Muzzle That Bitch

All this fierce debate, social media turmoil, and protest have the United States and the world on the edge of their seats. Everyone suddenly has a learned and fierce opinion on politics. When I say everyone, I mean those who didn’t previously have their opinions pinned to the top of a page or as a profile picture. Conservatives, liberals, anarchists, introverts and extroverts alike, all have many words, pictures (“memes”), and articles to contribute to the current civil scene. This is not intrinsically a bad thing. In many ways, the country I live in is now at its most divided and resolute I have ever observed. Information is coming more readily from peers than from the media for the first time in my life. Yet, there are the remaining issues which the US now faces head on, but I’m only going to address one of those—misogyny, or perhaps “male privilege” is a better word, so let’s go with that.

When a person enters “male privilege” into a Google search they are going to get right about 10,800,000 entries. But, when one enters “female privilege” that number spikes to 56,000,000. This seems odd. Am I to believe the armies of militant, non-choice feminists haven’t layered the internet by the tens of millions of articles, memes, and other forms of media calling out male privilege? This is far from what I expected. So, I perused the first 100 search results. My prediction that there would be a bunch of sites saying it doesn’t exist, many more saying it does, and the more analytical side by side comparisons of who is more privileged mostly came true. So the question remained: who is more privileged: men or women?

It’s men, just in case anyone needs my opinion at this point.

We know, depending on where one lives some people are given certain advantages based on skin tone, accent, height and weight, education, and our subject here, sex. After all, there are places in Asia where being a white person offers no advantages, but being male does. The full gamut of how a society treats outsiders vs. its citizens can be found when we look country to country, society to society.

Once again, I’ll narrow down. I know that this country has truly staggeringly impressive inequality on many levels, and I am going to take some time to talk about the results of male privilege, which keep us misogynistic, even when, as a male, we don’t feel like that’s the case. Blinded by the culture in which we were raised, we continue to treat women as objects and dismiss their behaviors.

An article by Charles Clymer came out three years ago titled “An Open Letter to The Sexists Who Think “Female Privilege” Is a Thing.” There’s nothing stand-outish about this piece in the way it’s written. The author lists 18 situations or cultural dynamics in which a male might claim that there is female privilege, and then attempts to discredit these claims. Some of them are right on the money, and others fall well short of evidence. Several items people are aware of, but there are others, like #16, “Male privilege is believing that any opinion you give, no matter how ridiculous, childish, or lacking in education or nuance, deserves to be held up above others, particularly those who aren’t male or white.” If we ask around, there aren’t going to be a majority of American men who believe this, but I imagine what Charles is suggesting is there are cultures where ideology has and does exist. We all know a few men who do have these as beliefs: “women can’t drive;” “blonde women are stupid,” etc. I believe most people don’t walk about actively having superiority thoughts, there may be many individuals which have a unconscious cognitive bias that makes them behave like that even though they don’t think they think that. It’s only when things don’t fit our carefully bias-molded minds, when things challenge our behavior which seems to unravel our beliefs about ourselves, that’s when the muzzle is grabbed.

The trouble comes because our cognitive biases act like behavioral filters. We might believe that telling a woman that she’s gorgeous is a nice thing to do without knowing if she’s in a relationship? I ask openly, is it socially acceptable for a stranger to walk over the husband of another woman and tell him how hot he is? Would you want your boy/girlfriend to be bombarded with randoms PM-ing them with sexual innuendo and compliments about their bodies. Now your partner may get an ego boost, but it seems inconsiderate at a bare, bare minimum, and people have obviously fought over less slights. Let’s look at an example.

Just after the election results, some people used pictures of Melania Trump to shame the GOP for their choice in president.

Think about that one.

2017 001 B Womens GapThere were people using revenge porn featuring a woman to expose hypocrisy in what is a predominantly male caucus. (Pic B) Some of these people must have had a daughter, or more, but there they were, still posting after the inauguration.

There is more than enough data to prove that women aren’t equal in wage rates, as well, there is ample evidence of victim blaming rape victims—shaming victims by telling them that it’s their fault they were assaulted. “Oh, what’d she expect, going out looking like a whore?” This is victim blaming. My favorite quote about this comes from Jessica Valenti in The Purity Myth: How America’s Obsession with Virginity is Hurting Young Women:

Now, should we treat women as independent agents, responsible for themselves? Of course. But being responsible has nothing to do with being raped. Women don’t get raped because they were drinking or took drugs. Women do not get raped because they weren’t careful enough. Women get raped because someone raped them.”

Exactly, even if you did take naked pictures of yourself, and post them to a website; it takes an independent party to post and use them as weapons.

I have had outspoken girlfriends in the past. I cannot count the number of times I have received messages requesting I need to “get ahold of my girl” and have received this message from women and men. These are the moments where a misogyny bias is doing harm. Our culture, much of this from its biblical teachings, has it deeply imbedded that men own “their” women. Maybe not outright anymore, but there seems to be this lingering idea that a man must oversee his female mate; as though I am responsible for her behavior.

Like I should be shaming her, and if shaming doesn’t work, I guess I’m supposed to use physical violence to restrain my property and get her “back in line.”

In line with what?

In line with the bias that men should control their women. What’s worse is that we should feel compelled to do so. Like having a woman as a mate is something like having a pet or complex toy. I am reminded of Pepe Le-Pew from the old Warner Bros. cartoons. This character is a rapey molester, which I saw as humorous in my youth. Imagine a world like this:

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Notice the light music as his wife and children watch him molest an unwilling female character. The charming effect of a French accent mixed with light woodwinds makes it almost soothing, as he tries to lie his way out of being caught. Oh sure, Pepe gets it from his wife, you know, an umbrella across the head. That’s a sever reprimand for a serial molester. Now, granted, you do that Pepe routine at work and will likely be fired and/or prosecuted. That’s not the point though.

The point is we grew up getting this message: boys will be boys. This entails anger, lack of control over sexual urges, aggressive behavior translates to “a real go getter.” Girls, on the other hand, might be whores, sluts, cunts, bitches, or maybe she just has an attitude. The Spaghetti Monster forgive her for behaving like many men do.

She likes sex—she’s a slutty-whore. Whereas a man can be a “whore-dog,” and that’s just being a kind of guy. No points against the “fuck-boys,” but she needs to “keep it in her pants.”

She is willing to say mean things, disrespect, or talk down to someone? “That cunt, bitch better watch her mouth.” While much of America laughs when the president gives advice like: “Just kiss. I don’t even wait. And when you’re a star they let you do it… Grab them by the…” We’re all familiar with his antics. But yeah, he gets to be president 12 years after he said that. I’m sure he’s been called many things: jerk, asshole, and worse, but has this harmed his image. Of course it hasn’t, not really. Just two rich boys talkin’ bout pussy. The comparison of Donald Trump to Pepe Le-Pew is strong, and American misogyny is eating it up. It truly feels like a large portion of the country wants men to behave this way, and it works against those who fight and work to move society toward true equality of the sexes.

I’m not defending anyone. I am defending equality for all humans. Yes, my outspoken partners have made a lot of people mad, and they have said some of the most heinous things I can think to say to people not only in an effort to inform, but shame them as well. They are no different from me when I stand up and say that religion is a type of sickness, superstitions gone viral. I am comparing religion to the likes of Bubonic Plague, Small Pox, and Measles. It seems I often articulate more politely, but I am, in essence, telling anyone who happens to consider themselves religious that they suffer from a sickness; their cherished belief is bad and preventative measures should be used. I am rarely called a jerk, or asshole for this. It’s my opinion, after all; I have a right to speak.

But, when women call-out a man when he is genuinely and unknowingly being offensive, she’s a “cunt.” And she’s dead in the water if she becomes angry about it. “What a bitch.”

Oh, and for those guys which defend a woman’s right to be however she wishes, and maybe articulate a point or two to back up her position: boom! You will see a variety of response. From defense mechanisms to the more modern response of the social media block.

You don’t block the dude with the ultra-machismo post, or the guy with some post objectifying women by claiming how hot it is to you, but if a woman decides that enough is enough and throws her hat into the rude and crude world of maleness—now it’s time to muzzle that bitch.

I am not suggesting that anyone remain in a situation which is abusive. But that doesn’t make a woman a bitch, it makes her as dangerous as any male abuser.

If a woman is harassing you on FB, she isn’t being a cunt; she is breaking a law.

If a woman says something you disagree with, she isn’t some stupid bitch; she’s a human with their own opinions.

In the coming years and generations, this issue will remain, and it is up to us to stop muzzling our outspoken female fellows because they seem out of control, pushy, or even cruel and rude. Nearly every woman I’ve spoken to has been through this: being screamed on for screaming, being insulted after an insult, being treated like she can’t understand things while doing the things she supposedly doesn’t get, all of it. There’s no logic to it. If one person is acting a certain way, then we can know that others will and attempt to understand these as human behaviors. The fractures in equality aren’t just in behavior, but also in ideals.

Women are bad drivers although, men have most of the accidents. Women have more licenses in this country, but men drive up to 40% more miles. It is true that women balance that out by being in plenty of accidents after adjusting for distance discrepancy, but that just means that there are bad drivers across the field. And I personally know way more men killed in auto accidents than women.

It’s everywhere and systemic.

I encourage us all to throw the muzzle away, and open our minds to the resistant female. Claudette Colvin came before Rosa Parks, proving sometimes, we, as everyday people, have to be uncivil to open a space for new levels of civility.

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3 thoughts on “Muzzle That Bitch

    • An outspoken woman will often be persecuted, but an unfiltered and opinionated woman seems to ignite rage and disconnection. Troubling social state. I don’t condone hateful behaviors, but I’m no other adult’s keeper.

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