I agree that her comment was reactionary and ridiculous, but his, to my view, was shockingly invasive. By linking all women with those working in the sex industry, simply because we have the same parts, he made the entire audience, including me, think of that woman’s genitals. Humiliating for her, shameful for him.
And completely off topic, by the way. He didn’t answer the question. He just used age-old misogyny to deflect the issue. Her question was stupid. An informed reply would have been far more powerful. I find this more and more disturbing upon reflection. So much degradation against women isn’t even perceived, much less replaced by equity, enlightenment, discourse, respect, and cooperation.
Disappointing also is the fact that this “haha!” is spreading on the web, touting his reply as clever, cute even. “Oh, he shut her down!” No, he didn’t. He simply demeaned her. It’s the 50s! “Don’t you worry your pretty little head.”
In modernity, it’s far more crass. He’s talking face-to-face with a woman he does not know and referring to HER sex organs. He’s talking about HER vagina. And it’s funny. It’s disgusting! And how many thousands of people – according to this meme – obviously see absolutely no problem with that? I can’t even touch on the subject of being equipped by nature to be a whore. Those with a penis are allowed to “Be all that they can be,” in the Armed Services and the world, while women are here to get them off. Still!
Imagine being a woman in the military! I really can’t. Rape is rampant and we all know it.
I know we don’t live in an equal society, but I’m not consumed by differences in the way the genders are perceived and treated. This one just got under my craw. How can people be passing this along to one another thinking his little zinger is so funny, and no one notices the larger message to young girls? If their parents don’t catch it, how can we hope they’re teaching their daughters the truth about their value? I guess I really didn’t believe that this generation was receiving the same message ours did, where their entire worth resides.
Am I truly only seen as emotional and vaginal?
Makes the mantra not so trite: I AM NOT MY BODY.
Incidentally, how many of you have been raped? I have. My best friend, too. That’s too many in a small population of girlfriends. It’s attitudes like this general’s that slide under the radar as harmless and keep women and girls in danger, viewed as commodities. Parts.
(My lifestyle put me in danger, but my bestie was an 18 year-old virgin.)
(I still didn’t deserve it or do it to myself. A rapist did it to me.)
Makes the mind swim with the reality of sex trafficking in the larger world. How blessed I am to live in such comfort, leisure, and safety. Comments like General Cosgrove’s keep us turning a blind eye to a problem that isn’t ours. It may seem like a leap, but I believe these casual, seemingly innocuous views of a woman’s worth and the pervasive acceptability of dismissing and degrading The Anonymous Her is symptomatic of a greater global sickness.
(I believe that gender inequality, while harmful to women in obvious ways, also short-changes our boys and men. We’re all in it together, yo.)(My cousin had this quote on his Facebook page so I clicked on it to save and post here. Not even kidding, it’s from “Women’s Rights News.” Yeah, if you want to think about my body in the context of the Republican Party, geez! Don’t even get me started! It begins to make more sense why he posted this. He and his awesome wife are very, very, VERY politically active here in town.)
Polk & Broadway
San Francisco, CA
1/3/13 – 2/11/13
I voted on this billboard in October 2012 at San Francisco’s Burning Man Decompression. http://dreamermadwoman.blogspot.com/2012/10/san-francisco.html
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