Saturday, October 07, 2006

crimes against girls

it's only recently that the shooting crimes in colorado and pennsylvania are beginning to be seen through the lens of gender.

while these crimes fall, indeed, into the genre of 'school shootings' these two particular events are also crimes of assault against girls and, in the colorado case, sexual assault against girls. (because of the tubes of lubricant he carried, the man who shot the girls in pennsylvania also intended some kind of sexual assault against his victims, but probably ran out of time before he could commit it.)

now, there will be people who will try to mitigate these criminals by saying that they were either mentally disturbed or already had a history of child predation - that it's too extreme to call this crimes against girls.

but that's what i call it. i call it misogyny taken to its extreme. some have even gone further than that to call it 'male terrorism.' i won't be distracted by arguments over rhetoric. but what that rhetoric describes is hateful, disgusting and should be called what it is: hatred against women.

here's a lengthy excerpt from a post i ran across today, The Ugliest Men in America:
These kinds of crimes are rare, of course, even if the rapid succession in which these events happens suggests a sort of epidemic. Most people will never have to face people like these. However, I believe that the attitudes and pathologies that underlie such incredible viciousness are widely dispersed throughout our culture. These assaults are, in many ways, the acute manifestation of two chronic, interlinked social problems: misogyny and male inadequacy.

First, allow me to explain what I mean by misogyny. I’m not talking about sexism, which is the belief that the essential characteristics of one particular sex render it superior or inferior to the other in some regard, but instead about a related, but altogether more malevolent phenomenon. A misogynist doesn’t just believe that women are inferior to men, he believes that they are dangerous, hateful, sinister, wicked, inhuman and frightening. Women, to the misogynist, are necessary and desired objects that have to be controlled, whether by manipulation, by threat, or by outright violence. People disagree on what provokes this awful mindset in certain men, but I tend to believe that it’s the result of upbringing and psychology, not something that’s dispersed by the media. In other words, I think men learn to be woman-haters by watching their fathers and uncles and friends hate women, I don’t think they learn it from the movies or from rap lyrics. The latter can play a supportive role in the misogynist’s development, though.

Where the main fault of our society lies, I feel, is in its failure to separate misogyny from masculinity. Machismo, as it is presently formulated, is a shameful thing, more of a peacock performance than a real ethos. Macho is pretending to be strong and independent when you’re really fearful and weak. Macho is dominating through force and winning respect through intimidation. It’s a sick parody of masculinity. Only the feeblest psyches need to hide behind violence and ruthlessness, but our culture allows for and often valorizes these vicious weaklings. A healthier society would be better able to distinguish a true man from a tantruming child, a man of honor from a worthless, domineering thug.


i'm reminded of what i wrote about the girls gone wild guy, the american soldiers who raped a 14-yr old iraqi girl and then killed her and almost all of her family, and the comment i left about the MRM movement that led to Patriarch saying he wanted to hold me down, hit me in my face and shave my head.

misogyny leading to violence against women.

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

In the lines of gender? hmmm.... I would think you would say something else, but then again I'm not a feminist.

ding said...

anonymous, you're being a little elliptical.
so that i don't misunderstand you, could you be a little clearer?

Anonymous said...

Here's a study that shows how out-of-control patriarchal violence is:
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/15178112/site/newsweek/page/2/
"(according to a 2000 Justice Department study, 97 percent of adults who sexually assault 12- to 17-year-old children are male—and 90 percent of their victims are female)"

Anonymous said...

This is also worth checking out for an analysis on patriarchal militarism and violence:
http://www.truthdig.com/dig/item/200601003_white_supremacism_sexism_militarism/

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
ding said...

uh, ok. whatever that was, it's now gone.

(besides, teh comment was so long was messing up my template.)

greg said...

Do you suppose Bob Herbert at the NYT reads your blog, or did he come up w/ today's column on his own? There are some striking similarities to the KC article that you linked.

ding said...

dangit! and i don't have that fancy new pay access to his column!