David Wong wrote this article, 5 Ways Modern Men are Trained to Hate Women, back in March, and I’ve been thinking about writing my own version of it ever since.
Not to pick it apart, because I think for the most part it was meant to be a joke laced with some painful truths for both men and women.
I can always appreciate that.
But if modern men are trained to hate women, the flip side is also true, and the result is a never-ending struggle for power and lot of animosity between genders that don’t need a lot of help not understanding one another.
He begins the article by quoting some forums where the Rush Limbaugh/Sandra Fluke story was being discussed. This over-blown, media shark tank brought out the ugly in all of us I’m afraid, but Wong’s focus was on the anger that surfaced from the regular (read stereotypical, cave dwelling) men. His point was that anger, sexism, and misogyny are always there for men, lurking below the surface just waiting for the valve to be released so they can unleash the frenzy of slut, gold digging whore, and nasty, fat c-words on the women that they are trained from birth to hate.
Women, myself included, responded in a similarly predictable manner to the Limbaugh story, and went to the same hate, disdain, and castrating language that probably bubbles below the surface for any female who has ever hit her head on the glass ceiling at work, been dismissed, objectified, sexually harassed, or marginalized by men in her life. Oh, you mean all women?
So my question is, are women also trained to hate men?
I believe the answer is yes, and here’s why.
- We Were Told Society Owes us a Prince Charming/Hero: Wong says that men are taught that society owes them a hot girl. In the movies, media, comic books and video games, if the hero accomplishes his goals, he is awarded his favorite female. Women are looking around saying, “Hero? Where is the hero?” But, if you want to know why some women walk around bitterly disappointed and disillusioned with relationships, dating, and marriage, look no further than the same offending stream of media and fairy tales we are fed from birth about what romance and love look like. From Cinderella and romance novels to chick flicks and women’s magazines–the message is consistent and the story lines are mind numbingly, repetitive. No matter how bad things seem, eventually a prince on a white horse will come and save us. Even if the prince is Shrek. We’re conditioned to accept the ogre as well as long as he comes in a box we can stamp with true love’s label. Bad family life, complete with an evil step-mother? Ride off into the sunset with your savior. Single for the summer? You deserve Ryan Gosling, and if you wait long enough, he will come love you forever with the burning intensity that you’ve always felt entitled to–even if you have Alzheimer’s and don’t remember him. It’s crap (I love that movie, but it is crap). The problem, stated quite succinctly by Wong, is that all men consider themselves the hero of their own story, and if they are honest, consider themselves a hero just for getting through their days. How many women can be honest and admit that the truth of that statement pales in comparison to how much of a hero or martyr we think we are just by getting through our days, which in many cases, now include everything a man has to do, AND everything a woman is expected to do. No rest for the women, no strokes for the male ego for doing what you’re “supposed” to do. No one wins. Even if men do need to feel like a hero for getting out of bed every morning and going to work instead of masturbating all day in front of the computer, you’re not going to get much sympathy or support from the ladies these days for that line of thinking because that’s not how a hero acts damn it.
- Who’s Your Daddy?: Daddy issues, whatever you want to call it. The first man in all of our lives is our father. Whether you got an amazing Dad who loved you unconditionally and made you feel like a princess every day of your young life, a dead-beat, absent father who was little more than a sperm donor in your life, or something human in between, your Dad is the bar by which you measure every other man in your life. If your guy can’t fix a car, unclog a drain, provide for you and your family, be emotionally available to you, talk to you whenever you want, and do better than the hero, human, or piece of shit you knew as your Dad, then he fails. And we’re pissed. Bitter women are a product of their own unrealized and often unrealistic expectations. And sometimes they’ve just been royally screwed over. I’m generalizing in this whole post.
- Who Needs a Man? Wong says that men feel like their manhood was stolen from them at some point. And he’s right. Some women want your balls in their purse, and will do anything to get them there. We are trying our hardest to sterilize and neutralize the differences between men and women in the name of equality. Some women even hold the idea, either subtly or overtly, that men are becoming quite obsolete in this life equation. We are also conditioned to live with the possibility that we may never find a good man to share our lives with. Women with the advantages to do so, pursue our education and our careers with a vengeance; confident in our ability to be independent and make it on our own. And we are successful in varying degrees. If we reach the child-bearing years without a man to make babies with, well your deposits to the spank banks have made your participation here unnecessary as well. Horny and want some hot sex? My vibrator can find my clitoris, waits for me to finish, and has never once asked to see the back door. Need something fixed around the house? We have the money to hire someone for that. Hmmm. Personally, none of these things have ever replaced my desire to share my life with my husband, but there was that safety net–if he had never come into my life, I still could have had all these things. It just would have been a lot harder, and a lot more depressing. So we’re pissed because we’re gradually getting what we asked for; equality and gender neutrality. Then we’re pissed when we need you to act like men, and you don’t because we’ve stripped you of your man cards. We’re also pissed because none of the things we try to replace you with actually replace you. Still generalizing.
- The Garden of Eden: Wong references the Garden of Eden in his article. It’s buried in a bunch of jerk off and sex references, and his bottom line is that men hate ugly women, and if you’re pretty, you’re using your boner inducing powers for evil and mind control over the powerless, over sexed male. Whether you are believer or not, his notion that men believe all women are conspiring with their boners to ruin them and that it all goes back to Adam and Eve is not that far off base. He states, “And in the Bible, it’s Eve who tempts Adam to sin … by conspiring with a snake.” Men don’t like the power that women can yield over them with sex, but I wonder how a man would feel if Genesis was flipped and they had been blamed for the entire fall of humanity for as long as the Bible has existed? With one bite of an apple women denied every human to ever walk the earth their God-given right to easy meals in a nudist camp. I was raised in a church, and this story brings up uncomfortable feelings for me; if I’m honest, I hate this story. Whether it is real or not, it speaks some truth. Women want it all. All the knowledge, all the power, all the pretty things and the good life in the garden too. If we aren’t still convinced that men and God are withholding from us, we are sure that they are blaming us for eating that damn apple. And check out the clincher in the story if you still don’t sympathize; in addition to the pain of childbirth, and the general strife men and women and all our offspring were condemned to, He added that a woman’s desire will be for her husband and he will rule over her. So we’re getting blamed, punished, ruled over and now we’re doing the same toiling and work that men do. I don’t know, it makes me feel some anger.
- No Matter How Much Ground We Gain, We Still Feel Powerless: Wong ends the article by jumping the shark, and saying that everything any powerful man has ever done in the name of progress comes back to his basic desire to be buried, balls deep in a vagina, and I don’t think this gives men nearly enough credit. The struggle between men and women always comes back to the same thing–each gender feels powerless in some ways, and exploits the powers we do have against each other to compensate for those feelings. And we get angry, behave childishly, and lash out at each other instead of working together to create strong bonds and partnerships. The argument and struggle for power will never end, and frankly, I’m tired of writing about it. No matter how far we come, how close we get to gender equality, and how much we try to understand each other, some men will attack women for our appearance, our sexuality, and call us ugly names when they get mad, and some women will continue to try to emasculate men when we feel threatened. We can probably blame it all on bimbo Barbie and Ken the genital-less wonder if we really sit down and try to come to a truce on the gender wars. In the meantime, understand that if men attack women with ugly names that stem from their insecurity and media induced hate for us, we’re pretty sure to respond in a similarly immature manner.