5.4
January 27, 2021

We Need F*ckgirls to Challenge our Internalized Misogyny.

Warning: naughty language ahead! 

“I like women. I like women. I like the concept of a woman. I like to take that concept and reduce it to an object. I like to take those objects and put em in ma videos. Have them shake their jiggly bits so they looks like hoes….cuz I’m a ladies man, a ladies man, a la la la la la la ladies man.” ~ Reggie Watts in F*ck Sh*t Stack

~

Misogyny is a period stain on humanity.

It brings women down, it’s hard to get out, and it’s invisible to most men because of their masculine upbringing. Not to mention, it also makes excellent comic fodder, too, because it’s so fucking dumb.

From a fuckgirl perspective, I feel one of the most provocative moments in 2020 was when a woman of color, interrupted by a powerful, white man, asserted herself and then went on to win. Kamala Harris challenged male dominance, she did it gracefully, and she didn’t get punished for it—like women normally would be. They’re often retaliated against in their personal and professional lives in these cases.

It’s these moments that I feel proud to be a female Democrat who understands the gravitas of that historical moment—but it’s tragically lost on millions of American women and on some “good girls” whose husbands tear them down to their friends and family. Because while they love their wives, they don’t actually like or cherish their wives—because they don’t see women as valuable people. Because their upbringing, education, and religion failed to teach them to not only respect women but to have reverence for them. All of them, not just the ones they’re intimate with.

I’m a fuckgirl who’s been in a wonderful and respectful relationship for 20 years—with myself, one of the most dazzling people I could ever hope to meet.

I’ve been in love. I’ve had romantic adventures, emotional support, and been given life lessons. I’ve been doted on with travel and shopping sprees, have had a downright sinful sex life with clitoral orgasms, and my dating resume looks more prestigious than my actual resume, sprinkled with the likes of NASA, politicians, actors, and the Ivy League.

When I give you the details of my dating escapades, you might squirm a little because it makes it harder to hate me like misogyny has prepared you to do—making this fuckgirl more human and less of a stigmatized stereotype. Luckily, I’ve also never been hit (I know the signs for when that might occur thanks to my women’s studies education). I’ve never cheated or been cheated on, or dated a married man, and I’ve never endured an abusive relationship. No, I’d never sit still for that level of whackadoodleness.

From the outside, it looks like I’m a self-absorbed fuckgirl who takes advantage of men.

From the inside, it’s simply that I require men to respect me. Too many men are respectful in the beginning—until their true colors and internalized misogyny rears its ugly head, which can take anywhere from a few months to a year to become apparent. If a man stays wonderful, I stay (until the relationship comes to its natural ending).

I’ve lost track of how many proposals I’ve turned down because I require respect, not a diamond. “Good girls” are looking for a diamond, not respect. A lucky girl finds both. I’ve turned down the kind of “security” that would mean I’d never have to work again because I don’t like being spoken to condescendingly. I’d rather struggle financially as a single woman than ever feel like I’m not an equal.

But the real reason we seem to hate fuckgirls isn’t their dating histories. It’s because they think they’re too good for misogyny.

I have a stuck-up nose when it comes to chauvinism. My very lifestyle spits in the face of misogyny. So when we notice a fringe group of feminists calling the shots, nonstop, in their own damn lives? What fuckery! How dare they! With their unquenchable thirst to explore this complex and beautiful planet in peace and joy—without someone feeling they have a right to constantly give input or express disapproval just because they have a ball sack.

It can’t come as any surprise when a Gen X fuckgirl comes into her own after growing up with Salt-N-Pepa dropping necessary hits, like “None of Your Business,” “Shoop,” and “Whatta Man” in 1993. We are the products of our upbringing, and it’s never been a more exciting or challenging time for women of this generation. Collectively, we are a highly educated, aware, and quite balanced generation, and I think the world has yet to see our impact as we are beginning to take the reins from the baby boomers.

The status quo has women on an energetic tightrope, whether they realize it or not.

My own mother still gets a mouthful from me when I’m agitated or in a sour mood—and she makes a comment about me being on my period. I repeatedly set her, a baby boomer, straight: women are capable of expressing negative, strong emotions when we’re not on our periods because we have a fully functioning limbic system all month long, same as men.

The status quo reinforces that women are passive and men are aggressive. When we step out of passive, we’re “bitchy,” and that’s the misogynistic smackdown that keeps us weak and cut off from the ability to assert ourselves, which we need to be proactive and successful.

Imagine taking assertion and aggression away from Tom Hanks and other male actors; their movies would have been boring AF.

As a passive-assertive fuckgirl, we get misogyny thrown our way regularly. We expect it and are prepared for it, and this is why we’re reserved, aloof, and detached. We get an endless amount of negative judgement for asserting our will, emotions, and pursuing our desires.

Some who know me don’t know about half the thrills I’ve had—because they are too busy judging me for the stuff they do know about. From, like, a really long time ago. Nobody wants to acknowledge that women have as many desires, fuckups, and major life happenings as men do. Realize that if you’re going to be ultra-judgmental while upholding that misogyny, you’re going to be living in the dark about some of the people that you love.

So how do we begin tackling internalized misogyny?

In college, it was my feminist roommates who really were the fuckgirl brainchild of who I am today. Three of them in particular. I’d be a different person today without their influence on my 20-something self:

I’d come home from teaching surfing (something I wouldn’t have done without the confidence boost they provided), all bruised up—but they were mostly emotional bruises. I’d tell them of the misogynistic things most male surfers were saying to me out there in the water, while being territorial about waves. Then my posse would put the whole thing through their lens and help me see how incompetent, biased, and limiting those guys’ brains were.

Still, they beat me up so badly emotionally that I tried to quit, and my boss wouldn’t let me. He said, “Those guys are obsessed with showing off out there…you’re actually getting the kids to stand up on their surfboards, which is what their parents are paying us for.” He was right, and he also had my back. Do you have people in your life who can look at a situation and help you spot the misogynistic bullshit right away?

Misogyny aims to tear girls and women down, while raising boys and men up, and that’s why I loved one of my other roommates so damn much. She was my number one fan and constantly sang my praises. She regularly pointed out my strengths to me and thought I was just an all-around badass. She also explained my life back to me through her keen lens and taught me to take my “indirect compliments.”

She could have taught “Haters 101” and it thrilled me to watch her authentic reactions to the world around her. She had no filter when she responded to others. She wasn’t mean or insensitive, but she never minimized how she felt. Ten years after our college years, before she passed away, she told me that I saved her life—but she had saved me right back. Mmmm…the power of misogyny-free sisterhood. Have you surrounded yourself with friends who lift you above toxic misogyny, who help you to see the good in yourself?

My last roommate was the one who really grasped the soul of all this complex philosophy and epistemology we were cramming our brains with. She ended up at Yale, and they’re lucky they got her. She and I had such important conversations at home, walking across campus, and during activism.

I remember she blew my mind on more than one occasion. Once, when we were walking across campus, she said, “If a female student walked across campus right now, totally butt-naked, she still deserves respect and reverence. She’s not inviting or ‘asking for’ anything.” Another time, she was venting to me about another woman who was doing all the grotesque things women were programmed to do, and that we hated, and just when I thought she was going to say another negative thing about her, instead she ended with, “Just love her.” And with that simple yet genius phrase, she penetrated through patriarchal misogyny—to truly love the feminine. Do you have an insightful heart in your life who can challenge you to love the feminine bigger and deeper than you thought you were capable of?

Let’s be honest, because it takes honesty to penetrate through misogyny.

If American culture and the media came at Trump as hard as they like to come at say, Lana Del Rey, then I don’t think the attack on the Capitol would have happened, and people would not have died.

Misogyny is an invisible, enforcing power that parts the seas of privilege. I’m watching imperfect Lana in all her shining complexity and problematic prose spin her wheels on Twitter to both clarify her brilliance and show her ignorance.

I have never seen Trump spin his wheels to clarify himself under attack—because he does not get enough condemnation thrown his way to fret over losing his power, or to even feel the need to defend himself.

He did not get canceled until federal laws were broken and people had died.

A white man has to walk in treasonous territory to get canceled. All a white woman has to do is release a challenging album and have every word, photo, and post obsessed and combed over with a politically correct magnifying glass to get cancel culture thrown her way by fans who have her poetry tattooed on them.

Do you think die-hard Trump fans would ever turn on him? No. Because misogyny, which enforces male dominance, is the glue that keeps white, male privilege intact in the United States. It’s not just Trump’s weirdly seductive power that created his following, he is powerless without misogyny, prejudice, racism, sexism, homophobia, ethnocentrism, and tired hatred toward anything that is nonconventional or different from the status quo.

But tackling misogyny is not just about paying attention to who criticism is being thrown at. It’s also about the pressure and nuance that is being thrown with it. Spotting misogyny is a skill we can sharpen and get better at.

Anytime you see or hear someone promoting a bias, analyze it. Does it feel legit, fair, or fucking sensible? Misogyny is not based in logic, but in emotion. Trump, for example, behaves like an overemotional baby.

Start pointing out to people, especially men who unconsciously promote misogyny, yet pride themselves on being “logical,” that their rationale is emotional, rather than sensible. My male surfing coworkers telling me, in all seriousness, that “girls can’t surf” is coming from an emotional place, not a factual one: it’s simply that when a female surfer paddles out to a 30-foot wave and a photo is snapped, it does not go on the cover of a magazine like its male counterparts.

But, I could be wrong—since I majored in fuckgirl studies and minored in getting down on my knees…

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