Progress

11 Apr
london broil

Image from thingsimadethenate.blogspot.com

I was in the checkout line. Purchasing meat. London Broil was on sale, you get a big Family Pak with two huge steaks for $2.99 a pound.

A mousy young woman behind me who had sprouts and 7 grain bread turned to a guy whose basket was full of beets and said “looking at meat like that makes me nauseated.” She said it so I could hear it. What they call ”passive aggressive.” “You are a disgusting immoral pig,” she was saying to me, except with other words to another putative vegetarian because that’s how you do things.

When you are part of the so-called man-o-sphere, you read a lot of woman-hating rhetoric, and it sinks in. I have a specific kind of contempt for women. I think of them as at once overprivileged and self-pitying. I want to fuck them but I also want to yell at them and tell them they can’t do anything and seventy seven cents on the dollar is too much by half and Jesus shut up about Rape Culture and etc.

But you also, ironically, get exposed to a lot of feminist work, as people post links in outrage. So I ended up reading Jezebel regularly, and from there I read a New Yorker piece by Susan Faludi about Shulamith Firestone, an influential feminist who’d made a big splash in the 70’s and then flamed out in the weird internecine politics of the movement. Eventually she went nuts and died alone.

I had never read Faludi. My mom was a big fan of Backlash when that came out; it steered her into a feminist phase. This was when I was about fifteen, so I would get a lot of talks about respect women don’t ever rape a woman, etc. And of course it all meant nothing. I couldn’t even get into a situation where a woman would interact with me and disrespect might occur. To me it seemed that women, or girls at that age, were inhumanly powerful. They were born with something men desperately needed and never gave it away. And I was a polite, sweet young man. To be told that I might terrify girls with urges I didn’t ask for, and ought to defer to them so as not to creep them out, felt like an insult. Or like lèse-majesté. Some seed of “well fine, fuck these bitches” was planted then, and remembering this, I’d avoided Susan Faludi.

Well it was my loss. Susan Faludi can spin a fucking yarn, man. Her article about Firestone is brilliant. It’s a political story, a story about a movement, but also a human story about mental illness and passion and religion and a vivid nostalgic tale of a crazy scene at its peak. I don’t know what Firestone’s writing is like, but I’m guessing it’s a little esoteric. Faludi distills her ideas to perfect little kernels. Until we get past biological childbirth, women are never going to be equal. Fucking true! Whether you want that to happen or not, it’s a true insight. Man, why hadn’t I read Susan Faludi before? Why hadn’t I read these feminist authors before; they talk about a lot of the shit we talk about, and Faludi makes their ideas sound fascinating.

Somehow this 70’s “Radical Feminist” and her crew, their struggles, their frustrations, their jealousies, humanized this demonized movement for me. This feeling was still fresh as I looked at this young woman who had chided me. I realized that I had eight inches on her, and probably sixty pounds, thanks in no small part to my habit of eating 24 ounces of $2.99 London Broil in a sitting. I have the eyes of a serial killer and my facial expression is constantly pissed off because smiling makes my nose look big. Sure it was chickenshit for her not to say it to my face. But I’m a scary looking dude, and maybe dudes can be scary in general. And maybe she just said that shit because she’s a little nuts and she had her own struggles that made her that way.

This is a long way of saying: I did not say “Goddamn right my meat makes you gag.”

17 Responses to “Progress”

  1. Emily April 11, 2013 at 2:18 pm #

    How about Catherine Breillat? The ideas in her film , ‘Anatomy of Hell’ and/or companion novel ‘Pornocracy’ really impacted me. She actually faces the cultural origins of violence and the female body. There is no defensiveness–no particular feminism –just an honest examination of history and biology and desire. She scared me a little–but I was profoundly impressed.
    And she film Un-simulated sex scenes.
    -deeply questioning the definitions of pornography and Film.

  2. Days of Broken Arrows April 11, 2013 at 5:28 pm #

    “Looking at meat makes me nauseated.”

    “Looking at YOU makes me nauseated.”

    Would have accomplished two things: put her in her place and turned her on. Women get turned on by being metaphorically bitch-slapped by a man. That’s why she said it. They love the drama. They love soap operas. The quicker you learn that, the easier life will be. If you made everything perfect for women, they’d be “oppressed” by boredom.

    • Anonymous April 11, 2013 at 6:45 pm #

      negging only works in junior high, bro

    • sylviasarah April 11, 2013 at 7:50 pm #

      Because this guy who writes about banging chicks all the time, so much banging that he’s tired of it, obviously needs help with women. Obviously.

      • Anonymous April 11, 2013 at 11:40 pm #

        I asked DT once if he’d ever consider fucking you. His laughter was impressive.

      • sylviasarah April 12, 2013 at 7:49 am #

        Thanks for telling me something I already knew.

      • Anonymous April 12, 2013 at 8:12 am #

        It’s interesting since he would fuck pretty much anything except you..

      • sylviasarah April 12, 2013 at 8:27 am #

        Why do you think I started staying in my room all the time? I’m crying very hard wishing he’d just knock on my door and pity screw me.

      • Anonymous April 12, 2013 at 9:25 pm #

        You going into hyperbole to cover your pain. I understand. Lose fifty pounds and he’ll probably hit it though. Your face is not a total disaster.

      • sylviasarah April 12, 2013 at 9:27 pm #

        No, I really did start going into my room to avoid him. Even he knows it.

      • Anonymous April 14, 2013 at 9:37 am #

        Lol, anything to avoid losing weight, eh? Can’t stop loving those doughnuts I guess..

      • sylviasarah April 14, 2013 at 9:40 am #

        My comment, for once, has nothing to do with me. If you want to chat with me just shoot me an email, luv.

  3. mindstar April 11, 2013 at 5:41 pm #

    “Man did not claw his way to the top of the food chain to eat veggies”

  4. Paul Murray April 12, 2013 at 2:46 am #

    I read soething on nuclear disarmament once, by an author who (incidentally) was a feminist. She said that in feminist theory, you look for the real subject of a text, who the text is really *about* (which usually turns out to be white men).
    That’s an insight that makes an enormous amount of sense at the moment – all the shaming, all the “where are all the good men” articles, they are ultimately *about* women, not about men who are (at best) an adjunct or a utility to a woman’s life.
    What we are saying, I suppose, is that feminism has some genuinely brilliant and insightful people, and it’d be a shame to toss it all overboard.

  5. lolcopterpilot April 12, 2013 at 11:13 am #

    It’s easy to drown in self pity, staring at a screen knowing that thousands of other frustrated guys on thousands of keyboards trying to find the right script that makes women want to have sex with you. Then you get out in the real world and people just want to hear your story, a joke, something to feel alive. I think we’re getting to something valuable here though, the defensiveness. Defensiveness is generally a turn-off, which I think is why men and women seem to talk past each other so much. We each have our own biases and views, and can’t stop to just listen for a bit.

    Feminists and the manosphere are so up in arms and ready to fight they forget we’re all flawed humans just trying to get through life with a minimum of sadness. For those too lazy to read the article, this paragraph sums it up:

    The liberator for Firestone was the right to be loved for oneself, not as part of a patronage system “to pass on power and privilege.” She was trying to imagine a “home” where “all relationships would be based on love alone,” a world, to quote the last words of the book, that allows “love to flow unimpeded.” When “Dialectic” was published, Firestone’s sister Tirzah said, their father called it “the joke book of the century,” and refused to read it.

    –Thanks Mr. Tacos for another great post.

  6. eec April 12, 2013 at 11:43 am #

    Here’s an analysis of one of my favorite a two-line poems.
    https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B3gmdQtNp6QbakpnZTF5UDFweGc/edit?usp=sharing

    It’s feminist, but really one can extrapolate the whole To Kill a Mockingbird message from it. Everyone’s perspectives and interpretations of everything is different — but, really, oppression is oppression. Prejudice is prejudice. Bigotry is bigotry.

    I hate the usage of the terms “feminism” and “men’s rights” and all that. Like, I mean, yeah I get it —

    But the causes for your own pain or madness is not the same as others’. I grew up with a verbally abusive, asian (is that redundant?), Catholic, single-mother, probably of similar age to your own, and verbally abusive sister. When the cause of your pain comes from the home, the family, a certain level of self-loathing occurs. I hated women. I hated asians, I hated being asian. It’s uncomfortable. A certain level of contempt develops. “X are the people that hurt me, so I guess X is what causes pain.” It was a juvenile conclusion — logical, but there are higher forms of math out there.

    I was told that my sexuality was unnatural and unacceptable. I was sent to 11 years of Catholic schooling. There’s a certain level of rebellion that occurs when one’s spirit is seemingly “condemned” — but I guess that’s why some of the worst states in this country for human rights have the best music and food (e.g. my home state of Texas and shit like this http://bit.ly/10VKJNY). It’s about the triumph of the human spirit. People are crazy, people are oppressed. Sex and gender are simply different flavors that go in the bullshit soup, e.g. these kids have other flavors going on: http://bit.ly/11FGl8o

    To further attribute the cause for your distress to these abstract concepts (some sort of collectivist behavior as determined by sex as opposed to society and culture and one’s individual upbringing and other unrelated issues/feelings of incompetence and inferiority), these movements, an entire people, is to be just as bigoted as your former (rational or irrational, concrete or abstract) “oppressors”.

    The past is in the past. You quit your job. You now have all the time in the world to recover your dreams — the dreams you’d had no time for, back then. You now have time to process all of these things. You have time. You’re alive. It was questionable whether or not I’d even be able to say that much for a long while.

    We might get hit by a bus today or tomorrow. Get over it. There are a lot more fun, exciting, and important things in the world to experience. We have to go see midget wrestling and Geisha strippers and recreate Frazetta paintings.

    "I'd just like to say-" "No shut up Larry."

    Deal with it.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Take A Break From The Manosphere - April 13, 2013

    […] some skrillex-cutted chick in Whole Foods buying vegetables, making snarky remarks about your meat purchases. You’ll psych yourself out of approaching because “all western women are the same: they […]

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