More Fires

I’m losing my sense of humor.  A friend posted a video on Facebook that made me want to throw something at my computer.  In this video, a 42-year-old man stands in front of a whiteboard and teaches the viewer what he’s learned about women.  He captures this on a graph on which the x-axis measures how hot a woman is, and the y-axis measures how crazy a woman is.  The x-axis runs from 0 to 10, and the y-axis runs from 4 to 10 because, as he claims, all women are at least somewhat crazy.  I’m sure you’ll be able to find the link yourself if you really want to help this guy go more viral.

I should have stopped watching the 5-minute video, and I did at the 2-minute mark.  Then I thought maybe the reason that a woman posted it on her timeline was because some negative consequence happened to the guy, so I watched the whole thing.  No, it gets progressively worse until he ends on a homophobic and misogynistic note, so congratulations to him for the twofer.

In my head, I criticized him using the same yardstick he used, rating him pretty low in physical attractiveness as a doughy, middle-aged dude who looks like a prime candidate for heart attack.  But that’s fire with fire, and I’m trying to be more extinguisher.  So I apologized to the universe, calmed myself down, and gave some thought to what really bothered me about this homemade video.

Here’s what I think it is.  This one guy made this one video.  Easy enough to dismiss optimistically as an aberration.  But no – based on the comments, many, many, many men out there think the video is hilarious, and in finding it hilarious believe that there is an element of truth in it.  Then I saw the number of shares it got.  Way too many, and at least one from a woman.

If I hadn’t been to the Frederik Meijer Garden and Sculpture Garden and the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum over the weekend, I would be hiding in bed right now.  (The FMG is a lovely blend of nature and man-made art that will feed your soul in a way that nothing on a screen can; the Ford Museum will show you what a single person with the highest integrity can accomplish.  Excellent, excellent fire extinguishers.)  It’s hard enough not to think of all the ignorant men out there that I can’t avoid because they don’t have any distinguishing marks; their numbers are strengthened by all of the ignorant women who give credibility to those men by buying into and reselling the crap they spew.

I haven’t calmed down enough to figure out what the right fire extinguisher is for this particular fire.  Given that this particular firestarter is legion, I think any attempt at extinguishment is a good one, so we should definitely not make the perfect the enemy of the good.  If you’ve got an idea on how to fix this that doesn’t involve violence or some other equal and opposite offense, please let me know.  I would like to get my sense of humor back.

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3 Responses to More Fires

  1. Keating says:

    I am not sure that it counts as a fire extinguisher, but in a world where crazy, beautiful women are promoted constantly I find it inspiring to follow the Mighty Girl feed on Facebook. It is a site selling products, but they profile strong, innovative and intelligent women and girls. I find it incredibly inspiring and refreshing. It also worries me how often I am surprised by the women from history. Why didn’t I know about them?!

    • I LOVE the Mighty Girl feed on Facebook! Content is excellent, and they don’t overwhelm with too frequent a cadence. I also like the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media feed. Sometimes they don’t feel like enough given the sheer volume of douchebaggery put there.

  2. murdockscott says:

    Clearly there are still many confused men and women in the world who don’t want or don’t know what is required for more change. There are also people inclined to take advantage of that. Even negative attention is still attention and that’s what people (men and women) who create disruptive, divisive, crap are after. It’s a shortcut to being “popular” if they find a way to amuse only the like minded people, then they have to exert very little effort. I am afraid that the best way to get rid of that behavior is to treat it as boring and uninteresting… After all, I doubt this guy is really changing anyone’s mind about women… Is he? Don’t give him more power than he already has. Do the opposite from him and take the time to do the hard and lasting work of convincing people to see the larger picture.

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