So my own personal experience of misogyny is that it’s so baked into our culture that it’s invisible to the people practicing it. I say “people” because men and women are equal participants. If I walked up and spoke to the people who have been the worst misogynists in my life they would be surprised and completely deny it. I would be told that every instance was because I didn’t behave right, because I said the wrong thing, or I looked wrong… which on it’s face is the exact definition of misogyny. Even with myself, it sometimes takes me years to realize I’m being held to a double standard, and trying to engage this beast is like clawing at the air. Just the fact that I try to tackle it at all makes me wrong.
Here’s a little example that’s easy to visualize. Imagine that Hillary won the election and Bill Clinton became the “First Lady.” Imagine if we then insist that he dresses up nicely in a dress, and is forced to change his name to Bill Rodham, and is expected to wear makeup and do his hair into a big “do” every time he’s in public. Please… let’s put him in high heels!!! Imagine if he is expected to do nothing more than choose the silverware and linens at the Whitehouse? Do know that that is exactly the standard that we held Hillary to all those years ago. She failed at it miserably, and it’s still the seed of our hate and distrust of her. It’s like we all started hating her then, and just refuse to stop.
But it’s way more than that. It’s the impossibility that we hold ourselves up to, and then the impossibility that follows because we fail.
I’m not really expecting a resolution here. But I do want to ask everyone to engage in a little self reflection. Hate is the best emotion to examine because finding the seeds of it is always so informative. I’m of the belief that finding the seeds of hate will always end in a resolution of understanding because hate is always misinformed. This is an exercise that can be done on all sides at this time because we are very quickly going to be called to move beyond our hate. I hope we can make that journey.
Eventually you are simply not going to get what you want if you are mean. Eventually the people around you will rise up and retaliate. It’s just that simple.