What does it mean to be a misogynist? Is it possible for me to love my dick and love women at the same time or are those two things mutually exclusive? I get involved in a lot of fascinating discussions with radical women. In more than one of these discussions it was brought to my attention that when a man is concerned about how many other men his girlfriend has been with then that makes him some sort of misogynist. I don’t get it.
I try not to disagree at the very moment that I am told this because I don’t want to be labeled a misogynist, but when the conversation ends it rages on in my head. I’ve also been told that when a man makes a reference to his penis as an instrument of power then that makes him a misogynist too. I still don’t get it. I mean shouldn’t everyone love every part of their body? Shouldn’t everyone want to feel powerful? Shouldn’t everyone be concerned about the sexual history of his or her partner? Or if not concerned then at least slightly curious?
Sometimes radicalism really confuses me; which is problematic because I’m sure most people would consider my political views to be radical. I believe that black people in America and most other parts of the world are systematically oppressed. I am a black man and I believe that there is a very real conspiracy to keep me powerless in my native land. I have been the victim of racism countless times and I have dedicated my life to doing my part in ridding the world of injustice, but I am a man and I am proud to be a man, which means that I am more than likely a misogynist—I guess.
After all I do listen to gangster rap and at one point in my life Soul on Ice by Eldridge Cleaver was my favorite book. I watch football and go to the boxing gym as well so does that automatically mean that I hate women?
It’s hard for me to accept my role as the oppressor and the oppressed. I understand that to many black women I represent “The Man.” It’s very sad but it’s true. There are so many black women that have experienced trauma at the hands of black men that they develop a hatred toward us that rivals the misogyny that they have absorbed over the years. I don’t want to be that guy. I don’t want to be the sexist dude that says; “I can’t be a misogynist because some of my best friends are women. As a matter of fact I just slept with a woman last night?” I want to be aware and in order to be aware I need to ask questions. So what does it truly mean to be a misogynist?
Is there anyone out there that has an answer?
So…several things about this post I find very interesting. The first thing was that you said there is a “very real conspiracy to keep me powerless in my own native land.” I agree with this. Not just for you, a black man, but for me, a white woman. I don’t know if this conspiracy is at the hands of the white man, the hands of the rich, or what…but you and I both are experiencing the same thing. The recent “war on women” that is occurring, with females not being able to speak for themselves regarding the birth control issue, is the last thing in a string of long term conspiracies directed to keep women powerless, largely perpetuated by old, white men. I don’t think the younger men are as responsible, and shouldn’t be singled out just because they are white and men, but the older generation is definitely trying to hold onto power. Individually, these old white men are okay. But put them in a position of power, or in groups and they usually seem to perpetuate this power struggle between themselves and anyone who is different. I’m sorry for that.
As for misogyny, loving your penis does NOT make you a misogynist. Loving every part of your body is a healthy thing for both men and women. As a woman, I even make misogynistic jokes involving a man’s cock or dick or other such words. However, the misogyny that is prevalent today is not an obvious misogyny. It is a latent one. A man who speaks to a woman as though her opinion is not valid (usually gaslighting, or making a woman feel that she is just over emotional and hysterical when she tries to address a very real problem), discounting her opinions and suggestions by ignoring them or refusing to take her seriously, discounting her health problems as “complaining” or “hyponchondria”, refusing to allow her the choice of how to deal with her own body, paying her less because she supposedly does not “care as much about money” as a man does, or treating her as though her sole purpose on earth is to make a man’s life easier, behaving as if a woman NEEDS a man to have a fulfilled life… all of these are misogyny. The dangerous kind. Because it is not blatant. I don’t believe you are any of these things. Loving yourself does not undermine a love for others. In fact, you cannot truly love another unless you love yourself. But, you must strive to treat everyone as though they are important. Treat a woman as if her feelings and opinions matter, and none of the other things people accuse you of will hold any weight. 🙂
Very, very, very insightful. Thank you.
doesn’t sound like a misogynist to me but I can tell you this I can’t wait to call a dude misogynistic just for the hell of it. I love that word 😉