Friday, June 20, 2014

What An Anti-Feminist Looks Like

“She has a problem with the fact that I said that she had a serious health incident and that I thought that would be a bigger part of her personal calculation than most people anticipate. [...] She is antagonistic toward the press, and has a very thin skin. She will abide no criticism. It’s one of the least attractive things we see in Hillary Clinton,” [Karl Rove] continued.
This quote perfectly captures how sexist men treat women in the public arena.

First, note his use of the words "least" "attractive." Sure Rove might say he was "just" referring to a non-physical trait of Clinton's, but in both dictionary and common usage, "attractive" is generally used to suggest something along the lines of sexually or romantically pleasing, or appealing to the senses. Here, Rove notes that her alleged inability to receive criticism is the "least" attractive thing about her - that is, just one of many not attractive things about Clinton.

While reasonable people should agree that a person's appearance is irrelevant to their competence in politics, the sexist man holds himself out as objective arbiter of female attractiveness, while himself usually benefitting from the reality that male politicians have less of a history of their appearances being impediments to their careers. Rove himself being a good example of that.

Second, Hillary Clinton receives more vitriol, more hatred, more misogyny, more attacks - by virtue of being a liberal public female figure - than most women (and men) do.  I reckon she has developed a pretty thick skin, actually, contrary to Rove's mansplainy declaration otherwise and, especially as of late, often uses humor to re-direct and counter the misogyny.

When rape threats are the new "normal" for some feminist bloggers, many feminist women are not, actually, the hypersensitive emotional hysterics that sexist men portray us as. Such men know little to nothing about our lives and experiences.

Oftentimes, in fact, reality is the reverse of what sexist men say it is.

Studies show that every time a man claims that a woman has "very thin skin," there are at least 150 men on the Internet taking Very Serious Offense to a woman gently telling them that something they said was "problematic" (that oft-used word we sometimes use to trivialize -isms because it makes oh-so-sensitive privileged folks feel less threatened in conversations).

I mean, it strikes me as pretty thin-skinned that so many men cannot participate in conversations about gender with women without  falsely suggesting they're being clobbered, killed, and attacked by women who are merely disagreeing with them.  

They can abide no criticism. Especially not from women.

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