Thursday, November 1, 2012

Christian Men on Marginal Females

So I got into a Facebook convo with a fresh-from-undergrad 20-something-year-old Christian guy who has Big Ideas about how to stop abortion. Namely, he thinks "we" should tell people not to have sex if they don't want to get pregnant, and abortions will mostly stop.

I wish that were a straw version of his argument, but that's really it.

This font of unparalleled wisdom likewise suggested this public health strategy to two very intelligent women at least a decade older than him who also devote pretty much every day of their lives to gender issues and social justice, as though he had lots to teach these women about the abortion debate.

So, as you can imagine, this dude quickly became my favorite!

During this conversation, he continually referred to men as men and to women as "females," as though females, rather than "women," were the proper equivalent to the word "men."

Now, you may notice that I made note of this guy's religion- Christianity. He is a friend of a friend, but his Facebook profile suggested that this guy is Evangelical. His profile picture is of himself and his wife. In the photo, he is centered and she is standing behind him, a bit to the... margin.

I didn't delve into this analysis on Facebook in my conversation with him. For, in my experience, even suggesting that a non-feminist Christian man's worldview of himself possessing intellectual and objective superiority over women might be a bit biased by his male-centric religion, and that this worldview is likewise reflected in his, say, photos and language usage mostly brings about reflexive, projecty "yeah well you're the real sexist" accusations.

As we all know, pointing out how some men are male supremacist and sexist is actually worse than them being male supremacist and sexist.

So, naturally, I turn to the wonderful denizens of Internet Feminism to engage my analysis.

It's indicative, right, of seriously problematic (dare I say? yep!) patriarchal views when a man calls men "men" while calling women "females," especially in a debate in which he is opposing women's right to control their own bodies?

Indeed, I contend that this guy's clinical labeling of women suggests a worldview in which men are autonomous, uniquely-enlightened, and central beings with Sooper Dooper Big Ideas under which "females," in our zoo-animal-like non-autonomous-consent-lacking state, must submit.

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