Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Were sluts and feminists responsible for V.Tech shootings...


(oh, also check out this post at Echidne of the Snakes for more of Camille Paglia's ridiculousness)

I don't even know where to begin. It's kind of extra special that she quotes Camille Paglia (Well known for her feelings on circumstances where women "deserve" rape, and how feminists refuse to understand how rape and gang rape can be "fun" for men")

I find that this is not an unpopular sentiment. I wrote a piece once- a letter to a man who had hollered at me from his car, and when I ignored him, he pulled over, then got out of the car and screamed "I just want to talk to you! Come back here! You fucking bitch!"- and a lot of the criticism I heard from that was very similar to this article. That "this poor guy" just wanted to talk to me, and that I shouldn't have been so cold to him. Now, I was pretty horrified to hear that. First of all, because we learn as kids not to get into anyone's car, and that talking to strangers is probably not the best idea. I've also had a number of stalkers, which I've written about quite a bit. And the scariest thing about that, is that I always end up hearing the "Oh, the poor guy! He just liked you and didn't know how to go about it!" line.

This is wrong. There is this "I am a man. If I want a woman I should be able to drag her by her hair into my cave" mentality among men that doesn't seem to be going away. Even on a conscious level, there are a lot of men who cannot seem to grasp this concept:

1. Women have a right to not like you, date you, or fuck you.
2. Women have a right to like, date and fuck men who are not you.
3. Women have a right to be attractive or sexy- which you may find appealing- and still, they don't have to like, date, or fuck you.
4. You do not have the right to fuck any woman you want, because she has a goddamned say in the matter.

It's not that hard. But I think they're socialized to think that. I mean, hypothetically, say there's some guy who I liked who doesn't like me back, I wouldn't get all vicious call him a cold-hearted asshole. That wouldn't be my first instinct- I would probably say "Man, that's a sucky situation." But if some guy likes me and I'm not interested? I am a mean, selfish, cold-hearted bitch- and of course, a whore because there are other men I am interested in. This, I think, is the primary root of misogyny. (Some) Men believe that women deny them a basic human right by not doing them, and as a result, they have the right to act violently against us.

Fuck that shit.


Anonymous said...

I don't think the "hit them over the head and drag them to a cave" mentality is something that's a product of our enviroment. It's an instinct. It doesn't go away because of social changes. I believe that feeling that way is part of humanity as a species, pushing itself to procreate.

Obviously to have a civilized society then a strong will and sense of fair play are something that needs to be taught to male children.

This is not something that will vanish from humanity. If it were to cease to exist then I think we would see a sharp decline in birth rates, as well as diminished productivity on the part of men world wide.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, but maybe a drop in birth rates is not such a bad thing.

aaron said...

I think people in general have sense of entitlement and they feel emotional/sexual gratification is something that others must provide them. If only schools taught normative ethics starting in 4rth grade...

Teddie said...

First of all, I agree with you on the point that men are socialized to think they deserve sex or sexual attention.

However, I do not agree that there are such things as "rights."

Society is a negotiation of acceptable and expected behaviors; cultural norms, in other words. In a culture in which norms change rapidly while socialized expectations do not there is considerable conflict. "Rights" are claims individuals make against a society or culture, but there is no garuntee that those rights will be honored. Human civilization at this point is hardly more than a disorganized mob with high-tech toys.

I read the Baxter article - there's a lot of young men that are sexually frustrated, but I bet most of them don't go on killing sprees. The amount of times Baxter quotes Paglia is alarming, however - I suppose Paglia is using the whole incident to service her campaign against 2nd/3rd-wave feminism.

A few interesting points in the article:

- Only the African-American professors percieved his behavior as abnormal, possibly because others [whites] expected such reclusiveness from Asians. (paraphrased)

Any large state university with a strong engineering and science program attracts a lot of immigrant students, and at Va Tech, a lot of those students (and professors) are Asian, and a lot of them do little else but study and go to class.

-"Paglia, who has taught in American universities for 35 years, describes America’s residential campuses as vast “islands of green and slack conformity where a strange benevolent and tyrannical paternalism has taken over. It’s like a resort atmosphere”."

Va Tech has its share of conformity and weird paternalism, but there's plenty of outlets for "nonconformists" in Blacksburg. The town's always had a strong music scene, plenty of activists, hippie/punk/etc types (student, faculty, and resident), art galleries, and bars where the liberal-minded and/or malcontents hang out. The English department at Va Tech is crammed with non-Hokie-gear-wearing kids. Despite this, Paglia tries to link the environment to Cho's isolation.

All in all, the article is a thinly disguised fan service to Paglia.

Miss Robyn said...

Upon some thinking, I've figured out that the moral of this whole article is as follows "You can't chew gum in class unless you brought enough for everybody"- unfortunately I figured that out while commenting at Feministe rather than on my own blog. Oh well.

Anyhow- Ken- I agree with you that it is on some level instinctual- but I think the problem is, in our society, we're still not telling men "no." Women are consistantly blamed (esp. by Paglia) for being raped, sexually assaulted, sexually harassed etc. This takes away men's complicity in these acts. Female sexuality is perceived as a weapon by these men, and they believe they are themselves the victims rather than the other way around.

Teddie- First of all- I'm glad that you're not mad at me... it kinda seemed like you were. I have to tell you you were the first person I thought of when I read this article due to your previous statements. Anyway- I wasn't saying it was a "right," I was saying it was a *percieved* right, which is different. That is all.

mike said...

Instinctual? I think only sexual desire can be considered instinctual... but there's a significant difference between those feelings and how those feelings are EXPRESSED. I believe we're socialized, probably near 100%, to express our desire in certain ways. Some of that socialization may be overt (messages from media, family influence on children, etc) and some of it probably happens 'below the surface' (community, peer groups, etc).

In other words, I think citing "instincts" is troubling... particularly because our common understanding of "instinctual behavior" (i.e. clubbing, dragging into cave) may act to reinforce stereotypes and conventional gender roles, and/or is at best based on faulty assumptions about our ancestors' behavior (from whom we have presumably inherited these "instincts").

Nice post, cool blog, and so on. Cheers.