Update: After re-reading this entry, I realized that I was even more disjointed than I had thought. I added a segue paragraph in the middle.
This is a continuation of the last post. There is something I’ve noticed about being female that has really come to fruition with the advent of the inter-webs. See, society doesn’t like uppity women. I can get into a whole diatribe about how the pressure for women to look like twelve-year old boys is a way to keep women from banding together and dismantling the patriarchy which has given us the Wall Street fiasco and Mike Doogan outing AKM.
Focus, Minna, focus. Ok. Society doesn’t like uppity women. That was my thesis, and I am going to support it in a totally subjective, personal way. If you want to throw facts at me, go ahead. I will then be forced to throw facts back at you, and I really don’t want to have to do that. So, let’s accept the premise that this blog entry is not empirical, but that it can be verified to a certain extent if need be. Ok? Ok!
Anyway, this isn’t just about uppity women; this is about men and entitlement. Especially older white men. Which, if you’ve noticed, Mike Doogan is. As I said in my last post, Gryphen from The Immoral Minority (I don’t want to over-link so just re-read the last post) pretty much hit the nail on the head when he said that Doogan was jealous of AKM because she had achieved a world-wide fame as a writer that he could only dream about while deep in REM sleep. Apparently, he was a journalist once upon a time, and he is now a mystery writer (that’s one mystery writer whom I will never read), and he is worried about the disappearance of traditional media with the emergence of blogs.
Gryphen’s entry is excellent (go read it already), but it’s incomplete. See, what he doesn’t address is the fact that Doogan, as an older, white male who has presumably never known what it’s like to feel less than, even though he’s a Democrat in Alaska. He is like the AIG execs in that he operates on a different level of reality than do I. I have blogged about this several times, but it’s worth reiterating. I have never expected to be treated as an equal. I have been fully aware since my early twenties that for many reasons, I am considered less than. Therefore, I have to do twice as well to be considered half as good–kind of like our new prez.
Someone like Doogan expects to be treated as an equal. From what I’ve read by him and of him, he expects to be treated deferentially. He has a sense of entitlement that many white men, especially those of his generation have. The fact that some whippersnapper would use his own words to demonstrate his deficiencies enraged him beyond belief. He became obsessed with ferreting out the person known as AKM.
Now, here is where the other side of the equation enters the picture. If men consider themselves to be the standard by which all is to be measured, then to be challenged by a mere woman has to be even more galling. Now, Doogan may not have known that AKM was a woman when he first started stalking her, but I would hazard a guess that he thought she was a woman all along.
My tai chi teacher told me that female bloggers can expect to be harrassed, and I have found that to be true. My own little experience with it is that I posted a review I had written years ago of a movie containing my favorite actor, Alan Rickman. It was a thousand-word entry explaining what I liked and didn’t like about the film. I used approximately two hundred of those words to applaud equal opportunity fully-frontal nakedness. I write it that way because I do not want to start the skirmish all over again. Anyway, I simply said that one thing I liked about British films is that they didn’t shy away from showing a penis when the situation warranted.
Innocuous, right? No. This review is what garnered me my first comment by someone I didn’t know. This guy went off about how there have been sooo many penii (yes, not a word, but still funny) in mainstream media in the past year. He went on to say that if I were really concerned about the issue, I should be concerned about the overexposure of the penii (ha!). He then added that since I was a woman, I probably didn’t care since women only cared about equality when it suited them.
I posted his comment and replied. Friends jumped in with their two cents’ worth. That was that, I thought. A few weeks later, I got a post from another guy (I have to approve the first comment by someone before it gets posted to my blog) who went off the rails on the evils of teh vagina and how we were demon spawn (basically). He demanded, too, that women help out men. I didn’t post his comment because he was fucking crazy. First guy posted again, twice, and I let it go at that.
It bothered me that these guys wanted to dictate what I can and can’t write about and that they wanted to excoriate all women on my blog. They demanded that I help out the poor men with their overexposed penii (not my agenda in the first place) and claimed that I was selfish if I didn’t want to help them with their causes.
See what happened there? It’s the same thing that happened over Prop. 8. Many LGBT folk were furious with blacks for voting for Prop. 8, but I highly doubt that these same LGBT folk (white men for the most part) have done anything to help black people. In addition, as I have mentioned ad nauseam, “my people” (Asians) were the group to vote against Prop. 8 in the highest numbers, but no one mentioned that.
People in the minority are expected to cater to the whims of the majority. In the case of the blogosphere, women are the minority–especially uppity women. In the political arena, the overwhelming number of political blogs are run by men. As for sex, well, women are still not supposed to talk or write about it, apparently. So, when a woman dares to enter into the sacred male arenas, they must be punished. When a woman like AKM rises to such lofty heights, she has to be taken down.
One of the male bloggers who did an entry about AKM (again, I can’t remember which one) touched on the fact that females are more conscious of the dangers associated with blogging under their own names. Celtic Diva can certainly attest to what happens to female bloggers who dare to get uppity. So can Amanda Terkel from Think Progress. I know O’Reilly has ambushed other people, but there is something particularly sick about him sending his henchmen to follow her for two hours across state lines in response to her calling him out on his remarks on rape victims.
Sexism is still rampant in certain aspects of our society, and the internet enables this virulent strain to flourish. It’s easy to let your frustrations out on a female blogger because, ironically, you can post anonymously. All the shit that makes a man fear women can be focused on one particular female blogger. She becomes a stand-in for all the women he thinks have fucked him over. It’s much easier to cyber-stalk than to really stalk. Of course, all it takes is one person posting the blogger’s personal info on the ‘net, and it’s a hop, skip, jump from cyber-stalking to real-life stalking. This is just one of the reasons why it’s safer for a woman to blog with a pseudonym or anonymous than to use her own name.
Oh, and I think if women were to rule the world, we’d be just as fucked because it’s the system that needs to be changed. For a woman to make it to a position of power, she has to be twice as corrupt, venal, and abhorrent as any man. Just look at Sarah Palin.
In conclusion of this second rambling entry, I leave you with my favorite Margaret Cho video. I have posted it before, but it is pertinent to today’s topic. Start about five minutes in.
P.S. The picture is of Ida Tarbell, our foremother in muckraking.