Friday, July 27, 2012


 [TW/content note: violence, misogyny]

Because it's Friday, I'm lazy, and I thought the comment to be an incredible display of male privilege, this post's inspiration is primarily from an exchange at Shakesville, where Liss noted the latest round of gender essentialist narratives people have written about the Aurora shooting.

Riffing off of Hanna Rosin's piece, which I wrote about earlier this week, Bill Bennett conflates heroism and self-sacrifice with "traditional manhood" in writing about three men who took bullets so that others could live.

While yes, I do think these men are honorable and heroic, one commenter following the piece pointed out that several women also risked their lives to save other people. Hir point was that heroism and self-sacrifice isn't a "man thing," as Bennett argues, it is a thing that many humans do, no matter their gender.

So while these men are worthy of admiration and respect, it's rude and reality-denying to invisibilize the many women who are also heroes and who perform heroic acts, including remaining silent about the women who acted heroically in Aurora, just because it doesn't fit into a conservatively-correct, gender-essentialist narrative.

It was then that another commenter chimed in with a bit of depressingly hilarious commentary:
"Heaven forbid that a white male might get a little recognition."
Because historically, you know, that's always been a very large problem for "white males." None of the hero narratives ever get to be about them.

In other news, the ever-abominable James Taranto tweeted: "I hope the girls whose boyfriends died to save them were worthy of the sacrifice."

You know what most mainstream commentators still aren't talking about or exploring? How the vast majority of these types of shootings are committed by men or teenaged boys.

So, look at that. Here's a really big opportunity people have to really center men and the poor "white male," and yet those who love centering him in all conversations, especially in service of their male supremacist narratives, are resoundingly silent.

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