some sort of garbage) and that rejection is the best sort of attention that I will ever get from a woman. I suppose I should accept my lot in life of being thrown away by women…because at least a woman will take the time to bother with throwing me away. I don’t know.

Waste

“Shohanna” later makes some homophobic remarks. Clearly, being trash was too good for me. Being gay is worse than trash, according to her, so she feeds me some of that gay-hate. Again, being in the twisty-straw world of the Marcotte Vagina, it’s fine to hate me and make homophobic slurs and call me a “misogynist prick” because I have the radical idea that men are humans too.

Shohanna HomophobiaIt gets worse, but I’ll spare the reader. I’ve only been on the thread for a couple days and the hatred for me continues to flow. I wrote about human dignity and for that I’m called an asshole, pretentious, a dick, arrogant, accused of radiating hate, accused of hating women, and, for some reason, my sexuality is made into an issue. None of this makes sense, unless you live in the twisty-straw world of the Marcotte Vagina.

Again, in that world, it is male privilege—being rejected. Rejecting men is such a burdensome and oppressive task for women. I do not know how women manage to survive with all that victimhood sand in their vaginas. Take a look at all the oppression of women in this video.

Within only a few moments, 100 women were oppressed. Women were forced by this malicious and privileged man to make decisions about rejecting his proposition. Women were enslaved by the imposing and penetrating “Penis O’ Freedom” and burdened to reject this evil patriarch. As anyone can see by watching the video, women are worried about looking like “ungrateful” bitches.

Women shouldn’t have to worry about such things, as Ms. Marcotte argues in her piece of tripe article. Being burdened with the sand of victimhood buried in her vagina, Ms. Marcotte clearly lays out the solution. Men need to be better tools. Men need to be like a giant douche nozzle that washes away the victimhood sand buried in the vagina of oppressed women. Some little emo clown won’t work.

Emo Fag 3Nope. Ms. Marcotte needs to invite a big veined throbbing cock nozzle deep inside her—one that fills the hole in her soul and reaches every last grain of victimhood sand within her, scooping it out with a circumcised tip and then a rinsing with a massive shot of anti-inflammatory jizz cream.

Ms. Marcotte and her ilk have little (if any) respect for the humanity and dignity of men. From their gynocentric point-of-view, men cannot be dehumanized, for men are not human at all; men are less-than-human. They are patriarchy. As such, men are maimed, mutilated, dependent, confined to a life of immanence and forced to be an object-of-utility for a woman, for women, and for society-in-general—douche nozzles that exist to “do for her.” Ms. Marcotte and her ilk are the selfish, blinded, and ruthless beneficiaries of the mutilated personhood of half the human race. FTSU.

[Gynocentric] culture confines…[men]…to immanence. Immanence designates being an object, a thing with an already defined nature lined up within a general category of things with the same nature. [Masculinity]…is an essence, a set of general attributes that define a class, that restricts…[men]…to immanence and to being defined as the Other. –Iris M. Young, Humanism, Gynocentrism, and Feminist Politics