Thursday, March 10, 2011

On Pies and Gullets. A Fratboy Love Letter to Women

So I got thinking about that frat e-mail which describes women as targets, carefully pointing out that women are not human beings, and then pretty much replaces even the word "target" with the characteristics of the woman's vagina and her mouth and throat as penis receptors.

My first thought after reading it was that this is exactly the way soldiers are trained to turn blind to the humanity of the enemy. Killing requires it. Does sex, too?

My second thought was to find out how people interpret the e-mail. The obvious step is to say that it is a joke. But then in what sense is it a joke? I would think that the joke would be there if one somewhere deeply inside agrees with the writer's views on women. The laughter would be about someone spelling it out so very clearly.

Some comments to the original post about the e-mail also argue that it's just locker-room talk, not intended for the eyes of the targets themselves. And then there is the suggestion that the e-mail was written by someone in order to make a particular fraternity (I wrote "farternity" at first) look bad. But how could it do that, without some background which would make the letter seem at least somewhat credible?

Other comments to the original post expressed shock and anger and pain at the e-mail creator's views on women. Some even asked whether a man like that would change when older or whether he would go out there, being in charge of, say, the hiring of workers in a firm, and whether his views would then not influence how he would treat his female workers. Others brought in the question about his mother, sisters and so on.

Men like him are out there. What their numbers are is not clear to me, but they are out there, and many can be found on the Men's Rights sites. A good article on that is at the Good Men Project site (based on my previous experience I would strongly recommend that you not read the comments though I haven't read these).

Whether this particular man will change over time is not something I can judge, and neither can I state if he would view the women close to him in a different light. It could be that it's only women as sexual beings that he so intensely dislikes. If that's the case I pity anyone he would date or marry.
An Addendum: I checked the comments to the original post again and this one seems the newest one right now:
as offending as the email is I hate to say it but women do this to themselves
i hope the author of the email gets sued though that would be pretty funny

Most of the comments are not nasty, I hasten to add. But the idea that women themselves are the cause of misogyny is, well, rather misogynistic.