[Content Note: Misogyny; antisemitic violence.]

So, I'm reading this story about a geep—a rare goat-sheep hybrid—just born in Germany, which sent me in search of pictures of the wee devil, which eventually led me to this article about a geep born last month in an Arizona petting zoo. Confirmed: Geeps are adorable.

Anyway. At the bottom of the second article, there was one of those ubiquitous "Promoted Stories" ad blocks. I detest these things with an abundant loathing, and here is a pretty good example of why:

screen cap of six 'promoted stories,' four of which are stories about animals doing funny things, one of which is about flubs on film sets, and the sixth of which is: '10 of The Most Evil Women In History'

Um. One of these things is really, really not like the others.

It was so jarring. Story about cute animal la la la promoted content about cute animals tra la la and then here is the mugshot of infamous Nazi war criminal Ilse Koch juxtaposed with the image of a grinning dog with a bird on its head!

The fuck.

What struck me most about this was the thought that most people will look at it and not see anything particularly weird. It's just a collection of "funny stories," the kinds of "funny stories" with which the internet is filled. Pets, flubs on film sets, murderous women.

Which says something about how we regard violence, and how we regard women, and how we regard women who commit violent acts. That we treat them like kooky oddities is deeply rooted in misogynist dehumanization and disempowerment.

I know, I know—who cares. It's just some randomly generated ads, and it's such a little thing it hardly warrants comment.

Except for how it's the little things that create the fertile soil in which everything else takes root and from whence everything else springs; all the little things, so many little things, is the way the fundamental idea that women are not equal to men, are not even fully human, is conveyed over and over and over again.

And for the fact that this isn't really a post about this one little thing, so much as it is a post about all the little things just like it, all over the internet—the collected lists about women doing things, good things or bad things; curated examples of women that feed into tropes about women and inform stereotypes about women—and how womanhood is conveyed reductively; dichotomously.

And people are making money on the back of this little thing. Money that will be used to make more of these little things, so many little things, to justify paying women less and harming them without consequence and all of those big things, so many big things.

* * *

Just after I finished writing the above, I read this article about world population aging at an alarming rate, which supposedly "will have a significant negative effect on economic growth over the next two decades across all regions." The piece ends thus:
But policymakers can minimize the impact by encouraging immigration to expand the workforce, and by investing in technology to help workers become more productive.

Other measures could include policies to keep people in work by raising the retirement age or enticing stay-at-home mothers to return to their jobs.
Enticing stay-at-home mothers to return to their jobs. And just like that, being a stay-at-home mother isn't itself a job.

I also love the idea that every woman who is a stay-at-home parent has chosen that role specifically because working outside of the home isn't "enticing" enough.

Which is to say nothing, of course, about the fact that women are disproportionately the providers of in-family elder care, as well. (Also not "a job.") Good luck "enticing" women away from the necessary provision of care during a global "aging boom," especially in places where there's no socialized elder care and it costs more to secure private care than many women could make at a full-time job.

It's just the casual eliding of millions of women's practical realities, in favor of a flippant turn of phrase that trivializes stay-at-home mothers.

* * *

People accuse feminists of "looking for things to get mad about." I don't have to make any effort. These things are everywhere I look. All day, every day.

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