Women, Defer to Men to End Violence
Not long ago Christy Wampole suggested the latter in a New York Times piece.
Unclear why she thinks men, generally, need deference. Really, the problem lies with guys in need of mental health care or a good dose of respect for women. And they are a far cry from deserving deference from anyone.
Her point resonates with antifeminists like Suzanne Venker, who claim that the natural order is “man on top” and insist that women must boost men to their rightful place.
If it’s so natural, why must women twist themselves into knots trying to make men feel superior? And if violent men are superior why would they lash out so childishly when no one is bolstering their self-esteem?
Even more oddly, this particular antifeminst looks very much like an actual feminist, complete with a high-profile writing career. Of course, she makes a lot of money “saying the misogynist things that her right wing male audience wants to say but is afraid will damage their already weak sexual prospects,” says Amanda Marcotte.
But let’s say that women actually took the bait. Would it work?
In fact, high levels of violence, rape and battering accompany high levels of patriarchy.
My earliest college experience was in the patriarchal culture of Brigham Young University. There, “coed jokes” — jokes about female students – were common.
What’s the difference between a coed and the trash?
The trash gets taken out once a week.
The jokes were pervasive, and sometimes told at the start of class. They were all about women being unattractive.
I did not feel proud to be a woman when I was there. In a place where women gladly upheld patriarchy and would one day willingly obey their husbands, I wondered how much more deference these guys needed to feel ok about themselves and stop demeaning women.
So much for deferring to men to get them to treat you decently.
Meanwhile, experts on masculinity like Michael Kimmel, Jackson Katz and Hugo Schwyzer call on men to take greater responsibility to end violence. They know that men are capable of being their best selves and needn’t be coddled.
In a piece entitled “Poor Pitiful Dudes: Why You Should Defer to Men with Post-Patriarchal Depression,” Prof. Schwyzer warily points out that we too often bow down to those we fear in hopes of placating them.
Just like other terrorists.
In another piece he talks of misogynist men who are angry at women for not giving them sex when they are nice to them. He says that their rage may make them dangerous to women, and “For that reason alone, we shouldn’t make men’s pain into women’s problem to solve.”
Social Psych 101: don’t buckle to terrorists, it just encourages them.