Puttin' On My Rage Face

[Content Note: Misogyny] 

There are so many good things I could write about this article titled "The Angry Ladies of Jezebel" that Liss and I were snorting over yesterday. Written by Mark Judge, the entirety of the article consists of an extremely disconnected opening and the remainder is just him pointing and frowning at various encyclopedic entries in The Book of Jezebel and waiting for his audience to nod and agree with him that these modern feminist women are the worst, just the worst. No real argument is needed to make his case, because apparently we're all on-board with the starting premise that Bitches Be Flippin'.

I could point out that opening with the statement that the book is "a very angry book" is the sort of thing that really needs to be justified somewhere in the article. Because, honestly, everything he quotes in apparently self-evident support of that assessment strikes me as the sort of thing which can be, and often is, said with wry humor and a sparkle in the eye.

I could point out the extreme irony in opening the review with examples of Real Feminists who are all, totally coincidentally!!, men. It's particularly amusing when Mark Judge identifies Robert Bly as "a champion of genuine feminism", which manages to both make the point that the biggest problem with modern feminism today is all the women fucking it up, and to also accuse us all of being bra-burning bitches who won't graciously accept a nice champion to fight for us. (We probably insist on opening our own car doors, too.)

I could point out how incredibly dehumanizing it is to reduce every modern feminist to a monolithed stereotype, as Mark Judge does when he insists that, "The bogus “war on women” is really nothing but liberal women acting out against bad fathers." And thus so we are all the same woman, with the same bad father, and the same motivations for being feminists, and none of us are people in our own right who make decisions for ourselves and forge our own ideologies; instead, we are political automatons with Bad Father as an input command and Feminism as an output response. In contrast to Mark Judge, I'm sure, who would probably (correctly) maintain that he is a jackass for his own entirely unique reasons and not because he was exposed to Jackass Rays from the dying planet of Asshattery at the exact moment of his birth or whatever.

I could point out that the false assumption that all feminists are women cruelly invisibles people who are not women from the feminist movement, in an attempt to isolated the marginalized from their privileged allies while simultaneously trying to erase people outside the gender binary from existence entirely.

I could point out how the assumption that all feminists are just angry women who are angry at a bad father places feminist women with good fathers (or feminist women with fathers who are not good but at whom they are not angry, because love and family and relationships can be complicated) instantly on the defensive on behalf of their fathers and thus conveniently turns the conversation away from social patriarchy and instead derails to focus on the unwanted armchair psychoanalysis of a specific woman and her specific father.

I could point out that feminists who are also women who are angry at a bad father are allowed to be angry at a bad father. If a woman is angry at a bad father, and if that anger led her to identify as a feminist, that doesn't make feminism automatically a bad thing -- it could make feminism a great outlet for women with bad fathers who would like to protect other women from future bad fathers. Among other things.

I could point out that women (and other marginalized groups of varying intersections) constantly labor under the false assumption that anger is never valid, that anger always means the argument has been lost, that anger is the one thing they must never show, because the moment they are accused of anger is the moment they can be ignored forever. I could point out that anger is not automatically a bad thing, that there are many things in the world about which anger is an appropriate response, that the ability to never feel personally affected by oppression and tragedy may (not necessarily, but may) be a sign of immense privilege.

I could point out how sick and tired and, yes, angry I am at the repeated insistence that the only good feminism that certain privileged men are willing to support is the "good-natured" kind, a statement which tells me outright that I won't get any help from these would-be "champions" unless the cookies are always sweet and fresh from the oven and never, ever stale. And that the one time I run out of chocolate chips will be the time that they jump ship and sulk for eternity over how they tried to be an ally but those angry women didn't sufficiently appreciate him. I am bone-weary of that sort of "support".

I could point out the amusing juxtaposition of a man who doesn't want to be called a "Frat Bro" or a "right-winger" but has no problem with calling feminists apoplectic and liberals convulsed with rage. Okay, player, that seems super-fair.

But I would instead like to focus on the point made in the article that places the blame for feminism at the door of the Industrial Revolution -- "[Bly] indicted not only male irresponsibility but the Industrial Revolution, which separated fathers from their families." -- and which prompted me to note to Liss the following:
Ana: Lady, did you know that prior to the Industrial Revolution, fathers were always at home and never left their families or went to war or traveled as merchants or sailors or hired hands on another estate or sent their families from court or were separated from their families by forces beyond their control? Everyone worked alongside their family in the fields prior to the invention of the Steampunk Abortion Robots.

Liss: Except for Joan d'Arc's dad, who was a total d-bag.

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