A few days ago, somebody I know posted this status on Facebook:
“Every woman should have four pets in her life: a mink in her closet, a jaguar in her garage, a tiger in her bed, and a jackass who pays for everything.”
I honestly had to stop myself from launching into an epic feminist rant along the lines of ‘SRSLY? WTF?’
But I couldn’t let it go and today I went back, determined to leave a dignified reply, only to find a reply from some guy, with five likes, saying ”A man only needs 2: the KITTEN in his bed & the BITCH next door ;)”
Yes, the little winky face was there, I didn’t add it for effect.
Words fail, right?
I couldn’t help myself. I left a comment explaining why I found both the original status and the reply to be offensive and misogynistic and that was met with a barrage of “Don’t take things so personally. Can’t you take a joke? If you don’t like it don’t read it.”
Now I feel a bit torn here because I am completely against censorship and believe everybody should have the right to express themselves – be it through a short story, a play, a song or on Facebook. At the same time, I feel terribly sad when somebody – a woman, no less – says something which depicts women as objects without even the tiniest hint of irony.
Isn’t that the problem? Where does the joke end? That man who gropes your bottom, uninvited, and then tells you to take it as a compliment. Is that alright? What about that one prat whose idea of entertainment involves telling jokes about women not amounting to much more than dishwashers or sex toys. Would you laugh at that? How about when a rapist tells a woman to shut up and take it. Is that acceptable?
They may feel like a bit of fun, these jokes, but they aren’t really, are they? Not when gender inequality is still going strong. Not at a time when a man is caught on video beating the living shit out of a woman and gets fined just €175 for disturbing the peace, offending public morals and being drunk, but nothing at all for violence.
Here’s what every woman should have:
-The ability to support herself financially
-The good sense to stop laughing at sexist jokes.