Naamah proposes that women complain loudly about misogyny more often. I think she is onto something.
And the sad part? I don’t think to mention this shit when it happens, because it is fucking background noise. It is so endemic in this culture that when it happens to me, I do not perceive it as exceptional, even though I absolutely do perceive it as threatening. For fuck’s sake, I don’t even remember where the above incident with the wedding ring asshole even occurred because it has blended in.
That is, now that I think on it, fucking appalling.
Now, I’m pretty lucky — I live and work in an area known for its tolerance (SF Bay Area) and while I work in tech, which is heavily gender-polarized, the company I’m at is made up nearly entirely of awesome people. And I mostly hang with nerdy types, who may be nervous around women but generally aren’t actively horrible. I also have what I’ve seen termed the “fuck off bubble” going on (as opposed to the “hump me gene” some unlucky gals have). I don’t get hit on much, and when I do, it isn’t by pushy assholes. I think I radiate “I will kick you in the balls if you fuck with me” so hard that they leave me alone.
This doesn’t mean I don’t get the occasional bout of assholery directed at me, just that it happens really rarely. At least, I think it does. I’m going to try to pay more attention and see if I spot anything to report on. I’d like to encourage my readers who have blogs of their own to report on misogyny in action in their lives as well. I think Naamah makes a good point — that shit shouldn’t be background noise. We should be calling folks out for it.
My classic example of misogyny in action in my life is the issue I had with PE in middle school. We were coed all year except for one section, when boys were to do wrestling and girls were to do aerobics. I hated aerobics and thought wrestling sounded like more fun, so I asked the teacher, “what if a girl wants to do wrestling?” he said, “Oh, you don’t want to do that.” And I, in my little middle-school head, said Oh, it’s on, asshole, and got my Mom involved. Long story short, I took wrestling (with my buddy Jenny as my wrestling partner so the boys wouldn’t be tempted to grope me during class). It was pretty fun. Admittedly this was in the early nineties and I imagine things are different at that middle school now, but still. The situation was fucked up. I can see separating the genders for contact sports like wrestling, but the boys-wrestling/girls-aerobics dichotomy is bullshit.