I interrupt my self-imposed exile from this place to say how monumentally frustrated I am by the generalizations that drive the feminist movement these days. All men are horrible. I get it. We are slaves to our nature and we are irredeemable and incorrigibly pigs, abusers, harassers, and rapists. A blogger wrote a post about a month ago that had a headline that I have now forgotten, but it basically suggested that all women must act in a certain way because of the harassment, abuse, and rape they all have experienced and that all men don’t understand why they act as a result of all that because all women don’t share how they feel and why.
Then a couple of weeks later, a young friend on FB linked to a piece written by her friend that contained similar generalizations and demonstrated an utter inability to recognize why men might do what they do. The first example of her criticism was that she went to hang out with her boyfriend and some old friends of his, none of whom knew her and she was aghast that while they heartily greeted each other, they almost completely ignored her. So, in her mind, this was an example of the sexism and immaturity of men.
To me, what it demonstrated was her inability to put herself in other people’s shoes. Just maybe those young men didn’t greet her the same way they did their friends because … (1) they didn’t know her. (2) they didn’t know how she would react to the kind of greeting they give to their male friends. (3) they have been conditioned to understand that you never know how a woman may react. (4) that you can’t look at them. (5) you can’t touch them. (6) that there are all sorts of boundaries that women have, but you never know which boundaries a particular woman has. (7) so, to protect yourself, you simply choose to not engage with a woman you don’t know. (8) because you don’t know and it’s just safer that way.
Shortly after I read that post, I went to a local brewery for dinner. I went by myself. I sat at the bar and ordered a beer and then pulled out the friend’s manuscript I was editing and got to work. Shortly thereafter, an attractive woman sat next to me and ordered a drink and waited for a friend who was meeting her there. This brewery has a pipe in the exposed ceiling that has condensation that collects and drips … right on the people who sit at the bar. Something I didn’t realize until that evening.
So, attractive woman at one points leans over to me and asks me if I’m getting dripped on too and I tell her that I am and isn’t it weird and we laugh and then I don’t say another word to her because I don’t want to be “that guy.”
A few minutes later, a guy sits down on the other side. He orders a beer and a meal. He looks at what I’m doing. Says, “are you a writer?” and we spend almost two hours having the best conversation I’ve had in a long time. Because I don’t have to worry about being “that guy.”
So, tonight I logged onto FB and one of my son’s friends linked to this. And I want to scream. ABSOLUTELY WANT TO SCREAM. There is something particularly gutwrenching about this, but it is so massively wrong on so many levels, I don’t know where to begin. I am tired of being painted as a bad guy simply because I am a man — and there is no escaping that things like this video leave me with that feeling because of the complete lack of differentiation. All men are like this. ALL MEN. This is what all of these things are doing. With their never ending generalizations, never ending unwillingness to differentiate between the pigs and those of us who aren’t. I am just so bleeping tired of the generalizations that drive feminism and every other “ism” that exists in this world.
I’m done. Back to my self-imposed exile.