Yes, All Women Feel the Effects of Misogyny

32 thoughts on “Yes, All Women Feel the Effects of Misogyny”

  1. The mass murder committed by Elliot Rodger and the sexual attacks described in the article are 100% wrong. It doesn’t get any clearer than that.

    However, as a male I have struggled significantly due to complete romantic rejection by women and can relate to the isolation and frustration he felt with women. It is absolutely not right to attack him for being rejected by women or expressing frustration about that. That is not his crime.

    If you talk to any medical professional they will tell you that party of being happy – especially as a young man – is having a healthy sex life. Whether it be someone rejected by the opposite sex or someone taking a voluntary lifelong vow of celibacy (ie, Catholic priest), I would challenge anyone to find a male 18-30 with little-no sex life who is happy. While his words were pounced on as showing an entitlement toward someone else’s body, they could also be interpreted as someone who just wanted to have a normal, healthy sex life.

    Going back to Elliot Rodger, what would the feminist position regarding his life be; what would their expectancy of the feelings and actions of someone completely rejected by women? Should he have just accepted that women are uninterested in him romantically, give up on a love life, and attempt to be as happy as possible anyway? Should he have just killed himself? If it is so wrong to express frustration with women for shunning you, I am curious as to what the feminist-approved response is. (And no, he was not rejected because he was arrogant or disrespectful – women swarm to guys like that)

    Obviously violence against others is not the answer, however, I personally would argue that a person either is or isn’t born capable of committing something as terrible as mass murder, and that if it wasn’t rejection from women that caused him to commit this act something else would have triggered him to harm others in the future. Someone capable of such a terrible act had a very slim chance of going through life without going off violently at some point. Just because Elliot expressed his frustration in a reprehensible way that does not mean he had no right to be frustrated.

    1. Rich, you should have concluded your comment after your first two sentences.

      Do you honestly believe only men feel the sting of rejection and the pain of loneliness? This isn’t something exclusive to any one sex, this is something experienced by most everyone at often many points in their life. He wasn’t grappling with anything other people aren’t dealing with on an often regular basis.

      It was his frustration and sense of entitlement that drove him to become a mass murderer. Women didn’t owe him their attention. The dating world is known to be cruel to all sexes and genders, but that doesn’t justify killing or feeling like you are owed something just for trying. What he should have done was look for improvements he could make in his own personality and behavior (this would be the “feminist-approved response”), but because he was a narcissist (as he blatantly exhibited is his manifesto and “retribution”), he would never be able to admit that he was the only person standing in the way of his romantic success because to admit that would be to admit that he himself is the imperfect one — the one in the wrong.

      Have you ever wondered why it is that women “swarm to guys” who are arrogant and disrespectful? Yes, I do acknowledge that this is an all too common reality. But I’m wondering, Rich, has it ever occurred to you that this could be because from an early age women are taught that their thoughts and aspirations should be focused on gaining male approval and validation? That women are raised believing that they are naturally inadequate and are constantly compared to an unattainable ideal upheld by our male-dominated society that they only know they’ve come close to achieving if a man tells them so?

      I’m guessing this thought has never crossed your mind because you haven’t yet checked your male privilege. How about instead of taking any of this as a personal attack on you or the male sex, why don’t you try listening for a change? I’m familiar with the male perspective — I’m bombarded by it from every angle from the moment I wake up to the moment I fall asleep through ads on television, story lines in shows and movies, lyrics in songs, stories in the media, lessons in the history of the world. The male perspective is hardly under-represented. Stop being defensive, get off your soapbox and listen for a change.

      A good starting point to recognizing sexism in our society is the Bechdel Test. The test is simple.

      For a movie to pass the Bechdel Test:

      1. It has to have at least two (named) women in it
      2. Who talk to each other
      3. About something besides a man

      I’m guessing you would likely be surprised by how many movies fail this simple test. This is proof of how under-represented the female perspective is in popular culture. It exposes the patriarchally-imposed and hetero-normative stereotype of women existing for men, with few aspirations for themselves outside of romantic involvement with a man.

      In conclusion, I don’t know of a single person who said Elliot Rodger had absolutely zero right to feel hurt. People are entitled to their feelings. They are not, however, entitled to harm others because of them.

      1. I never said that only men are hurt by rejection.

        Based on the fact that he was in his 20’s and had never been kissed I would say he was grappling with something much more severe and damaging than what most people go through. That is a major point. To equate his situation to what other people are dealing with on an often regular basis is way off. Normal dating hardship is to have a dating experience, learn from it, and repeat until you find the person who is the right match for you. To have zero dating experience indefinitely is very different from that.

        Certainly no individual owes any other individual their attention, or anything for that matter. However, as I stated initially, the consistent lack of reciprocated interest from the opposite sex will absolutely lead to an unhealthy situation.

        You say that his frustration coupled with his rejection drove him to become a mass murderer. Do you not think that a huge component of it was that he was born a terrible person capable of doing something like this? Had some chain of events gone differently and he had gotten a girlfriend somewhere along the way do you think he would have lived a normal life? I highly doubt it.

        You say that what he should have done to improve his dating life was “look for improvements he could make in his own personality and behavior”. Telling him he should modify his personality to become more attractive? That is different than what feminists want to tell young women – that they are all perfect the way they are and not to let any man make you think otherwise. I believe that statement, but it has to go both ways (gender equality) – the answer for a man cannot then be to modify his personality to become worthy of a woman’s attention.

        I am curious about what you mean by the male privilege. What specific advantages or exclusive opportunities do males have simply for being a man in America? The fact that advertising, television, or music is marketed towards men is not exactly some great privilege – most of it is in poor taste anyway and there are alternatives to mainstream entertainment. Male privilege to me would more describe a place like the middle east, where laws and culture prohibit women from having the same professional and social opportunities and freedoms as men.

        And to reiterate, what Elliot Rodger did was extremely wrong, but to spin it into an issue of him doing this because he was experiencing normal dating growing pains and had misogynistic views is incorrect. A horrible person who was born with the lack or respect for other living things then went through a very depressing and frustrating social situation which caused him to snap. I think any rational person would agree that to be 22 years old with no dating experience is much more severe than the dating difficulty a normal person goes through, and would have the potential to warp a person. Your use of italics on zero in “In conclusion, I don’t know of a single person who said Elliot Rodger had absolutely zero right to feel hurt.” suggests that you have very little empathy for someone going through that difficult of a situation.

        1. Consider for a moment that you might not know as much about feminism as you think you do.

          You say feminists think “that they are all perfect the way they are and not to let any man make you think otherwise.” That is a gross over-simplification. The point is nobody and everybody is perfect depending how you choose to look at the idea of perfection. Everyone, regardless of sex. The societal idea of perfection is relative. It isn’t a fixed target; rather, it’s one that shifts and evolves along with society. Because we live in a male-dominated society, the common idea of “perfection” is decided by men.

          Feminism has more to do with reclaiming your right to decide for yourself whether you are content with yourself and the trajectory you are headed than some blanket statement of “we’re all perfect just the way we are.” If that were true (as you claim to believe), there would be no room for progress as individuals or as a society. The feminist idea of what “perfection” is puts more emphasis on disallowing any other person or group to tell you you’re not your perfect self just because you don’t fit into whatever cookie-cutter societal ideal is dominant at any given moment in time. It’s really just about being happy with yourself, plain and simple. You shouldn’t have to be perfect to feel happy with yourself, and that’s one of the points feminism tries to make. Mind you, this applies to everyone, not just women.

          I appreciate that you are wondering what male privilege is. A good place to start is something that’s going on right now: the #YesAllWomen hashtag on Twitter. You’ll be able to scroll through practically limitless examples of the way women have to modify their lives and daily routines because of their sex. (Feel free to scroll up for just a few of these examples at the beginning of this post, in case you missed them.)

          If you really want a detailed and very concise explanation of exactly what male privilege is, follow this link: http://finallyfeminism101.wordpress.com/2007/03/11/faq-what-is-male-privilege/.

        2. Also, the reason movies are so important is because they are both a reflection of and a model for society. Everything is propaganda, whether intentional or not. Everything people are exposed to impacts them in some way or another. When someone watches a movie like Pay It Forward, they often leave feeling the desire to do something nice for a stranger. They model the behavior depicted in the movie. This is obviously a very simplified example, but the point remains valid. Are we not to expect even the slightest hint of influence on a person who is constantly exposed to story lines that don’t revolve around women and character development of females that is often flat and one-dimensional and often depicts females as incapable of doing things for themselves? We are exposed to this propaganda from an early age. Because of this we perceive it as “normal.” Film isn’t something that exists separate from society. It is both influenced by and reinforcing societal attitudes.

    2. Rich, you are 100% wrong. Nobody is attacking him for feeling “Lonely”. If you have been rejected by women, then it’s your problem, not theirs. I am an 19-year-old college student, I’m a virgin, I have never kissed a girl in my entire life, I have never have a girlfriend, and you know what? I’M HAPPY. So there, there you have it, it is possible to be a 19-year-old college student who is a virgin and has never kissed a girl, but you know what’s funny? I have lots of female friends and some of them are the prettiest college girls you could imagine, some of them are even international super models, and you know what? I’ve never felt the need to have a sexual relationship with any of them, sure, I think they’re not, (I’m not gay), but I see them and respect them as MY FRIENDS. Yes I have been rejected lots of times and yes it hurts, but we guys have to stop thinking “Why those stupid girls choose those jerks over me, the “perfect gentleman” and be humble and recognize that it is OUR and ONLY OUR problem to be rejected.

      1. A 19 year old male who wants a heterosexual dating relationship, is friends with beautiful college girls and international supermodels but has been unable to have any degree of dating history with anyone AND who is completely satisfied with that dating situation is at least a one in a billion occurrence, if it even exists. Every post-pubescent male (and woman) desires some degree of a dating relationship to be completely happy, this is observable from day to day interactions and confirmed by scientists.

        1. You clearly have a problem with understanding that other people don’t have the same experience you do. Not everyone is treated the same (regardless of sex) and not everyone reacts the same. You are denying Ricardo’s reality just like you are denying the reality every woman faces throughout their life. The fact that you so badly want to believe that Elliot Rodger was not at all affected by the misogynist, instant-gratification, male-dominated culture we live in, proves this (because acknowledging it would equate with admitting shared guilt, no matter how seemingly minute, simply for being a man).

          To quote from my own blog post:
          “True, not all men feel entitled to male privilege, but all men benefit from it.”

          It’s harder for some men to admit this because it means they are in some way complicit, even if only in a passive way.

          1. I am “denying Ricardo’s reality” because it is absurd and does not match the behavior of any person or group of people I have ever met or heard of in my life. If you were to stand on a streetcorner polling random people regarding whether or not they believe such a story you’d be hard pressed to find anyone who does. I’d hope you at least acknowledge that.

            I have no problem understanding that everyone has a different set of experiences and beliefs, but like everyone, will be extremely skeptical of any description of a situation that goes opposite to how I’ve observed people to have behaved throughout my entire life.

            Nowhere in my posts did I say that culture had no effect on Elliot Rodger, however his dating experiences were extremely abnormal and detrimental to his mental health (which you refuse to acknowledge) which likely played a much much greater role in his mind state leading to his committing his mass murders. I’m sure if you were to compare the actions of individuals with Elliot’s abnormal dating situation to individuals subject to our “misogynist, instant-gratification, male-dominated culture” (which is everyone in America), the correlation of criminal or unstable actions being committed would be much greater by those with Elliot’s dating situation than the entire population (those subjected to the “misogynist, instant-gratification, male-dominated culture”).

                1. You don’t remember posting this?:

                  “I’m sure if you were to compare the actions of individuals with Elliot’s abnormal dating situation to individuals subject to our “misogynist, instant-gratification, male-dominated culture” (which is everyone in America), the correlation of criminal or unstable actions being committed would be much greater by those with Elliot’s dating situation than the entire population (those subjected to the “misogynist, instant-gratification, male-dominated culture”).”

                2. That does sound familiar. I stated that having Elliot Rodger’s dating situation had a much larger effect on a person’s mindset than our “misogynist, instant-gratification, male-dominated culture”. The statistics you linked to are statistics on rape victims. Statistics relevant to disproving what I said would have compared the rates of crimes committed by individuals who do have Elliot Rodger’s dating situation versus those who don’t, or compared the rates or crimes committed by those who live in a “misogynist, instant-gratification, male-dominated culture” versus those who don’t.

            1. I must say I feel sorry for you Rich. Ricardo is obviously what I would call a “whole person” and doesn’t define himself according to who can love him or not. Which is obviously not your case. I think Ricardo is in fact what I wish all men (and women) would accomplish: feeling complete without having to depend on the acceptance of others. You obviously need to work on that part.

              1. I do not consider myself someone who defines myself based on others’ opinions of me, who is in love with me, or who is attracted to me. However, when you go for years without any reciprocated interest from the group you are interested in dating then you are lacking something that is necessary for a well balanced life, and that will define you whether you want it to or not. As a distant analogy, if somebody was extremely poor and had just enough to scrape by and it affected their demeanor, people wouldn’t accuse that individual of being shallow or judging people only based on how much money they have; they would recognize that that person is lacking something most people take for granted that makes it very difficult to see things without the lens of missing that necessary part of a generally happy life.

                And that is the only point I wanted to make by commenting here; that someone with such a glaring hole in their life, in this case Elliott Rodger, was affected him one thousand times more than the fact that men star in more movies or that beautiful women are used to sell lite beer. And not only did this article ignore that, it seemed to blame him for wanting a dating life – in a comment Vegan Rabbit even suggested that he should have changed his personality to fit what women are attracted to if he wanted to date. The vast majority of people, both male and female, feel entitled to a dating life, but never even realize it because they have one before they are old enough to buy a cigarette.

                To show this point, I’ll leave you with a thought experiment: two alternate universes for Elliott Rodger. One in which everything is identical to real life except there is no gender inequality whatsoever in society – males and females are virtually identical. We have female presidents as often as male presidents, sexuality is not present at all in popular culture, and women are not expected to change their names when they get married any more than men are. But women still completely reject Elliott in the dating world. In the second, our culture stays exactly how it is now, but Elliott has some form of a dating life. In which of these situations do you think it would be more likely that Elliott still commits a mass murder?

        2. And who said I don’t want a relationship? Hell yeah I do, but I’m in no rush, I know it will happen eventually. And btw, all of my college friends are like that, not just me, we all realize that there are more important things than having sex on a daily basis, if you do need to have sex daily that’s your problem pal, but don’t expect every college student to think like you, we all are not all day like “Omg I need sex right now” or “omg What am I gonna do!? No one is available for tonight!”

          1. So you and your group of friends have no dating experience, are friends with ‘international supermodels’, and are happy with your dating situation as is? OK. Say hi to Kate Upton for me, pal.

            1. No, they do have dating experience, but they as me know we dating or having sex daily IS NOT the most important thing in the world. So just because you think everyone is on desperate need to have sex everyday everyone needs to agree with you and MOST NORMAL PEOPLE who don’t need sex or to be on a relationship desperately are weird? Ok, what a logic.

              1. Nowhere have I said that I, nor anyone else, should have a “desperate need to have sex everyday”. That would in fact be very unhealthy.

                What I did say is that going years without any dating experience is unhealthy and will have a negative effect on a person.

          2. Don’t waste your time with women (I would say “most women”, but ney: All Women). The truth is that women see how much money you have and that is about ALL. The idea of Love is just a wanting for things to be more than they are i.e. that women aren’t as vain and completely shallow as they truly are.

              1. Yes, people with blanket beliefs about all women exist. As they do about every other group of people, including (gasp) men! However, the vast majority of people evaluate everyone as an individual and these type of views have no affect on them. Also, I’m still interested to know how you believe rape statistics have any ability to show what they causation behind an Elliot Rodger type of individual’s actions are.

                And as long as I’m being honest, HEART, women are not necessarily attracted to money or lack thereof; it is confidence, body language, and good social skills that most women find attractive. The reason people think it is money is the combination that people with money are more likely to have the above traits plus the minority but sometimes visible ‘gold digger’ type of women flock to rich guys regardless.

          3. Thanks Ricardo. I appreciate the fact that you and your friends don’t value women according to sexual needs. That is refreshing and I’m happy to read your comment.

        3. News flash: You can have hot friends and keep it strictly as a friendly relationship and not a sexual relationship. And actually that’s the reason some guys like Elliot are virgin at 22, because they can’t be friends with a pretty girl without hoping to get laid.

  2. Kara, I applaud your courage to speak of what happened to you and taking a strong position on this mess. I can’t tell you how much I liked this post as it completely agrees with my own thoughts on what male privilege/patriarchy is.

    Two things really had me think about all this. The first was The Sexual Politics of Meat by Carol J. Adams and The World Peace Diet by Dr. Will Tuttle who both turn patriarchy on its head. From that moment on, I started viewing my own rape (at age 23) in a new light. Until that point, I felt guilt and disgust (which is common for a lot of women who went through it). I realized that this male privilege/patriarchal thinking has created this idea in the minds of women that what happened to them is their own fault and that we have to accept it and move on.

    I remembered feeling so angry at myself for having even had these thoughts. Who the hell gave the right to men to turn us into beings who have to refer to them for what is right or wrong?

    Needless to say, after I finally understood and grappled with the fact that we live in a world of male domination and entitlement, I decided that no man would ever have that kind of power over me. That was a turning point.

    Yes both sides get hurt emotionally. Relationships are never an easy thing to deal with for either gender. But to say that men get hurt as much as women is totally missing the point that we have been oppressed for 10,000 years. What happened with the Nigerian girls is but the latest example of male entitlement because they can’t stand the idea that women can stand on their own.

    We may not kidnap young women to force convert them to Islam in the West, but we have (while males) politicians who decide in government what women should do with their bodies as if they were entitled to decide for us. And yes we have crazies who will go on a killing rampage of women because they can’t accept rejection of their supposed superb male personas.

    Male privilege, as you said Kara, is everywhere. One great example and great movie is MissRepresentation which depicts how women are perceived in the media and interviews famous women from across the board and what they have to put up with to just be seen “equally” to men and how they are attacked in their womanhood by the sexist media. I highly recommend that all men (and women) see this movie to get a clear picture of what male privilege/patriarchy puts us through.

    So thank you again for this wonderful post. I will be sure to share it as much as possible.

    Veronique

  3. I’m going to be completely honest about my thoughts. Here they are: I am a woman, and I can not personally think of a time I have experienced misogyny. But I feel that this article includes misandry, it expresses ideas that are too negative about men, not in ways that are necessary for making it’s point. Also, I have had to fight against plenty of prejudice for other reasons, and witness it in our society. So, if you call yourself a feminist or want to deal with misogyny, think about these things and see how many of them you have done or ignored as problems, or not even realised they were. Society has a long way to go to make the world an equal place beyond just dealing with issues of misogyny.
    1 It is a frequent problem I am aware of that society considers it normal to tell another human being to “Ssssh”, well in reality some people have serious problems in speech
    therapy so that is kind of the equivalent of telling a fat person they need to lose weight.
    2 People with allergies are given all kinds of abuse. Believe me, it happens. From being
    told by other people that they will tell you when you are near something you are allergic to when you make it clear you can do it yourself [controlling and manipulating someone when they have a right to a decision like that], having things you are allergic to insensitively and thoughtlessly placed in front of you or having someone bring it up to you as though your rights as a human being do not matter, or having people make it out you are making too much of a fuss if you are merely upset at all you can’t eat something because of an allergy, even if they make too much of a fuss of pointing out when you can’t eat something and sometimes when they please
    3 I am hearing the “n-word” being used frequently by white people and am not hearing nearly enough talk about it as a problem
    4 When you blank someone because you just don’t take in you’ve heard them it can have
    serious consequences for people in terms of upset
    5 Why is it okay for people to make fun of violence against men? Oh, let me guess: the theory that men don’t experience it the same as women. Well I don’t care: that doesn’t mean it is funny. Sharon Osborne made a joke of it on TV and I’m yet to see a feminist talk about that. How would any of you feel if it was your brother she was laughing at though? In fact why is sexism against men hardly recognised or even noticed? No, women being believed to experience it worse is not a good reason. Also, why don’t
    people take seriously enough how serious being kicked in the cock for boys is an issue?
    6 Plenty of parents expect children just to obey them and do as they say, even if it is unreasonable. Heck, even in Mary Poppins children are ordered around by a nanny.
    I wonder how many of you feminists are Mary Poppins fans who have never realised this, Walt Disney himself was rumoured to have prejudices though, so maybe some of you have.
    7 Prejudice against both sides of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is sometimes seen as okay because of this conflict, it shouldn’t be.
    8 Some young children and teenagers use the word “gay” to mean anything bad in general conversation. Need I say more?
    So all you feminists out there, keep trying to fight misogyny, but don’t be misandrists in the process, and I think you should start addressing these issues, if you are making YouTube videos, you may want to start talking about some of these topics, or similar ones and in broad detail, really addressing them, because I’ll be looking out now to see if I can find any videos on these matters. It is best to help to make the world a peaceful place altogether.

  4. I think that women would not run the risk of getting raped so much if they 1.) Did not get completely wasted to the point of not being able to walk – especially around people they do not know. 2.) DON’T spend a lot of alone time with guys who you know are into you when you are NOT into them. If you have a boyfriend, then this is the guy you need to be hanging out with. If not, then hang out with the girls or go on several dates until you find a boyfriend. It literally wastes a guy’s time and yours when you “hang out” and there will never be a romantic thing going on. 3.) Don’t get high. 4.) Sorry, but don’t wear the short skirts. Don’t want to get raped? Wear jeans. 5.) This is coming from a WOMAN.

    1. Wrong. When anyone is raped by anyone, it is never their fault. What you are doing is blaming the victim. Instead of teaching people how to not get raped, we need to teach people not to rape.

  5. OMG yes..i think so many of us have had creepy experiences like this..
    You know that denial that people have about what is happening in factory farms? Same kind of denial and delusions extends to women as an actual human being.

    I was raised by a misogynistic narcissist, who assaulted me on a regular basis, constantly belittled and ridiculed me, used me as his scapegoat and took all his hatred for his mother out on me..and then would boast to everyone how he let me speak my mind and would boast about how smart I was..

    This is the same man that kicked my dog down the stars in a fit of rage…chased her across the floor with a broken hip, while I tried to cover her with my body, repeatedly kicking her..then took her to the vet before we all woke up and had her PTS.
    This is the man who constantly took in foster kids so he could look good to everyone else, meanwhile our home was a living nightmare.

    Interestingly the family denial ran so deep my mother would claim the same thing, even though I clearly recall, if I had the audacity to speak up at the dinner table, or question anything, I was hit..i was told what it was permissible to think and feel. The whole family would just lie about it..my brother was the golden boy who could get away with murder, and I was treated as family servant..My mother would complain to me about how she was treated as a “second class citizen” all the time treating me like I was her personal servant having no rights whatsoever.

    My family had this kind of fake history, where they lied to themselves about what was going on..I got to the point where I could no longer tolerate listening to them lie to my face and I have not talked to them since.

    Sorry, it is good to find another rabbit lover, vegan “freak”.
    Much of the human race is profoundly twisted and sick, I am not sure there is any cure.

    Mom to 5 bunnies

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