As we trundle along, in the dying days of patriarchy…
There’s #metoo, & there’s #metoo(2) (Yeah, I just made it up.)
My #metoo is about my disgust with the overarching way in which women have been treated for thousands of years now, under the destructive misogynistic, patriarchal system we’ve all lived under (suffered under) for the past 5 or so thousand years.
I’ve observed (among many other things, of course; this just scratches the surface; links at the bottom with additional insights I’ve written about previously) that
- Everything men do – EVERYthing – is, by definition, always more important, than ANYthing women do. This is just ASSUMED … by men, that is. Any task or achievement is more important – more significant – if a man did it. Just one example: if a woman looks after children, or a passel of children, for a day or a week or heck ... years, well; no big deal, right? If man does it, for an hour or two, he's a hero! (Isn't it wild??) Women's work. Just never got any respect, eh?
- Even men who are absolutely as dumb as a bag of hammers just ASSUME they are smarter than you are (if you’re a woman). Some are so deeply dumb (yes, I have a few particular ones in mind - & they are in positions of authority!) that it’s not merely sobering … it’s downright scary.
- Very few men know how to not be condescending to women. Doesn’t matter how smart or accomplished you are (if you’re a woman) – count on most men condescending to you. Playing the pooh-poohing game. (Men have been pooh-poohing women for simply millennia!) Men pooh-pooh, pontificate, & … patronize. This has bugged me for a (very, very) long time now.
- Some/many men (not just men, I must admit; I know of women who do it too) just DELIGHT in always finding fault, always correcting you about something or other. They themselves make occasional big gaffes or missteps (gosh; we’re all just human, aren’t we??) – which you are too polite to rub in their faces – but by golly how some people (mostly men, in my little world) seem to relish telling you when you’ve done something “wrong.” It seems to positively make their day! (Some people – of both genders – seem to really get off on telling other people what to do. Control freaks. Oh dear. Not pretty. For sure, this applies to both genders; no question at all about that.)
- Some men who are not even remotely dynamic or attractive feel perfectly within their rights to put you down (if you’re a woman) for a whole host of (what they perceive to be) your faults & shortcomings. Being born with a penis apparently entitles them to be the Great Big Sheriff of … well … everything! You, for sure. (If you’re a woman.)
- Most men? So many men, soooo many of them, suffer from a debilitating case of what I call G.B.E. Great Big Ego. Maybe men of the so-called “younger generation” have sorted themselves out & realize they are “just folks” … like all the rest of us. Not all-knowing beings by virtue of having been born with a penis. (I sure as heck hope so!) So often I want to say to one of the GBE's "Good Lord, Buddy - can you not just get over yourself????)
- Doctors – most doctors, especially the male ones – STILL act as though they are God’s Gift to the World. As though that medical degree they acquired (so much more I could say about all that here, but won’t; wrong venue) has conferred Absolute Infallibility & Superiority to those of us inferior Mere Civilians on the planet. (Well, of course many PhD types have this malady as well. They may not know how to tie their own shoelaces … but they know for sure they are absolutely better/smarter than you are! You mere …. peasant, with no M.D. or PhD. behind your name! And yes, I know both men & women with M.D.s & PhD.s. The women are generally a good deal (a good deal?? A great deal) more humble and down-to-earth about their knowledge & achievements.)
Do I sound a little pissed?
Maybe it’s because I am.
60+ years of all this B.S. is more than I can take…
or wish to remain quiet about, in this, the Age of #metoo
As I've discovered over the decades, truth-telling is very addictive...
Like – get over yourselves already, dudes… Really.
The hour is late.
p.s. Imagine how indigenous people in North America (& not just North America), & “people of colour” (of both genders) – have been made to feel for generations, under this horrible system of patriarchy, hierarchy, colonization, domination. By virtue of skin colour/culture, they’ve been on the receiving end of all this B.S. (much too mild a term...) for simply generations.
Can there actually be any less relevant basis on which to judge a person – than her/his skin colour, religion or cultural origins???
(Hmmmm. Woman. Sister!)
p.p.s. & yes, I’ve become a rather harsh critic of the male gender as a whole, unfortunately, after a lifetime of watching/witnessing/being subject to/on the receiving end of all this (extreme) misogyny & B.S.
#DownWithBullies (of all genders, colours, shapes & sizes)
& btw, #Down with the f-ing military-industrial complex – patriarchy run completely & utterly amok; patriarchy on MEGA-steroids – that runs the planet … while we’re at it, hmmm??
p.p.p.s. I believe we are living out the Dying Days of Patriarchy. Interesting times! Unfortunately, this horrifically destructive paradigm has poisoned/ruined our species, which has poisoned/ruined/is ruining/laying waste to the entire planet. And I can tell you this: even within the social movements that have done such amazing work to try & put a halt to all this horrible destruction, the system of patriarchy remains largely intact. Yes, still, there are men within our movements, who do all the shitty stuff I’ve mentioned. Being born with a penis (along with the misogynistic culture we all take in through our pores, seemingly, from birth on, in myriad ways most people don’t even seem to notice, it’s so deeply ingrained) has profound effects on ALL of us, in ways we don’t even notice or name – until we stop & ponder it all a while. Reflect on it, talk about it. Patriarchy sucks really, really, really bad… It’s the Kool-Aid we’ve all swallowed from birth – from the womb… for generation after generation … after generation.
It did not have to be this way. But this is what we got! What we made ... what we have, now.
Here we are!
(Back to your “device”? Best listen to this, for how “smart” phones are not good for our relationships.)
p.s. # 4, a week later: Hey, don't get me wrong; there are some simply beautiful men on the planet. Really lovely, beautiful men. Not blowhards. Egomaniacs. Busy, bossy tight-ass know-it-all's. Loving! Peaceful. Brilliant. Easy to be with. Fun to be with! It's true! They're just vastly outnumbered, I'm afraid, by the ones whose egos (&/or vast array of neuroses; bless us all, we all have 'em) get the better of them. Patriarchy, eh? It's a helluva legacy.
p.s. # 5: yes. A little humility is what I think is needed. Not just by the GBE (great big ego) types around us. By our species. We are simply brimming with hubris. Another of the legacies of patriarchy, I reckon. Sigh.
Two relevant quotes:
“She had imagined she would have nice long conversations with Peter after they were married, but it had turned out that marriage in the circles in New York in which they traveled consisted of men who pontificated publicly, and the women who let their faces go still while they did so. Maybe that was true everywhere. Between times, in their own living rooms, the men seemed to be resting for the next round of pontificating and so saved their strength by staying silent.” – from Still Life with Bread Crumbs, by Anna Quindlen
“But you were saying men – ”
“Right. They’re like egos on legs. Monsters. It’s almost pathetic. They just honestly don’t know other people exist. Specially if those people are women. You have to keep on reminding them. Then the nicer ones snap their fingers and say, ‘By golly, yes! – sorry – you’re quite right. My, my. Those things out there are people.’ But then they always forget again. Every time.” – the character Lally in the novel Prospero’s Daughter, by Constance Beresford-Howe
Insights about Men
** Heroes <June 2011>
** Men Don’t Apologize <July 2011>
** 12+ things I’ve learned about men <Oct. 2011>
New Rules, v. 2 (or J & B down on Queen St.) <Aug. 2010> … just silly, mostly; for laughs – but with some good shots at men – from men.
Patriarchy: what a legacy! <May 2009>
Collateral Damage - a very short essay <May 2009>
Becoming the Kind Father - book review <Feb. 10/10>
Patriarchy (Again) <Feb. 2014> *** contains an amazing prayer, "A Litany of Deliverance" re: patriarchy, from Matthew Fox. Simply brilliant...
Women’s Work <March 2014>
My First Feminist <June 2014>
Rebecca Solnit Made My Day (“Mansplaining”) <June 2014>
I am not a stupid woman <Nov. 2014>