Casual sexism

Seen on Facebook today (it was a “favorite memory” for the writer from a year ago) — and let me make this clear, this is not about the writer, but about our society:

I would like to invent some truly permanent ink and a rubber stamp that reads “Creeper.” I would like to make the stamp about the size of a person’s forehead. I would like us all to carry one around, just in case. I think it would save a lot of people from a lot of awkward situations.

Funny, right?  It got 35 likes originally and 3 on the repost.

Now do some substitutions.

Change “Creeper” to “Terrorist” and the tag to #patriotswatchingoutforamerica.

Change “Creeper” to “Bitch” and the tag to #menwatchingoutformen.

Change “Creeper” to (a word I won’t even type here) and the tag to #whiteswatchingoutforwhites.

Still laughing?

Still find it funny?

Nope.  Not funny at all.  But because the original target was, presumably, white men, that was OK.

Why does casual misandry get a pass?

Yes, it hits home.  I’ve been accused of being a “creeper” for no more reason than I’m a big-and-tall socially-awkward lifelong bachelor.  I already live the ostracism that comes with that, and nobody’s got a rubber stamp or permanent ink waiting for me.  And I haven’t done anything – I know people who’ve done far worse and never got that label, either.

Who judges a “creeper”?  Who judges the judges?

Just as throwing around the word “Terrorist” creates terrorists, throwing around insults at innocent men creates MRAs.  I’m not going that way, but I am very sensitive to the fact that all men get blamed for a subset.  And a few more get tarred without proof simply because they’re male.

Everyone is unique.  Everyone is an individual.  Labels are corrosive.  Our society needs to stop condoning labels — all of them, even if you’re labelling a “privileged majority”.

I’m going to get pounded for this, because people are going to read into it things that I don’t mean.  As the cartoonist Scott Adams likes to say, “feel free to argue with what you hallucinate that I said”.  The floor’s open.


Author: Rob Hoffmann

Occasional blogger, slightly less occasional improv player/ref/tech, full-time computer techie, radio producer (basketball, mostly), generally nice person (if you ask me).

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