The Hell That Misogyny Has Wrought

[Content Note: Misogyny; rape culture.]

"A lost man is lost intelligence....There is no mourning for the lost intelligence of women because there is no conviction that such intelligence was real and was destroyed....[W]omen are despised when they refuse to be lost." -Andrea Dworkin (1983)

The hell that misogyny has wrought is knowing that media coverage of the first viable female presidential candidate in US history was brimming with an ugly misogyny that contributed to her loss, even though this fact was widely denied in real time by those across the political spectrum.

The hell that misogyny has wrought is Chris Matthews, who makes millions of dollars per year as a commentator at "liberal" MSNBC, joking about using the date-rape drug on the first viable female presidential candidate prior to his pre-election interview with her.

The hell that misogyny has wrought is that what every person means when they harass and assault women is, "You don't belong here."

The hell that misogyny has wrought is knowing that for every story of a rapist, harasser, or predator that has come to light, thousands upon thousands more have not.

The hell that misogyny has wrought is a nation, political system, and media bestowing the presidency upon a sexual predator not in spite of his implicit promise to uphold an unjust gendered hierarchy, but because of it.

The hell that misogyny has wrought has given men a disproportionate share of resources, an entitlement to bulldoze over women's boundaries, and the collective benefit of the doubt that they are somehow intellectually superior to women and yet incapable of understanding when women don't want to fuck them.

The hell that misogyny has wrought is watching person after person who has done nothing to end rape culture getting space at major publications to declare that an anti-rape-culture movement has gone "too far" simply because a handful of rich men have experienced temporary consequences and public embarrassment.

The hell that misogyny has wrought is knowing that shitty men rule the media world and that, because they are shitty, they promote punditry that normalizes misogyny and, if they allow feminist perspectives at all, allow only those perspectives (and bodies) they experience as most appealing, comfortable, and profitable.

The hell that misogyny has wrought are pundits, media elites, and religious leaders being outraged when words like "pussy" are uttered in public while, because they don't see women as fully human, they remain indifferent to the millions of ways men have invented to violate women's bodily autonomy.

The hell that misogyny has wrought is male comedians acting like rape and sexual harassment are comedy gold, with the support of their male fan bases, while MRAs pretend feminists do nothing but make "men getting raped and kicked in the nuts" jokes all day long.

The hell that misogyny has wrought is being an intelligent feminist who has put quite a lot of thought into rape culture and nonetheless having a neverending avalanche of dipshits coming at you on social media demanding that you immediately take their laundry lists of random mediocre insights about gender seriously or else it proves you and all feminists are stupid cowards.

The hell that misogyny has wrought is being a woman, any woman of any political belief, and coming to a full recognition of the reality that you are truly hated by the dominant political, media, and religious cultures of your society.

The hell that misogyny has wrought is being a person who is hated for simply refusing to hate women.

The hell that misogyny has wrought is being a feminist and wondering how many more women will have to suffer because the people who advocate for women are hated, defamed, and regularly harassed out of this political work.

The hell that misogyny has wrought is a system rigged for men, exactly as intended, in countless ways large and small.

The hell that misogyny wrought is a rape-culture shithole.

It is metaphorically embodied by Donald Trump's permanently-puckered, predatory mouth. It is a wasteland of bully-coddling injustice whose very function is to annihilate women's humanity, intelligence, autonomy, freedom, and happiness. It has existed for millenia after millenia, always adapting, inventing new ways and justifications to suppress women's potential.

So, if I may. I posit that it is a mathematical impossibility for a movement which has existed for an infinitesimal fraction of the time that rape-culture patriarchy has existed to have gone far enough, already.

Ending rape culture will not be vanquished by a few months of simply "embarrassing" this or that millionaire man on social media. The issue at hand, rather, is not that the current revitalization of anti-rape-culture advocacy has gone "too far," it's that it has not even begun to go far enough.

I suggest everyone buckle in. Living in a deeply misogynist culture has made some of us relentless, angry, persistent, and impatient for justice. And that, for those beholden to rape culture and so very sad to see it go, is the hell that misogyny has wrought.

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