The ever-cresting wave of misogyny currently sweeping the American cultural landscape presses on, gaining momentum by the second, and it may not crash until its mass assures the drowning of every empathy-capable person in this country. For reasons probably inherent to basic human ugliness, technological progress has only served to highlight our culture’s stunning lack thereof, as if greater access to information is inversely related to having actual knowledge. Misogyny, like most psychopathic phenomena, isn’t at all new, but it’s a strain of stupidity whose groundlessness should have been exposed by the democratization of media. That hasn’t been the case. Somehow, we continue to live in a society where an NFL player who punches his wife unconscious receives a polite slap on the wrist, where parents allow their child to sleep in a bed with Tao Lin, where Uncle Terry keeps taking pictures and VICE keeps getting published. Ours is a society in which full-grown men will threaten to assassinate full-grown women because those full-grown women accused those full-grown men of hating women, because of video games. Which makes all of this sound more confusing than it has any right to be. Misogyny is a societally pervasive, endlessly complex issue, one whose persistence is made infinitely more infuriating by the ease with which it can be solved. Because it can be solved.
Despite the myriad implications of Alt-Lit’s crypto-misogyny or Silicon Valley’s crypto-chauvinism or what Woody Allen did or did not do in that attic, there remains a simple, unassailable personal-level solution to misogyny. This moral code applies to men and women, Democrats and Republicans, feminists, misogynists, every breathing person under the sun. Basically: Don’t Be A Piece of Shit. Just don’t! If everyone were to adopt the Don’t Be A Piece of Shit life philosophy this morning, every problem everywhere would be solved by nightfall. Until that happens, the thinking people of the world are miserably left to ponder who the next misogynist monster will be. Who will it be?
Who Will Be Our Next Misogynist Monster?
Suspect #1: Roxane Gay, Author
A self-proclaimed “bad feminist,” Gay has built her career on demonizing women who pollute feminism “by making it their personal brand,” while she herself makes feminism her personal brand. An ally and defendant of the questionably sexist and unquestionably unreadable alt-lit blog HTMLGiant, Gay’s most damning character flaw may be that she is a professional essayist who once started an essay about online dating with this sentence: “Online dating is interesting.” If essayistic writing has produced a less “interesting” first sentence, let it be shown, then burned. She cannot be trusted.
Suspect #2: Minecraft, Video Game
Minecraft is (probably) a hugely popular video game, which (probably) means it silently aids and abets a culture of misogyny. Like, what types of mines are these miners mining exactly? Misogyny mines? There’s no telling. (Mines are dark.) The objectification of women in video games and gaming culture is a real problem, one that toxic entities like Minecraft aren’t doing anything to solve. Plus, everyone knows world-building games peaked with Black & White. Can Minecraft be trusted? No, Minecraft cannot be trusted.
Suspect #3: President Obama, President of the United States
When asked about Ray Rice’s abuse of his then-fiance, President Obama said that “as a father of two daughters” he knows that “real men don’t hit women.” Riddle America this, Obama. If you had one hundred sons instead of two daughters, would you support domestic violence? Would you appoint Ray Rice the Commissioner/Running Back of the NFL? Don’t bother answering. America knows the answer, you liar. America knows (not to trust Obama).
Suspect #4: Malala, Nobel Prize Winner
The youngest Nobel Prize recipient in history, Malala Yousafzai is perhaps best known for inventing the board game Mancala, but what do we really know about her? Here’s a syllogism for you. If all Muslims hate women (as Bill Maher has proven), and Malala is a Muslim (as Bill Maher has proven), then Malala must hate women, making her a misogynist. Is Mancala fun? Of course. Is Malala to be trusted? No.
Suspect #5: Me, Blogger
After all, I did write this blog post, partially trivializing the very real plight of misogyny. I’ve also read the Amazon previews of at least two Tao Lin “books,” and I love the singer-songwriter Sun Kil Moon. Painful as it is to admit, all signs point to me being a misogynistic monster. Since it’s only a matter of time before I’m outed and my career is justifiably destroyed, I will take this moment to do what misogynists do best: mansplain. So listen up, ladies. If the voices of misogyny have never seemed louder, don’t be distressed. Things are often at their loudest right before they die.