You know, I really wasn’t going to give this topic the time of day but a female reader e-mailed me Tuesday morning requesting make a guest commentary on my previous post. Usually my post previews would come out on a Wednesday but I’m pushing it back another day to grant her request. See? I’m not that much of a bad guy! I guess I’ll probably post my two cents after…
It all started with a poll. A poll so amazingly controversial that it caused some to delete their entire Facebook profiles altogether, others to take up the mighty feminist sword and swing with all their might. A poll that was intended to merely “step on toes” but ended up crushing the hearts and souls of many. Am I being sarcastic? I wish I was, but believe it or not, folks, all these things (among other things that I don’t know about) actually happened…because of a poll.
I really don’t want to get too mixed up in all of this, and personally I think this whole situation reflects foolish and immature mindset of all involved. There are starving babies in the world, Japan is facing a nuclear meltdown, and here we are kicking up because of a poll that wasn’t even serious. What I seek to do instead is analyze this poll and all the arguments attached to it and the effect it had on all parties involved, and see what the hubbub is all about. Hopefully with this evaluation we can find some closure to this whole situation and move on to more important issues.
Background to the poll (just in case you’re living under a rock)
This poll was based on one guy’s crazy idea, inspired from a previous poll (which, not surprisingly, apparently had similar effects to this one in question) to make a list “that would be the end all definitive ‘bible’ when it came to the stuff guys argued over in the realm of chicks”. This list was categorized according to stuff that “guys argued over the most”, and was narrowed down to 10 categories: Butter Face, Menstruating Barbie, Most Delusional, Nuffest, Surprisingly “Down to Earth”, Best Personality, Best Body, Cutest Face, Overall Crissest, and Most Datable Girl. Over 500 guys between the ages of 18-27 participated in nominating and voting for the winners of each category, and a description of this poll and the categories and the names of the top 5 nominees as well as the winner of each category were posted in a blog post that you can view here.
“The results are in”
If you didn’t know what effect this had, I’m sure by now that you can guess: most guys and a few girls were laughing, while most girls and a few guys were not. Like many of you who are friends with those involved, I woke up on the Saturday morning after this post hit to a flood of mixed status reactions and “cuss-outs” in my newsfeed, and some of these statuses had over 30 comments. The arrows continued to fly all weekend, and then the cannon was rolled out on Monday, in the form of an article entitled, “Barbies, Bitches, Chicks, Sluts, Whores and the Curse of the Menstruating, Demon Vagina”, a highly feminist “critique” (more like “lambaste”) of this poll. You can take a read here: http://loquence.tumblr.com/post/4344696076 (However, before reading, I suggest that you grab a dictionary!)
Ok, now that all the details have been filled in, let’s get down to the nitty-gritty…
The men: “Why so serious?”
Now I know the saying goes, “ladies first”, but I decided to start with the men’s reaction first because just as far as men go, this is the simplest of the two. For them, this whole shenanigan was all a joke, and was only meant to be slightly offensive. In fact, the article was primarily intended for a male audience (and girls who could take a little toe-stepping), and the poll itself was based on the typical man conversation: girls. After all, what purpose would a guy have in life, if it wasn’t all about us? Sports? A conversation about sweaty men handling balls can only go so far with men (and if you read the hidden message behind that sentence, you’ll understand why). Cars? Maybe. But my guess is that most of the men who conducted this poll are “walkers” anyway. Besides, this poll wasn’t based on cars or sports, but GIRLS (did anyone else smell trouble?).
As far as the categories go, this is how men typically codify girls, not because they don’t value them, but because they’re simple and superficial. You would think that for a creature with two heads they would have more sense, but guys are naturally programmed to think with one head more than the other (and not the one with the sense, either). Guys aren’t overly deep, nor do they care if a girl knows what’s the square root of 9, or if she knows who’s Bob Marley, or what’s her position on global warming (some guys don’t even care about that stuff themselves). A man’s interest in a girl is primarily based on her looks and her personality (I underlined primarily for a reason), and it may be a hard pill to swallow for some of you, but that’s just men. It’s how they’re programmed…
Sorry ladies, but this is the truth, and if you’re not ready to accept that, then you should not have even read the article to begin with. In case you didn’t read the disclaimer, in big red capitals, it was written: “THE RESULTS OF THESE FINDINGS ARE FOR THE EYES OF GUYS ONLY SINCE THEY REPRESENT THE OPENLY EXPRESSED OPINION OF A SAMPLE OF MALES […] IF YOU CONTINUE READING, YOU DO THIS AT YOUR OWN RISK SINCE THERE IS A CHANCE THAT YOU OR SOMEONE CLOSE TO YOU MAY BE ON THERE AND MAY BE OFFENDED.” Hey, he warned you…
Look, in a nutshell, this was just a conversation among simple-minded men about the thing they love most. Yes, some of the things that were said weren’t nice, but again, that’s how men are. They insult one another every day and think nothing of it, because that’s how they socialize. Furthermore, this poll doesn’t reflect a hard-and-fast notion that guys have about girls. It’s not that serious. It’s MEN we’re dealing with here!!!!! Not because they think that you’re a “Butter Face” or because you’re not one of the “Most Datable Girls” means that they still wouldn’t appreciate you because guys love all girls, no matter what.
Now let’s hear your side of it…
Despite the fact that I know that many of you know that the guys only meant to slightly offend, some of the comments made and even the names of the categories were not only harsh but also degrading to some, and especially in the case of those who were nominated for these titles, it was probably hard to stay quiet. Did you guys ask for these girls’ permission for their name to be posted on the internet for all to see and know that they’re a “Menstruating Barbie” (aka a straight-up “bitch”), or, at least, that you came in at a close second? While we’re on this, what the h-e-double-hockey-sticks is a “Menstruating Barbie” anyway????? (I can see the ad now: “Comes with real pads and Women’s Tylenol”). This in particular implicates the entire female population, because of the reference to a regular female bodily function in parallel with the word “bitch” (which I’m going to get to in a moment).
Fellas, let me put this into terms you can relate to. How would you feel if your “most prized possession” happened to drop off and grow back every month in a process that lasted a whole week? To make matters worse, you can’t go swimming, but your guy friend can go to the beach in the tiniest bikini – I MEAN swimming trunks – and show off his stuff to this girl you’ve had a crush on for like, forever…you’d feel “bitchy” too, right???? *sigh*…Ok maybe you guys still can’t relate, but the point is that the menstrual period is a very sensitive topic for many woman, and we can’t help feeling moody (cause really, how would you feel wearing a diaper and feeling sticky goo dripping down between your legs every day for a whole week?). While I know you didn’t mean it like that, some felt that this reference was uncalled for and should not have been paralleled to “bitch”(couldn’t you have thought up of another name for this category? “Moody Judy” or “Fecal Attitude”, perhaps? I dunno…)
Going back to the “bitch” thing, in a guy’s world, name-calling and labeling may not be a big deal, but girls don’t take lightly to that sort of thing. They feel demeaned and disrespected when they are referred as “bitch”, “whore”, “slut”, and “chicks” (all of which were apparently used in the article), because in our world, these are the last thing we want to be known as, especially by the opposite sex. We feel the need to know that we are classy, sophisticated, and respectable. We’ve worked hard for gender equality, we’ve strived and continue to struggle to make something of ourselves in this “man’s world”, and we take great pride in our accomplishments and achievements in society. However, some of us are still touchy about the level of chauvinism in the society, and don’t appreciate our “standards” degraded by any man. I was trying really hard to avoid pulling out the feminist card here, but even though I didn’t take it personally, I must agree that the use of these names to describe womYn is explicitly chauvinist. NOT ONCE was a woman referred to as a “lady”. Come on guys, you’re making it hard for me to be impartial here…
While this article may appear to be somewhat one-sided, I really did try to see this situation from both perspectives. For the women this wasn’t just a simple toe-mash, but a slap to the face, because it solidified society’s notion that we will never be good enough, being that we are women, and as such, men will never respect us and the next woman will always have the better body or the “Cutest Face”. Still I personally think that the women overanalyzed the whole thing and took it all too seriously. After all, does this poll define who I am, or who any of us are, for that matter? This was just a guy’s opinion (a guy!!!!!!) that wasn’t meant to generalize or stereotype, but when we allow it to have this kind of power over us, how does we overcome our own insecurities that we have as women?
To the guys
Men, if I tended to favor the “womyn”, it’s not because I am one, but because they are the ones who felt the most “victimized” by the entire ordeal. After all, what you did was blatantly disrespect us and then criticize us for being women because we tried to defend our honor. Still, you wanted to offend, and offend you did, but bear in mind that “Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned”, muchless an entire female population. That’s a fire you really don’t want to be playing with. Next time, for your own sake, if you choose to involve women in your convos, I suggest that you tone down the chauvinism, or better yet, keep it to yourselves. Really wouldn’t want any of you to wake up tied up to your bed with a pipe wrench to your nuts…
One last comment to the guys: I must admit, I admired the ingenuity of this whole idea, but what I really respected was the fact that you worked together, and kept it to yourselves until the very end. Even when shit hit the fan no one played the blame game, and most of you came to your brethrens’ rescue when the girls started acting up. I make no apologies in saying that this is one thing I’ll always respect the male population for, the ability to work together, stick up for each other, and keep it to yourselves, and we ladies really need to be more like that. After all, unity is strength, and once we continue to be a female population divided, this will ALWAYS be a man’s world.
Ok, here is where I turn up the REAL factor, and here I want to address the “womyn”…
To the ladies
I don’t usually use curse words, but whether or not my name was involved in this poll, I don’t give a flying fuck. I may not have even been nominated “Most Datable”, but hey, I’ve been in a relationship for quite a while (years, in fact), and you know what, if he decides to leave me for someone more datable, then I know at least a dozen men out there right now who would date me (yes I said date, not just “sex off”), and if I made myself available, there’d be a dozen more where they came from, cause I’m a woman, and a damn good one at that. I may not be Miss “Best Personality”, but I know I’m fun-loving, exciting, love conversation, and I’m not stuck up. And whether or not I was nominated “Menstruating Barbie” aka “bitch” (or even if I were the winner), most of those guys that would have voted for me would probably be the bitter ones that hold malice cause I didn’t give them the time of day, and they’d still “sex me off” or even “dey wid me” if did. Furthermore, if my name was mentioned in any of these polls, whether good or bad, I’d be flattered that over 100 guys took the time out to talk about me.
My point is that we’re too good to be taking on a meaningless poll conducted by a group of men with too much time on their hands. As a matter of fact, we’ve gone through too much and are still going through too much to let a stupid poll (among guys muchless!) question our integrity and self-worth as women. At the end of the day, it’s up to each and every one of us to know our value, because not everyone is going to have nice things to say about us. Realizing our own individual potential is power that no one can take that from us.
One final suggestion: ladies, ever heard of “don’t get mad, get even”? Cause really I would love to see a girls-only poll of guys which include the following categories: Pencil Dick, Most Broke-Ass, Most Disgusting, True Gentleman, Most Retarded. Just throwing it out there *angel face*.