Posted by: Ophelia | July 17, 2008

Authenticity

Did you hear the one about the woman who is attacked on the street by a gorilla, beaten senseless, raped repeatedly and left to die?

When she finally regains consciousness and tries to speak, her doctor leans over to hear her sigh contently and to feebly ask, ‘Where is that marvelous ape?’

The McCain rape joke has gone undenied by his campaign and actually adopted as “McCain being McCain”. That making jokes about brutal rapes makes McCain relatable. In a perfect world, jokes about brutal rapes would lead to the end of a political campaign–not enhance it. But, do you think there is a pressure for men to behave in this manner to be authentically male? If manliness is the opposite of femininity, does being stereotypically male require one to hate what is feminine? I would say that it does. These concepts can only exist in opposition. The knee jerk reactions to men and women who fail to adhere to their socially prescribed roles indicates that we’re not supposed to share a mutual respect for each other. Women are supposed to be awed by masculinity, helpless in their femininity and desirous of masculinity to help with all of the tasks that they cannot do themselves. Men are supposed to look down upon women and take them in hand and guide them in the ways of meeting male needs. It isn’t okay to display characteristics of the opposite gender. Men who fail to show the proper amount of derision for everything female are conjectured to be homosexual. At the same time, men are supposed to desire women as sexual conquests–if they treat them as partners then their sexuality is again suspect.

In short, misogynistic behavior is rewarded. Failure to behave in this way is punished. Perhaps if outrage over “jokes” like this wasn’t so limited, jokes like this wouldn’t exist in the first place. Are rape jokes authentically male any more than knitting is authentically female?

Thanks patriarchy.

And thank you John McCain. Please don’t stop showing us just how little you think of women while jockeying for the position of president in a country wherein they are the majority. When you’re in a hole just keep digging my friend, just keep digging.

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Responses

  1. McCain isn’t telling a joke, he’s recounting the time he met his current wife.

    In everything McCain has said, there is a tint of ‘women are stupid and need to be protected from themselves’, and this is just it coming to the forefront. McCain doesn’t respect women because he doesn’t have to, since he’s an old white man with too much power.


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