DuWayne has been very, very bad. We're talking horribly evile and possibly even stoopid. Recently, I had the gall to use the term misogyny, while totally failing to counterpoint it with accusations of misandry after being attacked with an apparent attempt at misandrist rhetoric. Worse, it was then noted that in all my posts about gender, I have only mentioned misogyny once and never mention misandry. Apparently it didn't matter that the time I posted about misogyny, it was to chastise someone who made a flagrantly bullshit accusation of misogyny. No, what matters is that I have completely ignored misandry.
Evile I tell you, I am totally evile...
Or am I?
There is a reason that I haven't really discussed misogyny and misandry. While I definitely do not approve of either, I am far more interested in writing about the roots of misogyny and misandry. Rather than focusing on specific incidents of M&M, I want to focus on why I think these are persistent problems in society and the evidence that suggests that I'm correct in my perception of the underlying problems. And while there are plenty of folks discussing specific incidents of M or M, there aren't so many discussing how to deal with the root causes.
While I am not one to shy from illustrative anecdotes, I tend to be a rather abstract thinker. I am more interested in the why than I am in the specific whats. The why is important, because until we understand the why, we can't deal with the whats and ultimately we'll just be stuck in a reactionary mode that will never accomplish anything.
But I think there are some very important points to be made about M&M. Accusations of M or M tend to fly way too freely. Like many other sorts of accusations, the overuse of M&M has gotten to the point that both words, especially misogyny, have been rendered virtually meaningless. Like the post I wrote about misogyny - accusing someone who is criticizing someone else of misogyny, simply because the person being criticized happens to be a women is absolutely absurd on it's face. Likewise, taking the lying gameplaying insult at Greg's blog and assuming that it exemplifies misandry is absurd. It was a personal insult leveled at me and men who share some similarities with me - it was far from a generalized statement of man hating.
These should be very powerful words, yet like many powerful words they are rapidly becoming useless. When I was a child, bigot was a word of similar power and while it is still a relatively nasty word, one can't assume that a person being accused of bigotry has said or done really horrible things. It has gotten to the point where we just use too many damned power words in inappropriate places. We just destroy the potency that such words should have and render them useless when it is appropriate. And I say we because unfortunately, I am occasionally guilty of it as well.
What's really rather ironic, is that I didn't really think that the original post that fostered this discussion (warning: there are rather nasty trolls on this thread, do not read scroll down that thread if you have bloodpressure problems) was showing something that is inherently misogynistic. Rather, the very old childrens book pictured perpetuates gender roles that lend themselves to misogyny and destructive gender role conflicts. That book and the bullshit it perpetuated is definitely worthy of discussion and I plan on writing about it at some point. But even that is not worthy of accusations of misogyny. Rather, it is worthy of fostering a discussion of what lies beneath misogynistic attitudes and ultimately misandrist attitudes that were fostered in the backlash of the social gender constructs that book fosters.
But even beyond the discussion of M&M, it would really behoove us to quit acting like complete and utter fucking morons and use power words sparingly, so that they can retain their power.