I don't think Hillary Clinton lost entirely because voters don't want a female president. But I do believe Donald Trump won partly because voters are quick to forgive misogyny. The difference might sound subtle but it's extremely significant.
Last month, listening to a mix of comedians on google play, I heard Daniel Tosh describe how "if I see a really hot chick, I'll grab her by the crotch and the throat and be like 'best in show!'"
"What a jerk thing to say," I thought, admittedly after laughing, and put him on my mental list of comedians to avoid.
I wondered if I was being oversensitive when I was disenchanted by the latest music video featuring a fully dressed singer gloatingly flashing bills at barely-dressed women who twerk for him. Et tu, Bruno Mars?
And just like clockwork (because significant things happen in threes), Donald Trump's "grab em by the pussy" line came to light. After an initial moment of painful deflation I was comforted by the realization that he wouldn't be elected after such a gaffe.
I was heartbroken when I saw the election results. And I don't even live in the USA. I'm in Canada. We've just gotten over the pain of the Jian Ghomeshi not-guilty verdict where the women who testified were considered unreliable witnesses because they flirted with the accused long after he had allegedly assaulted them.
And in the USA they're still trying to incarcerate Bill Cosby. Regardless of which side of the border we're on, women are being chipped away at, deflated, and disempowered while the perpetrators are unpunished, and in some cases, celebrated.
Why do we laugh at a comedian's misogynist joke? Why do we vote for a man who brags about grabbing women by their genitalia? Why would we try to seduce a man who abused us?
I don't know whether it's a fear of being disliked or an inferiority complex or a survival instinct or a tainted childhood or a history of women who speak up for themselves being trashed (Trump's relentless "she's a fat, ugly lesbian" attack on Rosie O'Donnell always comes to mind), trying to put an end to misogyny is not for the faint of heart.
Nevertheless, in case it helps any readers trying to find small ways of treating men and women equally, I've made this simple Jeff Foxworthy-esque list of don'ts. Enjoy!
- If you excuse bragging about sexual assault as "locker room talk," you might be having a misogynist moment
- If you portray women as nothing but sex objects for hire in music videos, you might be having a misogynist moment
- If you claim that someone "throws like a girl" or "cries like a little girl" you might be having a misogynist moment
- If you leave your first, second, and third wife for a younger woman who is similar to the last one but with less wrinkles and emotional baggage, you might be having a misogynist moment
- If you're a screenwriter who repeatedly creates more male than female roles, you might be having a misogynist moment
- If you joke about how you'd never date a fat chick, you might be having a misogynist moment
- If you're a film producer who pairs up men in their 50s and 60s with leading ladies half their age, you might be having a misogynist moment
- If you treat your mother in law like a bag of dirt, you might be having a misogynist moment
- If you don't invite the women of the office out to social events where you and the other guys will discuss business, you might be having a misogynist moment
- If you spend more time talking to your son than to your daughter, you might be having a misogynist moment
- If you're an OBGYN who doesn't run the speculum under warm water before putting it in, you might be having a misogynist moment (jk, except, not really)
- If you find yourself snarling angrily over the "politically correct crowd" you're probably having a ton of Misogynist Moments on a regular basis
- If you describe your daughter as someone you'd hit on if you weren't related, you might be having a misogynist moment
- If you have "the talk" with your daughter, but neglect to teach your son what concent means, you might be having a misogynist moment
- If you elect a misogynist as president, you might be having a misogynist moment
Each indignity a woman suffers, however subtle, reminds her that she's regarded as less. I'm sure I've barely scratched the surface, but honestly it's too much of a downer to keep brainstorming "what makes me feel like I'm worth less than a man?" Please share your #MisogynistMoment cause change is more likely.
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