Monday, December 12, 2016
Let's Talk About Sex(ism)
If you want to shut a man down, call him a sexist. If you want to shut a woman down, well, good luck with that.
As recent visitors to my blog have been reading, I've embarked upon a series of posts that I've called the President Trump Acclimation Series where I clarify and try to correct some of the issues that have arisen in the minds of some who have questioned why I voted for Trump.
The reason why I'm doing this series is that I'm annoyed with the continuous reciting of the litany of labels that come from the anti-Trump crowd--racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamophobic, and so on.
I plan to continue this series until I stop hearing these labels being cited in my comment section, on other online sites, and on the television "news" shows. Or until inauguration day--whichever comes first. And that is if I keep feeling like doing the series. I've received some excellent comments on my previous posts in this series. I look forward to more great comments.
Sex sells. Sexism doesn't.
The tactic of attacking Trump and his followers with the label of sexism is a typical ruse that certain feminists and others will resort to in order to get the heads shaking and the tongues wagging. I don't know how many women would actually refer to sexism in everyday conversations, but during the campaign the majority of the sexist labeling came from the media and the political opposition.
When looked at closely and logically I think it's a phony claim that seems easy to defend until looked at from the larger perspective of society, history, and relationships. It becomes an even more annoying and irrelevant claim when put alongside another label these folks use--"old white guys" as they so often refer to so many Trump supporters. I guess it's okay to use a phrase that incorporates ageism, racism, and sexism as long as you are demonizing a bunch of evil people who maybe don't even deserve to live or at least have power. I guess I kind of resent that phrase because I might fit into that category according to some. But also it's bad because they are doing the same thing they accuse others of doing.
Misogynist Seems Like...
Well, "Misogynist" seems like a rather archaic term, but then it does go back to the golden days of ancient Greek culture. I don't recall ever actually having heard that word used much in my lifetime. I knew what it meant so maybe it was a vocabulary word in some past class I took in my schooling. Did many people ever really use that word before Trump came along?
Maybe "misogynist" is part of a feminist lexicon that I normally am not exposed to. In any case some marketing mind latched on to that word to attach it to the Trump movement. If you want to enhance the denigration of other humans then it's best to come up with a variety of terms that the anti crowd can spew off whenever they need to get their redundant point across with greater emphasis. Misogyny works well and it's kind of fun to say. However I'm getting sick of hearing it used so broadly (oops!--is "broadly" connotative of sexism?) and wish people would lay off that one. Overuse lessens the impact of a word of that nature.
Objectification of Women
Several times I've heard that Donald Trump disrespects women by treating them like objects. Well, welcome to society! Where have you been anyway? This is a silly argument that I don't want to hear. There are times when we all might feel like we're treated like objects as well as instances when we might actually be trying to attain a certain status of objectification.
Think about our celebrity driven society. Most of us objectify someone whether we believe this or not. We think in terms of ideals and conquests and other ways of seeing others without actually knowing them in any intimate way. We watch sexy movies, read sexy books, and dance sexy to sexy music.
No one can tell me this society isn't highly superficial in many ways, but I think that is the story of life in most societies. We idealize beauty, intellect, talent, and whatever else might appeal to us in our search for perfection. If this becomes the way of life of a person then that can be problematic, but it is usually a starting point in any kind of relationship. As the common advice states, first impressions can make a lasting difference in any encounter. I would argue there is always a level of objectification involved at the start of a relationship. The objectification becomes unhealthy if that relationship develops into something that should be deeper and more lasting.
"Battle of the sexes"
By no means should any of us condone unwarranted disrespect of others nor abuse of any kind. Men and women should get along like any people should get along. However, I don't think that anyone can deny that there is at times a tension between certain people that can at times be related to sexual attraction or desire. This all can lead to misunderstanding which in turn can have wonderful consequence, but can also lead to distressing and uncomfortable circumstances.
There are elements of physical, emotional, and mental battles going on among all of us. This can all lead to distrust, misunderstanding, fear, and even hatred. Personally I'd rather not be overwrought by these battles, but still we can get drawn into them. Life is filled with drama, tragedy, and comedy. Not only during the Trump campaign did people get overly caught up in every aspect, but also many of them developed an intense feeling of dislike which caused them to use all sorts of wordly weapons to attack. I think the sexism angle is a weak one, but I can somewhat understand how it came about.
On Wednesday I'll deal directly with how the sexism attack was aimed at President-elect Trump and give you my arguments as to why I don't think those attacks worked effectively. If you want to mention Trump's worst offenses that you think makes him sexist or misogynist or whatever, then feel free to do so in the comment section. Then come back Wednesday to see if my list matches any that you saw in Trump and see if I can persuade you to see things differently.