This month’s topic for the Insomniac Club is “gender bending”…
I recently wrote a scathing piece for metanotherfrog.com on the Lingerie Football League and how it marginalizes women.
Since then I’ve been very much reflective of the pervasiveness of misogyny in our society and how it’s apparent that every time women take a giant step forward, we inevitably take a few steps back. And I’ll argue we are often the cause of that ourselves.
Double standards are abound in the face of gender equality. Where men are championed (in sports), women are ridiculed. Where women are advocated (women’s rights), they are victimized. And where women want to be taken seriously (in the workplace alongside men), they are subjugated.
We are pacified and made to like and accept it as it is a reflection of how both men and women respond to us and how we conduct ourselves.
I’ve more than stressed the fact that I’m not a neo-feminist, nor am I a proponent of the current loose ideology women today tie to their own sexual liberation. I do acknowledge we should be given the latitude to make our own choices yet unfortunately, careless sexual liberty and misogyny go hand in hand, which makes our choices as women even fewer and far between. I know this from personal experience.
I have nearly 10 years of medical administrative management experience behind me. I am college-educated and my knowledge and expertise in this field is extensive. Everything from coding to credentialing to accounting, to assisting with surgical procedures, I’ve nearly done it all. I consider myself well-versed, marketable and indispensable as this was my chosen career path.
I accepted a job at 29-years old with a well-respected and established local medical firm. From early on I discovered my ex-boss was a misogynistic, reproachful, flippant, scum-sucking buffoon if there ever was one and I knew it from the first moment I ever spoke to him.
Every interview, meeting or hallway encounter I ever had with him, he yawned. And he yawned some more. Each time he yawned I felt like offering to make him a pot of scalding hot coffee and dumping it over his head.
He rudely yawned during my yearly reviews in discussing giving me a raise. He rolled his eyes and cut me off in front of everybody during meetings when I’d speak, and he’d begun relegating scaling back my everyday tasks because I suddenly wasn’t “able to perform them”.
He had all the classic symptoms of being a Class A misogynist. He sighed at me, smirked, leered, gawked, dismissed, shrugged me off and ignored me. He seemed to do so more with me than the other women.
I can tell you however, I wasn’t without fault because I invited at least a small dose of this preclusion. I was 29-years old and foolishly thought skintight jeans, 4-inch stilettos and low cut tops were appropriate attire for the workplace.
During that time I was struggling identity-wise with turning 30 and I was completely consumed with maintaining my outer appearance and sexual worth. I was essentially gagged, chained and bound by my own sexual liberation. I was at the gym everyday, painstakingly did my hair, nails and makeup and was consumed with being sexy 24 hours a day, even at the office.
I’d gotten zero respect from not only him, but every single employee. From day one they’d all assumed that I was unintelligent, subservient, and that I didn’t have anything else in the world going for me but my hair and my figure (the one I was confined to starving to fit in the ridiculous clothing I had no business wearing there in the first place).
The truth is, I brought it on myself. I invited this treatment. In hindsight, I’m confident that if I had dressed with the mindset of blending in with everyone else and toned down the makeup and hair, I might have fared better. However, not much more considering my boss being the misogynist that he is. We were merely “the gals at the office”, his words more or less.
Back then, as far as “gender roles”, I found myself falling prey to societal pressure to use my sexuality as an “invaluable” asset. I bought into being sexy because I was turning 30 and I was convinced and terrified that I had only a few years left of being young and desirable.
I subconsciously believed playing up my sexuality was setting the stage for people to recognize my talents, intelligence, and capability. The only thing being “sexy” did for me was to discount it all, because for women, it is damned near impossible to be both. Men don’t have to be both and they know they too would be laughed at if they tried. So why as women, do we?
Women complain they should be able to dress like tramps if they want to, yet they expect men not to objectify them in doing so. My question is, if you truly don’t want to be objectified, why do you insist on dressing the part? We should absolutely be able to dress the way we want BUT dressing provocatively and objectification go hand in hand. One is always the purpose and the consequence of the other.
What then is the need behind dressing sexy? Aside from seeking validation and approval from others?
I’m sick of the seething hatred and loathing of women, yet we help it along by bringing it on ourselves. We beg for others to objectify us when we seek validation for being “sexy”, yet we demand equality and cry wolf when people think we’re bimbos- when we passively acknowledge we still aren’t good for anything but making sandwiches, giving blowjobs that should have accompanying bragging rights, having perfectly firm bought and paid for tits and asses, and for being thrilled that people acknowledge us for showing them off.
Men trivialize us because we trivialize ourselves. It’s bad enough they don’t want us if we’re ugly, old, fat, poor, are single mothers, have limited financial independence, can’t cook or clean or suck the rust off a tire iron. Yet, it’s worse yet when our lives are designated meaningless by us as women when we buy into these ideals ourselves.
Some women reading this may be a bit surprised and angry but, I’ll be damned if I’m going to sit here and play up the victim mindset and blame it all on men for being misogynists while we’re over here encouraging them to be so in not striving to be anything more formidable in their eyes or our own.
Yet ironically, men can’t live without us, especially those who are misogynistic. They witness the power we yield within us to level them with our hearts and minds and with our ability to love. And they are terrified.
They are terrified of the power we yield as women- the power we contain to make them lose all sense of themselves.
If women want to be taken seriously, we have to quit catering to and resigning ourselves to being all the things that prevent us from being so. As far as I know, petty objects, toys, plastic dolls, play things, and sexually liberated underpaid whores are exclusive to women as a gender. Men don’t have to resort to that shit, so why do we settle for it?
So how do we put the proverbial lid on misogyny? By not buying into the stigma associated with current societal beauty standards. By not sensationalizing poor role models in the rampant propaganda run amuck in the entertainment industry and media. By not having to rely on our sexuality to be used as a degradative tool and by valuing the inherently humanistic element that makes us unique as women. By relying on our intelligence, strength of character and fortitude.
For all the misogynist losers (both men and women) who may be reading this, who may be laughing and cursing and calling me a feminist neo slag:
Be sure to kiss my fucking ass. Every unapologetic inch of it.
More from the Insomniac Club:
Girls Like it Too by Jess Downey
What it Feels Like for a Girl by Totally Tyler
For The Love of Boobs & Lesbians by Met Another Frog
Taboo by Women Are From Mars
Why it Might be Nice to Have a Penis by My Pixie Blog
The Insomnia Club Strikes Again by Simone Grant
Gender Bender: My Day as a Woman by F*cking in Brooklyn