“Every woman should have” a little less misogyny and a little more respect

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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:

-Self-respect
-The ability to support herself financially
-The good sense to stop laughing at sexist jokes.

 

10 Comments
  • Diane Brincat
    April 25, 2011

    Davinia for prime minister (Y)

    • admin
      April 26, 2011

      *grin*

  • Sharon Attard
    April 25, 2011

    I’m constantly admonished for having that exact reaction whenever I hear jokes on paedophilia. Having worked in children’s rights means that the subject hits a little too close to home, and in any case, I always failed to see the humour in them. Whenever I point that out, I’m always simply told that humour is subjective :S

    • admin
      April 26, 2011

      When it comes to sexism, homophobia, paedophilia, rape, racism… I can’t really see the humour in those jokes because the ‘battle’ is still being fought. Humour IS subjective, but there’s also the issue of respect to be considered. I couldn’t be friends with somebody who constantly made derogatory comments or jokes.

      • Sharon Attard
        April 26, 2011

        I couldn’t agree more, and I for one would like to thank you for helping me to feel normal on this one. I second the nomination for Dav as Prime Minister :P

        • admin
          April 27, 2011

          I can just see the slogans on my billboards now: “No more lame jokes. Vote Dav.”

  • becca
    April 26, 2011

    right on.

    and, a man should also have:
    -Self-respect
    -Respect for women
    -The good sense to stop laughing at sexist jokes.

    • admin
      April 26, 2011

      Amen to that.

  • Sarah
    April 27, 2011

    Unfortunately, the world is not so black and white. Don’t get me wrong, I have morals. I believe that rape is wrong, that women are not simply washers of dishes or sex objects etc but I don’t think you can compare these things to sharing, or laughing at a, joke about it.

    If that was the case, it would be impossible to make a joke about any subject without the risk of offending someone. In my line of work it is common for me, on a daily basis, to make jokes about death or some other macabre subject. Is this really wrong? If so, then allow me to spend the rest of my days sobbing because if you can’t laugh about something…

    The whole subject is very subjective and I do believe it comes down to personal preference at the end of the day. This is no slight on you but I have to agree with your FB friend’s reply that if you don’t like something, you’re best off passing over it. A rant will get you nowhere except heading towards high blood pressure and grey hairs!

    • admin
      April 28, 2011

      I do get your point Sarah and I don’t know where the line is drawn when it comes to what is funny and what is not. But yeah maybe it is advisable to ignore things you disagree with. Thing is, when you’re as passionate about a subject as I am about this then it’s not so easy to do that because it goes against my principles. Obviously there’s no right and wrong here but thanks for your comment either way – it’s good to keep grounded by hearing a different opinion.

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