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Tag Archives: misogyny

Content note: After the jump I mention Rape Threats Dudes Have Sent Me for saying what I think about creepy dudes.

Dear Captain,

Over the past several years I’ve drifted to the periphery of a friend group where one member is a sexist creep. I immediately found him slimy and pushy and off-putting upon meeting him, but gave him the benefit of the doubt because he’s my friend’s brother — and then learned that he’s heavily into PUA bullshit and was pretty much being awful on purpose. It was a few years into my friendship his sister that he started hanging out with everyone, and as he’s spent more time with the group, I’ve spent much less. (Not just because of him, but he’s definitely one reason.) There’s only one friend I’ve explicitly discussed this with, and he’s sympathetic when we talk privately, but I don’t get the sense Mr. Plumed Fedora experiences much pushback at all from anyone in the group — including me, which is also something I’m really struggling with — when he casually complains about “feminazis,” creeps on every woman he encounters, etc.

Recently an opportunity came up to maybe spend more time with the group and I was kind of excited about it but… I truly loathe this guy and resent the amount of time I’ve already spent with him. Is there a good way to say “Your brother/friend is a misogynist and I don’t want to be around him, no offense”? Should I suck it up? Continue fading out? Finally learn to stop avoiding conflict?

Thanks,
M’lady Nay

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Dear Captain most Awkward,

As I say in my subject line: Help! My brother is a teenage misogynist!

He’s always been really awful about treating women as people thanks to his preferred media and genres, as well as the fact that our mother and other female family friends and relatives enabled and enable him like… like the seagulls that run rampant at the beaches. I don’t just mean the little kid “Girls are icky and have cooties!” but that he was (TW for misogynistic slurs) calling me a “two cent whore” and a “fat whale” and a “bitch” by the time he was ten (to be fair, I responded similarly, but I realized pretty quickly that we had shitty role models and that Shit Like That Was Not Okay – not even a whole year later, I had my temper under way better control). He also has had a really bad temper.

It used to be that if he got bored or someone denied him something he wanted, he would hit and kick and scream, now he just sulks and has said that if he isn’t happy, he’s going to just make everyone around him miserable. Don’t even get me started on what happens if I turn off or change his music while I’m driving (I have a lot of driving anxiety, his music generally makes it worse). He’s been getting better, though, especially because his legal guardian (a family friend, it’s complicated, but both parents are definitely in the picture, despite being in other cities).

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Intern Paul has some words for the second letter writer in today’s Dear Prudence, aka, the girl who went through a slutty phase and has now been basically kicked out of her super-Christian family because her judgmental controlling turd of a brother snooped in her email and told everyone about her wicked ways.

First, here are my words for the brother: Way to shine the light of Christ’s forgiveness, fucko. Truly you are an example to us all. Did you go through all of the private communications of everyone in your wedding party to make sure that no human frailty would mar Your Special Day? I mean, that’s just due diligence on your part, right? You wouldn’t want anyone who has ever committed a sin to put on formal wear and stand near you on such an important milestone in human history.

You know who else thinks that the sexual behavior of their female relatives is their business? The Taliban. Yeah, awesome. I guess we should be grateful that you didn’t feel the need to stone your sister to death or burn away her face with acid.

I’ll let Intern Paul take it from here.

Dear Penitent Whore (and it fucking pains me that you called yourself that):

Your brother is an asshole shitbag, and you need to contemplate cutting him out of your life completely. Seriously. I’m not going to comment about the supposed “wickedness” of your previous behavior (about 100% of the population has engaged in at least 2 of those 3 things), but I will take your word for it that it was getting to be too much. And do you know why I will take your word for it? Because it was YOUR LIFE and the only person that was being potentially hurt by your behavior was yourself, so you are the best person to judge what was going on. Not your shitty brother, not his shitty wife, not your shit-enabling parents. Your brother doesn’t care about you one bit, if he did would he still be shaming you for your previous behavior at every turn? Is that a good way of dealing with somebody overcoming addiction issues? To constantly remind that person of how “repugnant” they are? All your brother cares about is showing off how “Godly” and how “better” than everyone else he can be (I am reminded of the lyrics to “No Earthly Good“). I am even tempted to think that he relishes the thought of you “falling” again because it would be a big boost for how he views himself.

I am not a Christian, and I think that the Captain is right that your brother’s investment in your sexual history is some scary, reactionary, Taliban-level bullshit. But I’m going to make this argument to you from a Biblical place because that is where your worldview is coming from. If I really had my druthers I would ask you to just tell your brother to fuck off and go back to the drinking and sex if it made you happy. Hell, it always works for me.

But no, even the Bible condemns his behavior. Prudence hit the big one with Matthew 7:5, but there are others. Proverbs 16:28 – “A perverse man stirs up dissension, and a gossip separates close friends.Ephesians 4:29 – “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.Philippians 2:3 -“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves.” Would your brother say that Mary Magdalene (the original penitent whore) wasn’t good enough to consort with Jesus? Or to be the first to witness His resurrection?

I realize that cutting your family off is much easier said than done. Clearly your parents have been no help (as I said: shitty). I would ask if your pastor has any thoughts, but given that your family is probably all in the same church I doubt he would be very supportive. So here’s what you do: 1. Get therapy (preferably of the nice non-judgy secular kind) to help you with the guilt and self-esteem issues stemming from how your family has shamed you. 2. Issue them an ultimatum: Either your brother apologizes and the shit stops or you are done with them. After all, “if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw away.” Causing you to hate yourself over how God has made you sure sounds like a fucking sin to me. Given the way they feel the need to police your behavior in order serve their own warped esteem issues, you’re probably going to need to invest in some African violets. This will be hard, and it will be painful, but with the support of a good therapist and good friends (please tell me there are some who haven’t bought into your family’s bullshit) you can do it. Your life will be better for it.

Intern Paul

Thanks, WashingtonPost.com and like, every other website I’ve looked at today, for making me create the blog category “Rants” with this headline and article:  Women’s tears are a turnoff for men, study suggests.

While my initial question on reading the headline was “Who cared about this enough to study it?” I have to admit that the science of pheremones and how they work is pretty neat.  So now my question is “Who wrote those shitty, shitty headlines and framed this entire study as yet another way that women are alien and confusing to men and should probably worry whether they are being sexy enough even in the middle of weeping?”

Won’t someone think of the boners?

Listen, if you’re crying and suddenly find yourself thinking “Is this a huge turnoff to some man somewhere, either the one in front of me or men in general? Could my emotions be having a negative impact on a boner or boners?” Captain Awkward gives you permission to stop worrying about the boners, ok?  The boners will take care of themselves.  And hey, some guys are into the crying thing.  Don’t believe everything you read.