As you may have gathered, the Butcher fancies himself an artist. For a long while, he was making tiny wire people (he made me this awesome witch) but now he mostly does these abstract thingies out of melted crayon.
I have a beautiful one in my office that looks like molten copper and has pennies stuck in it.
The Professor has one that looks like fire that I see at her apartment all the time and think, wow, how cool is that? before I remember that it’s one of the Butcher’s pieces.
The Butcher’s friend, the red-headed kid once said, “I’m going to have to use self-promotion to promote myself” and, alas, friends, that’s a lesson the Butcher has not learned. He should make up a bunch of pieces, get his artsy friends to put some pieces together, and have a show and let cool people show other cool people how cool they are by buying their art.
Anyway, yesterday, as I was worrying outloud about whether the Butcher would find another job before he quit this one, another woman was complaining about some scheduling she had to do for her husband, and a woman overheard us and said “I’m really struck by how often women get together to complain about the men in their lives. But it’s so true. We all know that men are weak and need to be taken care of.”
And I thought, “Holy shit. Do I think that? Is that what people think I’m saying when I talk about the Butcher?” Because, if I do and if that is what I’m saying, that’s pretty fucking terrible.
Think back to grade school and how we used to throw the word ‘retarded’ around and how there were always those kids you called ‘retards’ or just ‘tards’ until the teacher caught you and tried to shame you into stopping. But remember that feeling? The kind of glee you had at saying something hateful that embodied every anxiety about yourself–that you were stupid and powerless and could be and ought to be hurt–and putting it on someone in worse shape than yourself?
Here is what really scares me for all of us. That’s the tone of voice I hear when I hear some folks talking about the other gender.
You don’t have to be a great feminist theorist to think of the ways this plays out against women. But I’m alarmed to hear it so casually spoken about men as well, as if it’s not a hateful thing to say, but just a known fact. Because, Christ, how are we ever supposed to fix things between us if we’re all just sitting around thinking “My god, they’re so fucking retarded.”?
But on the other hand, I have to say, it’s kind of an effective coping mechanism for when you’re faced with the bullshit. It’s really easier to believe that men are just ‘retarded’ than it is to believe that someone really wishes you ill.
Let’s take Brittney as an example, because here’s a woman in a visible position who can also contribute to the conversation (plus, I’m pretty sure that every blog eventually succumbs to all things meta- and now’s as good a time for Tiny Cat Pants to as any). In her write-up of our interview, she said about me, “She is also very funny and one of those danged femi-nazis.”
Now, if there’s any somewhat liberal woman in America who has not been accused of being or asked if she was a feminazi, it must just be because she hasn’t left the house in 15 years. I’m not particularly militant and I’ve been asked a handful of times if I was one of those damned feminazis just because I said something like “I probably won’t change my last name if I get married.”–which is especially funny because right now someone is reading me saying “Probably? Of course you shouldn’t.” and/or “Married? Why would you ever?”
Okay, while we’re talking about what women think of men, here’s another one. It’s very frustrating when y’all show up to a conversation and immediately feel like you have to prove that you are the smartest, most knowledgeable person in the room. I know it’s not all y’all, but some of you. So, for some of you: Why do you do that? Are you afraid that if any amount of time goes by where the world is not aware of your brilliance that it will somehow diminish?
Anyway, some of us call that pulling out your dick. The worst situation is when a number of men who feel the need to prove how important they are and they all pull out their dicks and start comparing. In those situations, I often wish I had a big purple dildo in my purse that I could whip out and slap on the table and get heard.
So, back to the point, Brittney writes this thing about me. She’s often mentioned Tiny Cat Pants over at Nashville is Talking and no one bothers to comment. But something about this post–and I guess I should be proud–causes “John Galt” to have to come over, whip out his dick, and point out how stupid Brittney is for not knowing the correct meaning of feminazi.
Heavens forefend! In all these years of people calling us feminazis, it never occurred to us to somehow figure out who the seven feminazis are and use that as our snappy retort. How stupid we are! We should have never been angry or scared when some red-faced man shouted that word at us, because we should have just intrinsically known that he didn’t really mean us, or if he did, he was just too stupid for us to take seriously as an asshole.
I mean, really.
Anyway, my point is that it was really startling and strange yesterday to be involved in two conversations that were, at the gist, about how stupid some member(s) of the other gender were. Strange, startling, and sad.