Defining Misogyny Down

Defining Misogyny Down July 16, 2017


It is remarkable how presumptuous people can be. They fill the silences with their own fears and hatreds.

I’m thinking of my little post from a couple of days ago where I reflected upon an article published by the BBC about highly educated women that have frozen their eggs because they can not find suitable men to settle down with to begin families.

I erased all the ad hominem attacks, not because they hurt my feelings. (Some of them made me laugh.) I deleted them because I always erase ad hominem attacks. If someone came into my home and spat on my floor I’d kick him out and then I’d remove his deposit.

When I closed the comments section after things truly got nutty, I thought of this amusing scene from Samurai Jack:

But here’s the curious thing. In my essay I praise my daughter’s achievements, but I did not a hear single word of congratulations. And many of my critics were self-identified champions of the female sex. It was as though I had been merely a bystander, or worse an oppressor that my daughter had to struggle with in order to find herself.

Frankly, that’s ridiculous. These folks have watched too many bad movies.

My daughter is a bright girl, and we’re very proud of her. But she’s not sui generis. She comes from lines of academics and artists on both sides. Her brothers are very gifted as well. And yes, I had similar conversations with them. And I didn’t mention the other conversations I had with my girl–the one encouraging her to apply to Princeton for instance, (something she didn’t do), or the conversation about the hard sciences and all the scholarship money that is just waiting for girls like her (she ignored that advice, too). But really, those conversations would have been assumed by generous and sympathetic readers. How you fill the silences tells a lot about you.

But I think these things are beside the point, because the thing that truly irritated people is the fact that I am a paterfamilias–I’m the real deal. And my authority is unquestioned in my house. That came through in the post and it is accurate.

One thing was voiced again and again amidst the profanity–my female critics were glad they are not my daughters. Well, that is one thing we can agree upon. I’m glad they’re not my daughters, too. But here’s something else to consider. My daughter, and my sons, too, seem to have done very well in spite of me. And my wife tells me that I’ve actually had something to do with bringing them into the world and making them the people they are.

We live in a day when people do not look to their families, or their local communities, or to well worn traditions for meaning and guidance. A healthy culture, one that lives on for hundreds of years, has the confidence to impress responsibilities upon its young. And households that are anything more than places to park yourself at the end of the day, do that. And it is through the productivity of each member as he or she contributes to the whole, that family members find significance. This is an alien way of looking at things to more and more people. I’m sorry about that.

Lastly, misogyny is a term that came up a lot. That used to mean, “hatred of women”. But I’m not so sure it means that anymore. It appears to have come to mean “treating women as though they are women”. And if that is correct, well we do truly live in Orwellian times.

Here’s something else for you to enjoy. Wipf and Stock, the publisher of my book, Man of the House, has given me permission to share a little sample of the book with you. The hope, of course, is you will like it enough to purchase a copy. Enjoy!.

Click here to download the book excerpt as a PDF: Man of the House_Excerpt

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