EquilibriumShift commented in the thread on DOUBLE STANDARDS – Jon Hamm and the Female Gaze:
This is absolutely related to the previous post re: Adria Richards power play to police sexuality to her standards.
He’s right. This really is about women controlling men’s behavior and speech. Adria Richards had the management of a conference throw out two men based on her accusation, and this accusation later caused one of these men to lose his job. That’s power. In the case of Jon Hamm’s package, women are indulging in behavior they excoriate in men.
And that excoriation is not the impotent rage of the powerless; women have all sorts of powerful allies they can marshal against men they can portray as offending or threatening them.
It is the same vein of thinking that allows a woman to become offended when he makes a pun that alludes to a penis, when that very same woman has no problem making dick jokes herself. It’s the same thinking that allows women to become offended at the sight of pixelated titties in video games, while ignoring the hundreds (thousands?) of bare chested men. (Ever played the video game “Heavy Rain”? As a check on how highly you value sexuality of the two genders, were you more shocked by Ethan getting nude and taking a shower, or by Madison doing the same? I know I didn’t bat an eyelash when the guy got nude, but I was a little shocked I would “get to” see the chick get naked.)
Then he picks up on the false equivalence of breasts and penises when it comes to staring.
Somehow, breasts are always compared to penises, as you noted, Ginkgo. Sexual economy (and it’s inherent devaluation of men’s sexuality) at its finest. And the women who do so are the self-same writers who rage, all full of sound and fury, at “objectification” of women, and how women’s sexuality is valued so highly. Of course, they would never say it like that, because it doesn’t sound ominous that way. They would of course say a woman is judged by her sexuality, or that women only matter to men because of their sexuality. One might as well say that men only matter to women because of their ability to provide stability and safety.
This misuse of “objectification” is just one more instance of damseling, in this case, the form I call “Turning privilege into oppression.” Is female sexuality more valued than male, i.e., does it confer privilege? Then it must immediately be spun as an oppression, and the objectification narrative is trotted out.
At any rate, I think this very well presents a solution to the argument that many 3rd wave feminists put forth:
1) An oppressed group always understands what it is like to live as both oppressed and oppressor
2) Women are oppressed by men
Therefore: Women understand what it is like to live as a man.
I don’t think the bullshit level on this argument really needs to be pointed out to people here, but the whole John Hamm situation really highlights just how wrong at least one of those two premises is. FWIW, I think both tend to be wrong, with 1) being pretty much wrong, and 2) being utter crap.
His point is that the women writing about Jon Hamm clearly have no clue about men, what men experience, what’s going on here.See Arwa Mahdawi’s article in the Guardian for an example. In other words, they are femsplaining.
To which I add:
The first half of that syllogism is false. Sun Zi tells us that if you understand your opponent and yourself, you will prevail. It follows then that if you do not prevail, you probably do not understand your opponent, your oppressor, as well as you imagine.
The second half of that syllogism is a matter not in evidence. Every instance of oppression of women that can be sited is a result of women’s social neoteny, a neoteny that obligates men to feed, house and protect women form the outside world and its perils. Women can decry this all they like but until they stop enjoying the benefits of that neoteny, those objections are hypocritical.
Hypoagency: These two cases put hypoagency and its uses on display. Here in both cases we see women being as agentive as they want to be and then disavowing that agentivity. Adria Richards aggresses two men, resulting in the loss of livelihood for one of them – and yet gets to present herself as the victim, and the believed! Women stare at Jon Hamm’s crotch, and yet somehow he’s the one aggressing them, he’s the one who needs to and his behavior.
Hypogency really is benevolent sexism. Its benevolent to women and sexist towards men.