piglet: crayon purple on white paper, me as drawn by my son (Default)
piglet ([personal profile] piglet) wrote2014-04-05 03:03 pm

Confronting misogyny in your own family...

Oh, man, the knock-down drag=outs my dad and I would have had if he had lived. Er, I mean that figuratively. Passionate debates. Possibly with raised voices. Definitely with intensity. And email. Heh. But some at dinner table, no doubt.

He's not around, so I get to fight with my uncle instead. Here's our most recent interchange. I'll start with my response:

Hey, Xxx, you know why that's not funny? The joke you forwarded relies for its humor on the truth that women don't hurt men. Turning it around so that women are violent is only funny because men are violent. If men were peaceful there'd be no joke there at all -- just a giant huh? 1/3 of women globally have been assaulted by their partner or sexually assaulted by a non-partner.

That 1/3 of women globally translates to within your family, as well, by the way. You are sending this joke to women who have been hurt by men, and have had reason to be physically afraid of them. I was first assaulted -- on a quiet residential street -- when I was 16. Self-defense doesn't work, by the way -- even against a guy who is smaller than you are. Harsh lesson. Fortunately screaming was both possible and effective, for me in that case. Not so lucky for others of your female relatives to whom you have mailed this, whose personal narratives are theirs to share if they chose. You might ponder on why they haven't shared them with you.

One of the reasons I chose my husband as my partner is because he is the most non-violent person I have ever met. Not only do I know he would never hurt me, I know he never has the urge to. A welcome respite from the rest of the world, in which I am directly threatened with violence by men approximately once a year. This year was 2 days ago, when a very drunk man got up in my face and threatened to punch me while I was trying to swipe my way into the subway. Last year was in the summer, when I was riding my bike along the greenway, and some man ran at me and tried to grab my handlebars. 2 years ago I forget. 3 years ago was the man with a woman in a chokehold, dragging her across the street in front of me, who grabbed my handlebars and threatened to punch me when I braked, while the whole neighborhood looked on aghast.

Need I go on? Violence against women is part of the fabric of my existence. And I really don't need to be reminded that it's just an abstract joke to you.

And spare you the

I was riding to work yesterday when I observed a female
driver, who cut right in front of a pickup truck, causing
the driver to drive onto the shoulder to avoid hitting her.

This evidently angered the driver enough that he hung his
arm out his window and gave the woman the finger.

'Man, that guy is stupid,' I thought to myself. I ALWAYS
smile nicely and wave in a sheepish manner whenever a female
does anything to me in traffic, and here's why:

I drive 48 miles each way every day to work.

That's 96 miles each day.

Of these, 16 miles each way is bumper-to-bumper

Most of the bumper-to-bumper is on an 8 lane highway.

There are 7 cars every 40 feet for 32 miles.

That works out to 982 cars every mile, or 31,424 cars.

Even though the rest of the 32 miles is not
bumper-to-bumper, I figure I pass at least
another 4000 cars.

That brings the number to something like 36,000 cars that I
pass every day.

Statistically, females drive half of these.

That's 18,000 women drivers!

In any given group of females, 1 in 28 has PMS.

That's 642.

According to Cosmopolitan, 70% describe their love life as
dissatisfying or unrewarding.

That's 449.

According to the National Institute of Health, 22% of all
females have seriously considered suicide or homicide.

That's 98.

And 34% describe men as their biggest problem.

That's 33.

According to the National Rifle Association, 5% of all females
carry weapons and this number is increasing especially in California.

That means that EVERY SINGLE DAY, I drive past at
least one female that has a lousy love life, thinks men
are her biggest problem, has seriously considered
suicide or homicide, has PMS, and is armed.

Give her the finger?

I don't think so.

He'd (wisely) used a BCC: list, so I couldn't tell who else might have been included. But figured I might as well go in swinging, and added my sister, my mom, my niece and 2 aunts to my CC: list. So pleased I did! A(n unexpected) positive response from an aunt. I look forward to furthering our acquaintance. ;-).
adrian_turtle: (Default)

[personal profile] adrian_turtle 2014-04-05 09:13 pm (UTC)(link)
I'm glad you called him out. I know some people throw this kind of hurtful joke around because they really hate women, and others do it because they just haven't thought about it enough to recognize it as wrong. I hope your uncle is the sort of man (or is now the sort of man) who can learn better.
jesse_the_k: Modern design teapot with two cups (Share tea with me)

[personal profile] jesse_the_k 2014-04-06 04:04 pm (UTC)(link)
Grrrrrrr. Arghhh. Big effort there in your response, Tea?