Wednesday, December 05, 2012

Where does all the hatred come from?

The species of hatred I'm thinking of is woman-hatred, misogyny.  Like many forms of hatred, it finds free expression in any number of so-called "jokes".

Reddit-thread that brought this to the front of my mind (it's never far from it, truly): Today I learned there are 17 people alive that were born in the 1800s, and 16 of them are women". Top-voted comment: "You know why women live longer? Because they don't marry women." Somebody down the thread inserts a correction: "actually, married men live longer than single men." The rejoinder: "it just seems longer."

And on and on and on. "You know why women live longer? So they have time to park." Hahahaha, very funny, because women can't drive, get it? Get it?

My wife is one of the best drivers I know, male or female, and I can state with some assurance that she has already lengthened my life. She's certainly added untold measures of joy to it.

And I can say the same, to an obviously lesser degree, for every female friend I have. (I was going to blog this evening about those female friends: one of them is moving to the far side of Neptune soon and I'm going to miss her dearly.  I'm in a sentimental state of mind. What the hell.)

My female friends. Strictly platonic, which goes without saying but has to be said anyway. I've always gotten along much better with women than with men...much more so and somebody could probably accuse me of hating men. It's just that women are generally so much more mature. At least when men are around. I've heard stories about how women can treat other women that make me wonder, sometimes... And even when I was immature (and I brought several new layers of meaning to the word), I craved maturity in my life and so tended to hang around with women, insofar as they could stand my hanging around, anyway. (Part of that immaturity I had provided endless fuel for the fantasy-fire from every woman who so much as smiled at me. I'm glad that has abated. It's a burden to carry around.)

Oh, come on, Ken, are you telling me you never think about _____ in a sexual way? Never?

Well, okay, maybe a little. As Brad Paisley sings,  I'm still a guy. But it's been toned waaay down by the fact that (a) I'm happily married and (b) the female friends I'd be most attracted to in some alternate universe are either married themselves or may as well be. Also (c) friendship with these people is its own (rich) reward. There are many other factors you don't need to hear.

I have remarked probably too often about how comedy is built on pain, either inflicting it or revelling in it, and as everyone present knows by now, I don't find pain funny.  Whenever I hear these jokes about wives -- have you noticed the wife jokes outnumber the husband jokes at least a hundred to one? -- I can't help wondering where this free-floating hatred masquerading as comedy comes from. Are there that many wives who are absolute bitches? Doubtful. I'm sure there are at least as many husbands who are absolute bastards. Some of them might just be the people making the bitch-jokes. There are two sides to every story, aren't there?

I had to the ensuing Reddit-argument I threw myself into, somebody said

Yeah, how dare someone take something they see in their every day life, like men always having to ask their wives for permission to do something, and make a joke about it after so many other people have already done jokes of that nature.

I replied

My wife asks me permission to do things. I ask her permission to do things. If it's going to affect the relationship, it needs to be cleared first. That's what being in relationship is. Usually it's a quick "can I? yes". If it's something larger, like half the monthly budget larger... of course it's going to be an actual discussion.

It seems to me like there are an awful lot of single men who don't really have any least clue about love and relationships. Love, as Robert Heinlein defined it, exists when someone else's happiness is as essential to you as your own. I can only guess that many men have yet to experience that state. Sad...

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