Numbness to GameDay misogyny

Submitted by 950_Blue on September 11th, 2017 at 12:10 AM

While at a bar watching Gameday before the Cincinnati game, a female friend of mine commented on the requisite 'Ann Arbor is a whore' sign bobbing up and down in the background. As an 18 year old freshman male, I must confess I found these signs and t-shirts fairly funny, and figured Michigan must be doing something right to get so much attention. In turn, I bought a few of my own that jabbed at the usual suspects while en route to Michigan Stadium and Crisler, and was easily acculturated to yelling about how it was 'all their fault' at Yost.

As a 36 year old, I'm ashamed to say the misogynistic quality of that sign, though similar to several others each week televised on national television, was still lost on me. Male sporting events are no doubt a remaining bastion for easy bigotry and sexism, but they can also be a place for Michigan to lead by example. These signs, t-shirts, and chants aren't ironic, they're not witty, and here's hoping the next generation of Michigan Men and Women uphold a more advanced sense of social awareness than mine did. Perhaps we can listen more closely to the lyrics of another common ritual at every game and show how we really are the Leaders and Best.

Comments

ijohnb

September 11th, 2017 at 2:46 PM ^

can one not be sexist then?  How is it that a man can go about not be sexist?  How is it that a white person in America can go about not being racist?  By making it strictly "cultural" and "not an individual thing," you are making individuals complicit in oppression and telling them there is absolutely nothing they can personally do to change it. 

How do you expect a person to respond to that?  That they literally cannot be fair because their "subconscious" won't allow them to be.  That is not tenable.  It is an over-reach.  It is a recipe for disaster.

BostonWolverine

September 11th, 2017 at 2:50 PM ^

That's the thing. All men have sexist behaviors. All white people have racist behaviors. It's a reality. The only way out of it is for individuals to acknowledge their own biases, break them (or if they can't break them, check them), and work to turn the culture toward full equality. 

Despite our best intentions, we have unconscious biases. And they're *very* well-established in academia and in social interaction. 

I acknowledge that I have behaviors that are sexist and racist, and I work to stop those behaviors. I rely on my friends and family to tell me when they happen, and I take their guidance to heart. 

People are not "criminals," but actions are criminal. Actions are "racist" and "sexist." If they are rooted in a belief of inferiority of one sex or race, then someone is "a racist" or a "sexist." If they are unconscious, the actions have to be judged in a cultural context based on the effects they have—NOT the intent behind them. 

ijohnb

September 11th, 2017 at 3:09 PM ^

you believe that all black people have racist behaviors?  Do you believe that all women have sexist behaviors?  

If not, how are you comfortable making the same identical statements about men and white people?  Do you not see that those statements are sexist and racist themselves? 

If yes, should those actions be eradicated also, or is acknowledging them just furthering the oppression?

I get the feeling that you and I have quite a bit in common in terms of ideology, but I am afraid you went chasing down this rabbit hole quite a bit too far. 

BostonWolverine

September 11th, 2017 at 3:11 PM ^

Let's see: 

1) Black people have prejudiced behaviors. Racism comes from a place of power, and since black people are oppressed, "racism" against white people doesn't exist. 

2) Same goes for women. They have prejudiced behaviors, not "sexist." Again, sexism is oppressive, and has to come from a place of power. 

Everyone has biases. That much is true. But the biases that favor those in power are more insidious, because they are designed to keep oppressed and marginalized populations oppressed and marginalized. 

At the moment, white people and men are the primary oppressors in our society (both groups I belong to). We owe marginalized groups an end to our oppression of them before we expect them to like us. Why do you think women have misandrist beliefs? Or black people have anti-white beliefs? Could it be the centuries/millennia of oppression they've been forced to endure? 

 

Fab and Fresh

September 11th, 2017 at 10:01 PM ^

Damn. I solidly disagree with the last point here as well. I'm not dismissing that it happened or that people are affected by prejudices that have culminated over time. But my co-worker of 37 years on this earth has not he...himself...personally felt centuries/millennia of oppression. That's a bit dramatic. Strides are being made but let's acknowledge nothing will ever be perfect. So my co-worker has the green light to hate me just because I exist until things are made right in his eyes? For a lot of people, nothing can ever be good enough so I will always be a target of unwarranted hate. Because of the color of my skin. But I am the aloof racist?

No there is not a racial tension in the air at my work.

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PapabearBlue

September 11th, 2017 at 3:03 PM ^

"That's the thing. All men have sexist behaviors. All white people have racist behaviors. It's a reality"

There you have it folks. racism and sexism rolled up into one neat little statement. You just lost literally any sort of creditibility you had by literally making the most racist and sexist statement in this entire discussion.

BostonWolverine

September 11th, 2017 at 3:24 PM ^

If you were black, and had been oppressed by white people for centuries...wouldn't YOU have some prejudices? 

Same if you were a woman. Wouldn't you have a thing against men, who have been oppressing women since the dawn of time? 

Of COURSE they don't like us. We've been assholes to them for millennia. 

PapabearBlue

September 11th, 2017 at 3:33 PM ^

Prejudice: Preconceived opinion not based on fact.

Sexism: Prejudice, stereotyping, or discrimination, on the basis of sex.

Racism: Prejudice, stereotyping, or discrimination, on the basis of race.

You are literally defending racism and sexism by saying that it's just "prejudice", which is exactly what those two things are.

 

          1. prejudice, stereotyping, or discrimination, typically against women, on the basis of sex.
          prejudice, stereotyping, or discrimination, typically against women, on the basis of sex.
        prejudice, stereotyping, or discrimination, typically against women, on the basis of sex.
      prejudice, stereotyping, or discrimination, typically against women, on the basis of sex.
    1. prejudice, stereotyping, or discrimination, typically against women, on the basis of sex.
    prejudice, stereotyping, or discrimination, typically against women, on the basis of sex.

BostonWolverine

September 11th, 2017 at 3:24 PM ^

If you were black, and had been oppressed by white people for centuries...wouldn't YOU have some prejudices? 

Same if you were a woman. Wouldn't you have a thing against men, who have been oppressing women since the dawn of time? 

Of COURSE they don't like us. We've been assholes to them for millennia. 

ijohnb

September 11th, 2017 at 3:30 PM ^

I think you are well-intentioned, but if there ever a time suited for a figurative "quit drinking and go to bed" it is right now.  I think pretty much all black people and women would be offended by the things you are saying right now.  I don't know who you think you are arguing for but I assure you they would have hopped off the train you are driving two or three hours ago.

Fab and Fresh

September 11th, 2017 at 9:51 PM ^

While I have enjoyed your back and forth discussion, I just want to say that your last sentence is absolutely frightening if that is really the state of affairs in this country. Especially in a world where everybody wants to be offended by everything. Might as well shut down every unique aspect of your personality lest you offend somebody...even if that was not your intention at all.

Yikes.

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JamesBondHerpesMeds

September 11th, 2017 at 2:29 PM ^

If I were to say a woman were incapable of discerning fact about, say, male reproductive organs unless she was an expert in the reproductive system, then no, it's not sexist.

And that's the point here. Most - if not all - men are not trained well enough in sociology, behavioral psychology, etc. to make them experts in interpreting, understanding, and directly confronting misogyny. And yes, presuming that you can do so without formal training AND provide a superior explanation compared to a woman that has personally experienced it is sexist.

PapabearBlue

September 11th, 2017 at 3:13 PM ^

Yet a woman wth literally zero "expert" training on male genitalia are actually capable of providing more factually acurate information on male genetalia than some men are because the facts, again, don't care what gender you are.

If I think my dick is a joystick to control UFO's and to occasionally vent out water for ghosts my "facts" are not at all accurate compared to any woman with any common sense about what genitalia are. Me having a dick doesn't make me more "capable" of determing the facts.

If a woman experiences 10 episodes of sexism to every 1 that a man experiences. Then that woman and man are sat down to determine the factuality of sexism of 100 cases. And out of those 100 cases 0 are factually sexist. Yet the woman claims all 100 are sexist and the man claims that none are. The woman would be wrong, and her experience in that situation provides literally 0 reason to take her facts as more valid than the mans. Is it a reason to listen to her, ABSOLUTELY, is it a reason to take here statements at blind faith, absolutely not.

wolverine1987

September 11th, 2017 at 12:12 PM ^

Talk about utter nonsense. That is a standard that can only have been originated in academia (which it was, and unfortunately was taught to me at Michigan and to many other students around the country), that's how truly stupid it is. 

Oppression, or any other term, has an objective meaning, and is based upon facts. To say that the opressed decide what is oppression is to strip the word of any meaning entirely. Using that  definition, anyone can legitimately claim injury from anyone, with no responsibility to demonstrate harm.

As is so often the case, those that have thought the least about a subject express themselves in the most arrogant way possible, as if their opinion makes it so. Chitown you have unbelievevable unearned arrogance. And to then say some guy should be banned, for having an opinion the opposite of yours, and that YOU re the one that defines what is legitimate, is the height of arrogant, authoritarian, ignorance. You are a discredit to this board in every way.

BostonWolverine

September 11th, 2017 at 12:21 PM ^

Here's your objective definition of oppression: "prolonged cruel or unjust treatment or control." I got it from M-W. It's documented fact that women have been oppressed throughout history, and continue to be today. 

Then you look at authoritarian constructs (which you brought up, not me): Of COURSE the oppressors are going to say something isn't oppression. That's how they stay in control. Those who oppress others cannot be trusted to identify oppression. 

Therefore, the only people who can identify it are the oppressed. You're conflating individual harm with cultural construct, which is problematic. "Anyone can legitimately claim injury from anyone with no responsibility to demonstrate harm" is indicative of the difference. I'm speaking from a cultural standpoint, not an individual one. An individual can be complicit in oppression without intent, and someone can be a victim of oppression without acknowledging harm. 

To say I have "thought the least" about the subject makes quite an assumption, and an incorrect one at that. 

BostonWolverine

September 11th, 2017 at 12:47 PM ^

Admitting is different from identifying. Slavery is also a different type of oppression than what we're discussing. Cultural oppression is different from outright subjugation.

But you're right—I should've communicated that better. The exact text of my language isn't accurate.

I'd say my statement is still valid in a post-slavery, post-women's-suffrage, post-civil-rights world. The difference now is that there's the perception of equality by many while the oppression continues in different ways.

BostonWolverine

September 11th, 2017 at 1:04 PM ^

The reason I called for the banhammer was as follows: 

Things like sexism and racism aren't valid opinions. It's not that I don't respect others' opinions. I do. However, when it comes to oppression, those who actively participate in and/or condone the oppression of groups like women or minorities do not deserve a seat at the cultural negotiating table. 

They are, in a sense, cultural cancers, not the bearers of opinions. I thought, and still think, a number of PapabearBlue's posts crossed the line from discourse to outright sexism. That shouldn't be tolerated as a "different opinion." It's not authoritarian to seek to invalidate the "opinions" that people hold that perpetuate the infrignement upon others' rights. 

 

BostonWolverine

September 11th, 2017 at 2:24 PM ^

Ugh, fine. Here are posts that are misogynistic and actively sexist:

1) "Everyone will deny it but since I am a woman I'm qualified to tell you that they are either lying or wrong." 

2) The only way for number 1 to be true is if everyone is either lying or wrong. The only way for number 2 to be true is for men to have some lack of knowledge, as if men are literally less than capable or incapable of understanding or admitting when they are being misogynistic, which is nothing but a purely sexist stance. - In this one, you're basically saying "I'm rubber, you're glue." This is designed to invalidate her callout of sexism. Therefore, that's actively sexist as well. 

3) This board is full of misogynists. Ok, so we've established that she thinks theres a ton of a misogynists to the point of being "full".

But that we'll deny it, so we either must be wrong about what we think misogyny is OR be lying about it.

And as a woman she is especially capable of attesting to it.

Pray tell, what the fuck was she trying to say if what she was saying wasn't exactly what she was trying to say? - This is baiting and sexist. 

 

Rule of three. That's all for now. 

PapabearBlue

September 11th, 2017 at 2:36 PM ^

And there's that projection at full tilt.

 

Sorry buddy, but telling someone that there facts aren't any more "factual" "factless" because of their gender is the literal OPPOSITE of sexism.

Now claiming that someones facts are more valid or factual becaues of their gender, such as what you've argued nonstop. That is the literal definition of sexism.

wolverine1987

September 11th, 2017 at 2:19 PM ^

how unbelieveably arrogant it is, and you are, to determine what crosses the line of acceptable speech. 

People that want to ban speech, regardless of their definition of it, are WAY more dangerous to society than people with the "wrong" opinions are. In fact, even if I accepted your premise about his comments, which I don't, this holds true in this case as well. Sexist comments in public are far, far, less problemmatic to society than someone who wants to ban them

BostonWolverine

September 11th, 2017 at 2:26 PM ^

I don't want to ban them from public discourse. I want to ban them from a private entity (i.e. this blog) that isn't subject to free speech protections. 

Sexism is shitty speech, and shouldn't be tolerated by private entities. I'm not suggesting that the police arrest anyone. Nor am I suggesting that what he's saying be outlawed. 

This blog is a private space, and its owners have the right to moderate content. I called out content to the mods that I thought should be moderated, and a user I thought should lose his posting privileges (not rights, privileges) due to his comments. That's free speech in action. 

PapabearBlue

September 11th, 2017 at 2:28 PM ^

The mere fact is that you want to silence my opinion on the grounds of sexism yet are incapable of proving otherwise other than to say "the evidence is out there maaaan, I'm not going to provide it". You're the one claiming that I'm guilty, you provide the facts. In fact, how about this. how about your provide the "facts" you sent the moderators, or did you tell them to "go look it up for themselves" too?