Have you seen David Wong’s article on Cracked, “5 Ways Modern Men Are Trained to Hate Women”? In it, he posits that men are encouraged to harbor a “frenzied, ‘burn the witch!’ hatred” toward women that stems from being “told society owes us a hot girl,” and thinking women are “conspiring with our boners to ruin us,” among other reasons.
While Wong’s perspective is interesting—especially on a dudecentric site like Cracked—there’s a lot going on in this article that’s rubbing me the wrong way. First of all, why is Wong exclusively addressing women in this piece? These points are kind of old news to lots of women. (Oh, men would rather look at my breasts than eulogize their grandmas? Weird example, but I’m not too surprised.) Also, his tone is one of acceptance—sorry ladies, but this is just how it is for guys. Are we really supposed to feel sympathy when Wong says, “we’re starving, and all women are various types of food. Only instead of food, it’s sex. And we’re trying to conduct our everyday business around the fact that we’re trying to renew our driver’s license with a talking pair of boobs”? How about you stop thinking of women as food because WOMEN AREN’T FOOD?
Bummer. Please don’t eat us, though.
The whole thing smacks of evolutionary psychology in the worst way. According to Wong, men are trained to hate women and that sucks, but hey—that’s just how men are. I’m not a man so I can’t speak to men’s internal lives, but I know plenty of men and I don’t get the sense that a lava flow of white-hot hate magma is burning inside all of them, just waiting to erupt. Am I missing something or does this piece read kind of like a non-apology apology letter? (Sorry we called you sluts but hey, we think you’re sluts.)
Here’s Wong’s take on men in the co-ed workplace:
A once-great world of heroes and strength and warriors and cigars and crude jokes has been replaced by this world of grumpy female supervisors looming over our cubicle to hand us a memo about sending off-color jokes via email. Yes, that entire narrative is a grossly skewed and self-serving version of how society actually evolved. It doesn’t matter.
“It doesn’t matter”? Hm.
Of course, Wong leaves out a lot (well, everything) when it comes to intersections of race, class, and sexuality, but then again this is Cracked, where the first story I’m encouraged to read is “You Might Be a Zombie!,” so a nuanced critique might be too much to ask for. Still, it’s tough to have this conversation and leave out so many crucial elements of intersectionality.
Enough from me though, this is an open thread! And this article has 6,132 comments and counting, and 1.6 million (million!) people have read it since yesterday, so obviously it’s striking a chord. What’s your take? Is Wong sparking an important conversation about social constructs and sexism, or is he just trying to give sexist straight guys a pass for staring at women’s boobs?